Faculty Staff FAQs

1. How will I know if there are students with disabilities in my class?
Students will self-identify their disability status and their affiliation with the campus' disability services office. Students should present you with a letter from the campus' disability services office that verifies their need for accommodations and explains exactly what types of accommodations they will need in your course.

Sometimes students with disabilities first disclose to their professors. When this happens, you should refer students to the campus disability services office.

2. What are disability accommodations or academic adjustments?
Accommodations/academic adjustments are reasonable modifications to programs, facilities, or curricula that ensure equal access and opportunity for students with disabilities. By definition, accommodations must be reasonable in nature and should not compromise course standards or fundamentally alter the curriculum.

Examples of reasonable accommodations include sign-language interpreters, extended time testing, assistive technology, and note-taking services.

3. How are accommodations determined?
Reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities are determined on an individual, case-by-case basis, according to documented need.  Eligibility for accommodations is determined through a functional assessment of disability documentation in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section #504 of the Rehabilitation Act.  Accommodations are determined by the professional staff in the disability services office in consultation with course instructors and other appropriate campus officials.

4. What if I don't agree with the accommodations granted to a student by the disability services office?
Professors are encouraged to speak to their campus disability services office should they have any concerns or questions regarding the appropriateness of reasonable accommodations.

5. Do accommodations give students with disabilities an unfair advantage?
No. Accommodations are intended to provide an equal opportunity for students with disabilities. As such, they are designed to "level the playing field" for students with disabilities.  Students with disabilities are expected to meet the same standard as all other students. In particular, like all other students, students with disabilities must meet all University academic criteria and course technical standards.

6. Who is permitted to know about a student's disability status or accommodation needs?
Student disability information is protected by Family Education Rights Protection Act (FERPA) and must be held in the strictest confidence. Any public disclosure of a student's disability is a violation of this law.

7. What if I would like to know more about what resources are available on my own campus?
Please contact the disability services coordinator at your respective office to schedule an appointment.
(Link to contact list)

8. What should I do if I decide to change the location of my classroom?
All requests for classroom changes are processed by campus Offices of the Registrar. It should be noted that there are times when the location of your classroom has been selected to meet the accessibility needs of a student with a disability and classroom. Under these circumstances, relocation may be difficult to arrange.

9. How should I handle a disruptive student who has a disability?
Faculty should work closely with college disability services offices to address disruptive behavior that may be related to a student's disability.  Faculty should understand that while they are required to provide reasonable accommodations to students with disabilities, they are not required to tolerate behavior that is substantially disruptive to their ability to teach and to other students' ability to learn.  Indeed, students with disabilities should be held to the same code of conduct as all other members of the campus community.

10. When a student requests a copy of copyrighted material in an accessible format, doesn't this violate copyright laws?
No. Under copyright laws, students with disabilities are permitted to make one copy of copyrighted material in an accessible format for personal use.