Advising Students with Learning Disabilities or ADHD in

Report
Advising Students
with Learning
Disabilities or
ADHD in Study
Abroad
Ashley Bryant
Mobility International USA
Kathy Schwartz,
Academic Support Center
American University
Agenda
•
•
•
•
•
•
Brief Introduction
AU context
Global context
Student experience
Available Resources
Best practices and
large group discussion
(throughout)
What are your experiences
supporting students with learning
disabilities in going abroad?
• Ongoing challenges
• Reaching the student
How can education abroad
benefit students with learning
disabilities in particular?
*National Survey on Student Engagement 2010 online survey
of first-year and senior students in the U.S.
Study Respondents with
Learning Disabilities
(Total = 699 senior study abroad respondents)
• 2% of all seniors studying abroad in the NSSE
survey
• 3% are military veterans
• 7% part-time status
• 12% had a mother & 16% a father who did not
attend college
*National Survey on Student Engagement 2010 online survey
of first-year and senior students in the U.S.
Study Respondents with
Learning Disabilities
(Total = 699 senior study abroad respondents)
• 36% Arts/Humanities & 31% Social Sciences majors
(Primary and secondary majors combined)
• 74% White, 4% Multiracial, Less 4% in rest of
categories or did not respond
• 69% Female Students, 31% Male Students
• 70% have completed foreign language course
• 82% have 3.0 GPA or higher
*National Survey on Student Engagement 2010 online survey
of first-year and senior students in the U.S.
Students with Learning
Disabilities on the AU Campus
Poster in
AU’s
Disability
Support
Office
Survey Sent
to Resident
Directors
Letter of
Accommodation
AU’s
Study Abroad
Web Site
AU’s Disability
Support
Web Site
“If you are interested in
studying abroad, please
check out this special page
discussing Accessibility and
Studying Abroad.”
• Learn More
Increase in American University’s
annual participation 2003-2008
45
39
40
35
30
27
25
23
20
15
15
11
10
5
0
2003-2004
2004-2005
2005-2006
2006-2007
2007-2008
When it Works…
In advance of study abroad:
• Student meets with disability support
counselor at least one semester before
applying to study abroad
• If accommodations are significant or
resources may be limited, student
sends an e-mail to program director
abroad with questions before applying
When it Works…
Once accepted into a program:
• Student requests two copies of a study
abroad letter of accommodation from
disability support
• Medications and treatment are
arranged
When it Works…
When the student is overseas:
• Student makes contact with the person
who can assist with accommodations
• Student finds out how accommodations
will be arranged and how faculty will
be notified
• Student contacts the disability support
staff at home if problems arise
Best Outcomes
• There are far fewer concerns about
accommodations if students identify prior
to departure
• Communication about accommodations is
enhanced by administrative contact
between U.S. institution and program
abroad
• Students report increased ease of
arrangements for accommodations
Student Voices
“My program
director helped me
talk with my
professors and set up
extra time and
accommodations.
She was wonderful!”
Student Voices
“Since the program was small (less than 40
students), I felt uncomfortable with the note
taking set-up and test accommodations. It was
definitely noticeable that I was absent from a
test. I did not mind it, but I did explain to
close friends why.”
Student Voices
“The note taking went great. One woman took
all the notes since we all took the same
classes, and photocopied them for me.”
Student Voices
“I wish I had talked with someone before
going. I was unprepared for when I got there.”
Students with Learning
Disabilities on Your Campus
Collaboration between disability
support and study abroad
• Legal issues – are we responsible for
accommodations overseas?
• How do accommodations vary across
countries and regions?
• Does the U.S. school have a system for
student self-identification and request
for accommodations?
Collaboration between disability
support and study abroad
• Address the difference in nature and
philosophy of disability support vs.
study abroad advising
• How do programs work with students
who do not self-identify?
Goals for Effective Collaboration
• To establish a comfortable working
relationship between DSS and study
abroad personnel
• To serve the same percentage of
students with disabilities abroad as are
represented at the university
Goals for Effective Collaboration
• To advise students at the preapplication and pre-departure stage
• To develop materials and online
systems that make self-identification
easy
Learning Disabilities or ADHD
• Accommodations overseas are not
guaranteed
• Typical accommodations for learning
disabilities or ADHD
• Doctor’s note for ADHD medication
Where to Start?
