What Does it Mean to Have a Disability at Penn? U-Life Professional Development Day June 20, 2o12 Susan Shapiro Lisa Burton-Grika Student Disabilities Services Weingarten Learning Resources Center
Reflections on Students with Disabilities • What comes to mind when you think about a Penn student who has a disability? • What kinds of experiences have you had with students that have disabilities? • What are some of the strengths you have seen in your students with disabilities?
What is the Definition of Disability? An individual with a disability is a person with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. (Americans with Disabilities Act 1990 as Amended in 2008)
Major Life Functions Include but are not Limited to: • Walking • Seeing • Hearing • Learning • Thinking • Concentrating • Interacting with others • Caring for oneself
What is Substantially Limited? • Diagnosis alone does not guarantee accommodations • Substantial limitation • Manner • Duration • Severity • Compared to most people.
Who are Penn Students with Disabilities? • Long history • Identified in high school • Newly identified at Penn • Disability but no accommodations • ???
Demographics • 806 students identified with SDS during the 2011 AY • Equally distributed between males and females • Over 3600 exams accommodated at SDS and faculty accommodated at least an additional 1,000 exams • All undergraduate and graduate schools
Count of All Disabilities on Record *Students may have more than one disabilty.
TRENDS • Students population is becoming • more complex • Greater number of students with • anxiety • Increase in number of contacts per • student • Heightened expectations of • parents and students
Increased time evaluating • documentation • Increase in referrals and • collaboration with Penn resources • Challenges with student accountability • Increase in auxiliary services (braille • transcription, electronic text) • Increased use of technology
Success for Students with Disabilities • Independence • Use Resources • Capitalize on Strengths • Self Determination • Self Advocacy EMPOWERMENT