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Individual Accommodations Model Materials


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CAMPUS ACCESS REPORT CARD


Accommodating Students with Disabilities in Postsecondary Environments


Developed by: Roger O. Smith and Dave Edyburn of the Unversity of Wisconsin, Milwaukee and
Sean Lancaster of the University of Kansas CRL, Division of Adult Studies

This document is available in alternative formats upon request. Please contact the Division of Adult Studies for more information.

Credits
Campus Report Card Strategy
Example
Grading Team
Grading Procedures
Key to the Campus Report Card
Make this Document Useful
Blank Sample


The Individual Accommodations Model IAM
University of Kansas, Center for Research on Learning
Division of Adult Studies
JR Pearson Hall, Room 517
Lawrence,KS 66045
(785) 864-4780

The Project IMPACT (Integrated Multi-Perspective Access to Campus Technology) team at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee would like to hear about your experience with the Campus Report Card. Please send comments on the effectiveness of the strategy to:
Roger O. Smith, Ph.D., OT, Occupational Therapy or
Dave Edyburn , Ph.D., Exceptional Education
Co-Directors of Project IMPACT
University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee
P.O. Box 413
Milwaukee, WI 53201
E-mail: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
Fax: (414) 906-3930.


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Campus Report Card Strategy

The idea of “grading” a campus is that: 1) educators and educational systems understand the idea of grades and report cards, and 2) there is some rationale for examining various areas of an organization’s skill and knowledge to see how a campus rates in each of the areas. Also, like a report card, grades can be observed over time to witness progress or identify problem areas requiring additional attention.

The Campus Report Card promoted here also has similar characteristics of academic course grading. Grades commonly include objective information from a variety of sources and include some subjective data. Usually grades are determined by individuals considered expert in their area and who are relatively familiar with the individual entity for which they are grading. While grades are occasionally assessed by experts from outside an institution, such as accrediting agencies or external academicians, generally, performance and grades are written by experts within the academic setting.

The Grading Context

Grades must be interpreted within their particular context. To understand the meaning behind any grade, the context must be described to represent a broader set of information. The grading criteria used and the expectations for achieving different levels of grades are also important aspects of the grading process

The Report Card Format

The report card categories are based on the Corporate Report Card (1998). Two grades are provided for each area. One for “performance” and one for “effort.” This produces a picture of how well a campus is addressing accessibility and striving for universal design.

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EXAMPLE

CAMPUS ASSESS REPORT CARD:

Name of College: That College
Campus Setting: Somewhere, USA
Today’s Date: November 22, 1999

Grading Team Members:
Paula Engstrom, Dean of Instruction
Sean Hyde, Student rep.
Sheng-Ho Ling, Dean of Students
Tani Ojeda, Occupational Therapy
Michael Mehochco, Director, DSS
Cynthia McBeal, ADA Coordinator

Date Process
1/17 Initial team meeting
1/20 Beginning of grading process, Dean of Instruction
3/20 Targeted grading completion date
4/14 Actual grading completion date
4/24 Team review meeting
5/3 Grades determined
6/11 Memorandum/summary prepared

6/13 Results distributed and to whom:
Roger O’Leary, Faculty Senate
Ricardo Sanchez, Board of Trustees
Terrance Johnson, Facilities
Frank Howard, DSS staff

