Who Is Eligible For ARC Services?
To be eligible for services from Accessibility Resource Center (ARC), the student must be admitted to UNM, and they must have a documented disability. ARC understands that many people do not readily identify with the term “disability” and prefer to use other terminology to describe their situation, and we respect that choice. At the same time, the term “disability” is the language used in both the federal laws and the UNM policies that protect students with disabilities from unlawful discrimination and provide for them to receive reasonable accommodations. This is why the word disability is used frequently throughout our website.
Definition of Disability
As defined in federal law, a person with a disability is someone who has a serious medical condition or a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.
Major life activities are those functions that are important to most people’s daily lives. They include but are not limited to the following:
- Caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, seeing, hearing, eating, sleeping, walking, standing, lifting, bending, speaking, breathing, learning, reading, concentrating, thinking, communicating, and working.
- Major Bodily Functions, such as functions of the immune system, normal cell growth, digestive, bowel, bladder, neurological, brain, respiratory, circulatory, endocrine, and reproductive functions.
Types of Disabilities
There are many different types of disabilities that can affect a person. Some examples of disabilities include, but are not limited to the following: Arthritis, Autism, Attention-deficit/Hyperactivity disorder, Blindness/low vision, Cerebral Palsy, Communication disorders, Deafness/hearing impairments, Emotional/psychological disabilities, Multiple Sclerosis, Muscular Dystrophy, Seizure disorders, Specific learning disabilities, Spinal cord injuries,brain injuries,and Other health impairments.
This group of students comprises a large proportion of the population of students served by Accessibility Resource Center. Psychological disabilities include, but are not limited to, depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders, and schizophrenia. Some students undergoing treatment take prescription medication to help control symptoms. ARC understands that this medication may have side effects such as drowsiness or disorientation, so it is important to consider this when talking about accommodations that are needed.
Learning Disabilities and Attention-Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
This group of students comprises a large proportion of the population of students served by Accessibility Resource Center. These disabilities affect the manner in which individuals acquire, integrate, and/or express knowledge. Learning disabilities may affect a student’s performance in reading, writing, spelling, mathematics, auditory processing, or orientation to space and time. People with ADHD may have trouble paying attention, controlling impulsive behaviors (may act without thinking about what the result will be), or be overly active.
If the student has had a psychoeducational, psychological, or neuropsychological evaluation done, it can be very helpful if the student can provide a copy of the evaluation to ARC. These evaluations are usually comprehensive and detailed, and they can assist ARC in helping the student determine which accommodations may be most effective for them.
Chronic Health Conditions
There are a number of chronic health conditions that may impact a student’s energy level, pain level, concentration, and attendance. Examples of these conditions include but are not limited to Diabetes, heart conditions, Crohn’s Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, chronic pain, Fibromyalgia, and cancer. Some students may be taking medication with varying side effects such as drowsiness or slowed response. Chronic health conditions are often unpredictable, so students may be affected at any time without warning.
Deaf or Hard of Hearing
The age of onset of a hearing disability will have a great impact upon the student’s English ability, both spoken and written. Generally, English is considered a second language for deaf and hard of hearing students when signed language is the dominant mode of communication. Typical accommodations include use of a Signed Language interpreter, real-time captioning, note taking, providing all directions in writing, and closed-captioned videos.
Visual disabilities can vary from total blindness to low vision. Students with low vision may not have an apparent “visible” disability. Students with visual disabilities may experience eyestrain, light sensitivity, and an inability to read printed material or to distinguish certain colors. Students who have been blind from birth have no visual memories. Their concepts of objects, space, and distance may be different from those persons who develop visual disabilities later in life.
These students may encounter various types of environmental barriers in the college setting such as inaccessible readings, unannounced quizzes, open book tests, locating lecture information, completing scantron answer sheets, or viewing lecture notes during class.
Other Physical Disabilities
Physical access is one of the major concerns for students with physical disabilities. Students may encounter unavoidable delays during inclement weather, times of heavy foot traffic, and periods of construction. If a classroom is inaccessible, Accessibility Resource Center will work with the department to relocate the class to an accessible location. When a course requires travel to alternative locations, those locations and transportation must be accessible.