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Resources for Visually Disabled and Print Disabled Students

This guide introduces resources that can help visually impaired and print disabled students in their academic and life endeavors.

About This Guide

This guide serves as a collection of resources from Indiana University and other sources with the purpose of supporting and helping visually disabled and dyslexic IUPUI students. It is intended to be used by visually disabled and dyslexic people who are looking for information on adapting to a college environment, or for faculty who want to learn how best to support students in similar situations. The decision was made to include both visually disabled and dyslexic individuals as the intended audience of this guide because many of the resources available can be helpful for both groups. 

The American Psychological Association (APA) and other professional sources recommend the use of "person-first" language when writing or speaking about disabled people. However, amongst the physically disabled community a preference has been made for "identity-first" language, because many feel that "person-first" language minimizes the structural barriers that disabled people face on a day-to-day basis. This guide has made the decision to use "identity-first" language even though it is intended for both physically and developmentally disabled individuals. There is a lot of differences of opinion on "person-first" and "identity-first" language and we acknowledge that it is up to each individual to decide how they identify and that decision should be respected. Decisions on language were made with the Conscious Style Guide for Ability + Disability and the Center for Disability Rights Center's "Disability Writing and Journalism Guideline" in mind. 

Many of the resources in this guide operate within the medical model of disability rather than the social model of disability. Even though we know that the social model of disability is preferred by disabled individuals and understand that institutions need to incorporate accessibility into all aspects of their environments and services, unfortunately the medical model is still the dominant ideology among the rest of society. For more information on the social model of disability and the importance of accessibility, check out this paper that details how the use of the term "accommodations" influences negative perceptions of students with disabilities, and this article on the differences between accommodation and accessibility.