Faculty Information, Rights and Requirements
As a faculty member you have the right to:
- Maintain the academic standards of your classroom and/or program.
- Verify that a student has a documented disability with the Disability Services Office
- Be given adequate notification of the needed accommodation.
- Choose between appropriate accommodations when a choice exists.
- Disagree with an accommodation and file a grievance. You must still provide the accommodation until the grievance is resolved.
As a faculty member you have the responsibility to:
- Include the ADA statement on each course syllabus.
- Provide reasonable and appropriate accommodations, academic adjustments, and/or auxillary aids for students with disabilities upon a timely request by a student.
- Ensure that all activities related to the experience of the course are accessible to all students.
- Determine the conditions under which the exam is to be administered and assure the timely delivery of the exam along with all necessary materials to the Learning Center.
- Consult with the sudent with regard to appropriate accommodations.
- Discuss with the Disability Services office any concerns related to an accommodation or arrangements that have been requested by a student.
- Evaluate students on their abilities, not their disabilities.
- Maintain appropriate confidentiality of records and communication concerning students with disabilities except where disclosure is required by law or authorized by the student.
The College seeks to comply fully with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities act of 1990. The ADA Coordinator works with the programs to assist the faculty in understanding and implementing accommodations.
Students with disabilities should have documentation of their disability sent to the campus ADA coordinator, Debbie Coleman, Baity Hall, Room 206-7, 660-831-4170 or firstname.lastname@example.org, and set up an appointment as soon as they arrive on campus. Students enrolled in online courses should call or email the ADA Coordinator. Failure to do so could delay accommodations. After proper documentation, reasonable efforts will be made to accommodate students' needs. If you have any questions about how to initiate this process, please contact your instructor.
Memos to Instructors
Accommodation Memos are issued to a student after appropriate documentation of disability has been submitted to the ADA Coordinator and the documentation has been reviewed. The ADA Coordinator meets with each student and creates an Accommodation Plan. The accommodations listed on the plan are based upon:
- Documentation of the disability
- Recommendation of professionals who have worked with the student
- Interviews with the student
Accommodations follow the guidelines published by the Association On Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD), which has done extensive investigation of the law and current practices regarding accommodation in higher education.
Students should ask for an appointment to discuss accommodations. The ADA Coordinator supplies the student with one copy of the Accommodation Memo and e-mails a copy to their professors because of concerns about confidentiality. If you feel it is important to retain a copy of the studentís memo, please read the section on confidentiality before you make a copy.
The accommodations listed on the Accommodation Memo are meant to be a guideline for the instructor and student. Teaching styles are different and each class requires different skills, the need for accommodations and the manner in which they are given may vary from class to class.
Sample of a Notification Memo:
- NOTICE OF ADA ACCOMMODATIONS
- Date: March 28, 2012
- Joe Student is enrolled in your class, has a documented disability, and is registered with my office.
- The accommodations listed below have been discussed with the student and are based on documentation of the disability kept on file in my office. These accommodations have been determined to be reasonable per the Rehabilitation Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and national guidelines from the Association on Higher Education and Disability.
- Because the student may function differently in each class, not every accommodation may be needed. It is important that you and the student discuss the accommodations for your particular class. If, after talking to the student, you need further clarification, please contact my office.
- TESTING ACCOMMODATION
- The following testing accommodations have been approved for the student. If the instructor is unable to provide requested accommodation, the student will need 2 days advance notice to arrange tests through the Disabilities Services Office.
- ē Extended time on tests
ē Test in distraction reduced environment (The Learning Center)
- After accommodations have been provided, the student should be graded according to the same standards as other Missouri Valley College students.
- THIS INFORMATION IS CONFIDENTIAL. IT SHOULD NOT BE SHARED WITH ANY PERSON OTHER THAN THE STUDENT. In order to prevent breach of confidentiality, please dispose of this notification after the student has completed your course.
- I realize the importance of faculty understanding and support in providing accommodations to students. I am committed to working with you in maintaining the integrity of the educational experience and in creating equal access opportunities.
Question: I suspect that a student in my class has a disability and has not sought out services. What should I do?
Answer: Students may not have sought out services for the following reasons:
- The student may not know about Disability Services
- The student may have not made the time to speak with you about his or her situation.
- The student does not wish to notify you about their disability.
Do not assume that the student has a disability or needs accommodations. Talk to the student in terms of how he/she is functioning in the class. Explain that the Disability Services Office and Learning Center provide various services. Suggest that he or she may want to stop by the Disability Services Office and/or Learning Center to check out services.
Question: I cannot provide the requested accommodation and/or I feel the requested accommodation is providing the student with an unfair advantage.
Answer: A major function of the Disability Services Office and ADA Coordinator is to provide instructors assistance in providing the accommodation to students. Contact the ADA coordinator if you need assistance.
Questions regarding accommodation requests should be directed to Debbie Coleman, ADA Coordinator. Do not deny accommodations prior to meeting with Debbie Coleman. We recognize that some circumstances may occur in which academic objectives may be compromised by the accommodation.
