ERIC Number: ED382229
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1990-Jan
Identifying the Hidden Handicaps of the (OTA) Older-Than-Average Student.
As the community college student population increases in age, the number of older-than-average (OTA) students with physical and learning handicaps increases. Physical handicaps to learning can include back problems, carpal tunnel syndrome, and hearing or eye-sight problems. Students may not be aware of solutions, however, and instructors may not recognize the problems. At Portland Community College (PCC) (Oregon), a formal program exists to aid learning disabled and physically limited students. In addition, in-service classes for faculty have helped them recognize such signs of handicaps as problems with spelling, writing, and basic math; life or work accomplishments that far exceed academic successes; difficulty understanding verbal instruction; the need for oral repetition of written instruction; and difficulty staying awake in class or sitting still for class period. In an orientation to college course at PCC, students are assessed for any barriers to learning via student concerns surveys and several strategies are employed to help OTA students. These include: (1) the use of texts in large print on soft glare paper; (2) shorter lectures; (3) the dramatization of course content; (4) the encouragement of group learning and problem-solving; (5) providing for individual selection of assignments; (6) allowing students to tape class sessions; and (7) incorporation of stress reduction and time management in the classroom. (Contains 30 references.) (The student survey and personal concerns list used in the orientation course are appended.) (KP)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at "Building Foundations for Cultural Diversity," a conference of the Freshman Year Experience (Costa Mesa, CA, January 25-27, 1990).