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Office of the ADA Coordinator: FAQs

Workplace FAQs for Faculty, Staff, & Student Workers

Academic FAQs for Faculty

FAQs for Students

FAQs for Parents and Community Members

 Contact the ADA Coordinator 

 Workplace FAQs for Faculty, Staff, & Student Workers

I am a faculty member, staff member, or student worker and have been diagnosed with a disability. Do I have to tell my supervisor or the University?

No, you do not have to disclose a disability if it does not interfere with your ability to perform your responsibilities or require an accommodation. If your condition worsens, you can reserve the right to notify the University at that time. However, if you choose not to disclose your condition, the University will not be aware of any possible accommodations needed. 

I am a faculty member, staff member, or student worker who needs a disability-related accommodation to do my job. Whom do I contact to request the accommodation?

Faculty members, staff members, and student workers are encouraged to begin the accommodation process by communicating their needs directly to their immediate supervisors. In responding to your request, the supervisor will discuss your needs with you and will review your job description and the operational needs of your department. In most cases, this simple process will meet your accommodation needs in a timely manner. If you and your supervisor are unable to come to an agreement, or if your accommodation needs are complex, either party can contact Human Resources for assistance. You can also contact Human Resources if you are uncomfortable approaching your supervisor at any point in the accommodation process. For further  information on this process read the Faculty, Staff, & Student Worker Accommodation Request Process.  

I am a faculty member, staff member, or student worker who has requested a disability-related accommodation. Must I provide medical documentation to support my request? 

As is the University’s right under the ADA, in some cases you may be asked to provide documentation from a medical professional to confirm your accommodation need. This generally occurs when an accommodation need is not readily apparent or if the need is complex. In some cases, documentation will help us in identifying possible accommodations for your specific situation. Any records that you do provide will be requested and managed by Human Resources and will be treated confidentially. 

I am a faculty member, staff member, or student worker with a disability who is not currently receiving accommodations. Before I talk to my supervisor, I would like some information about my rights and about accommodations. Whom do I contact?

For general information about your rights as a person with a disability, you can contact the ADA Coordinator at 812-465-7101 or drgoeppner@usi.edu. The ADA Coordinator can also offer general suggestions on accommodations. However, for guidance on accommodations that specifically meet your needs, you are also encouraged to consult with your medical professionals.

I am a faculty member, staff member, or student worker with a disability who believes that I am not being appropriately treated or accommodated by my supervisor. Whom do I contact?

Whenever possible, faculty members, staff members, and student workers are encouraged to try resolving these issues by following the natural chain of command in their respective departments. For example, if you have an issue with your immediate supervisor, start by reporting your concern to their supervisor. If this is unsuccessful, continue to move up the chain until a resolution is reached. In the majority of cases, this will be the most efficient method of resolving such concerns. However, if you are uncomfortable with this process or are unable to reach a resolution following the chain of command, at any time you can contact the Director or Assistant Director of Human Resources at 812-464-1770 for assistance.

I am faculty member, staff member, or student worker with a disability who has been receiving a workplace accommodation. However, my condition has changed and I need different or additional accommodations in order to perform my responsibilities. What do I do?

If at any time your accommodations are not working, you should contact your supervisor for a re-evaluation of your accommodation needs. Depending on your circumstances, this may require a referral to the Director or Assistant Director of Human Resources and you may be asked to provide further documentation to support your need for different or additional accommodations.

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 Academic FAQs for Faculty 

I have questions/concerns about my obligations towards a student with a disability. What do I do?

In most cases, faculty obligations regarding a specific student are clearly described in the accommodation memo or letter that faculty receive from the student or the Disability Resources Coordinator. Further clarification can often be obtained by privately discussing the accommodation(s) directly with the student. However, if these steps do not fully answer your question or concern, you can contact the Disability Resources Coordinator, Ronda Stone, at 812-464-1961 or rfstone@usi.edu.  If this still does not fully answer your question, you can contact the ADA Coordinator at 812-465-7101 or drgoeppner@usi.edu. Depending on the circumstances and nature of the issue, consultation with both the Disability Resources Coordinator and the ADA Coordinator may be recommended.

What accommodations might I be required to provide?

Keep in mind that every student is unique and that the quantity and type of academic accommodations will vary from student to student. However, the following non-exhaustive list provides examples of some of the more common types of accommodations that you may be required to provide to your students with disabilities:

  • Test accommodations: double time testing, minimized distractions, reader, scribe, use of a calculator for math, use of a computer with spell check for essays
  • Large print or otherwise accessible syllabi, handouts, quizzes and tests
  • Allowance to tape record lectures
  • Allowances for lip reading - e.g., by facing the student when speaking
  • Flexibility with coursework deadlines
  • Modification of attendance policies/attendance flexibility
  • Preferential seating
  • Physically-accessible classroom; elevator access; accessible classroom technology
  • Copies of class notes

I have a student in my class whom I believe has a disability that requires an accommodation. What do I do?

