Student Behavior and Safety
Working on campus involves interacting with students and this means dealing with student behavior, health, and safety issues.
Accessibility Services students are generally the same as any other student. For the most part, you can expect the same level of cooperation, respect, effort, and quality of interaction from a student with a disability as you get from nondisabled students. However, there are times when a disability (or accompanying symptom) may affect students' communication skills or behavior.
For instance, some of our students have difficulty hearing, seeing, or speaking clearly, which can impair conversation when not adjusted for. Other students become easily distracted or restless. Some might have difficulty processing or remembering information. Others may respond in a negative, highly emotional, or sensitive manner.
We encourage our students to disclose their disabilities and make use of accommodations when necessary. Occasionally students will not realize that symptoms of a disability are affecting their behavior. If you notice difficult or disruptive behavior on the part of a student, consider drawing the student's attention to the behavior and asking if there's anything you can do to assist. Sometimes a helpful suggestion or expression of interest is all that's needed to clear up the problem communication or behavior.
If the difficult or disruptive behavior escalates, keep in mind that Accessibility Services students must follow the same conduct policies and should be held to the same standards as any other student. Disability is never an excuse for bad behavior and you will need to take the same steps with our students as you would with other students. Remember that the University does not tolerate dangerous, threatening, or violent behavior from anyone. If any student becomes violent, or if you feel you are in danger, call the University Police Department immediately for assistance.
If a student becomes ill or injured while working with you, ask how you can help or if they need to visit Student Health & Counseling Services. A paper cut is a minor nuisance to most of us, but could require medical intervention for a student with hemophilia.
If a student has a severe medical emergency in your presence, call 911. The University Police are first responders on campus but will quickly summon an ambulance, if needed. Depending on the situation, you or another student or staff member could attempt to assist the student in crisis (e.g., administering CPR if the student stops breathing) or call a campus physician for advice. If the situation is urgent but less severe, consider escorting the student to the Student Health & Counseling Services building.
CSUEB has established policy and procedures for ensuring a quick response for assisting students with disabilities during emergencies or disasters on campus. Whenever there is a building evacuation, we must be aware of the potential needs of all students. Even if you do not typically work with students, you may find yourself in the position of supporting a student during an emergency.
The following guidelines will prepare you to respond appropriately should an emergency occur:
- Students with permanent disabilities should prepare for emergencies ahead of time by informing a classmate, instructor, or staff member of how to assist them in case of emergencies. If you have ongoing contact with a student who has a disability, you might consider asking about their preferences or needs in the event of an emergency.
- Students with visual impairments: Offer your elbow to these students, and guide them to a safe area. Make sure they are fully informed of the situation and what they are to do.
- Students with hearing impairments: Communicate with a short written message or speak clearly and directly to them. Use gestures to guide them toward the nearest exit or place of safety.
- Students who use wheelchairs: Consult with the student to establish the best course of action. If it is necessary to wait for exits to clear, stay with them, or try to assign someone else to accompany them. If stairs must be negotiated, it may be best to leave the wheelchair behind and have two assistants carry the student, if possible.
- Students with psychological disabilities: Give the student clear, concise instructions with a limit of one or two tasks to remember. (For example, "Go down these stairs and leave the building. Join everyone in the staff parking lot."). Assign a companion if possible.