It is important to differentiate between “expertise” (or knowledge) in the worlds of disability services. The former refers merely to general knowledge acquired over a lifetime. The latter is specific expertise. If someone studies blindness and develops expertise in living accommodations and disability, they can be considered an expert in this area.
An academic advisor who doesn’t practice in the field is not considered an expert. The same applies to a disability rights lawyer who does not practice in this area. He might be an expert in another area, but not in disability services. People with actual expertise in disability services are better equipped to collect data. They spend a lot time working with disabled people and people in wheelchairs. Focusing on this or participating in focus groups is less likely to develop biases and become disconnected from real-world experiences.
There is another distinction between faculty work and expertise in disability services: expertise is more theoretical than practical. Although professors may have many theories about how different disabilities affect people and their lives, student success stories on campus and in class reflect practical application. While professors may be well-versed in the theories of disability, that doesn’t mean they are able to teach students how to use them in the classroom.
This is where expertise in disability services comes in. Specialists can help people with disabilities understand the practical issues. They also understand the needs of students who are experiencing hardships due to disabilities. They may also offer advice and suggestions that can help students succeed. The focus is not just on theory. It is also about applying solutions in a real environment.
Those who specialize in disability services necessary to understand that incorporating an academic advising service into the faculty work flow will not just make people who have disabilities feel more comfortable on campus. It will help them get jobs. It is crucial to enroll in the right academic programs. When people with disabilities enter the workforce, they require the skills and knowledge only a professional can give.
Students with disabilities are one of the fastest growing demographics on college campuses across the country. With the explosion of technology and the ability to interact with classmates online and off, it is easier than ever for students to pursue a degree without the benefit of previous work experience. This is why it is important to have a specialist in disability services added to the faculty ranks. There are several disability services that can be offered on campus. These services include helping students with Internet access and computer repair; lending computers to students who cannot afford them; offering tech support to students who have difficulty using campus features; and advising students and participating in work-related classes.
Campus tours are another way to add expertise in disability services to the faculty ranks. These tours are often sponsored by local businesses and feature disability experts from local colleges and universities. They give an insider’s view on the accommodations available on each campus. They also provide insight into the impact psychiatric disabilities have on everyday life. The valuable information gained during a tour can help students discover the stigma attached to their particular condition and give them a realistic understanding of what to expect on their campus.
Finally, special signage can be added to buildings and waiting areas. This signage should offer a wide range of descriptions for people who might encounter difficulties accessing their restroom, for example. Elevators and building walls may also have special guidelines. There are currently no federal guidelines for providing disability services on college campuses. However, almost all schools are taking steps to make accommodations for disabled students and people with other handicap characteristics that might affect their ability to function normally on their campus.