6/27 Follow-up date and person:
Tani Ojeda


Sample Campus Access Report Card*

                                                                                                                                                             
AREADESCRIPTIONINDICATORS EXAMPLEPERFORMANCEEFFORT
Agenda Is accessibility discussed in decision-making forums? Technology Roundtable; Access Audits Presentation to Administration; Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on the ADA; not involved in many decision discussions where accessibility is relevant.BB
Accomplishments In the past 12 months how much has been accomplished?Tactic included in campus strategic plan; campus mapping project; equipment funding for library, SAC & assistive technology laboratory; building projects more cognizant of access needs; ADA physical access reviews are active across campus. A-A
ResponsivenessWhen needs have been identified, how responsive has the campus been (quick solutions and longterm mechanisms)?Campus is tuned to accessibility quick fixes. The campus responds to individual needs through SAC and administrative support. Only some personnel across campus seem overly cautious or resistant. A-A-
Changing BalanceDo we expend more effort in accessibility or accommodations?Improvements in accessibility is just beginning; e.g. students in wheelchairs must still sit in the back of classrooms or in front in isolated blue tables; computer labs are not outfitted with access software which comes free with operating systems.D+C-
AcquisitionAs new systems are purchased, are they accessible?Newest web courses are inaccessible; major software packages for campus need to consider access as a required feature; information kiosks inaccessible; faculty not tuned to access needs; decentralizing lab & equipment monies removed access requirement.F+D-
Recruitment How successful are we recruiting students, staff and faculty with disabilities or who are familiar with accessibility?DSS is active in recruitment efforts, but the campus is not viewed as accessible compared to other system campuses; Recruitment and outreach are working hard & enrolls significant numbers of hearing impaired & deaf students.C-C-
Retention How successful are we at retaining students, staff and faculty with disabilities?Efforts are vigilant, but tracking systems for students are not operational & students still encounter substantial frustration which alienates some to continue education.CB
Coordination of Accessibility Are we coordinating an accessibly designed and operated campus?Several committees are active, but little is being done initiated on a campus level, particularly in curricular accessibility. Building/physical environment = B, technology = D+, & curricula = D-.D+C
Needs Assessment & FeedbackHow well are we collecting data to set accessibility goals?Few mechanisms are institutionalized to assess needs from students or any other perspectives. This is particularly true in assessing the technology and curricular access needs.CC
OverallHow Is The Campus Doing In Becoming A Universally Accessible Campus?The campus has no accessibility plan, particularly in assuring the technology and curricular access needs. Much of this work must be operationalized on the department or individual faculty level; difficult to orchestrate at a campus level.CB-

* Project IMPACT (Integrated Multi-Perspective Access to Campus Technology) November 1999.

The grading context for the Campus Report Card is based on universal design and the concept of complete accessibility. The perfect “A+” grade describes a campus which is absolutely accessible to students (and faculty/staff) with all types of disabilities. “Accessible” means individuals with a disability can work along side their peers without needing special accommodations, services, additional amounts of time, or resources.

This is an ideal goal. Today, an A+ environment is exceptionally difficult; perhaps even impossible. Many needed accessible design strategies, techniques, and technologies have yet to be invented. Plus, some available accessible design strategies cannot be instantly implemented. Some require training, remodeling of physical, curricular, or service program architecture.

Consequently, well-tuned individual accommodations are often the most practical and immediate solutions. Excellent accommodation services are worthy of “B” grades.

Two other factors are key influences on grades. First, the reasonableness of accommodation and accessibility interventions. If an accessibility feature is easy to implement, but is not initiated, this has a more severe impact on lowering the grade than when an accessibility intervention is costly or difficult to implement.

Second, efforts toward accessibility even if they result in failures or partial implementation, are worthier than avoidance, neglect, or ignorance. Thus, a key step in successful universal design is the acknowledgement of potential accessibility problems. Documentation of activity to improve a campus from successful accommodation to successful accessibility is worthwhile and a high effort grade should reflect this activity.

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Grading Team

The recommended grading procedure is based on the team collection of information to compile a grade. Ideally, the grading team should consist of the following members.

•Representative of Student Disability Services office
•Campus ADA Coordinator
•Occupational Therapist faculty member
•Accessibility/Universal Design expert (campus may need a consultant from the community for this individual)
•Students with disability (ideally representing sensory, motor, and cognitive impairment areas such as an individual who is blind, in a wheelchair, and has a reading impairment, respectively.

Grading Procedures

•Graders should consider all areas and services on campus (it may be helpful to use a campus directory and a campus map);
•Graders individually score the report card. Specific examples should be documented for the grading decisions;
•Then, the group should convene and share grades and rationale. Discussion should follow with the intent of obtaining grade consensus and a compiled list of documented justification.

The grading team should then draft a memorandum to summarize the campus grades and identify members of the campus community to which it should be forwarded. The memorandum should include an offer for the team to meet with interested parties, offer to provide accessibility resources, mention that the progress report cards can be requested and provide a future schedule for Campus Report Cards.

