Disability Accommodation Statement
Be sure to include in your course syllabi a statement similar to the following:
Special Needs and Accommodations: Please address with the instructor any special problems or needs at the beginning of the semester. Those seeking accommodations based on disabilities should provide a Faculty Contact Sheet obtained through Student Access Services (SAS), (703) 526-6925, located on Main Campus in Rowley Hall.
First Day of Class Announcement
As you review the syllabus for each class, note the above statement and invite students to meet you either during office hours or by appointment. These invitations are important in helping the student feel at ease and for encouraging self-identification. Due to confidentiality, SAS does not directly notify instructors of a student's disabilities except at the request of the student.
Obtain a Copy of the Faculty Contact Sheet
In most cases, a student seeking accommodations must provide a Faculty Contact Sheet (FCS) from Student Access Services. Exceptions are if a student has an obvious physical disability, such as a hearing or mobility impairment. Students who do not have a FCS should be referred to Student Access Services.
Discuss Student Accommodation Request(s)
Once the student provides the instructor with a copy of the Faculty Contact Sheet, discuss the specific accommodations requested for the course. Each FCS includes a list of recommended accommodations, based on documentation provided by the student. These accommodations may not automatically apply to every course or every assignment. Appropriate accommodations should be based on the FCS, the course requirements, and common sense. SAS provides a Faculty-Student Contract
for use during meetings where students present Faculty Contact Sheets. This contract will be kept on file in the SAS office to provide clarification throughout the semester.
Consult with the SAS director when necessary
If you have a question regarding a requested accommodation, cannot reach mutual agreement with a student, or need other assistance, please contact the director of Student Access Services. Denial of a formal academic accommodation request must come from the provost and vice president for Academic Affairs.
Evaluate Accommodation Success
Clearly, the student bears the main burden of evaluating whether an accommodation is succeeding. However, checking in with the student occasionally to monitor progress is helpful. Consistent follow through is important on any agreed accommodations, such as forwarding tests to the Center for Teaching and Learning Testing Center on time, providing written instructions for assignments, or assisting in recruiting note takers.
Reasonable and Unreasonable Accommodations
Poor attendance, late or missed assignments, or poor quality work unrelated to the disability should be handled as it is for all other students in the class. Also, if a student with a disability does not identify him or herself until late in a semester, faculty are not obligated to retroactively change grades or alter completed assignments.
Advising for Students with Disabilities
Academic advising is crucial for students with disabilities. As in class, make an explicit invitation for students with disabilities to self-identify. Discuss with the student how his or her disability might affect course load, combination and sequence of courses, choice of major, and other academic planning concerns.