The staff at the Office of Disability Resources are your partners in making your courses accessible and inclusive for students with disabilities. Academic accommodations are intended to afford equal access to course content and equal opportunity to demonstrate mastery. Disability Resources follows the applicable federal and state laws and utilizes nationally recognized best practices when evaluating requests for accommodations.
Students with Accommodations
Each semester, the Office of Disability Resources will send an individualized notification of accommodations letter via university email which lists the student's requested accommodations. The letter will include the DR Faculty Portal link to our student management system where instructors can view a listing of all students registered in their course who have requested accommodations. Please remember to close out your browser after using the DR Faculty Portal.
Students with disability accommodations are encouraged to meet with you within the first few weeks of the semester to discuss any academic needs. If a student requests disability-related assistance but you have not received this email, it is appropriate to ask the student to register with our office.
Disability Resources cautions instructors against making independent disability accommodation decisions, as this may put you, the student, and the university in jeopardy. Recommended reading on the unintended consequences of these actions are succinctly outlined here: “When Faculty are TOO Accommodating” by Jane E. Jarrow, Phd. We would, instead, encourage faculty to explore Universal Design for Learning strategies and enact these principles in your teaching. Read more about Universal Design for Learning.
We encourage instructors to contact our office with any questions on student accommodations and the faculty role in implementation. We have included on this page a non-exhaustive list of common accommodations you may encounter on notification of accommodations letters.
Alternative Testing/Exam Accommodations
Students may be eligible for alternative testing arrangements which may include, but are not limited to, extended test time, reduced distraction testing location, use of read aloud software, or enlarged print versions of exams. Learn more about options for providing alternative testing on our Exam Accommodations page.
Computer Use for Exams
Students may have approved accommodations for word processing during exams with essay components. Disability Resources takes steps to maintain academic honesty, and prohibits access to the Internet. Graders should take care to review all hand-written and printed exam materials turned in by students using computer-use accommodations to ensure proper credit.
The provision of notes may be an approved accommodation based on the specific nature of the disability. Note taking services are never a substitute for class attendance.
Disability Resources hires peer note takers that are registered in the same class as the student with a disability. They are trained in best practices, procedures, and confidentiality, and are required to deliver class notes within 24 hours of the class having taken place.
Occasionally, Disability Resources may contact an instructor asking for assistance identifying a student note taker. Typically instructors post the job opportunity on their blackboard or make a class announcement to apply on our Jobs page.
Audio Recording for Notes
Students may be permitted to capture lectures and classroom discussions for note taking purposes. In some cases, students will use specialized software to record lectures using their personal laptop computer.
Computer Use for Note Taking
Students approved for this accommodation may use a computer (laptop or tablet) in the classroom for note taking purposes.
Academic Adjustment to Course Policy
An academic adjustment to course policy requires instructors to give the student additional flexibility for assignment deadlines, flexibility in rescheduling tests and quizzes, and attendance. This accommodation does not require the instructor to alter the essential design and learning outcomes of the course. This accommodation may be recommended in cases where a student has an episodic or unpredictable condition that may cause them to miss class, exams, or deadlines due to a flare up of their condition. Additional information on this accommodation can be found on our guidance document (pdf).