Jessica is taking a blacksmithing class. She is enthusiastic about her work in the program and has great ideas for her class projects.
In the shop, her instructors demonstrate processes and procedures for the students and lay out the steps they need to follow. Many of these procedures, and the accompanying safety considerations, are multi-step processes. Instructors know that this information is new to many students. They encourage students to take notes to create a reference for when they try the techniques themselves.
Watching Jessica work in the shop, her instructor felt that she was not listening during the presentation. She seems unaware of critical steps and considerations. When her instructor asks if she has taken any notes, Jessica says that she doesn’t take notes in class. Her instructor is concerned that she is missing critical information and that she has not come for help on her own. To the instructor’s knowledge, she is not registered with the Disability Services office. The instructor doesn’t want to put her on the spot by asking if she has a disability. He decides to contact the Disability Services office for advice.
The instructor explains the situation to the Disability Advisor and provides the student’s name. The Advisor listens carefully and at the end of the discussion suggests that she can be in touch with the student to offer to discuss her situation and the concerns the instructor has raised.
The Disability Advisor contacts the instructor a few days later. She explains that Jessica does have a diagnosed disability which impacts her ability to process oral information easily. It has been difficult for Jessica to keep pace with comprehending and remembering the oral instructions and information presented in class. Since she needs to put very significant effort into listening, she is not able to take notes at the same time. Jessica wasn’t sure what could help in her situation. She very much wants to succeed in the class and did not want to appear as though she wasn’t trying but she didn’t think she had other options.