Important Policy and Procedure Information

The Accommodation Memo
Students with disabilities are responsible for providing the Director of Disability Support Services (DSS) with proper documentation to determine eligibility for accommodations, and meeting with the Director of DSS to obtain their accommodation memo. The student is then responsible for showing the memo to each of their professors where accommodations are needed and discussing any questions or concerns. The memo will be printed on security paper so that if copied, the word “void” will appear in the background. Copies may be made for your records, but the student should retain the original and be able to show it to you as proof of eligibility for their accommodation(s).

Procedures for Testing Accommodations
Please note that Testing Services is part of Disability Support Services (DSS) and is no longer affiliated with the Center for Teaching and Learning (CTL). In order for students to use their testing accommodation(s), they must first show you the accommodation memo that specifies the testing accommodations for which they are eligible. Use of any accommodation is always voluntary on the part of the student. If they choose to use testing accommodation(s), DSS requests that that students provide instructors with a week’s notice. If they make a request with less than a week’s notice, we are still legally obligated to accommodate them if at all possible. Students may use their extra time (up to double time) before or after the regular class time. If their class schedule does not permit this, we ask that you allow the student to take the test either earlier or later the same day. If the student has scheduled to take the test with Testing Services, it is your responsibility to provide Testing Services with a hard copy or electronic version of the test prior to the scheduled time. To avoid disruption in the testing center, we prefer that you submit your tests by using the online webform found at and clicking on “Testing Services”. However, you may also deliver a hard copy to CH 216 if necessary. If a student prefers to take the test in the classroom, but wants to use extra time, he or she may do so if you are able to proctor the extra time. 

Syllabus Statement
It is requested that you include the following statement, or something like it, in your syllabus: “If you are a student with a disability in need of classroom accommodations and have not already registered with Linda Miller, Director of Disability Support Services, please contact her at 815-1785 or to discuss policies and procedures related to disability services and to establish the accommodations for which you are eligible.”

Suspect a Disability?
If you suspect that a student has a disability, but that student has not shown you an accommodations memo, please feel free to address your concerns with the student and provide him or her with the contact information for the Director of Disability Support Services. Be sure to be discreet and do not directly ask the student if he or she has a disability. Rather, you may try commenting that you notice they are struggling with tests, note taking, discussions, etc. and ask if they might need an accommodation. But keep in mind that disclosing a disability and using accommodations is always voluntary on the part of the student.

Special Considerations for Faculty

  • The purpose of accommodating students with disabilities is not to give them an unfair advantage, but rather to remove barriers that prevent them from learning and being able to demonstrate what they have learned.
  • The Director of Disability Support Services will only request accommodations for which the student has a documented need.
  • Faculty should not provide an accommodation unless the student has been determined eligible for that accommodation by the Director of Disability Support Services Coordinator. Providing unauthorized accommodations can cause a problem for a student when they find out the day of a test that other professors require an accommodation memo.
  • Students with the same disability may have different accommodation needs. Accommodations are determined on a case by case basis, and the need for a certain accommodation should not be presumed based on disability.
  • Faculty members are responsible for providing accommodations listed on the memo, but they are not required to fundamentally alter the requirements of their course.
  • Faculty members are not expected to pass a student who has used accommodations but has not demonstrated the required level of understanding or performance competency.
  • Once accommodations are provided, grade the work as it would be graded for any other student.
  • Confidentiality of student information must be maintained.  File memos in a safe place.
  • Refrain from discussing disability and/or accommodations within hearing of other students or others with no educational “need to know.”
  • Contact the Director of Disability Support Services right away if you have difficulty providing an accommodation or if you disagree with an accommodation.
  • Remember…Students are usually the experts on their own disability.  Feel free to discuss questions or concerns with them.

Working with Students with Disabilities: Websites, Videos and More

Websites Training modules on accommodating students with disabilities and creating universal design for faculty in the STEM majors.

Strategies for Creating Inclusive Programmes of Study is a British site offering tips for faculty based on academic subject and disability

Resource for nurses with disabilities Introduction to Universal Design in Education Applications of Universal design in Postsecondary Education Resources and Training on Universal Design The Faculty Room: Over two dozen links to webpages covering critical topics regarding supporting students with disabilities How to accommodate students in specific academic activities (e.g. group work, science labs, internships)


Academic Accommodations for Students with Learning Disabilities - guidelines for instructors.

Academic Accommodations for Students with Psychiatric Disabilities - guidelines for instructors.

DO-IT Prof: A Project to Help Postsecondary Educators Work Successfully with Students Who Have Disabilities

Effective Communication: Faculty and Students with Disabilities - communication guidelines for instructors.

Equal Access: Universal Design of an Academic Department - a checklist for making postsecondary departments welcoming and accessible to students with disabilities.

Invisible Disabilities and Postsecondary Education - effective accommodations.

Videos It's Your Career (2011, 1997)
College students with disabilities gain work-based learning experience. STEM and People with Disabilities Returning from Service: college and IT Careers for Veterans the Team: Faculty, Staff, and Students Working Together Disabilities and Postsecondary Education: This video presentation shows effective accommodations for disabilities that include learning disabilities, attention deficits, autism spectrum disorders, and others that are not readily apparent. Access: Science and Students with Sensory Impairments A brave and eloquent teen talks openly about his depression.

Specific Disabilities  Information and further links related to a large variety of disorders including, Attention Deficit Disorder, Asperger’s Syndrome, and Learning Disabilities including Dyslexia, Dysgraphia, Dysphagia, and Dyspraxia).

  • Learning Disabilities

    Ldonline is the world's leading web site on learning disabilities and ADHD, serving more than 200,000 parents, teachers, and other professionals each month

Book: Students with Asperger Syndrome: A Guide for College Personnel by Lorraine E.Wolf, Ph.D., Jane Thierfeld Brown, Ed.D., and G. Ruth Kukiela Bork, M.Ed. ©2009. Available in the DSS office, CH 200.

Movie: Temple Grandin (2010) A very inspirational biography of Temple Grandin and her genius as a woman with autism who overcame incredible odds. Available in the DSS office, CH 200. 

Accommodating Faculty