Skip to main content
Skip to main navigation
Skip to search

Accessibility Center

Mission

The IU Kokomo Accessibility Center seeks to empower, support, and advocate for students with disabilities. Enhancing the education of each of our students means we construct a service plan that is unique to the needs of each student. We strive to meet the instructional, environmental, and learning needs by providing accommodations, resources and referrals, and programs to assist students in reaching academic success.

Proper Etiquette Tips

Mobility

  • Do not provide assistance to a student in a wheelchair unless assistance is requested.
  • Avoid demeaning or patronizing gestures.
  • Do not lean or hang on the wheelchair as this is an invasion of personal space.
  • For lengthy conversations, sit down and speak to the student at eye level.

Learning

  • Repeat information and/or answer questions patiently.
  • Provide the student with timely feedback to correct errors as soon as possible.
  • Give praise to the student when merited to build confidence.

Hearing

  • Face the student when speaking.
  • Speak with a clear and resonant voice.
  • Avoid hand-to-face gestures that might obstruct a student’s hearing path or prevent him or her from reading lips.
  • Encourage other students to be aware of those who may not be able to hear.

Speech

  • Speak directly to the student and not to the interpreter.
  • Be attentive to gestures and facial expressions.
  • Accept and respond to all attempts at communication.
  • Avoid the temptation to complete words or phrases for the student.
  • Acknowledge when you do not understand the student’s response and ask the student to try again.

Visual

  • Introduce yourself and anyone else who may be present when speaking with the student.
  • Do not avoid using words such as see or look with the student as blind and visually impaired persons use these words also.
  • When walking with the student, allow him or her to take your arm just above the elbow. Walk in a natural manner and pace.
  • When offering a seat to the student, place the student’s hand on the back or arm of the seat and allow the student to seat him or herself.
  • If the student is accompanied by a guide dog, do not pet or distract the guide dog.
  • Inform the student when the furniture is rearranged.
  • Use verbal descriptions to supplement use of visual aids.

Service Animals

Individuals should not:

  • Pet a service animal while it is working. Service animals are trained to be protective of their partner, and petting distracts them from their responsibilities.
  • Feed a working service animal.
  • Deliberately startle, tease, or taunt a service animal.
  • Separate or attempt to separate an individual from his/her service animal.
  • Hesitate to ask a student if he/she would like assistance if the student and/or service animal seem confused about a direction to turn, an accessible entrance, the location of an elevator, etc.
Equal Access to Education

504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; states that “no otherwise qualified handicapped individual shall, solely by reason of the handicap, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance.” Compliance with this law requires that academic institutions like Indiana University Kokomo provide the same opportunity for students with disabilities to achieve success in the classroom that it provides to other students. In other words, equal access to education is achieved when physical and instructional barriers to learning are removed and the student is allowed to compete on the basis of his or her academic abilities alone. The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) reinforced the provisions of the Rehabilitation Act by requiring that all public facilities, services, and communications be accessible to persons with disabilities and that auxiliary aids and services be provided unless an undue burden would result.

Reasonable Accommodation

Reasonable accommodation is the term used by the ADA for modifications made to the learning environment that help create equal educational opportunity.  It does not require that students with disabilities be given special advantages in order to help them pass nor does it require they be graded on a scale different from their classmates.  On the contrary, it refers to steps that can be taken without significant difficulty or expense to allow otherwise qualified students to fulfill course requirements by limiting as much as possible the effects of their disabilities on their performance.  If reasonable accommodations are not evident, effort must be made to look for accommodations by:

  • providing alternative ways to fulfill course requirements
  • developing and implementing innovative teaching techniques
  • providing supervised tutorial assistance and adaptive technology
  • tailoring course requirements to individual needs, and
  • modifying testing procedures to ensure measurement of a student’s abilities and not his or her disability.
Last updated: 09/21/2018