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Key to the Campus Report Card

Agenda:
Does the college currently have disability/ accessibility related topics on its agenda for the future. Are disability-related issues considered when major decisions are being made? Are persons with disability knowledge invited to the proper committees?

Accomplishments:
How well has the college done in the last year to address disability related issues and concerns? Think in terms of many levels (e.g., departments, divisions, committees, structural, information dissemination, student concerns).

Responsiveness:
When a problem or issue has been identified on campus, how well does the college address the issue? Are problems dealt with in a timely and effective manner?

A general notion is that as you increase universal accessibility you can actually decrease reliance on short-term accommodations. For example, if all instructors passed their notes out to all students this could benefit all students and some students who have a disability requiring the school to provide a notetaker would no longer be needed. Hopefully a college will put more effort into the long-term solutions (accessibility issues) and then decrease the energies into providing accommodations.

Changing Balance:
There is a theory that says: as you increase universal accessibility you can actually decrease reliance on short-term accommodations. For example, if all instructors passed their notes out to all students this could benefit all students and some students who have a disability requiring the school to provide a notetaker would no longer be needed. It is hoped that a college would put more effort into the long-term solutions (accessibility issues) and then decrease the energies into providing accommodations.

Back to Sample Campus Access Report Card

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Acquisition:
When the college makes purchases do they consider all students in the products they buy? Who on campus can help determine whether new equipment will be accessible?

Recruitment:
Is there an effort to recruit students, staff, and faculty with disabilities or persons who are familiar with disabilities to the campus?

Retention:
Is the college keeping students, staff, and faculty members who have disabilities?

Coordination of Accessibility:
Is a general effort made to coordinate an accessible campus? Is the campus physically accessible as well as socially acceptable?

Needs Assessment and Feedback:
Is the college currently assessing the needs of individuals with disabilities? Is the college collecting any data to determine future goals and directions for disability related topics?

Back to Sample Campus Access Report Card
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Make This Document Useful

Finally, make this report card useful. If this means that giving grades will be counterproductive, then don’t give grades; you can just as easily use the areas suggested and type up your own assessment form without grades. You might want to just point out areas that are in most need of improvement or reward areas that are doing the best. You know your campus best. Use your knowledge to your benefit. Good luck!


BLANK SAMPLE

CAMPUS ASSESS REPORT CARD:

Name of College: ________________

Campus Setting:_________________

Today’s Date: ___________________

Grading Team Members:
___________________ ___________________
___________________ ___________________
___________________ ___________________

Date Process

____ Initial team meeting

____ Beginning of grading process, Dean of Instruction

____ Targeted grading completion date

____ Actual grading completion date

____ Team review meeting

____ Grades determined

____ Memorandum/summary prepared

____ Results distributed and to whom:
_______________________________
_______________________________

______ Follow-up date and person:_______

Campus Access Report Card*

                                                                                                                                                         

AREA  

DESCRIPTION  

INDICATORS EXAMPLE  

PERFORMANCE  

EFFORT  

Agenda  

Is accessibility discussed in decision-making       forums?  

   

Accomplishments  

In the past 12 months how much has been accomplished?        

   

Responsiveness  

When needs have been identified, how responsive       has the campus been (quick solutions and longterm mechanisms)?  

   
Changing Balance    

Do we expend more effort in accessibility       or accommodations?  

   

Acquisition  

As new systems are purchased, are they accessible?        

   

Recruitment  

How successful are we recruiting students,       staff and faculty with disabilities or who are familiar with accessibility?        

   

Retention  

How successful are we at retaining students,       staff and faculty with disabilities?  

   
Coordination of     Accessibility

Are we coordinating an accessibly designed       and operated campus?  

   

Needs Assessment & Feedback  

How well are we collecting data to set accessibility       goals?  

   

Overall  

How Is The Campus Doing In Becoming A Universally       Accessible Campus?  

   

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This document was supported in whole or in part by the U. S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, (Cooperative Agreement No. H324M980109). However, the opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of the U. S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, and no official endorsement by the Department should be inferred Note: There are no copyright restrictions on this document: however, please credit the source and support of federal funds when copying all or part of this material. This document is also available on the web for printing at: http://das.kucrl.org/iam