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Access and Services for Individuals with Disabilities

The Office of

Services

For Individuals With Disabilities:

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to contact the Office to register as a person with a disability. Services are available only to individuals who are registered and have submitted appropriate documentation. Individuals can register for services throughout the semester, however, students are strongly encouraged to review requests for accommodations with the Office at the beginning of each semester. Once a person has registered with the Office, they collaborate with the Office staff in the development of their Individualized Accommodation Plan.

Three Step Registration Process
  1. Students who wish to register with the Office for reasonable accommodations must complete three registration forms: OASID New Student Registration FormDisability Documentation Form and the Emergency Response Notification Form.

  2. Students must submit medical or clinical documentation that supports the disability.
  • Medical documentation should include a suggested duration if the medical disability is temporary.

  • Clinical documentation in support of a learning disability should be aged no more than five years and should be based on an evaluation completed for the individual as an adult.

  • Clinical documentation for ADD or ADHD should not be aged more than 3 years and should be based on an evaluation completed for the individual as an adult.

  • Clinical documentation for a psychiatric disability should be aged no more than 1 year and should be based on an evaluation completed for the individual as an adult.

  1. Students must meet with the Director of the Office to review forms and documentation, to discuss previously received services and to develop an Individual Accommodation Plan (IAP) that outlines the reasonable accommodations that will support the students' academic endeavors here at Teachers College.

Documentation

Emergency Response Notification Form

*This is a form that needs to be created*

At all TC graduation ceremonies, OASID works closely with the Office of Events Planning to ensure that students, faculty and guests with disabilities are provided with equal access to the ceremonies. OASID provides large print versions of the Masters and Doctoral ceremony programs, certified interpreters for graduates and guests, and accessible seating for graduates and guests.

Graduates will receive information from the Events Planning Office regarding the ceremonies. That packet of information includes contact information for OASID. Graduates are encouraged to contact our office in advance to request interpreters and accessible seating for their guests.

 

Accessible Seating and Interpreters

TC's graduation ceremonies take place at the Cathedral of St. John the Divine. There is an accessible entrance into the cathedral on 113 th Street . If you have requested accessible seating for your guests, please have them enter the cathedral at the 113 th Street entrance . Your guest(s) can be dropped off at this point and there is a ramp the will enable your guest(s) accessible entry. Note that there are also accessible rest rooms at this location.

For Service Providers:

OASID Staff and Service Providers

The following is a list of staff and service providers who work for the Office to provide accommodations to individuals with disabilities at Teachers College:

  1. Director, OASID
  2. Assistant to the Director, OASID
  3. Program Director, Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services
  4. Office Support Staff
  5. Signed Language Interpreters
  6. Computer Aided Real Time Captioning Operators (CART)
  7. Alternative Format Text Coordinator
  8. Text editors
  9. Exam Accommodations Service Coordinator
  10. Exam Proctors
  11. Note-takers
  12. Readers Aid
  13. Research assistants
  14. Post Production Captioning

 

STAFF AND SERVICE PROVIDER DESCRIPTIONS

Director, OASID
Assistant to the Director, OASID

Coordinates all work-study students for qualified students (blind, visually and hearing impaired, or learning disabled). The Coordinator hires readers (On-Call staff and Student Employees) and provides training, workshops and feedback evaluations for all work-study positions.

Program Director, Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services

The Program Director of Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing services acts as an advocate and liaison within TC to ensure that Deaf and Hard- of-Hearing persons have equal access to the University. Support services include, but are not limited to: note-taking, oral and signed language interpreting, computer aided real-time captioning, audio loop systems, FM systems, tutoring, academic counseling, support and advocacy, information and referral, and for qualified students, special testing accommodations.

Adaptive Technology Specialist

The Adaptive Technology Specialist maintains a lab of adaptive hardware and software and is available to work with individuals registered with the office as they learn the appropriate technology. This person also works to maintain an accessible website.

Office Support Staff

Office Support Staff are student employees who provide assistance, answer phones, assist staff with copying, filing, typing, as well as the ordering and purchasing of supplies. These individuals are also trained to assist with finding substitutes for service providers in emergency or last minute situations.

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Sign Language Interpreters

Sign language interpreters work variable schedules, with no guaranteed hours. Interpreters provide interpreting services for classes, meetings, and workshops or events offered by TC. Interpreters are hired by the Program Director of DHHS, and must be RID certified. In addition, interpreters can provide supervisory or mentoring opportunities for current ASL/ interpreting students or newly graduated interpreters.