• Are there baseline data on the number
of students with learning disabilities
studying abroad?
• Do you know what accommodations are
possible at each site?
• Are you clear on what you need/want
to provide for students overseas?
Where to Start?
• Is collaboration established between
DSS and study abroad?
• Is there a process for working with
students with disabilities?
Preparing for Accommodation
Differences
• Understand the partners overseas may not be informed
about disability resources in their countries
• Find out about local disability organizations
• Explain that everyone is up for a different level of
challenge
• Get the overseas partners to describe the local site
specifically
• Include the individual with the disability in all “what
if” discussions and accessibility planning
What DSS Providers are Asking
• What kinds of disability resources or
associations can provide local support when
the student is abroad?
• Are e-text or screen readers appropriate for a
foreign language text book?
• Can the student bring his or her ADHD
medication abroad?
Learning Disabilities and
ADHD in Other Countries
• May not be recognized or understood
• The term “learning disability” may
refer to something different than what
we’re used to (such as intellectual
disability)
Learning Disabilities and
ADHD in Other Countries
• Different learning styles in other parts
of the world (focus on rote
memorization, note taking, reading,
little direction on assignments)
• Documentation/asking for
accommodations
Benefits of Education Abroad
• Alternative ways to learn, subjects
come to life
• Learn how disability is perceived in
other countries
• Strengthen personal or learning skills
Benefits of Education Abroad
“I learn best when I feel like what I am learning can
be applied to real life. For me, nothing is more real
or tangible than serving others in another country.”
– Tony Ive, who volunteered at an orphanage in
Ecuador on a service trip throught he University of
Idaho. Tony has Dyslexia, Dyscalculia, and ADHD
Benefits of Education Abroad
• Alternative ways to learn, subjects
come to life
• Learn how disability is perceived in
other countries
• Strengthen personal or learning skills
Benefits of Education Abroad
“In the Latin American countries I went to, learning
disabilities are just not dealt with like they are in
the U.S. unless the programs set accommodations up
outside the school or have someone in-country to
assist students.”
- Kristin Faudree, a former graduate student who has
dyslexia
Benefits of Education Abroad
• Alternative ways to learn, subjects
come to life
• Learn how disability is perceived in
other countries
• Use or improve personal or learning
skills and develop confidence
Benefits of Education Abroad
“For me, the exchange was the first time being an
outsider was rewarded. My differences weren’t just
tolerated, they were explored. Cultural exchanges
bring out a common humanity in everyone. For me,
the trip taught me to accept parts of myself that I’d
been trying to hide for far too long.”
– Zeke Nierenberg, a student who has neurological
disabilities that affect learning
Benefits of Education Abroad
“I was nervous because I have dysgraphia, a
handwriting disability. But for some reason I had less
problems writing the Japanese letters. For example,
I have a harder time writing little angles such as in
an ‘A’, but in Japanese the straight line can be a
little curved and that’s alright. That was really cool
that for the first time in my life I could write legibly
in a language.”
- Jonathon Kull, who studied in Japan
Going Abroad with a NonApparent Disability:
A Student’s Perspective
Funding Strategies
1. Commit 1% of budgets for disability-related
study abroad expenses
2. Agree to equal the amount of money as if
the student were on campus
3. Share costs with other universities or
sending provider
4. Look into VR funding or cost-savings abroad
Resources
• NCDE
miusa.org/ncde
• Tipsheet
miusa.org/ncde/tools/ldexchange
• Disability organizations in
other parts of the world
miusa.org/orgsearch
• Publication
miusa.org/ncde/away/
What is the National Clearinghouse
on Disability and Exchange (NCDE)?
• Provides information and
referrals to increase the
participation and inclusion of
people with disabilities in
international exchange
• Develops free resources,
extensive website, and wide
range of technical assistance.
Sponsored by the U.S. • Efforts to encourage
Department of State,
collaboration between the
Bureau of Educational
disability and international
and Cultural Affairs
exchange communities.
Contact Us!
Ashley Bryant
Mobility International USA
[email protected]
Kathy Schwartz,
Academic Support Center
American University
[email protected]

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