Meeting Individual Needs
Students with Behavior Disorders
Students with behavior disorders need a structured learning
environment. To provide this environment, you may find it helpful
to seek input from the students themselves. Ask about their
strengths, their weaknesses, and the techniques that enhance
the learning process for them. You will also have to balance
the individual needs of these students with the group's requirements.
Reinforce appropriate behavior and model it for students.
Students with behavior disorders can at times struggle to maintain
the level of attention needed to deal with challenging material.
To assist these students and encourage them to persist, you
may wish to speak to them on an individual basis about their
strengths and weaknesses. It might also be helpful at this time
to outline chapter objectives with an eye toward helping them
feel successful. This may require a flexible assessment program
and enrichment material that capitalizes on their interests.
Students with behavior disorders of any type require a class
environment that provides both support and structure so that
they know what to expect and what will be expected of them.
Experiment to determine the best learning modality for each
student and structure activities accordingly. For example, a
visual learner would benefit from having material presented
in the form of photographs or computer graphics. Students who
act out in class may need assignments to match their learning
styles. Approaches like these will help students comprehend
the material and enable them to participate better in class
Gifted students may find that the material in this chapter
offers them a first look at real-world organizational behavior.
Encourage these students to take on a wide variety of enrichment
and independent practice activities that will put them in contact
with people in the business world and allow them to observe
the daily practices that lead to success. Be sure they have
the opportunity to present written summaries of their findings
and let them share what they observed with the group.
Have gifted students work in small groups to complete an analysis
of the stocks offered by a company of their choice. Encourage
each group to employ a variety of research techniques to put
together a profile of the company and explain why that company's
stock would be a good financial investment.
Students in your class who consistently finish work more quickly
than others and who have above average ability, task commitment,
and creativity may be considered gifted. You may wish to challenge
these students to work on an independent project related to
investment alternatives, such as real estate, precious metals,
gems, and collectibles. Have them choose a specific alternative
investment and calculate an estimated return on investment in,
say, 10 years.
For students who would benefit from the additional work of
an independent project, assign the task of researching a successful
business in the area and discovering through written reports
and/or personal interviews how the concepts described Unit 5,
Introduction to Business Finance, and Unit 6, Organization and
Financial Planning, affected the business in its first few years.
For example, how did their initial estimates of profitability
vary from paper to real numbers? What sources of financing did
the business utilize, and what would they recommend to other
businesses in the start-up phase?
Students with Hearing
You may find it helpful to pair students with hearing impairments
with hearing partners to work on the activities and questions
presented in this chapter. Hearing students can assist students
with hearing impairments by writing a summary of all oral directions
given in class. In addition to benefiting students with hearing
impairments, the hearing student will also benefit from the
enhanced knowledge they gain about how students with hearing
impairments compensate for their challenge.
Students with hearing impairments can and do participate in
a wide range of classroom activities. To encourage their maximum
participation, look at these students when you speak. Do this
even if the student talks with the assistance of an interpreter.
Not only is this more courteous, but it also allows the student
with hearing impairments the option of viewing you and your
lip movements directly. If class materials involve technical
terminology, supply a list of these words in advance to the
student and his or her interpreter. Unfamiliar words can be
difficult to lip-read or sign without prior exposure.
Many students with hearing impairments, ranging from complete
loss to moderate loss, communicate mainly by sign language.
When it comes to written English, they are actually using it
as a second language, much like students who are nonnative speakers.
Many factors affect the comfort level of students with hearing
impairments. These include personality, intelligence, degree
of deafness, residual hearing, age of onset of deafness, and
family environment. This does not mean, however, that you should
overlook errors in spoken or written English. Improvement can
occur with increased use, correction, and exposure.
Students who wear hearing aids can be easily distracted by
background noise, so it is important to restrict unneeded interference.
Each hearing aid has its own limited range of use. Therefore,
you will need to learn how close to stand so the student can
hear you. Keep in mind that comments made in the back of the
room may be inaudible. You can repeat questions or comments
for the benefit of the hearing-impaired, or include a question
in your answer.
Students with Learning
If you have students in your class with learning disabilities,
they may require additional guidelines or even study aides to
get the most out of the material presented in the textbook.
For example, for students who find the written text difficult
to use, you may wish to make chapter audio tapes so they can
listen and read simultaneously. The tapes can be made with the
help of other students in the class. Select students whose voices
are clear and easy to follow. Set a relaxed pace for the reading,
and use a bell or clicker to signal when to turn pages. Getting
as many students as possible involved can make the audio tape
preparation a real class project in the best tradition of cooperative
Students with learning disabilities can have difficulty processing
information in written and/or oral form. It is important that
students with learning disabilities receive and give information
in a way that works best for them.