Computer Aided Real Time Captioning Operators (CART)

These CART operators provides real time captioning services to students who are deaf or hard of hearing for classes, meetings and workshops or events offered by TC.

Alternative Format Text Coordinator

This role is typically fulfilled by the Assistant to the Director or delegated to a work study employee. This person coordinates requests for alternative formatted instructional materials, including large print, electronic text, Braille and audio versions of the materials.

Text editors

Text editors are part of the alternative format text conversion process. They proofread the newly scanned text to check for errors in the scanning process. Editors compare a copy of the original print material with the electronic version to ensure accuracy.

Exam Accommodations Service Coordinator

This role is typically fulfilled by the Assistant to the Director or delegated to a work study employee. Each semester, students registered with the Office submit exam accommodation requests. The exam accommodations service coordinator takes each request and begins the process by preparing a letter to the appropriate professor to notify him/ her of the student's registration with the Office and the accommodations for which the student is eligible. The coordinator will secure an alternate location, a proctor and when necessary, a computer. The coordinator confirms arrangements with the student, proctor and professor. The coordinator ensures that the exam is received from the professor and returned in a timely manner.

Exam Proctors

Proctors are work-study students or student employees who are hired to monitor a student during a prearranged extended testing, distraction reduced session.

Note-takers

Note-takers are typically students in the same course as the individual with note taking accommodations. Individuals who have note taking as an accommodation are encouraged to identify an individual in the class who can take notes on a professional level. The professional relationship that is established between the student and note taker ensures the student that should the notes not be up to par, a new note taker can be secured. While students are encouraged to identify their own note taker, a student registered with the Office may not feel comfortable identifying him or herself in class. In those instances, the Office may contact the professor on the student's behalf to enlist the professor's assistance in securing a note taker on an anonymous basis. The Office then serves as the repository for the notes.

Readers

When a student needs a textbook for a TC course, the Office checks with Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic (RFB&D) and American Printing House for the Blind (APH) to find out if the book is already available in audio format. If the book is not available through either of these, OASID enlists the services of a reader. The reader records the textbooks onto cassette tapes. The textbooks are provided to the readers by OASID following the students' course syllabus. Four-track tape recorders, cassette tapes and textbooks are provided to the reader by OASID. Some students with hearing loss do request and benefit from these services.

Research Assistants

Research assistants typically assist students by facilitating the retrieval of research materials from the library. Some research assistants also serve as readers for students with print disabilities and may read the materials to students in person or via tape. Similarly, some research assistants serve as scribes for specific students. The main focus is to provide equal access to library and other research materials for students with a variety of disabilities. The specific roles can best be defined through a conversation between the service provider, the student and with a representative from our office.

Post Production “Captioners”

The role of post production captioning is typically fulfilled by work study students. These students work with the Assistant to the Director and the Program Director of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services to identify videotapes that need to be captioned to create equal access to the instructional material to be used in conjunction with a TC offered course. These individuals are trained on the captioning system.

Text Editing for OASID

Each semester our students bring us textbooks that need to be converted from paper to electronic text. This conversion requires a four-step process:

  1. Copy the paper text
  2. Scan the copy into a Microsoft Word document
  3. Edit the text of the electronic file for accuracy
  4. Download to assistive device (floppy disk, CD, roadrunner, etc.)

Your role would come into play in step 3…text editing. 
Text editing consists of comparing the electronic Word document with the original paper copy to ensure that the electronic copy is accurate and for the most part a mirror image of the paper book.

Text Conversion Directions:

An electronic book should be a mirror image of the paper book.

1. Formats

OASID scans the material into Word and saves it on a disk. It is important that the edited text is saved and returned to us as a Word document unless we specify otherwise. We ask that all text be maintained in Word documents because each student requests the text in different formats. If we are emailing the text to a student who will use a screen reader, it is best to leave the book in Word documents because they maintain the original formatting which screen readers can read (screen readers can navigate through tables). For students who ask for the text to be put on a roadrunner, we save the text as a text (.txt) file. For those who want the text converted to an MP3 and burned onto a disk, we can use the Word doc or a .txt file.

2. Amount of Text per Editor

We tend to give out 4-5 chapters to each editor, although, when possible, we may give whole books to one person to be worked on throughout the semester, according to the students' syllabi.

3. Graphs/ Charts/ Tables/ Pictures, etc.

When converting a book, it is important to know for whom we are converting the book.

