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Responsibilities of Students and Faculty

Responsibilities of Students

It is the student's responsibility to identify himself/herself to the Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) office and to provide documentation of a disability. Strict documentation guidelines exist for different types of disabilities. Information on documentation guidelines is available in the Documentation Guidelines section.

The student will meet with a Student Affairs Administrator in SSD, who will determine appropriate accommodations after reviewing documentation prepared by a licensed professional.

Students registered with SSD should provide their faculty members with an official letter from SSD outlining the academic accommodations for which they have been approved. It is the student's responsibility to deliver the letter to each faculty member and to discuss the accommodations. The student should remind the instructor of any testing accommodations five business days before each exam.

Responsibilities of Faculty

It is the responsibility of the faculty to work in conjunction with SSD to provide approved accommodations and support services, in a fair and timely manner, to students with disabilities. Faculty should meet as quickly as possible with students who provide a letter from SSD. Students should initiate the meeting, and faculty are encouraged to establish a welcoming environment for students who are reluctant to self-advocate.

Upon receiving the SSD letter, it is important for instructors to facilitate effective communication by allotting time to discuss the disability and accommodations. This is best done in the instructor's office to promote an atmosphere of open communication and confidentiality between student and faculty.

Faculty do not have the right to refuse to provide required accommodations as outlined on an official letter from SSD, to question whether the disability exists when accommodations have been authorized by SSD, or to request to examine the student's documentation. However, faculty members do have input and should work with students to determine how accommodations will be provided in a particular class. An accommodation should not alter the fundamental nature of a course or program. While students are expected to comprehend course material, accommodations give students the opportunity to achieve that goal and demonstrate that comprehension in testing situations. If a faculty member has questions about the appropriateness of a required accommodation, he or she should consult with the appropriate Student Affairs Administrator in SSD. If the disagreement is not resolved, the faculty member should contact the Assistant Dean of Students in Services for Students with Disabilities.

What accommodations are Faculty Responsible for Providing?

  • Reduced distraction testing environment and/or extended test taking time. It is the faculty member's responsibility to find an exam proctor and an appropriate testing location. In some cases, the faculty member will delegate this responsibility to a teaching assistant or department staff member. It is the student's responsibility to remind the faculty member five business days before each exam.
  • Notetaking assistance: For more information regarding notetaking assistance and additional options, please see Ways to Secure a Copy of Class Notes.

Why is it the Faculty Member's Responsibility?

In order to be truly accessible and to preserve academic integrity within the classroom at The University, the faculty member is the most appropriate person to administer the accommodations.

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