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A department within Student Affairs

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Closing your Conversation

>> Before leaving you should recap your conversation, provide the instructor with the accommodation letter you received from DRS.  This reminds both you and the instructor of each other's responsibilities.  Wait for the instructor's response to your request and be sure to express thanks for the cooperation.
>> Well, lastly, I have this letter from DRS; it basically just details the accommodations that we talked about.  If you could just sign it within the next week or so and return it to me just so we have it on file.
>> Okay.  I'll get it back to you on Friday.
>> Thank you.
>> Mm-hmm.
>> And just to review, we talked about my learning disability, we talked about the accommodations that I requested, basically taking extra time on tests and we agreed that I would come to your office before class and finish the test up in class.
>> That's right.
>> And then in terms of note taking, you said that you would help me find somebody within the next couple of days who you think would be a good fit in paying attention in class that I could buddy up with.
>> Yep.  Sounds right.
>> Thank you.
>> Okay.
>> Well, thank you so much again.  And I really appreciate your willingness to help me.
>> It was good to meet you.
>> You as well.  And I look forward to the rest of the semester.
>> Yeah, hope you do well in class.
>> Thank you.
>> It's really important that when the student is actually talking to the professor that he or she asks if, you know, if this is okay, you know, if there are any other, you know, negotiations that need to be made, just so that the professor feels comfortable with it.
>> They should make sure that the faculty member has a copy of the accommodation letter which has some recommendations.
>> Also a quick summary just of what you said, you stated what your disability was, the agreed upon accommodations, make sure your professor and yourself both have the same, you know, goal in mind.  You have the same accommodations down and that everybody is on the same page so you can have a successful semester.
>> But what do I need to do to help you? 
>> Well, I need to you read and sign this letter here.
>> Okay.
>> It documents that I have a disability and that I am eligible for the accommodations that I'm requesting.
>> Okay.
>> The main points are that I need for you to have my exams delivered over to the Department of Disability Resources and Services three working days prior to the test date, just so they can arrange for me to have a room and the time for me to take my exam.
>> So I have to be super organized this semester.
>> Yeah.  Okay, to sum it up then, it's okay with you that I take my exams over at the DRS office and you can have the exams there three days prior to the test date? 
>> I can do that.
>> Okay. And the stress ball is not going to bother you in class?
>> No.
>> Alright.  Then I'll sit by the door so in case when I need to come in and out that I don't disrupt everybody else?
>> Yeah, that's cool.
>> Alright.  Well, thank you so much for, you know, being understanding with this and helping with everything I need to do, you know, so I can do okay in your class.
>> That's really fine.  I totally understand.  It's okay, I mean, I'm here to help you.  Sounds great.
>> Well, thanks a lot.  I really appreciate your help with everything --
>> You are welcome.
>> And your understanding.
>> No problem.
>> Well, great.  Have a nice day.
>> You too.
>> Even if the faculty member is compassionate and sympathetic and sensitive, they can still be forgetful.  So it's important not only to advocate for their accommodations at the beginning of the semester, but throughout the semester.
>> I tell the student I'm more than willing to do anything; they just have to remind me through the semester of anything that they might need.
>> I felt like everything I needed to be said was said and taken care of.  I would thank him very much and hope for both of us that it's a great semester.
>> Thank you is always nice.  I think that's a good idea.  You know, that's just courteous and professional behavior.
>> For those students with disabilities that feel embarrassed, I want to tell you straight off, don't feel embarrassed, don't feel any shame.  If you are shameful, how can you be successful?
>> When a student graduates from the university and goes out in the job world, the student is going to be faced with many of the same situations.
>> There are so many more students that are in their situation that are just not saying anything, but they are the ones that are courageous, that they actually do say something.
>> I think the self advocacy skills that I have been practicing have helped me become more confident in myself and more comfortable with myself and my disability.
>> I know my ability to walk up to a professor, introduce myself, tell them what I need and get what I need has just boosted my confidence, because I know that if I can handle that situation, there's not a lot of situations that I can't handle.
>> Most instructors are more nervous than the students on those first couple of days of the semester and if anything, they are doing the instructor a favor.
>> You build a relationship with them, he gets to know you, you get to know him on more than just the basis of you're just another kid in the class.  And more than often they are always willing to help and make things easier.