When converting text for a sighted student who will be using the electronic book in addition to the printed book, it is not important to maintain graphs, tables, charts, etc. Instead, we would delete the image and insert an editorial note referring the student to the page in the paper text where the graph, chart, and/or table can be found.

When converting text for a student who will rely solely on the electronic version of the book, it is important that the graphs, charts, and tables be maintained. When possible include tables as they appear in the book. It may be easiest to insert a table and fill it in rather than trying to use what the scanner maintained. For pictures, graphs, charts and other images that cannot be maintained true to the paper copy, delete what appears and in its place type a detailed description, in paragraph form. In instances where the graph, etc. is very detailed, give us a call and we can try to help you out. Whether you are able to maintain a table or need to delete an image, ALWAYS include an editorial note that identifies the figure, graph or image and in cases where the image is too complex to annotate, include a note indicating:

Editorial note: Figure 2.2 Bell curve illustrating number of individuals with disabilities registered with OASID from 1990 to 2004. This figure is very complex and is not reproduced within this text. Please refer to page 72 for the figure. End of note.

4. Pagination

Page numbers should be included in a consistent manner, so we ask that you include just the actual number at the top left of each page. It is only necessary to include the number; you do not need to indicate that it is a page number with the word “page”. For all text, it is important that you insert page breaks as they naturally occur in the printed book. This enables the student navigate through the electronic book in a more efficient manner using the page down and up options.

5. Symbols

On occasion, you will find characters with accent marks, or Greek symbols. If you are editing text for a student who is blind or visually impaired or a student who is sighted, please replace special characters such as: © £ « é p å with their meanings or a plain letter (ie. “é” becomes “e” and “p” becomes “pi”). You may find that it works well to use the find/ replace function in the “edit” tab on the Word toolbar. 

6. Formatting: Bolds & Italics

In most cases, it is not necessary to maintain bolding and italics in the electronic text. On occasion, however, we will ask that you do. This happens when a student who will rely solely on the electronic book plans to use a screen reader to access the text. The student can fine-tune the screen reader to indicate bolding and italics. This is especially important when converting reference type books (ie. the APA Publication Manual).

7. Numbering (ie. lists, references, notes)

When editing a numbered list, the reference section or the notes, please be sure to manually number them. Auto numbering, a feature of Microsoft Word, is not accessible to individuals accessing the material via a screen-reader. If the computer is automatically numbering lists, delete the numbers completely and go back and manually enter them.

8. Footnotes

When editing a document with footnotes or references (typically included as superscripted numbers), remove the superscript and include the footnote or reference number as follows:

[Footnote 22] or [Ref. 22] or [Refs 22, 24]

The actual footnote should be moved to the end of the document. Consistently dealing with footnotes in this way will provide our students with easier navigation of these footnotes as they will be able to use the find feature to locate the matching footnote at the end of the document.

 

Text Editing Quick Reference Guide

File Type

  • Edited text must be saved and returned to us as a Word document unless we specify otherwise.

Amout of Text Per Editor

  • We tend to give out 4-5 chapters to each editor, although, when possible, we may give whole books to one person to be worked on throughout the semester, according to the students' syllabi.

Graphs/ Charts/ Tables/ Pictures/ Images, etc.

  • For readers who are sighted: delete the image and insert a note referring the student to the page in the paper text where the graph, chart, and/or table can be found.
  • For readers who are blind or visually impaired: Include tables as they appear in the book. For pictures, graphs, charts and other images that cannot be maintained true to the paper copy, delete what appears and in its place type an “editorial note” accompanied by a detailed description, in paragraph form.

Pagination

  • Insert page breaks as they naturally occur in the printed book.
  • Insert page numbers in the upper left hand corner of each page.

Symbols

  • For students who are blind or visually impaired or sighted, replace special characters such as: © £ « é p å with their meanings or a plain letter (ie. “é” becomes “e” and “p” becomes “pi”).

Font Formatting - Bold & Italics

  • Put entire document into Times New Roman, point 12 font. Single-space the entire document. Maintain bolding and italics when indicated by OASID.

Numbering

  • Manually number lists, footnotes, references, bibliographies, notes, etc. Do not allow for auto-numbering.

Footnotes

  • Remove superscripts sighting footnotes, references, etc. within the document and include the number in brackets. [Footnote 2] or [Reference 2]. Place the footnotes at the end of the document.