There are a vast range of psychological disabilities, including depression, anxiety, bipolar, and many other illnesses that may affect a student’s ability to function in and out of the classroom. Symptoms may include difficulty concentrating, fatigue, drowsiness and poor memory; more important, these symptoms have nothing to do with students' intelligence. Impairments may be caused by medications prescribed by qualified physicians.
Symptoms may vary during the semester and the student’s need for accommodations may be intermittent. For example, a student doesn’t request accommodations at the beginning of the semester; stress may exacerbate symptoms as the semester progresses and accommodations are required. Fluctuations are common in many chronic disabilities.
Students may have to miss class occasionally or take an extended absence because of disability specific reasons. Realize that a student who is often absent may be missing class because he/she is ill, not lazy. An instructor has the right to ask the student to submit documentation verifying their absence was disability related.
For confidentiality concerns, the student can submit documentation to the TMCC DRC, and staff will contact the instructor.
Possible accommodations assigned by the TMCC DRC (TMCC Faculty will receive a service letter from the DRC delineating the appropriate accommodations for a particular student):
- Note taker or tape recorder
- Extended time for tests
- Quiet environment for taking tests
- Flexible attendance (see DRC policy)
- Pre-arranged breaks
- Preferential seating
- Assistive technology
- Reduced course load
- Alternate testing format
- Advanced notice of major assignments
- Assist all students to become aware of their behavioral responsibilities in the classroom by setting concrete guidelines and clear academic requirements.
- Be as accommodating to a student who requests accommodations mid-semester as you would to a student who presents a request before classes start.
- Apply the same behavioral expectations/student code of conduct required of all TMCC students.
For more information about psychological impairments, visit the "From Where I Sit" video series.