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Supporting Students with Disabilities

Suggestions for all Students with Disabilities

Details of requests for instructors will be on the [Accommodation Request]. In accordance with the [Accommodation Request], check the requests of the student with disabilities and have a meeting (constructive dialogue) to coordinate and agree with the student about what may or may not be able to be done. If you feel that you need to speak to someone about any requests please contact the Support Center for Students with Disabilities (SCSD).

  • Handouts

    Provide them as early as possible at the student’s request. If you can send a digital copy through course power, it will be much appreciated.

  • Lecture Content

    Describe to the student with disabilities about the format of the lecture as much as possible (lecture format, seminar format, any group discussion, use of media teaching materials, foreign languages, etc.), the method of evaluation. Give as much as detail as possible on a syllabus, or tell them on the first day of the lecture.

  • Student Supporter

    There to assist students with disabilities during classes, we ask for the teacher’s understanding and cooperation on the assistance the student supporters are giving permission for tools they may use such as computers and any other electronic devices they need.

  • Distribution of important information

    Distribution of important information (terminology, exam ranges, cancellation of lectures, assignment deadlines, etc.) should be printed out and distributed or written on the blackboard. In addition, it would be greatly appreciated if you can also send the information using course power and/or e-mail.

  • Evaluation method

    1.Inform the method of evaluation to the student with disabilities in advance.
    2.Please confirm with the student with disability that the planned evaluation method is feasible for the extent that it does not fall under the intrinsic change of the purpose, content, and change of the lectures.

  • Designation of gender

    There may be students that are not comfortable with the sex they were assigned at birth. Try to avoid unnecessary grouping of men and women separately, and pay attention to designate such as Mr. and Ms. in foreign languages classes.
    Also, please be careful about gender information on student rosters. Regarding nomenclature, it may be better to use gender neutral or unifying terms, such as “~san” instead.

Support for the Students with Visual Disabilities

What are Visual Disabilities

Generally, depending on the degree of visual sight, people with visual disabilities see things differently. If their eyesight is extremely low, they have very low to no visibility at all. Many people with visual disabilities will use Braille to read and write letters, and they often use white canes or are assisted by guide dogs when moving alone.
In addition, some people can carry on their daily lifestyle while using their own eyesight and are able to use general characters. However, these people will use tool to enlarge letters, such as using a magnifying glass or a monocular, or other items to enlarge printed materials and screens of computers.
There are other types visual disabilities other than loss of visibility through eyesight, which can cause difficulties to someone. Some of these include narrow field of vision (tunnel vision), glare sensitivity, color blindness, etc. How these people see things is very different from how people with normal vision view things. Recently, many people also use the screen reading features of computers and smartphones.

Communicating with Students with Visual Disabilities
  • Greeting

    When greeting students with visual disabilities, be sure to include both the student’s and your name in the greeting. e.g “Hello Mr./Ms.~, I am xx of Student Affairs and Welfare Division.” If you casually greet them with just, “Hello” alone the student may not be sure you are addressing them and may hesitate to respond and return the greeting.
    Students with amblyopia may not be able to greet people easily due to the difficult to identify the face of the person who passed them. Therefore, it is important to call out from people around them.

  • Describe the Situation Using Words

    Students with visual disabilities may feel inconvenient and anxious when they do not know what is happening around them. However, it is possible to help them feel at ease and more comfortable with their surrounding even with just one word.
    For meals and meetings, telling the student who is sitting around then allows them to participate in discussion and conversation. In addition, using the clock position system is useful when explaining the positioning to them.Like the illustration above, the clock position system is a method of informing them the relative direction of an object is using the hours of a clock. When describing the position of things, imagine the face of a clock horizontally placed on your head with pointed 12 in front of you.

  • Walking Assistance

    If you see students with visual disabilities getting lost, ask them if you can give them a hand. Please lead them when necessary. If they have a white cane, place their hand slightly above your elbow opposite the hand they hold the cane with. This way you may lead them safely as you walk a half step ahead.

