Accommodation Solutions Online

Flexibility or Assistance with Laboratories

Depending on individual needs, students may need assistance, modifications, or special equipment in order to participate in laboratory activities.

There are many reasons a student may need accommodation in a laboratory environment. Labs may need to be modified for a student with a disability because of physical needs or safety concerns for the student or other students. Individuals working in laboratories may need assistance or extra time in carrying out laboratory tasks, may need to avoid extreme temperatures chemicals or stimuli, or may require special materials or equipment such as accessible benches or tactile models. Alternate activities, if used, should maintain similar learning objectives.

Responsibilities


Student

Students are responsible for asking faculty for assistance in laboratories and/or field trips. Students are also responsible for alerting the services for students with disabilities office if there are any problems with obtaining assistance.

Faculty

It is the responsibility of faculty to coordinate with the student to provide appropriate assistance in a manner that preserves the students' confidentiality.

Administration

The services for students with disabilities office is responsible for notifying faculty of the student's assistance needs, providing appropriate resources, and assisting the student in communicating with faculty.

Resources

Related Functional Characteristics

Motor Skill (Gross Upper) : Students may need assistance if laboratory activities involve the need for lifting.

Motor Skill (Gross Lower) : Arrangements may need to made to make sure that laboratory sites are wheelchair accessible. Modifications may be needed for laboratory activities requiring certain types of physical activities.

Motor Skill (Fine) : Students may need assistance in laboratories with tasks requiring fine motor control.

Reach Restriction : Students may need adjustments to tables or lab equipment, or may need assistance obtaining out-of-reach materials or equipment.

Fatigue (Physical) : Flexibility or assistance may be necessary if laboratory activities could cause physical fatigue, especially with labs are held over an extended length of time.

Breathing Difficulty : Modifications may need to be made for laboratory activities in situations where physical activity or exposure to chemicals, allergens, or extreme temperatures increase breathing difficulties.

Susceptibility to Infection : Students with weakened immune systems may require flexibility if laboratory tasks (e.g. culturing bacteria) would create risk for infection.

Pain Management : Assistance or modifications may be necessary when laboratory activities cause pain for the student (eg. strenuous physical activity, standing for long periods of time, or fine motor tasks).

Risk for Injury : Students may need assistance in laboratory settings to avoid injury to themselves or other students (eg. cuts or burns, exposure to contaminants).

Seizures : Students may need modifications to laboratory activities to avoid potential seizure triggers or may need assistance if a seizure occurs.

Chemical Sensitivity : Students may need assistance or modifications to laboratories to avoid or limit exposure to chemical triggers.

Allergies : Flexibility or assistance may be required if laboratory activities would expose students with severe allergies to pollen, mold, animal dander, food product derivatives, or other allergens.

Low Vision : Students with visual impairments may require assistance with, or modification of lab activities if vision is required in completing tasks, especially if visual limitations present a potential safety risk. Large print materials or magnification devices may be helpful lab modifications for students with visual impairments.

Color Vision Deficiency : Students with color vision deficiencies may need assistance or modifications to lab activities requiring color distinctions (eg. chemical titrations, mineral or plant identification).

Blindness : Students who are blind should be given instructions in auditory or braille form. Raised line or tactile models or braille labeled materials may be helpful lab modifications for blind students. Students who are blind may require assistance with, or modification of lab activities if vision is required in completing tasks, especially if inability to see presents a safety risk.

Hearing Loss : Students with hearing impairments should be provided written instructions, and may require assistance with lab activities if hearing sound is part of the activity, or if inability to hear sounds presents a safety risk.

Deafness : Students who are deaf should be provided written instructions, and may require assistance with lab activities if hearing sound is part of the activity, or if inability to hear sounds presents a safety risk.

Numbness : Students may need assistance in laboratory settings for activities requiring sense of touch. Modifications to laboratory activities may be necessary when participation could present a safety hazard for the student (e.g. using extremely hot or cold substances).

Sensory Distractibility : In some laboratory activities, distraction from lab task could pose potential risks to a student or other students. In such cases modifications may be necessary to reduce distractions and safety risks.

Obsessive Behavior : Students prone to obsessive behavior may require more time completing laboratory tasks. Additionally, laboratory assistance or modifications may be necessary when obsessive behaviors could pose safety risks to the student or other students.

The Building Accepting Campus Communities (BACC) project was funded by the US Department of Education Office of Secondary Education grant #P333A080070-09. The University of Nebraska does not discriminate based on gender, age, disability, race, color, religion, marital status, veteran's status, national or ethnic origin, or sexual orientation.