Gloria and her professors would need to consider how instruction is given and the reception to that instruction. Gloria needs to take note of her emotions and any fluctuations that might be involved. This would entail her learning about any warning signs that might be signaling shifts in mania or depression. By controlling such tendencies she will be able to have an open view towards instruction with the aim to grasp it despite the environment. Professors need to be patient, calm and resourceful when dealing with Gloria. They need to learn about her changing moods and establish a schedule that fits well to Gloria’s cognitive weaknesses. They need to be flexible, offer more time for learning and even provide a better physical environment to enhance it. Overall, professors need to offer positive comments to encourage Gloria to partake in learning.
Assistive Technology can be defined as any hardware or software that maintains or increases the functional capabilities of somebody with a disability (Assistive Technology Industry Association 1). There are various types of assistive technology that Gloria would need to facilitate her education. Digital recorders would come in handy since she would be able to record instruction and later on listen to it if she needs that instruction repeated. A personal digital assistant would also come in handy to remind her of schedules and for storage of critical documents. Voice activated computing and text to speech software would be essential in ensuring she can take proper notes that would not be interfered with when her moods change during class. Visual mapping software can also come in handy to support learning.
I would teach Gloria to advocate for herself by approaching professors and informing them of her condition. She should prepare some notes on how she thinks she functions and attempt to manipulate learning schedules to fit into her functioning. She has already shown progress by finishing her medication and overcoming other tribulations that come with bipolar. Her fighting spirit is remarkable, and though symptoms of ADD prevent her from focusing, with proper assistive technology and patience from instructors, she might achieve her dreams.
I learnt about the stigma students with bipolar undergo as they strive to pursue their education. Gloria faced stigmatization from parents and fellow students simply because she is different. This adversely affected her self-esteem, and she found it extremely difficult to approach her professor about the disability she has. Assistive technology is very resourceful since she was able to read eight pages in only 15 minutes. Gloria insists that professors should empathize with their situation and stress on what is crucial when giving instructions.
Gloria has certain suggestions that she thinks might assist her in learning. She asks professors to be sensitive to students with disabilities and understand that they might need more time to complete readings and assignments. Professors need to provide “clean” copies of class material or even provide those materials in electronic format. More importantly, professors need to understand the background of these students and speak slowly and clearly so that they can learn effectively. My suggestions do in need concur with Gloria’s especially on utilization of electronic materials and professors understanding the background of students and scheduling more time for them.
The responses from faculty members are positive. Dr. Reichman together with Dr. Station agrees that electronic sources are more effective as compared to scanning from books. Laurie Isenberg and Dr. Eagan insist that students with disabilities need to notify instructors of their situation on time so as to accommodate them effectively. This activity has shed more light on the stigma that students with disabilities face as they strive to pursue their education. A lot can be achieved if professors and students with disability partner to achieve academic goals.
Assistive Technology Industry Association. “What is Assistive Technology? How Is It Funded?” 2012. Atia.org Website. 10 March 2015. <http://www.atia.org/i4a/pages/index.cfm?pageid=3859>.