Considerations During Class
  • Visual teaching Materials

    1. Provide visual and power point materials to be used during classes in printed
    format, if possible in advance. Depending on the disability, please enlarge for    students.
    2. Prepare a summary in advance or provide the student access to the media for videos with lots of subtitles or terms which may be difficult to understand by    just listening.
    3. For charts and diagrams please describe them with as much detail as possible.

  • Writing on the Blackboard

    Read while writing on blackboard, or read the contents of blackboard. Please avoid using directional words such as “this” or, “that.” Describe things so students may understand what you are specifically pointing at.

  • Lecture method

    1. When writing reports or other items during class, depending on the disability, if a student has difficulty writing, ①Allow the student to send it by e-mail after class, ② Ask another student to write it for them instead if it is simple, please    confer with students.
    2. Depending on the content, note-taking by Braille may be slow, in order to   review, the student may ask for permission to photograph the contents of the   blackboard or record contents during class.
    3. Reserve a seat that where the blackboard is easily visible, and where the    teacher's voice may easily be heard according to student’s request.
    4. The student needs to be notified directly in advance via phone or e-mail for  important information such as classroom changes or class cancellations.

  • In-class Examinations

    Please enlarge the question sheet, give permissions to change the method of answering questions (such as using a computer, oral exam, etc.). Also consider other arrangements that may be necessary such as, another room, extension of time etc.

Considerations with teaching materials
  • Text books / Reference books

    We will provide a braille transcript, for written data conversion and expansion. This process takes time, if it is needed earlier and let both the student and SCSD know.

  • Handouts

    Provide data or handouts to the student in advance. If you do not have the data as it is a manual photocopying of pages from books pasted together, please give the printed material to the student.

※Under the management supervision of AGU libraries, the SCSD will work on converting written data.

Support for Students with Hearing Disabilities

What are Hearing Disabilities

A hearing disability is a condition where one cannot hear spoken words or surrounding sounds or have difficulty hearing. Difficulties arise in classes such as not being able to understand what is being taught because they are not able to hear what teacher is saying during the class. Although the degree of hearing is different for each individual, in general visual information becomes more important especially as the level of hearing is less. Even if there is only a light hearing disability, they may not be able to hear sounds or voices at a specific frequency, so please check if they understand what is being said during class.

Communicating with Students with Hearing Disabilities
  • Visual information

    There are many different ways to communicate with students who have hearing disabilities such as Sign Language, writing, talking (lip reading). Most people have image of using sign language for communication, but writing is also used. In order to check complicated stories and important points, writing may be the most suitable method.
    It is important to be proactive with communication measures using visual information such as writing and reading. Even if there is writing tools, there are many other ways communicate in a written form, such as using a smart phone and or even character input of older mobile phones, etc. So try to think outside the box and actively communicate.

  • Group Discussions

    When multiple people speak at the same time, it is difficult for a student with hearing disabilities to understand the topic and who is speaking. When speaking, it is necessary to be visible so that they can visually understand who is speaking, for example raising your hand to show you are speaking. Try to speak slowly and clearly so that the student can understand the topic.

Support from SCSD
  • Taking Notes

    Assist the student to take notes of the lecture contents and the situation (such as any relevant sound information in the classroom) on paper.

  • Taking Notes with a Computer

    Assist the student to take notes of the lecture contents and the situation (such as any relevant sound information in the classroom. This is usually done with two support students on two computers.

  • Sign Language Interpretation

    For certain lessons where sign language interpretation is deemed appropriate, SCSD will arrange for an interpreter to be dispatched.

  • Use of Video Media/ supporting equipment, etc.

    ・SCSD will make transcripts of video materials such as DVDs used in lessons when   possible.
    ・Depending on the disability, an FM hearing aid system will help increase the     student’s listening ability during the lesson.
    ・Tools for written communication can be used if necessary.

