[Athen] Interesting Question Regarding Requested Accommodation...

Carin Headrick carin.headrick at d2l.com
Mon Aug 18 14:00:03 PDT 2014

Hmmm...that's tricky.

You're totally not off-base, but I don't know about having an interpreter there in the class having to feverishly take the student's hands and twist them to match the instructor's. *grin*. From the perspective of a blind person who took Yoga, real-time isn't always a good time.

Would the instructor be open to either videoing the lectures so that student and interpreter would be able to pause and restart as needed? Or, setting up a bit of one on one time, perhaps with a teaching assistant, to go over what would be covered that day? Then the actual class time would be more of a practice session.

Does this student understand that tactile sign and ASL aren't the same? People think that Braille and raised print are synonymous, for example. Maybe a discussion of their request is in order.


From: athen-list [mailto:athen-list-bounces at mailman13.u.washington.edu] On Behalf Of Cassandra L. Tex
Sent: Monday, August 18, 2014 4:28 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 though...

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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