Students who have difficulty processing written work often
find it helpful to have the text tape-recorded. Obtaining information
from visual representations such as graphs, charts, tables,
and headings also helps. Students who have problems with spoken
presentations are advised to read materials before class discussion.
They should also read notes taken in class by other students
to ensure that they are not missing any valuable information.
Because students with learning disabilities may have trouble
with symbols, such as numbers, learning the material in the
chapter could present challenges. Some students can more easily
access the information when it is read aloud, either by a person
or on tape. Students who have difficulty communicating effectively
through printing or cursive writing may prefer to use a computer
to perform calculations or to dictate their work to another
person. In general, students with learning disabilities benefit
from a classroom that incorporates a wide variety of learning
modalities (visual, auditory, tactile, and kinesthetic).
Students with learning disabilities may require additional
assistance completing some of the activities in Chapter 21,
Developing a Business Plan. The scope of developing a business
plan can be complex and requires analytical ability and methodical
work. Break the task up into self-contained steps and provide
additional assistance as needed. A variety of resources can
come into play, including peer assistance or adult mentors.
Students with learning disabilities require more support and
structure. Clearly specify the scope of the assignment and review
their work on a regular basis throughout the course of the project.
Providing a positive learning environment for all the students
in your class may require you to modify or rethink some of your
teaching methods. If you have students in your class with learning
disabilities, you may wish to consult specialists in your school
regarding techniques that have proven effective in teaching
these students. You might also consult the Journal of Learning
Disabilities or the Learning Disability Quarterly.
Pairing students with peer helpers, when appropriate, can also
serve to increase the participation of students with learning
disabilities in class activities, provided a good pair match
can be made.
One of the special situations brought up by having students
with orthopedic impairments in your class is that you have the
opportunity to educate other students and adults about people
with physical impairments. Speak with your students who have
orthopedic impairments ahead of time, discuss any issues you
feel uncertain about, and read the various educational journals
about ways in which students with physical impairments are succeeding
in the world. You can learn a great deal and overcome any doubts
you may have about the capabilities of these individuals. Be
aware that the way you treat students with physical impairments
will be imitated. Use the opportunity to increase student awareness.
Career choices for students with orthopedic impairments need
not be limited in any way other than by the interests and talents
of the individual student. In order to help all students overcome
preconceived notions about existing career choices, invite a
marketer, entrepreneur, or other successful person with physical
impairments to class to speak about his or her career. Invite
him or her to discuss any obstacles that could have hindered
his or her success and how they were overcome. Allow time for
questions and encourage students to ask questions about physical
barriers to entering buildings as well as biased treatment.
If you have students who have orthopedic impairments, making
sure they have access to the classroom can be one of the first
steps you take to ensure their full participation in the class.
Be aware that a barrier can be a stair, a curb, a narrow walkway,
a heavy door, or an elevator door that does not allow time for
a wheelchair exit. Classroom tables need at least 27½ inches
of clearance for a student in a wheelchair.
Also keep in mind that some students in wheelchairs have full
use of their hands and others do not. Never assume that a physically
challenged student can or can't do something based on experience
with another student.
The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 makes it illegal
for companies to deny employment opportunities to otherwise
qualified individuals who have real or perceived mental or physical
disabilities. It also requires employers to make reasonable
accommodations to enable disabled workers to perform their work.
This includes access to entrances and exits and to the work
itself. These factors influence workplace design and personnel
space design, as well as encourage companies to design buildings
that all people can enter and exit without difficulty. You may
wish to consider these issues in chapter discussions.
If your class involves field research or field trips of any
kind, encourage students with orthopedic impairments to participate
in site selection and transportation planning to ensure the
access to all sites for all students. Access issues are of major
concern for students who use wheelchairs, and barriers, such
as stairs, curbs, narrow walkways, heavy doors, etc., must be
taken into account when planning an event. By making the fieldwork
accessible to all students, you allow a positive rather than
an exclusionary situation. Awareness is the key issue, along
with a willingness to learn of the daily problems faced by those
with physical challenges.
Students who use wheelchairs do so as a result of a wide variety
of disabilities. Most wheelchairs are electric or manually propelled
by the student, but some students who have limited use of hands
or arms may have an aide to assist them. Most students who need
other assistance will ask. Don't automatically assume that assistance
is required. Do not insist on "helping" if your offer
is turned down. Students who use wheelchairs will appreciate
your awareness if you are not so aware of their disability that
it becomes all you see about them.
Students as Second
If your class includes any second language learners, provide
outlines of lecture notes or planned classroom discussion topics
in advance. Written materials help to reinforce what you say.