Considerations During Class
  • Visual teaching materials

    1. Try to provide keywords and lecture content, commentaries etc. beforehand through the textbook, handouts, and other visual mediums such as PowerPoint. This will help the student to understand the content and key points of the lesson. This also helps student supporters to provide more information and accurately take notes.
    2. When using video materials, providing an abstract or summary, will help the student to understand the video better. Contact the SCSD who can assist in creating a transcript of the video, which takes about 2 week. If you are using recorded TV programs as teaching materials, it would be easier for the student to understand if the subtitle data is recorded and displayed as well.

  • Writing on the Blackboard

    1. Writing important information not included with handouts, such as names and technical terms, on the blackboard is helpful for students.
    2. The students with hearing disabilities may be able to read the lips of instructors. Avoid talking while you are facing the blackboard, as these will not be able to see or read your lips.

  • Lectures

    1. For students who use hearing aids and students who are able to read lips, it will be easier for them to understand easier if the teacher clearly enunciates words and has clear mouth movements.
    2. It is possible for the student to interpret more information if the teacher speaks slowly and clearly, and repeats important items, even if there are student supporters in the class.
    3. Be sure to face students directly when you are speaking to them or asking them questions and not the student supporter(s).
    4. Consider to reserving seats for both the student and the student supporter(s) towards the front of the classroom.
    5. When you are taking attendance verbally, please make eye contact with the student so they know you are doing so.
    6. When having a discussions/doing group work, suggest fellow students to raise their hand before speaking, or if there is an interpreter to make sure the interpreter has finished before continuing to speak. This will help student with disabilities to more easily understand the discussion and the situation. This also allows the interpreter to give more information as well.

  • Assistance from Student Supporters

    We may ask the that a student supporter(s) attend your class to assist in taking notes for the student.

  • Guest Speakers

    If you invite a guest speaker to your lecture, inform them about the student with disabilities and the accommodations made to assist the student.

  • In-class Examinations

    1. Consider alternative methods for aural comprehension exam.
    2. When giving verbal instructions during the examination, consider writing them on the blackboard, handout, etc.

Support for Students with Physically Disabilities

What are Physical Disabilities

A Physical disability is a physical disorder that affects the movement of the limbs (upper limbs and lower limbs) or the body. There are various causes of physical a disability, regardless of the cause of medical reasons, one with a permanent disability in the limb trunk is called a physical disability.
There are considerable differences depending degree and type of the disability. Some people do not have any difficulty in their daily lives, but some people may need the assistance of a cane or wheelchair due to the difficulties in standing and walking and/or they need assistance for their everyday activities. Some students may also have other disabilities overlapping with their physically disability, e.g. a hearing impairment + a physical disability; a visual impairment + a physical disability. etc.
Even though it may seem to not be difficult at first glance, it may be difficult for them to use fine motor skills, or have difficulty maintaining balance.

Mobility of Students with Physical Disabilities

Especially for students who have difficulty walking, it may be necessary for them to use elevators. In some cases, it may be difficult for them to move around during the break time. Please be aware that sometimes they may be late due to lectures due to having difficulties getting around campus.
Please give a way to students using a wheelchair, cane, or those who seem to have difficulty walking even if they are not using any walking aids, in the elevator. Some of these students will need to use the multi-purpose toilets, always consider using the general toilets.
If you see students with physical disabilities, ask them if they are ok and if they need help. If they would like help then, please give them some assistance. Some students using a wheelchair or a cane may have difficulty walking on steps or on slopes. In addition, they may have difficulty, to pick things up from the floor, open and close doors of the classroom, etc., and may need some help. Please actively give your support.

Considerations During Class
  • Mobility

    Please note that students with physical disabilities may be late to lectures as they may take longer to move from one classroom to another classroom.

  • Accommodations During Class

    1. If there is difficulty for the student to enter the classroom because it is not barrier-free, AGU may ask that the classroom be changed.
    2. Please consider assigning seats for the student’s convenience.
    3. Due to the structure of the classroom, students may sit in the last row. However, it may be difficult distribute or submit materials from that row, consider individually giving or collecting items.
    4. Use the blackboard to give important points as the student with disabilities may take longer to write. Consider allowing the student to send reports or other items by e-mail if something needs to be submitted during the lecture.
    5. Consult with students to give permission when they need to use the computer, tablet, photographing the blackboard, or recording the lecture.
    6. Consider sending handouts to students electronically beforehand when they have difficulties to turn pages.

