[Athen] Interesting Question Regarding Requested Accommodation...

Wink Harner foreigntype at gmail.com
Mon Aug 18 13:48:45 PDT 2014

Cassandra et al ATHENites,

Here are my two cents today:

If the student is proficient in Tactile Sign, I would say go with the TS
Interpreter to allow access to the class.

If the student is not proficient in Tactile Sign, this is not the platform
for them to learn sign language. Find them the contact info they need with
whatever Federation for the Blind mobility & orientation office is in your
area and get them hooked up with TS training & acquisition.

What are their reasons for learning ASL? To fulfill a language requirement?
It would work if the student already knew TS. A minor adjustment in the
communication would be implemented (instead of seeing and responding to the
sign, the student would feel and respond to the sign and the TS interpreter
signs the response).

Pepnet might be a really good resource for you to follow up with regarding
TS Interpreters. They might have other suggestions regarding significant
functional differences between TS and ASL that I may not have thought of.

Hope my 2 cents was helpful.



From: athen-list [mailto:athen-list-bounces at mailman13.u.washington.edu] On
Behalf Of Cassandra L. Tex
Sent: Monday, August 18, 2014 1:28 PM
To: ATHEN Listserv
Subject: [Athen] Interesting Question Regarding Requested Accommodation...

Greetings All,

Had an interesting question this morning regarding a requested accommodation
at a neighboring community college..

The Scenario:

Student who is blind (no usable vision) is enrolled in an American Sign
Language course. The accommodation she is requesting is a tactile signer.
There is an interpreter in the area that knows tactile signing (we are a
rural area so our interpreting pool of qualified interpreters is limited).
The instructor does not know tactile signing.


1. The student will essentially be learning tactile signing and not
ASL. This seems like a fundamental alteration of the coursework for the ASL
course. Am I off base here??

2. If the instructor does not know tactile signing, how will he/she be
able to evaluate the student's knowledge?

3. Is there another way to accommodate an individual who is blind in
this ASL course? I was thinking that an interpreter or other individual
could sit next to the student and manipulate the student's fingers/arm to
show what the sign is. Not sure how disruptive this would be in the class

Any suggestions or comments for accommodating this student in the ASL course
would be appreciated!


Cassandra Tex

Assistive Technology Specialist

Humboldt State University

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