- How do I know if there are students needing accommodations in my class?
The student with special needs will present a letter from Disability Services stating their necessary accommodations.
- What is my responsibility in accommodating students with disabilities?
Academic departments and the individual faculty members are responsible for ensuring that their programs are accessible to qualified students with disabilities. This responsibility includes physical access as well as necessary modifications in the format or delivery of information.
- What does Disability Services offer to faculty?
Our office serves as a resource/liaison for any and all concerns that may arise in relation to students with disabilities. If a dispute occurs between you and a student, inform our office and we will do our best to help resolve the situation. Our goal is to provide as much assistance as we can to you and the students. We are here to answer your questions and to provide current resources addressing specific disabilities and how faculty members can make classroom materials more accessible to their students.
- Who do I contact for assistance with accommodations?
When the class must be moved to accommodate an individual with a physical disability, a special table or desk is needed, or special equipment or other arrangements are needed, contact Disability Services at (281) 283-2648 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you cannot find a way to solve the problem contact us or visit us in SSCB 1.301 for ideas or added assistance.
- What are the obligations of the students with disabilities?
Every student is obligated to self-identify to the Disability Services office about their disability and to make the professor aware of eligibility for special accommodations at the beginning of each semester.
- How do I know that I am providing proper accommodations?
The most successful way to ensure that you are providing all appropriate academic accommodations is to have a conference with the student to discuss both the course demands and the student's accommodation needs.
When you and the student agree on an accommodation, put it in writing and add the agreement to your copy of the Accommodation Letter for your records. If you have questions as to why the student needs a particular accommodation feel free to call our office for more information.
- Do all requested accommodations and auxiliary aids have to be provided?
The university is required to provide reasonable academic accommodations or auxiliary aids and services if such provisions do not fundamentally alter the nature of the program or the academic requirements that are considered essential to a program of study. For example, when spelling and punctuation are related to course objectives it would not be appropriate for accommodations to permit the student to use spell-checking devices on such assignments.
- What if I do not agree to provide an accommodation?
Federal law requires that you provide a "reasonable" accommodation. If you have an alternate method that meets this criterion, you are complying with the law. If the objection stems from the student's use of an assistive device that is necessary to compensate for a particular disability (tape recorder, etc.), federal law may require that this type of accommodation be allowed. You may require the student to complete an agreement which outlines problems you envision with the use of such a device; i.e., not releasing the tape recording or transaction, allowing you to erase tapes, etc. Contact our office prior to refusing a request for accommodation.
- Am I giving the student with a disability an unfair advantage?
The purpose of the accommodation is to provide an equal opportunity to the student, placing them on equal footing with other students. The student with a disability should fulfill all of the essential course-related requirements.
While it may appear that preferential treatment is being given to students with disabilities, the objective of the legal requirement is to help the student compensate for a life function that is not the same as that of other students in the class. Section 504 and the ADA require that special needs be met.