  • Assistance from Student Supporters

    We may ask the that a student supporter(s) attend your class to assist in taking notes for the student.

  • In-class Examinations

    1. It may take longer for students with physical disabilities to answer written exams, consider a time extension and use of another room.
    2. If it is an essay-type exam, please consider submitting questions and answers through a computer, dictate written items and record through tape.

Support for Sick/Frail Students

Sick/Frail

Legal support is being developed for students who are considered sick and frail based on the provisions of the Child Welfare Law. For minors with specific chronic diseases such as malignant neoplasms, chronic kidney diseases, chronic respiratory diseases, chronic heart diseases, endocrine diseases , Collagen disease, diabetes, congenital metabolic disorder, blood disorder, neuromuscular disorder, chronic gastrointestinal disorder, syndrome accompanied by a change in chromosome or gene, skin disorder and cardiac dysfunction as defined in the welfare law of disabled persons, kidney function Disorder, respiratory dysfunction, bladder or rectal dysfunction, small bowel dysfunction, immune dysfunction due to HIV, internal disorder of liver dysfunction. Besides the diseases mentioned above, internal diseases and other long-term disorders may impact and limit the student’s social and family life, and further serious issues may result in further limitations to their daily life.
(Example) epilepsy, heart disease, atopic dermatitis, food allergy · anaphylactic shock, nephrotic syndrome, insulin dependent diabetes mellitus.
This image is called the "Heart · Plus Mark" which is a symbol for people with internal disabilities.

Support for Students who are Sick/Frail

Many students who are sick/frail cannot be distinguished from regular students by their appearance along unless the person lets I be known. However, in the Tokyo metropolitan area, some of these people will display a "Help Mark Badge" as shown like a top left figure.
There are few students who have the same situation regarding their surroundings and it may be easy for the student to feel lonely when their lives are not going well due to their physical condition or various restrictions/constraints. Be gentle and understanding to create an environment where the student can enjoy their student life as much as possible with peace of mind. It is essential to conduct general correspondence to emergency and simulation of medical response in advance.

Considerations During Class
  • Regular Hospital Checkups

    Some students may need to perform regular checkups or visit the hospital regularly. Please keep this in mind when scheduling exercises or practical training and that the timing may overlap with the student’s medical schedule.

  • Accommodations During Class

    1. If there are any difficulties for the student in the classroom because it is not barrier-free, AGU may ask that the classroom be changed.
    2. Students may have medical needs during class, please allow them to leave or drink water to take medication if necessary during class.
    3. Please consider assigning seats for the student’s convenience.
    4. Discuss with the students how you can assist the student should there be any sudden physical changes with the student.
    5. For students who have restrictions on physical activities, consider the content of lessons and the methods with practical training that require physical movements. Consider alternate methods to allow the student to participate or submit assignments.

  • In-class Examinations

    Consider assigning seats, etc. 

Support for Students with Developmental Disorders

What are Developmental Disorders

Developmental disorders are disorders which cause a person to develop differently in the central nervous system than those who develop normally (called Neurotypical).
In a society with many of Neurotypical people, those with developmental disorders are not good at communicating or building interpersonal relationships by being strongly committed, being biased in interest, being careless, or having a high impulsivity, so that they will often find difficulties during class. However, people with developmental disorders can learn from their own experiences, alleviate difficulties with appropriate advice and consideration of their surroundings.
Most students with developmental disorders cannot be distinguished from other Neurotypical students by their appearances. It is difficult to explain difficulties to people around them and sometimes act inappropriately, so the student often gets into trouble with people around them who do not know that they have a developmental disorder.
Some students have difficulty communicating because how they communicate may be different from Neurotypical students. As a result, it is often seen that they are isolated from those around them or they converse but continue to talk about topics that are uninteresting to the other party. In many cases, they do not understand the rules of society, social etiquette, etc.
In order to better support these people, we must first recognize that these are "people who have difficulties" rather than that they are "strange or troublesome people."
On the other hand, some students may have a developmental disorder and enroll into university without knowing that there they have a developmental disorder. If students are having difficulties, please contact the SCSD or counseling center about possible ways we can support the student. We will discuss it together and find possible support methods.

