When you think about it, most of us have disabilities of some sort or another. I've worn glasses since I was eight years old, and this summer was the time for my cataract surgery. (My pre-surgery view of the world looked like a Monet painting.) Like you, I'm no stranger to physical problems with a classroom.
Dealing with your issues
First of all, nobody is going to chase you down and demand that you find help. They probably don't know that you are having trouble reading or hearing, so you must take initiative to deal with your issues.
What you can do
First, you need to figure out what kind of problem you have and how severe it is. Did you have an IEP in high school? Have you always had trouble seeing things from a distance? Here are some places to begin:
- Get an eye exam. There's nothing shameful or nerdy about wearing glasses. (Harry Potter wore them, and he saved the world.)
- Get your hearing checked. A family doctor can recommend specialists who do this.
- Get the computer to read aloud to you. (In our hybrid course, a lot of materials will be online and the machine can read them.)
- Instructions for Apple computers
- Windows computers have something called Windows Narrator. It's somewhat overwhelming, so you might do better with the read-aloud program that's built into Microsoft Word.
- Contact the Student Accessibility Center. They are there to help you, whether your problem is temporary (such as a broken arm) or more permanent. The SAC Website has many detailed links. Follow them up.
What the university will do
- In our hybrid environment, most of the lecture material will be online, and there's a way to download the material so you can review it at your own speed. (I'll show you how later.)
- If the Student Accessibility Center recommends an accommodation, they will give you a form which details the kind of help you need.
- It's your responsibility to contact the course instructor and discuss changes you need.
- By Federal law, all of these accommodations are strictly private. Nobody can discuss your issues without your specific written permission.