While taking care not to directly confront a student about the existence of a suspected disability, discretely meet with him or her to discuss the specific behaviors that you have noted in your class (e.g., poor attendance, difficulty completing exams/assignments on time, very poor grades, etc.). As part of that discussion, it would be appropriate to encourage the student to pursue available campus resources, such as the Office of Disability Resources that may be of help in addressing the issues that you have observed. Keep in mind, however, that the accommodation process is voluntary and that a student cannot be forced into requesting or accepting accommodations. 

I have a student in my class who is requesting accommodations, but he/she has not registered with the Office of Disability Resources. What do I do?

If a student with a disability makes an accommodation request under these circumstances, you should require the student to follow the University’s established procedures for requesting accommodations. By asking the student to register in the Office of Disability Resources, you will receive guidance and resources for providing the most appropriate accommodations for this student’s situation.

A student with a disability is not following through with his/her accommodations or is asking for accommodations that do not appear to have been approved by the Office of Disability Resources. What do I do?

If you have concerns about a student who does not appear to be following through with his/her accommodations as approved by the Office of Disability Resources, you are encouraged to first try to privately address those concerns directly with the student. If this process does not resolve the issue, you can contact either the Disabiilty Resources Coordinator (812-464-1961 or rfstone@usi.edu) or the ADA Coordinator (812-465-7101 or drgoeppner@usi.edu). Depending on the circumstances and nature of the issue, consultation with both the Disability Resources Coordinator and the ADA Coordinator may be recommended.

A student with a disability approaches me several weeks into the semester, provides me with a letter from the Office of Disability Resources, and requests an accommodation. My syllabus states that students with disabilities must notify me of their need for accommodations by the end of the first week of classes (or some other time limitation). Am I still obligated to accommodate this student?

Yes. No matter when you receive an accommodation letter during a semester, you must provide accommodations to qualified students with disabilities from the “date of notification” (the date you received the letter) until the end of that semester. However, except in very rare situations accommodations are not required to be provided retroactively. For example, students cannot ask for accommodations or "do-overs" on assignments or tests that occurred before you received the notice of their need for accommodations. In the unlikely event that an accommodation is required to be provided retroactively, you will be notified directly by the Disability Resources Coordinator or by the ADA Coordinator.

A student with a disability is causing a disruption or has otherwise become a behavioral concern in my class. What do I do?

The proper response to these situations depends upon the specific nature and severity of the disruption or behavior. While due consideration must always be given to a student’s disability, the University does have the right to require students with disabilities to meet the same standards of student conduct as students without disabilities. In most cases, faculty may take the same measures that they take in response to all students in their class who are disruptive or who otherwise exhibit inappropriate behaviors in a classroom setting. In some cases, a referral to your department chair, college dean, and/or the dean of students will be the most appropriate response. In extreme situations that involve an apparent threat to the health and safety of the student or others, USI Security should be contacted immediately at USI internal telephone extension 7777 or 812-492-7777. If you are unsure or uncomfortable regarding the appropriate response to these types of situations, you can contact either the Disabiilty Resources Coordinator (812-464-1961 or rfstone@usi.edu) or the ADA Coordinator (812-465-7101 or drgoeppner@usi.edu). Depending on the circumstances and nature of the issue, consultation with both the Disability Resources Coordinator and the ADA Coordinator may be recommended. Faculty are also encouraged to review the resources on the Counseling Center's web page "Assisting Distressed Students".

I don’t have any specific ADA issues now, but I would be interested in learning more about my obligations under the ADA. Are any resources available to me?

Yes, there are several ways for you to access information. Regardless of whether or not you are dealing with a specific issue, you can feel free to contact either the Disabiilty Resources Coordinator (812-464-1961 or rfstone@usi.edu)  or the ADA Coordinator (812-465-7101 or drgoeppner@usi.edu) at any time with your ADA/accommodation questions. You will also find links to helpful faculty-oriented information at: http://www.usi.edu/disabilities/faculty-information.

For deans and department chairs: The ADA Coordinator is also available to speak to your department regarding the ADA and the accommodation process at USI. For more information contact the ADA Coordinator at 812-465-7101 or drgoeppner@usi.edu.

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  FAQs for Students 

I need information on such topics as what accommodations are available and on how or if I qualify as a student with a disability. I am also unsure of how the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) applies to me. Where do I start?

You will find answers to the majority of your general questions about USI's student accommodation process on the the Office of Disability Resources website at  http://www.usi.edu/disabilities. If you have additional questions about your specific needs and circumstances, you can directly contact the Disabiilty Resources Coordinator (812-464-1961 or rfstone@usi.edu) . For general questions about your rights under the ADA or other disabilty rights laws, you can contact the ADA Coordinator at 812-465-7101 or drgoeppner@usi.edu.

I am a student who needs disability-related academic accommodations. Whom do I contact to request the accommodation?

In order to receive the specific academic accommodations for which students with disabilities are eligible, they must follow the University’s established procedures for requesting accommodations. This involves providing professional documentation of a disability to the Office of Disability Resources and receiving approval for specific accommodations. Students can begin this process at any time during the year, but are encouraged to register at least 60 days prior to the date that services are needed to help ensure that accommodations will be available. More information about the academic accommodation process and the Office of Disability Resources can be accessed online at http://www.usi.edu/disabilities. The Office of Disability Resources is temporarily  located in room 095 of the Orr Center, and can be reached at 812-464-1961 or rfstone@usi.edu.