Support for Students with Developmental Disorders

Support for students with developmental disorders is highly individualized, and the necessary support depends on their schedule such as registration, periodic examination, job hunting and other activities. When you need assistance, please contact the SCSD.

Considerations During Class

It is not an overstatement to say that the characteristics of developmental disorders are very different for each student and that the method is different for everyone. Therefore, the following examples are just examples, and not for all students with developmental disabilities.

  • Class Type

    ・Students learn better depending on the types of classes, e.g. lecture style, seminar form, practical exercises, group work, presentations etc. If you specify the type of class you teach they can select classes that suit them best.

  • Accommodations During Class

    1. Many students are better at visual learning than auditory learning. If possible try to incorporate as much visual material into your lecture content as you can.
    2. When instructing students, giving drawn out instructions may lead to the student being confused and unable to understand. Give direct and concise instructions as to not confuse them.
    3. They may not be good working in groups. Try to speak to the student if it seems like they are having problems.
    4. Due to an uncontrollable compulsion and/or hypersensitivity, they may not be able to concentrate in the class unless they are in a specific seat. Please reserve the seat for them.
    5. There are students who are hypersensitive. Please keep in mind that they may use noise cancelling headphones in the classroom to help them focus so that they can hear the voice of the person teaching the lesson.

  • Assistance from Student Supporters

    ・We may ask the that a student supporter(s) attend your class to assist in taking notes for the student.

  • In-class Examinations

    1. Depending on the severity of the disability, the student may have difficulty in reading and writing and may take time. Consider alternatives such as using a computer for answers, oral examinations, etc.
    2. For students with severe developmental disorders, it may be difficult to concentrate on the examination because they are easily irritated and distracted by the surrounding environment. Consider alternatives such as arranging for a separate room for the student to take the examination in depending on the situation.

  • Reports/
    Graduation Thesis

    They may have difficulty in planning specific work and procedures to produce reports and a graduation thesis such as not being able to progress systematically. At the time of graduation thesis guidance, please assist students with developmental disabilities so that they can plan easily, such as subdividing necessary work (where applicable) and setting deadlines for each section. It is also effective to have the student regularly report their progress or for you to check on their status.

Some students with developmental disorders, or who may not be aware that they have a disability, may not have support. If it seems like there are students with disorders or if you believe a student may have a disorder, encourage them to contact the SCSD or the Student Counseling Center. If it is difficult, the SCSD would like you to contact them and provide any information from faculty and staff.

Examples of Some Behaviors a Student with Developmental Disorders May Display
  • 01.Does not make eye contact, has an awkward attitude.
  • 02.Has a one-sided conversation and does not notice when people do not like it.
  • 03.Is not easily understood while speaking.
  • 04.Continuously talks about topics which only they are interested in.
  • 05.Changes topics often while talking.
  • 06.Has many spelling errors.
  • 07.Does not handle a sudden schedule change well.
  • 08.Unable to plan.
  • 09.Constantly unable to submit assignments on time.
  • 10.Extremely believes in a thought.
  • 11.Seems to be isolated.
  • 12.Always seems stressed.

If you notice any of these behaviors in class, ask if there are any problems.

