Disability Accommodations Syllabus Statement
Please include a statement similar to the following in course syllabi:
Students with Disabilities
If you are seeking accommodations (class/course adjustments) for a disability, here are the steps to take:
- Register as a student with a disability with Student Access Services (SAS) in the Student Academic Hub. This process takes time, so engage with SAS as early as possible.
- Once registered with SAS, you may be approved for accommodations by SAS. Approved accommodations will be listed on a “Faculty Contact Sheet” (FCS), and you will receive a copy of this FCS from SAS.
- Meet with each of your instructors as soon as possible to review your accommodations as per the FCS, and have them sign the FCS. This document will help you and your instructors develop a plan for providing the approved accommodations.
- Let SAS know if you have any concerns about how your accommodations are being implemented in the classroom.
Please remember that:
- The steps above are required in order to be granted reasonable accommodations for disabling conditions.
- Accommodations cannot be implemented retroactively. That is, accommodations can only be applied to a course after they have been approved by SAS, and after you have discussed your accommodations with your instructor and the instructor has signed the FCS.
- Appointments with SAS staff are scheduled through the Starfish “Success Network” tab (you can access Starfish through Canvas). For more information, check the SAS website, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, or call 703-284-1538.
Temporary challenges due to accident, illness, etc. that may result in missing class or navigating general campus access do not necessarily fall under the purview of SAS. If you experience something of this nature, please start by alerting your instructors. The Dean of Student Success may be involved in alerting instructors in extreme cases.
Making a 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.
Obtaining 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.
Discussing Student Accommodation Requests
Students need to provide faculty with a two-page Faculty Contact Sheet (FCS). The function of the FCS first page is to clarify that the student is authorized to use accommodations approved by SAS. You may click here to download a sample version of an FCS first page. Each FCS includes a list of SAS accommodations which were determined as a result of:
Documentation students provided to SAS denoting a significantly impairing condition which qualifies as a disability as defined by the ADA.
Discussion between the student and SAS which details a context/background of the disability for which accommodations are sought.
Clarification that the accommodations requested by the student must mitigate the impact of the disability being discussed. The intent of each accommodation is to fairly and equitably provide students the ability to access their academic experience with their peer students. The intent is not to provide them an academic advantage or maximize their potential.
Faculty members and students need to discuss the accommodation contents of the FCS, to clarify how they will practically be applied in that specific course.
The SAS team realizes that approved accommodations may not automatically work in every course or every assignment because doing so may fundamentally alter the course learning outcomes or measurement of those outcomes. It is for these reasons that it is imperative that faculty clarify with students (and when necessary SAS) how accommodations for each and every course will be applied. Faculty members should keep a copy of the student’s FCS throughout the semester, as a reference of the accommodation discussion and agreed-upon implementation of approved accommodations.
The function of the FCS second page is to:
Substantiate agreement between student and faculty regarding the contents of the first page
Ensure the listed accommodations can reasonably be applied in the course
Document that an agreement has been reached regarding implementation of the SAS approved accommodations. Appropriate accommodations should be based on the FCS, the course requirements, and common sense.
You may click here to download the FCS second page. The second page of the FCS should be signed and dated by the faculty and returned to the SAS office via email to email@example.com, with the student cc’d. (Example: from firstname.lastname@example.org to: email@example.com cc: firstname.lastname@example.org) This signed second page will be kept on file in the SAS office to provide clarification throughout the semester.
Consulting with SAS when Necessary
If you have a question regarding a requested accommodation, cannot reach mutual agreement with a student, or need other assistance, please contact Student Access Services at email@example.com. Denial of a formal academic accommodation request must come from the Provost and VP for Academic Affairs.
Evaluating 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 ensuring that testing accommodations are properly in place, 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.