College - InFocus Advocacy

1photo PSEA

Location: Online 

Date: August 2015

Utilizing the 1photo model, InFocus collaborated with the North Carolina Postsecondary Education Alliance in the collection of photos and quotes to raise the awareness of citizens and legislators regarding the benefits of postsecondary education for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

 

Students Advocating for Inclusive Learning (SAIL)

Location: University of North Carolina-Greensboro (UNCG), Greensboro, NC

Date: May 2014 – May 2016 

InFocus collaborated with Beyond Academics at UNCG to form the SAIL advocacy group. The group was composed of UNCG college students with varying abilities who received support from Beyond Academics. The group first met in the summer of 2014 for an “Advocacy in Action” seminar. They used the InFocus process to discuss the idea of inclusion and determine what they wanted to change on campus. In the Fall of 2015, SAIL began sending out their “Tips of the Week” to faculty and staff in an attempt to make classroom learning more inclusive.  SAIL continues to gain student advocates and develop innovative materials to educate faculty and staff at UNCG.  A sampling of their weekly tips appears below.

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Modifying Tests

“All students have different ways of showing what they are learning. For example, one student may be better at showing what they have learned about biology in a final paper instead of on a final exam. It is helpful when professors give options for the final. Can it be a final paper? Can it be a final project? Can it be a final exam? The purpose of each final is for students to show what they have learned. There are a variety of ways that students can show what they have learned.”

In Class Group Work

“Doing group work in class allows students to work with other students and get different ideas about the topic they are learning. Students also get the opportunity to meet and interact with new people in class. If a student is not understanding or having a hard time with a topic in class, doing group work can be helpful. Group work is a fun way to make the class more interesting, too!”

Note-Takers Can Be Really Helpful

“Some students have a hard time listening to the instructor or professor and making sure that they write or type all of the necessary notes at the same time. It is helpful when the instructor or professor allows the students in the class to sign up to be note-takers. Some students are really good at writing or typing notes and they are eager to sign up to be a note-taker for a class that they are taking. Each day that the note-taker types notes during class, they can then post the notes to Canvas. Students who need assistance with notes will be able to easily access the notes online.”

Peer Tutors Increase Learning

“Peer tutors help one another study and learn. Peer tutors also help each other stay on track and keep up with their work. When students have support from peer tutors who are taking the same class, they are more confident when talking to the professor about their needs/wants. Professors can offer the opportunity for students to be peer tutors and sign up to have a peer tutor in their classes.”

Students Use Their Own Technology to Increase Learning

“Students have access to so many tools and resources on the electronics that they own. Students have Tablets, Smart Phones, Laptops, Touch Screen Computers, and more. All of these devices have “Apps” and internet access, so there are so many resources at students’ fingertips. If students have their phone out in class they are not always playing or texting. They might be using their Apps to help them learn. Students should ask permission to use their Apps in class to learn.”