Support for Students with Mental Disorders

What are Mental Disorders

Mental disorders are considered one of the five major diseases in Japan along with cancer, strokes, heart attacks, and diabetes. College students are said to be a prime age for the disease. However, mental disorders are difficult to judge by appearances just like developmental disorders. For example, when someone hears an excuse from a student that they cannot go to school because they cannot wake up in the morning as their condition is bad, they may say that the student is, "lazy," "spoiled" or "lack motivation." However, this could be a mental disorder, as no one wants to admit they have psychiatric symptoms. Understand that students may have a disorder and have difficulties because of it.
Some students who have mental disorders do not know that they have a mental disorder. As faculty and staff interact with students on a daily basis, they may notice symptoms of mental disorders within these students. It is important to advise students and their families to consult experts as it will provide useful information to them. If you are unsure, please contact the SCSD, the Student Counseling Center, or the Health Administration Center. Your objective reports will be the valuable information when considering the policy of support.
Some students with mental disabilities may need assistance concerning guarantee of information provision at the time of poor physical condition and examination when taking classes and seminars. It is also common that conditions with diseases fluctuate, and some students choose have a leave of absence or repeat the same grade while giving priority to treatment. In these circumstances, it is important to judge the time to return to school, and it is a requirement for returning to school that the motivation is sufficiently recovered and that the disease condition is stable and schooling is fully possible throughout the term. In order to confirm such things, it is also necessary to contact the family member and obtain the permission of the individual and check the condition and the status of life to the attending physician.

Typical Mental Disorders Diagnosed in College Students
  • Anxiety Disorders

    A panic disorder is a sudden occurrence of strong anxiety, palpitation, breathing difficulty, numbness of limbs, dizziness. Moreover, "Social Anxiety Disorder" is a situation where the person feels strongly uneasy in an environment where there are a lot of people, such as classrooms. When they are in such an environment, palpitations, trembling, sweating, etc. occur every time. With anxiety disorders, sometimes it is extremely difficult for the person to put themselves in the classroom due to extreme anxiety.

    «Example of Support and Consideration»
    Putting a student at ease by allowing them to easily leave the class if they feel a panic attack coming due to a strong sense of anxiety or fear. If they have difficulty speaking in from of a large number of people, consider letting them present on a 1-on-1 basis with the teacher, or consider an alternative method for evaluating them. Consider e-learning.

  • Mood Disorders

    Many of the mood disorders are accompanied by depressive symptoms. It is typical of depressive symptoms of endogenous depression with serious physical symptoms, but in the case of response to stress or adaptive disorder to environmental change, it should exhibit a relatively lighter depression compared to endogenous depression there is.
    Depressive symptoms are cannot sleep, do not have appetite, depressed all day, symptoms such as not being able to enjoy anything lasts. In young University students who have high impulsiveness, attention should be paid to the period during which they are receiving treatment with antidepressants, because a group of people who feel anxious or frustrated becomes strong.

    «Example of Support and Consideration»
    In some cases, attendance to the exams and classes may be difficult, they may even stop responding to faculty and family members. While in a depressed state the student’s concentration and motivation drops, learning becomes difficult, they become un-decisive and may avoid interpersonal relationships. If the student is having a serious episode when exams are scheduled, they may apply for assistance and request for changes or adjustments, or they may postpone their advancement or graduation.
    For graduation thesis, job-hunting, etc. that cannot be completed as scheduled, the student may repeat the same grade for another year or take a leave of absence. It is important to select support as soon as possible such as taking a rest, leave of absence, taking an exam with support.

  • Schizophrenia

    For schizophrenia, hallucinations and delusions are clearly visible during the early stages of the disease, other symptoms include insomnia; day and night reversal; excitement or disorientation with little stimulation and instability. During this period, it is difficult for them to live alone or go to school, so they need home care and/or hospitalization. Currently, advances in therapeutic drugs have caused fewer side effects and symptoms have been improved. If the acute phase and the symptoms as described above have improved, they may be considered for discharged. Continual improvement in activity and determination allows the student to be able to perform daily tasks, they can consider living alone and/or returning to school.

