The Classroom Accommodations Process
If you have a student with a disability…
If a student discloses a disability but does not provide you with a Faculty Notification Form from the Office of Disability Services (ODS), please refer the student to the ODS office in the Elliot Center (first floor) and explain that you cannot provide accommodations without notification from this office. If a student gives you disability documentation such as a psychological report or a doctor’s note, do not accept the documentation. Instead, let the student know ODS is the office designated to review such information and refer them over.
Once a student has established their eligibility for services with ODS, he/she will bring you a memo (Faculty Notification Form) from ODS on official letterhead detailing the testing/classroom modifications which you are to provide.
- Reasonable accommodations are designed to offset the substantial limitations imposed by the disorder, not to alter essential elements of courses or programs. It is important not to question a student as to whether a documented disability exists. The ODS has an extensive documentation process that all students must adhere to in order to receive “disability status.” Please be assured that if you receive a memo from the ODS office, the student has been determined to be a qualified individual with a disability.
The student will give each professor a copy of the Faculty Notification Form for reference and are encouraged to discuss the nature of their disability and how it may impact them in the classroom.
The most common academic accommodation is for exam accommodations. Most students needing this accommodation are approved for extended time for exams (usually time and ½) and are accommodated within the classroom environment by the faculty. Some students need a separate testing location due to attentional, learning, mobility, psychological issues or assistive technology needs. If a separate testing area is needed and approved, it will be indicated on the Faculty Notification Form. Please keep in mind however, that it is the student’s responsibility to schedule exams to be taken in the ODS area well in advance of the actual test date. Our established procedure ensures that faculty are made aware of the students intent to take the exam in ODS, allows time for the faculty to get the exam to our office, and also allows for our office to assure the proper resources are available on the assigned test date, ie. proctors, space, computer, reader, scribe, etc. The procedure for scheduling exams is reviewed with students at the time the accommodation is requested, each semester.
Other classroom considerations to keep in mind:
- Auxiliary aids – The ODS coordinates such services as note takers, alternative text materials, sign language interpreters, etc. We may call upon you for assistance in finding a note taker or asking for a copy of your syllabus for the purpose of securing alternative text materials.
- Access to computer technology – ODS makes every attempt to ensure computer access for all students. We have information regarding voice-activated computing, specialized keyboards, magnifiers, screen readers and much more. Please consult with ODS and the IT department when planning classroom websites and other materials if there are access needs.
- Showing films – To ensure access to videos for students who are deaf or hearing-impaired, plan ahead and see if there is a captioned version available.
- Field trips – When planning a field trip and providing transportation for the class, please plan ahead if there are access needs.