What process does a student with a disability follow when they require an accommodation?
- The student completes an online application for services and provides professional documentation of his/her disability to the Access Center.
- An Access Advisor reviews the documentation and meets with the student to determine what reasonable accommodations are needed to meet our legal obligation to the student.
- The student requests accommodations through MyAccess and a Faculty Notification email will be sent to their instructors.
- Over the course of the semester, if a student’s needs change, he or she will meet with their Access Advisor to create a new Accommodation Form.
- Some accommodations require discussion with the student and/or Access Advisor, to arrive at a mutual understanding and agreement regarding the best fit for the student.
Am I allowed to request medical/disability documentation from the student?
Please do not request medical/disability documentation from the student. If you have questions or concerns regarding an accommodation, we encourage you to contact the Access Center to speak directly with the student’s Access Advisor.
I think an accommodation may compromise the integrity or learning objectives of my course. Who do I speak to about my concerns?
We recommend reaching out to the student’s Access Advisor with questions or concerns related to their accommodations. We are more than happy to discuss any concerns you have, and to provide clarification on the nature of the listed accommodation or assist in developing an alternate accommodation that will work best for your course.
Is there a streamlined method to track all the students with accommodations in my class?
I want to design my course in a way that is usable by as many students as possible. Where do I start?
I am having technical difficulties in my course. Who do I contact for assistance?
What is my responsibility if a student has testing accommodations?
- Faculty members may choose to proctor students within their department as long as they are able to provide the student with their accommodations.
- Alternately, students may take their exams at the Access Center. If this is the preferred option, you will need to provide the Testing Office with an Alternative Testing Agreement (ATA), indicating how you would like the exam to be proctored, and how it should be returned.
- Students are required to schedule exams 5 business days prior to the date of the in-class exam. Note: Students are not able to schedule their exams until the instructor has submitted the ATA.
- Additionally, instructors are responsible for providing testing materials to the Access Center 24 hours before the scheduled exam to allow adequate time for our office to prepare exams and student accommodations.
- If you have any questions, you may contact testing personnel at 509-335-8079, or email@example.com
If a student requests a notetaker as an accommodation, what is my responsibility?
- Make an in-class announcement each class period for one week requesting the services of a volunteer notetaker.
- Maintain confidentiality by not identifying student directly to the class or prospective notetakers.
- Email names and contact information of prospective volunteers to Notetaking Coordinator (firstname.lastname@example.org).
- Request prospective volunteers to complete an online notetaker application.
Am I required to provide my PowerPoints to students with accommodations?
- Students with certain disabilities (ADHD, specific learning disabilities, traumatic brain injuries, information processing disorders) have great difficulty writing down information posted on PowerPoints and capturing what the lecturer is saying at the same time, due to processing speed limitations or reduced ability to retain information in memory for several seconds/minutes. Having access to PowerPoints before class reduces the amount of material a student must write down and increases a student's understanding of the material heard in class.
- Instructors, who are concerned about posting PowerPoints before class or sending them electronically to a student, may instead give a student a paper copy as they enter the classroom.
- Note: All students who record lectures or who receive lecture notes/PowerPoints as an accommodation sign a Content and Materials Usage Agreement, agreeing they will not share materials received as an accommodation.
- It is the Access Center's understanding that the ADA takes precedence over copyright or intellectual property laws. We encourage faculty to contact the Attorney General's Office for further clarification or discussion.
Wouldn't all students benefit from accommodations? Is it fair to give them to students with disabilities?
While it is true that students without disabilities may do better if they had access to certain accommodations, students with disabilities are at a distinct disadvantage without them. The purpose of accommodations is to provide students with disabilities the same opportunity to pass or fail their course as their non-disabled peers. Denying a student access the the accommodations approved by their Access Advisor is inherently unfair to that student.
Am I legally required to implement a student's accommodations?
- A student who has identified themselves as a person with a disability and who has requested reasonable accommodations to mitigate the impact of said disability is protected under the ADA. To not provide reasonable accommodations could mean that the student has been denied their civil rights.
- A student’s accommodations are developed in collaboration with an Access Advisor and is created with the students documented disability in mind. Accommodations are determined to be reasonable adjustments to the learning environment to provide the student an equal learning opportunity in their courses.
- With that in mind, not every accommodation makes sense for every course structure, and instructors are encouraged to share their concerns with the student’s Access Advisor. A collaborative discussion (known as the “interactive process”) with the student, instructor, and Access Advisor will be conducted in order to determine an appropriate alternative.
What is the "text-to-speech" accommodation and to I need to provide this for students?
Text to speech is a software that students utilize in order to have access to course materials. Students are provided this software by the Access Center (or use a software they have found on their own to be most beneficial). Faculty are not required to provide this resource but may be asked to send their course materials for remediation. Instructors will receive an email from our Assistive Technology Coordinator if this is needed. For questions, please contact email@example.com.
Does having flexible attendance or flexible deadlines as an accommodation mean the student never has to attend class or they can turn in their assignments whenever they want?
- Flexible Attendance and/or Flexible Deadlines are approved for students who, due to the nature of their disability, may not be able to attend class predictably, or may not be able to complete assignments within the timeframe provided in the class.
- Students are required to meet with each of their faculty members to discuss their needs and to complete an Agreement Form before attendance or missed deadlines becomes an issue.
- PLEASE NOTE: The student and faculty member must engage in a conversation to arrive at a reasonable agreement. Faculty members are encouraged to include the student’s Access Advisor in these conversations if there are concerns or questions.
- These accommodations are not considered to be in place until the agreement is established and a copy returned to the Access Center. With that said, if scheduling issues arise that create delays in finalizing the agreement, faculty are encouraged to provide students with some flexibility during this time, or to provide this flexibility retroactively once the agreement is formally established. Please carefully read the guidelines below to understand the procedures as well as the student and faculty responsibilities.