Question: A student is requesting extra time for tests, but does not have an Accommodation memo. I have no problem giving the student extended time. Should I insist that she see the Disability Services office?
Answer: Yes, while you may be willing to provide extended time, the studentís next instructor may not. In order for the student to receive consistent, appropriate accommodations, he/she should register with the Disability Services Office. In addition, there may be other accommodations that can be provided that have not been explored.
Discussing Accommodations and Confidentiality
Students with disabilities have differing attitudes regarding their disability, it is always best to err on the safe side and defer the conversation to your office rather than in the classroom or hallway. Sometimes students will try to talk with their instructor before or after class during transition periods. I would encourage you to have the student make an appointment or stop by during your office hours. As you know, it is nearly impossible to have a meaningful and PRIVATE conversation during class changes.
It is best to talk to the student in terms of how he or she will function or is functioning rather than talking about the specific disability. Some students will disclose their specific disability freely and others prefer to discuss only their accommodation needs. The student has the right to withhold information or details of their disability.
Discussions with the ADA Coordinator:
The Disability Services Office serves over 50 students per semester. Of these students, most give authorization to discuss accommodation needs with faculty. Disclosure of the specific disability can only be made by the student or with the studentís permission.
Please understand that when an instructor stops the ADA Coordinator in the hallway, I may not remember if authorization was given. Allow me to go back to my office and check the status. The conversation should be conducted in a private location.
Discussion of Disability Issues with Other Faculty Members or Staff:
Oftentimes other faculty have encountered the same accommodation dilemmas. It is a wonderful idea to brainstorm and problem solve access issues with each other. Remember to talk in terms of functions and refrain from mentioning the studentís name.
Accommodation Memos are Confidential:
The information on the Accommodation Memo is confidential.
Question: What if the Student Chooses To Disclose Their Disability?
Answer: Information the student gives you regarding his or her disability should be kept confidential. The student is not required to answer questions you may have about their disability such as type of medication they are taking, treatment history.
Question: May I reveal the identity of the student with a disability in my class if I am arranging a note-taker or testing accommodations?
Answer: This should be discussed with the student. Some students are comfortable with an announcement in front of class and others are not. The instructor should not ask the student to make the request in front of class. Testing accommodations should be kept confidential also.
Testing accommodations are the most frequently used accommodations by student with disabilities on our campus. The types of accommodations vary from student to student and are based on appropriate documentation held in the Disability Services Office. Accommodations Memos are e-mailed to the instructors each semester. These memos will list precise test-taking adaptation needed for each student. No two students are alike, therefore the accommodation lists may vary from student to student.
Types of Test-Taking Adaptations
- Reader and/or writer (will automatically require additional time)
- Extended Time (up to TWICE the amount of time allowed on time-restricted tests)
- Use of Closed Circuit TV or Computer
- Enlarged Text
- Distraction-Reduced Environment
- Sign Language Interpreter
- Clarification of Test Questions
- Use of Calculator and/or Formula Sheets
- Use of Spell-Checking Device
How Are Instructors To Know If and When A Student Requires Testing Accommodations?
Instructors will receive an Accommodations Memo via e-mail which outlines all of the testing adaptations that have been approved for each student. This memo is most often sent at the beginning of the semester. If you do not receive a memo and a student requests test-taking accommodations, do not provide the accommodation without contacting the ADA Coordinator.
Students might not always use testing accommodations. Therefore, it is their responsibility to communicate their needs to you. If they do no inform you of their need, they run the risk of not receiving their accommodation.
Who Is Responsible For Providing These Accommodations?
Ultimately college faculty and teaching staff are responsible for providing all reasonable test-taking accommodations, provided that the adaptation does not change the essential function of the test. Consult the ADA Coordinator if you have questions regarding the accommodation. When providing a student with testing accommodations for the first time, check with the ADA Coordinator.
There are 2 avenues for providing testing accommodations:
Often instructors are able and prefer to provide the accommodation personally without Learning Center assistance. The accommodations that instructors are most likely able to provide include:
|Clarification of test questions|
|When providing accommodations, instructors must be aware of what is necessary and appropriate in the situation. Discussing needs privately with the student will help in setting up the provision effectively. The ADA Coordinator is also available for consultation.|
|2. THE LEARNING CENTER
The Learning Center will assist faculty who cannot personally provide testing accommodations. In many cases accommodations must be provided by the Learning Center because of specialized personnel and/or equipment involved.
|General Testing Policies|
|Tests must be scheduled the same date and time as when the class is scheduled to take the exam.
NOTE: From time to time it may become necessary for the Learning Center to change the test date/time. Instructors must be consulted by the student before scheduling changes are made.
|Instructorsí policies regarding absences from tests also apply to testing in The Learning Center.|
|If an emergency causes a student to be absent from a scheduled test, the student is to call the instructor and The Learning Center immediately.|
|If a student is more than 15 minutes late for a scheduled test, the Learning Center will not be able to administer the test.|
|Unless instructors specifically note special directions for administering the test, the Learning Center will not allow students to bring items into the testing session.|
|Students are expected to complete tests in a fair and ethical manner. The Learning Center adheres to the Collegeís policy regarding the issue of cheating.|