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Science Laboratories - Academic Adjustments

The fact that a student has a disability does not necessarily mean they cannot perform lab techniques. If modifications are required, it may be a matter of:

  1. adapting equipment
  2. pairing the student with another student
  3. pairing the student with an assistant

The following are some general guidelines for laboratory adaptations:

Discuss safety concerns with the student and a disability specialist from the disability resources office from the campus the student is attending. Ensure that safety equipment is adapted according to a student's disability. For example, label safety equipment with Braille or large print labels, lengthened pull chains, and put visual or auditory warning systems in place.

Assign group lab projects in which all students contribute according to their abilities.

Arrange lab equipment so that it is easily accessible for students with disabilities. Give oral and written lab instructions. Provide raised-line drawings and tactile models of graphic materials for the students with visual impairments.

Work with the student and disability services to identify, modify, and provide appropriate lab equipment, such as adjustable tables, ramps, talking thermometers and calculators, liquid label indicators, large print and tactile timers, and computers.

Adaptations can often be made without resorting to expensive equipment. The disability resources office can serve as a resource for laboratory modifications.