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Students with disabilities can face a number of barriers to their education. Accommodations for students with disabilities are required by law because they provide students with equal access and the opportunity to be successful in their education. We know you want your students to be successful, and the Disability Resource Center is here to support and assist you!

When a Student Needs Accommodations

  • Students with disabilities register with the DRC and will receive a Student Accommodation Statement (SAS) listing all accommodations that the student may utilize.
  • The student is responsible for giving instructors a copy of their SAS.
  • The instructor should privately discuss with the student the accommodations listed and which accommodations the student will need to utilize for each course.

Please note that persons with the same disabilities do not always use the same accommodations

If an instructor suspects a student has a disability and is experiencing barriers in their class, please contact us. We are happy to support faculty and their students.

What Accommodations Might Look Like in Your Classroom

Accommodations provide students with equal opportunity to obtain the same outcomes that students without barriers receive during their education at CNM. A reasonable accommodation is any modification, adjustment or auxiliary aid that enables a qualified student or employee with a disability to equitably participate. 

Accommodations are changes made to the environment and/or to educational material to enable equal access.  Accommodations will be listed on the Student Accommodation Statement (SAS). Examples of specific accommodations are, but not limited to:

  • Books in alternative format
  • Extended test time
  • Changes in the length of time permitted to complete degree or course requirements
  • Readers/Writers
  • Sign Language Interpreters
  • Adaptive technology

Students Are Encouraged To Advocate for Themselves

  • In order to receive accommodations through the CNM Disability Resource Center, students with disabilities must provide us with diagnostic documentation. 
  • Students are responsible for giving their SAS to their instructors.
  • We encourage students to have meaningful conversations with their instructors about the accommodations they will use.

If you have any questions, concerns, or issues please contact DRC staff for support.    

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) 

Universal Design for Learning is an approach to teaching aimed at making a learning environment accessible to all students regardless of their age, size, or disability. The CAST website provides more information about Universal Design.

Accessible Course Materials

Instructors can use some of the following tips to make courses accessible. The DRC is happy to assist instructors through this process. Below are step-by-step instructions to increase accessibility.

Textbooks 

Whenever possible, instructors should choose textbooks that have an accessible digital version. 

If the text book is an eBook, instructors should ask if it's accessible. Here are some things to consider:

  • Supplemental information such as sidebars, images, charts and footnotes should be separate from the main content.
  • Screen reader users need to be able to hear the main content without interruption, and then choose to hear supplemental information.
  • Content should not be presented only as an image because screen readers can't read images.
  • A table of contents that links to the text makes it easier to navigate through the book.
  • Tables should have headers so screen reader users can find their place easily. Captions should also be provided that summarize the table.
  • Images should have alternative text that explains the information in the image.
  • Page numbers should be included that match the print version of the book.
  • Math should be presented in MathML format so screen readers can read it.
  • Any videos need captions.
  • Any audio needs a transcript. 
  • Interactive content should be accessible to screen reader users and keyboard only users.

Captioning Videos

Captioning is a great learning tool for all students, not just an accommodation for students with disabilities. Studies have shown that all students comprehend and retain more information when a video has captions. In some studies, students who have had access to captioned materials had a GPA that was a full point higher than their peers who did not have captioned material. Please choose videos that have closed captions when possible. Turn on captions when showing a video in class.

Search for a captioned version of the video:

  • Google
    1. Google Advanced Search
    2. Scroll down to subtitles
    3. Choose closed captioned only
  • YouTube
    1. Search YouTube for the video
    2. Choose FILTER on the right
    3. Under FEATURES choose Subtitles/CC.

Videos should all be captioned. If instructors create videos, the files should be in MP4 format for captioning. If the video comes from YouTube, please send us the YouTube link. For all other videos, captioning capabilities may vary. Please contact ewilson41@cnm.edu for all captioning. 

PDFs

Some PDFs are scanned documents, meaning that they are an image of the text. Screen readers cannot access the text from this type of PDF. PDF's may be accessible if they were generated from an accessible document. Please see below for tips to make your PDF's more accessible. 

Content Accessibility Resources 

This Open Education Resource List on Accessibility contains many resources to help you make your content accessible. 

If you are working with PowerPoint, Excel, or Word, check out our Microsoft Suite Quick Tip Guide

Lastly, this DRC Accessible Formatting Guide will give you some rules of thumb that will help you make accessible content no matter what software you're using.