Texas State’s Office of Disability Services is a known aid in giving a various degree of resources like sign language interpreters, audio formatted textbooks, and note-taking paper. Another resource, less known, that is available to students with disabilities are university professors. Professors at Texas State go about teaching in different ways.
English Department Senior Lecturer, Sue Beebe, thinks having not only ODS students, but a diverse group of students in class, helps her teaching style. According to Beebe, when it comes to teaching effectively to a student needing special accommodations, they are able to experiment with new teaching styles. She mentions that different forms of testing and various new ways to communicate can be done.
“They do make me really think about my teaching. Am I using enough visual stimuli, am I using too much auditory stimuli.”
Beebe says the Office of Disability Services is a very good resource for students to have. According to the Texas State ODS site, around half of all students with learning disabilities and disorders aided by ODS were not diagnosed until they were students at Texas State.
“The ODS is very helpful and very specific in terms of identifying what kinds of modifications a student with disabilities may need to do well in class.”
Beebe commented that while there are students in class that need special attention to do well, she thinks everyone has an obstacle to overcome to be successful in their academic studies. Beebe said she is willing to help any student needing assistance so they can become successful in class.
“Many of us have some form of mild learning disability that we learn to compensate for. If a student comes to talk to me, I will certainly do anything within reason to help a student grasp the material.”
Beebe said she likes to set up and meet with ODS students during her office hours rather than the simpler task of just submitting the paper document to her. She mentions that she does not see the meetings as a chore to the students, but as a chance to interact with them to fully understand how she can help.
Beebe says that having students with disabilities helps bring interesting insights to her classes that she would not have thought about before.
“I like having diverse students in my class in all kinds of ways that we might define diversity, so students with disabilities is just one kind of diversity, because they can bring an interesting perspective to the class, one that I might not have considered before.”
Beebe says having ODS students allows her to see the different ways that people learn. She says the assorted student learning styles and perspectives help make the classroom experience better overall.
Listen to the story here