Disability Services Faculty Handbook

Faculty Handbook (Brief)

Faculty Have The Right To:

Documentation:

  • Request verification of a student's eligibility for any requested accommodations. Such verification will be in the form of an accommodation letter written by the TVCC Disability Services Coordinator (DSC) and delivered by the student or e-mailed directly to you.

Disability Services is the only office designated to review disability documentation and determine eligibility for appropriate accommodations.

Accommodations:

  • Expect the student to initiate accommodation requests.
  • If the student is taking their tests with DSC, expect DSC to administer exams in a secure and monitored environment.

 

Faculty Have The Responsibility To:

Accommodations:

  • Identify and establish essential functions, abilities, skills, and knowledge of their courses and evaluate students on this basis. Students with disabilities should meet the same course expectations as their peers.
  • Provide accommodations only to students who are registered with the DSC. It is NOT your responsibility to provide accommodations to students who are not registered with the DSC.
  • Use a syllabus statement and class announcements to invite students to disclose their needs.
  • Act immediately upon getting a student's request for accommodations by contacting the DSC (if unsure about request), by providing the service or by meeting with students.
  • If a student needs alternative media, please provide the DSC with syllabi, textbooks, course packets etc., well before classes begin (5 weeks prior to the start of the quarter is recommended) in order for students with disabilities to use alternative media when all other students have course materials. With such timely consideration, students with disabilities who have alternative media needs for accommodations and instructional access will be best served. Converting print materials is both labor and time intensive. Alternative media may be print material in Braille, on audiotapes, scanned onto discs, or enlarged.
  • Work to ensure that all audio-visual materials used in class are accessible (e.g., that videos shown are captioned for students with hearing impairments and that the VCR equipment used has captioning capabilities, that videos shown will be made with auditory description in some way or that written transcripts will be provided, etc.)
  • Consider incorporating principles of Universal Design for Learning in your teaching.

 

Reasonable and Unreasonable Accommodations

Reasonable accommodations are modifications of the learning environment that eliminate as much as possible, physical or instructional barriers to learning encountered by the student with a disability. Accommodations are individualized and dependent on the nature of the specific disability or disabilities. A student's physical accessibility to the classroom as well as the student's ability to fully participate in all course activities are both considered in providing reasonable accommodations.

Unreasonable accommodations alter requirements that are essential to the program of instruction or to meet licensing prerequisites; cause fundamental alteration in the nature of the program; impose undue financial or administrative burden; or pose an appreciable threat to personnel or public safety. If you believe the requested accommodation is unreasonable, discuss these factors with the DSC.

 

Nine Principles of Universal Design for Instruction (UDI©)

http://udi.uconn.edu/index.php?q=node/12

Universal Design for Instruction (UDI) is an approach to teaching that consists of the proactive design and use of inclusive instructional strategies that benefit a broad range of learners including students with disabilities. The nine Principles of UDI© provide a framework for college faculty to use when designing or revising instruction to be responsive to diverse student learners and to minimize the need for "special" accommodations and retrofitted changes to the learning environment. UDI operates on the premise that the planning and delivery of instruction, as well as the evaluation of learning can incorporate inclusive attributes that embrace diversity in learners without compromising academic standards. Please check out this link to view the 9 principles.

Shared Responsibilities

It is the student's responsibility to report disability-related needs to the Faculty through the DSC in a timely manner. You are not required to anticipate individual needs. It is important to state that students with disabilities must inform you of any specific needs as soon as possible to ensure a timely response. For example, if a student waits until the day of an exam to ask for extended time or a separate testing area, the student has failed to make the request in a timely manner. If the students fails to ask for extended time until late in the quarter, you are only required to provide accommodations from the time the request is made (if supported by the DSC). You do not need to offer make up exams, or provide retroactive accommodations to students who have delayed notification to you.

When a student discloses a disability, it is important to ask what you can do to facilitate learning. It may be as simple as allowing the student to sit in the front of the class, or quite complicated if the student does not have a clear sense of  their particular needs. Remember, a student need not disclose the nature of the disability, and you are prohibited by law to inquire as to specifics.

In advising or mentoring relationships it is important not to discourage students from specific fields of study based on assumptions you may have about a disability. If the student meets the admission requirements, maintains the appropriate grades, and is otherwise qualified he/she should not be treated differently from a student without a disability. Your responsibility is to provide an education and the student must meet and maintain academic standards.

Confidentiality:

  • Treat and protect all disability-related information as confidential medical information. For example, keep printed items, such as Proctor Sheets or emails regarding student disability-related information in a protected location.

 Link to the complete Faculty Handbook