There may be students with learning disabilities in my classroom in the future, though there are none currently that I am aware of. As a teacher, I would be obligated to do all I can to ensure that they do not learn slower than their peers. Moreover, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) requires educational institutions to provide accommodations for people with disabilities. To achieve that goal, one must first understand the barriers that these students encounter in their learning and how those challenges can be addressed. There are two approaches that are typically applied: a more individualized one, which requires students to disclose their conditions and makes individual adjustments based on the information, and one that aims to create universal accommodations (Hamir & Gozik, 2018). Both have pros and cons in terms of their effects on the target audience’s well-being and learning, and the teacher needs to consider the choice carefully.
The individualized approach may be better at accommodating specific students, though they may be uncomfortable with disclosing their conditions in detail. At the same time, it takes time and effort, and possibly trial and error, to adapt it to each student. On the other hand, the universal approach can help all students with disabilities feel comfortable and secure in their privacy, but it may also omit vital details due to its lack of specificity. Moreover, regardless of the approach one takes, they have to be mindful of the non-disabled people, as the accommodations also have to be fair to them (Bradshaw et al., 2021). The purpose of the ADA is equality, not preferential treatment of some students at the expense of others, and any measures one takes have to reflect that.
Bradshaw, M. J., Hultquist, B. L., & Hagler, D. A. (2021). Innovative teaching strategies in nursing and related health professions (8th ed.). Jones & Bartlett.
Hamir, H. B., & Gozik, N. (Eds.). (2018). Promoting inclusion in education abroad: A handbook of research and practice. Stylus Publishing.