Accommodating Students with Disabilities
In order to earn a high school diploma in New York State, each student must acquire one physical education credit. "Paul" [a pseudonym] is in a wheelchair. He is a tenth-grade student with cerebral palsy at my high school. He needed to earn this credit, but would be unable to meet the challenges of physical education. Paul would have to get his physical education credit another way.
The dean of students and varsity basketball coach were made aware of the problem and came up with a solution. Knowing that Paul is a basketball fan, he inquired whether he could record the stats. A modification to the program All-Star Stats 400 by Microsoft would enable Paul to maintain the stats and remove the task from the coach's shoulders.
This idea was then discussed with the Learning Workshop teacher, a computer whiz. He reasoned that if Paul could break down, statistically, videotaped basketball games, he could input the stats into the computer. Paul discussed the idea with his teacher and really liked the idea-it allowed him to participate in high school basketball and earn the required credit.
Once his teacher completed the modifications of All-Star Stats 400, Paul was given a valuable chance to get his physical education credit. The faculty's willingness to help a student shines through the mechanics of this process. The reason Paul succeeded in receiving his credit is because he was willing to try to make the idea become reality. The faculty worked together to form the raw materials, and Paul finished the product.
This personal victory was barely noticed by the student body, although perhaps more students should take heed of the occurrence. The ideals expressed in this story include acceptance, creativity and cooperation among faculty and students. As his teacher said, "Getting Paul's credit shows the helpfulness and dedication of the faculty and the willingness and desire of Paul.