Self Advocacy: You and Your Faculty

Students with Learning Disabilities must adopt a mode of self-advocacy.  Self-advocacy includes the following strategies for academic success:

  • Present your Individual Education Accommodation Plan (IEAP) to your faculty advisor and to your faculty in each course at the very beginning of each semester.  Do not wait until you need the accommodation (such as extended time on tests).  Be sure to explain any specific ways in which you might need to be accommodated in individual courses.
  • Discuss your understanding of how you learn with each of your faculty.  Describe the way you learn best.  Indicate teaching methods which have been particularly helpful to you in the past, and discuss types of assignments with which you have particular difficulty. 
  • Discuss the “Course Accommodations” section of your IEAP with each of your faculty.  Work out in advance how these accommodations will be implemented.  (For example, if you are granted “testing in a non-distracting environment,” where would that be?  How much time is “extended time”?  Normally, extended time means time and a half.  However, there may be particular occasions when time and a half is not needed or is inappropriate.)
  • Ask your faculty for additional suggestions for strategies for success.  (Remember that the IEAP is a tool to begin discussions, not a list of every possible idea to help you learn better.) 
  • Convey to your faculty your eagerness to learn and to do well in class.  Communicate frequently with your instructors, and discuss your successes (and failures, if necessary) throughout the semester.  Remember that a positive attitude and an eagerness to learn are key factors in your success.
  • If, after full discussions with your professors, you believe you are not receiving the course accommodations specified in your IEAP, contact the Office of Academic Advising immediately (x6579) and ask to meet with one of the Deans.