    «Example of Support and Consideration»
    It is necessary for a student to remain on a prescribed treatment plan and will need to regularly schedule appointments with their doctors, because of this they will generally organize their class schedule with this in mind. Regular hospital visits and continuous medication are important for preventing recurrence. In order to prevent symptoms from getting worse in the short term, it is sometimes necessary for them to take medicine. If they need medication during the lesson, please allow them to take medication, drink water, etc.
    There may be a possibility that the student’s environment and relationships with peers in places like clubs may trigger a psychotic episode. If there is a possibility, it may be necessary for them to adjust their environment to avoid this trigger for some time. If possible, help the student to recognize the triggers so that they may be able to protect themselves.
    Requiring flexible response in long-term experiments and/or group discussions can cause a deterioration of their condition, so avoiding these risks is part of support. When planning the course plan, it is important to make a reasonable schedule that will not overload the students due to delays or other reasons. 

  • Higher Brain Dysfunction

    Students with cerebrovascular disease or injuries to the head due to accidents such as traffic accidents or sports activities, etc., This may impair their memory; attention; execution functions (a series of processes necessary for cognitive control); social behavior; or other behaviors. People around them may not notice these disorders from appearances just like developmental disorders.

    «Example of Support and Consideration»
    It may be difficult for the student to discuss with AGU after the injury, it is desirable for the family to decide the course of recovery while consulting with the doctor. AGU will share knowledge regarding higher brain dysfunction student information to those affected. For example, by having the family meet with doctors at the health management center and with counselors at the student-counseling center to help them accept what has happened. When considering returning to school, it is important to not only understand the physical requirements but also the mental requirements and also gauge any changes in academic ability, memory and attention. If there are symptoms peculiar to higher brain dysfunction such as memory impairment, attention disorder, performance impairment, etc., it will be difficult for the student to keep up with the classes.
    There may be problems such as being unable to take notes, finishing exams within the time allowed as they could before, forgetfulness, etc. To assist the student, various accommodations can be made such as, using a recorder to assist in taking notes, extending the examination time limit, changing and examination to a report, and so on possibilities.

  • Selective Mutism

    Selective Mutism is a disorder in which a person has the ability to speak and understand words but cannot speak in specific situations such as in schools. It is not that they do not want to talk, but that they cannot speak. Sometimes it may be a state where the body will not move, even if they want it to. Selective Mutism symptoms manifests depending on the place, the people, and the activities. This differs from being shy, in that the symptoms are strong and continue over a long period of time, which prohibits them from being able to fully demonstrate the various abilities that they have.
    Although this is a viewed as a childhood disability, it is also diagnosed in university students and adults.

    «Example of Support and Consideration»
    As this is a state where a student cannot speak even though trying to speak, do not try to forcibly make them talk or command them to speak, such as "I want to hear your voice", as it can lead to worse symptoms.

    If you have a discussion planned, please let the student prepare in advance, inform them of what you will ask beforehand. If the student cannot answer, move on to the next step rather than waiting to answer. If possible, try changing the method of participation which may be easier for them to participate. For example, including nonverbal communication, such as, written opinions through the student's notes, replying with gestures (like thumbs up or down), etc. Try alternate methods of presenting, such as with PowerPoint, or a poster where the level of study is maintained. This may make it easier for them to participate in class.

    Since it may be difficult for them to ask questions, please use the blackboard, print handouts, Course Power etc. give important information.

Considerations During Class
  • Regular Checkups

    ・It may be necessary for a student to have regular checkups with their doctor which will cause them to be absent from their class.

  • Class participation

    1. Take into consideration when the student needs to take medication or drink water during class.
    2. The student may prefer a seat that is easy for them to enter and leave, consider arranged seats.
    3. Depending on the severity of the disability, please avoid pressuring the student to interact during presentations, discussions etc., also consider alternative methods for the student to participate.
    4. Depending on the severity of the disability, please note that the student may wish to record the lecture.

  • Assistance from Student Supporters

    ・We may ask the that a student supporter(s) attend your class to assist in taking notes for the student.

  • Exam during the class

    1. Please consider assigning seats for the student’s convenience.
    2. Depending on the severity of the disability, consider extending the allotted time and/or alternate methods. Also, consider a different room for the examination.