A Student Who is Quadriplegic
Disability description and career possibilities:
This student has no voluntary movement of his legs due to a spinal cord injury. In addition, he has partial use of his arms, hands, and fingers; making manual keyboarding and writing fairly slow. He uses a power wheelchair for mobility, and independently drives a lift-equipped van. Many such individuals routinely attain college degrees and work as accountants, computer programmers, psychologists, business owners, etc.
Basic access needs for classrooms and lab:
This student may need someone to open the door for him. He may also need to utilize a small table for note taking or to place materials on. This can be ordered from the Maintenance Department. In some cases, an aide supplied by the LAP or by the student may be necessary to assist the student in managing his materials.
Very often, an alternative to conventional note taking methods may be necessary:
- A classmate may need to be located who will be willing to share notes.
- The instructor may be willing to make a copy of his/her lecture notes.
- A tape recorder may be used to record the lecture.
It is likely that the student's problems with writing will make it necessary for him to take tests outside the classroom, with assistance and with additional time allowed. We call this Testing Accommodations. When such accommodations are appropriate, the student will be given a form to present to the instructor. This gives the instructor control over how the test will be delivered to our office, and other details such as whether notes, calculators, etc. can be used by the student. In this student's case, the following may occur:
- In our facility, under continuous supervision, the student may write his own test.
- Under the same conditions, the student may dictate his answers to an LAP staff member or student worker who will write his answers.
The Learning Assistance Program's Computer and Assistive Technology Lab have resources that can assist this student. Dictation programs, alternative keyboards, trackballs, or other input devices can help him develop technology skills that will enhance his independence as a student and a future employee. Our faculty and staff in the lab evaluate students' needs and assist them in acquiring the needed skills.