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Will colleges maintain flexibility for disabled students?


Some students with disabilities asked for recorded lectures before the pandemic. With universities eyeing reopening, will they take that flexibility away? Disability:IN

Nate Tilton often found campus spaces difficult to navigate. A master’s student in medical anthropology at University of California, Berkeley, Tilton is a power-chair user and disabled veteran. Once, when the layout of an amphitheater didn’t allow his chair the space to turn around, he sat through an entire class facing a wall.

Tilton would sometimes ask professors if he could stream lectures instead of attending in person. But when professors did allow it, he said, they often put the burden of accommodations on him, asking him to find a friend in class who could stream the lecture.

“I have to be dependent on somebody else to Zoom me in, instead of depending on the institution,” said Tilton, who registered with his campus disability office. “If I don’t have a friend in that class, as you can imagine, that would be difficult.”

But now that courses are over Zoom, things are better. Finding note takers has been more difficult, Tilton said, but everything is automatically online. He can lie down on the floor with his camera off and do grounding exercises […]

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