From: Peter Zavon <pzavon**At_Symbol_Here**ROCHESTER.RR.COM>
Subject: Re: [DCHAS-L] Student with disability: what we need to know
Date: July 7, 2012 10:18:01 AM EDT
Reply-To: DCHAS-L <DCHAS-L**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU>
Message-ID: <FA001EE30BA70F4D926117C13DAFFFDF20A4F170**At_Symbol_Here**XMAIL-MBX-BT1.AD.UCSD.EDU>

This "don't need to know" is true in terms of general ADA compliance, but it does not cover the situation of a lab where the materials in use might have an adverse health impact on the student. The student and personal physician will not know what and how much of various materials might be present.  The school will not know whether the student's medical condition makes her more susceptible to one or more of those materials.
Unless someone knowledgeable puts the specific nature of the illness together with the specific materials in use - and how they are to be used, you have no way of knowing whether there is an unacceptable hazard to the student.  The usual listing of functional limitations simply will not get you where you need to be.
This is a broader issue than simply bringing O2 into a lab. The fact that O2 is needed suggests a respiratory condition that raises this broader issue.

Peter Zavon, CIH
Penfield, NY


From: DCHAS-L Discussion List [mailto:dchas-l**At_Symbol_Here**MED.CORNELL.EDU] On Behalf Of Kennedy, Sheila
Sent: Friday, July 06, 2012 1:40 PM
Subject: [DCHAS-L] Student with disability: what we need to know

Several posters have now commented about the need to understand the nature of the illness that requires oxygen.


After working with our campus Office of Students with Disabilities (OSD) through a number of (highly varied) accommodations, we’ve learned a few things:

1.      We really don’t need to know about the student’s medical condition; we need to know about what functional limitations the student has. This may seem like a fine distinction, but I really don’t need to know (and do not ask) about the reason a student has a hand tremor/limited vision/inability to stand for long periods/need for supplemental oxygen.

2.      What I really need to know is the functional limit of what the student can/cannot do within the normal lab environment & whether the difficult elements of the environment are essential to the lab experience & the skills we want the student to learn.

·        If the lab skills can be taught with different tools, adapted tools, different furniture, more space for some students, etc., then we need to supply those things if we reasonably can.

·        If changing the situation changes what we’re teaching, or short-circuits the student’s learning in any way, we’re going down the wrong road.



 Sheila Kennedy, CHO
Safety Coordinator | Teaching Laboratories

UCSD Chemistry & Biochemistry |MC 0303

Office: (858) 534-0221 | Fax: (858) 534-7687

s1kennedy**At_Symbol_Here** |

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