They also make it possible for the student to review materials
later at a slower pace or to look up unfamiliar vocabulary.
Always keep in mind how you would feel if you suddenly found
yourself as a student in another country whose language was
only marginally familiar to you. Being educated in your own
language wouldn't help you at all. You would still require additional
help to comprehend the discussions going on around you.
Students whose native language is other than English face special
challenges when class work turns to large numbers. Often when
native speakers discuss numbers, they speak very quickly, blurring
If the nonnative speakers are experiencing any difficulty,
write the numbers under discussion on the board along with the
sign indicating the operation being performed. It is usually
not the calculation that causes the problem but the indistinct
sounds involved in processing a string of numbers. Most bilingual
adults revert to their primary language to perform the calculation
mentally in their heads and then translate the answer into English.
If your class consists of students with differing levels of
English fluency, some material can be especially challengingespecially
in the area of role-playing. Encourage active participation
of all students in these activities, but keep in mind varying
ability levels. Pair nonnative with native speakers for oral
exercises when appropriate.
In regular classroom activities, allow sufficient time for
nonnative speakers to answer oral questions. This will help
them gain confidence in their communication skills. Also, note
that there will be a big difference in students' English skills
depending on how long they have been in the United States.
Students whose native language is other than English may find
the legal terminology used in extended warranty features or
in credit applications overwhelming. Because these topics are
important to students and consumers alike, you may wish to spend
extra time going over this vocabulary, and provide real life
examples for students to read. Allow time for students to ask
questions and receive clarification of any unfamiliar terminology.
The job search process can be a monumental challenge to people
whose native language is other than English, especially if they
are newcomers. In order for these individuals to attain their
goals, extensive practice and role-play dealing with the job
search situations described in the chapter can make the difference
between employment and despair. Peer partners selected for role-play
should include one native speaker and one nonnative speaker,
if possible. Give extra attention to telephone situations and
dealing with government agencies, both of which can be intimidating
situations for those who feel uncertain about using English.
Students with Speech
Students with speech impairments may have impediments ranging
from problems with articulation or voice strength to being without
ability to speak. These impairments can include stuttering,
chronic hoarseness, or difficulty in expressing an appropriate
word or phrase. Typically, such students refrain as much as
possible from class participation. When speaking with a student
with speech impairments, use normal communication patterns and
refrain from completing words or phrases for the student. Some
students use electronic speaking machines or are adept at using
body language to communicate. Your role as teacher is to create
an environment in which all students can participate to the
best of their abilities.
Students with speech impairments often do not feel comfortable
participating in exercises devoted to interpersonal skills because
the physical difficulties they experience can make the exercises
uncomfortable for them. Even so, these students can benefit
from watching others and participating at a level they select
Enforcing classroom rules regarding nonjudgmental behavior
and never allowing ridicule of any sort in the classroom can
go a long way to encourage participation from all students.
Another way to give students with oral expression difficulty
an outlet is to allow students to submit written questions about
material that they find challenging.
Students with speech impairments benefit from an opportunity
to make a contribution to the class in ways other than in-class
discussion. For example, students might prepare a bulletin board
display or a report on a topic that could be distributed to
all students. Make assignments in accordance with students'
interests and talents. The opportunity to participate is the
key and involvement can take root if students are given regular
opportunities. Keep in mind, these students do benefit from
listening to class discussion even if they are not comfortable
Students with Visual
Students with visual/spatial difficulties may have difficulty
working with accounting-oriented content. You will need to describe
accounting procedures and operations specifically with these
students in mind. Do not assume that they can follow what you
are saying while you perform calculations on the board. Take
special care to name categories (i.e., accounting entries and
spreadsheet cells) and to explain how figures are calculated.
Also, provide an opportunity for students to ask questions or
request assistance with calculations.
Students with visual challenges face special risks and require
special tools in order to participate in academic and workplace
environments. The specific tools can vary from reading machines
to Braille texts to the use of guide dogs. Some students benefit
from working with a peer "visual translator" who is
able to verbally describe visual images, such as the photos
in the textbook to the student. If you have students with visual
impairments in your class, you may wish to implement this cooperative
Coping with the volume of printed material in class can be
a challenge for students with visual impairments. To meet this
challenge, such students often use a combination of resources,
such as readers, books in Braille, recorded books, and class
To make lectures more helpful to students with visual impairments,
you need to think carefully about what you say in class. Consider
writing on the board while talking through a computation. Use
examples that are clear and specific and don't require interpretation.
"This (pointing) plus that (pointing) equals 11" requires
clarification; "4 plus 7 equals 11" doesn't. Sensitivity
to student needs is the key.