This article describes the unique journey both of a blind student in our Physical Therapist Assistant (PTA) Program and of the faculty who taught him as they all navigated through uncharted territories. We were unable to identify any programs that had enrolled students with this particular impairment; thus, there were no previous parameters set by other PTA programs, nor were we able to seek advice from any other physical therapy educators. For instance, we knew that we needed to make certain accommodations but were very aware, as was the student, of the necessity of not overaccommodating. Despite the fact that the physical therapy profession trains practitioners to help clients with disabilities to maximize their physical function and teaches them how to adapt to the challenges of daily activity, we initially assumed that a blind student would not be able to complete the program or be able to become a self-sufficient practitioner. We were very wrong. This article describes our learning process over the course of an eighteen-month program and details a valuable pedagogical experience pertinent to anyone in the teaching profession. We particularly stress the importance of being flexible and open in modifying one's teaching style to accommodate the needs of the individual student and offer tips on doing so without bias or overcompensation.
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Research Article| October 01 2015
Toward a Deeper Understanding of Disability: Physical Therapy Educators' Reflections
Pedagogy (2015) 15 (3): 549–557.
Clarence Chan, Debra Engel, Jacqueline Ross; Toward a Deeper Understanding of Disability: Physical Therapy Educators' Reflections. Pedagogy 1 October 2015; 15 (3): 549–557. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/15314200-2917169
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