I am a student with a disability who had an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) when I was in high school. Will the University provide me with an IEP and will I receive the same accommodations I was provided in high school?

No, you will not be provided with an IEP because such plans are only mandated by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), a law that is no longer applicable once you enter college. You also may or may not be approved to receive the same accommodations you received in high school. In high school, you may have had access to all the accommodations that were available at your high school. At the college level, you will be approved for the specific accommodations you need based on the symptoms of your disability that interfere with your ability to fully participate in class. 

I am a student with a disability who has not received the academic accommodations that I need. What should I do?

If you have not yet followed the University’s established process for registering for accommodations, you must do so in order to receive accommodations. However, if you have gone through that process and are having problems receiving accommodations in a class, you are encouraged to first take your concerns to that faculty member and/or the Disabiilty Resources Coordinator (812-464-1961 or rfstone@usi.edu) . In most cases, this process will provide the quickest successful resolution to your issue. If this informal process is unsuccessful or if you are uncomfortable approaching the faculty or staff in the Office of Disability Resources, you may contact the ADA Coordinator at 812-465-7101 or drgoeppner@usi.edu for assistance.

I am a student with a disability and submitted my professional documentation to the Office of Disability Resources, but was not approved for accommodations. What should I do?

You are encouraged to take your concerns to the Disability Resources Coordinator (812-464-1961 or rfstone@usi.edu) for an explanation of the reasons why your request for specific accommodations was not approved. If your documentation was too old or if it did not provide enough information about your disability for an eligibility decision to be made, you may be asked to provide additional or updated documentation. If you feel uncomfortable approaching the staff in the Office of Disability Resources, you may contact the ADA Coordinator at 812-465-7101 or drgoeppner@usi.edu for assistance.

I am a student with a disability who is registered with the Office of Disability Resources and who is receiving academic accommodations. However, my condition has changed and I need different or additional accommodations. What do I do?

If at any time your accommodations are not working, you should contact the Disabilty Resources Coordinator (812-464-1961 or rfstone@usi.edu)  for re-evaluation. Depending on your circumstances, you may need to provide further documentation to support your need for different or additional accommodations. 

Is the accommodation process the same for non-academic activities such as extra-curricular activities or USI-sponsored public events?

No. The Office of Disability Resources only approves accommodations for USI’s academic programs and services, and those accommodations do not automatically carry over to non-academic activities. However, students with disabilities have the right to request reasonable accommodations for such activities, and each department is responsible for the accessibility of any non-academic events or extra-curricular activities that it sponsors or conducts. The majority of USI-sponsored activities include an “accommodation statement” within the event or activity’s promotional materials (e.g., brochures, invitations, websites, etc.) that tells participants where to direct requests or questions about accommodations for that event. If you are unable to find such a statement, directly contact the department that is sponsoring/conducting the event or extra-curricular activity. If you are unable to determine which department is sponsoring a specific event or extra-curricular activity, contact the ADA Coordinator at 812-465-7101 or drgoeppner@usi.edu for assistance in locating where to direct your request for accommodations.

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  FAQs for Parents and Community Members

I am a parent of a USI student with a disability. If I have questions or concerns about their experience at USI, whom do I contact?

This depends on the nature of your question or concern. If your question is directly related to your student's accommodations or to the university's accommodation process, contact the Disabiilty Resources Coordinator (812-464-1961 or rfstone@usi.edu) . You can also access helpful information online by following the links found on the Office of Disability Resources website at http://www.usi.edu/disabilities.  If the Disability Resources Coordinator is unable to answer your questions or you have general questions about your student’s rights under the ADA and Section 504, you can also contact the ADA Coordinator at 812-465-7101 or drgoeppner@usi.edu. Depending on the circumstances and nature of the issue, consultation with both the Disability Resources Coordinator and the ADA Coordinator may be recommended. Please remember: as an adult, your student’s information is protected by the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and by state and federal confidentiality laws. As a result, representatives of the University cannot directly provide or discuss any information regarding your student’s experiences at USI without your student’s prior authorization. However, no such authorization is needed for you to obtain general information about the ADA, Section 504, or the University’s disability accommodation process.

I am a community member with a disability who will be participating in a USI-sponsored public event either on or off campus. Whom do I contact about any accommodations that I may need?

Each University department is responsible for the accessibility of any events that it sponsors or conducts. The majority of USI-sponsored activities include an “accommodation statement” within the event or activity’s promotional materials (e.g., brochures, invitations, websites, etc.) that directs participants on where to direct requests or questions about accommodations for that event, or may otherwise include contact information for obtaining information about the activity from a specific individual. If you are unable to find such a statement or contact information, directly contact the University department that is sponsoring/conducting the event or extra-curricular activity. If you are unable to determine which department is sponsoring a specific event or extra-curricular activity, contact the ADA Coordinator at 812-465-7101 or drgoeppner@usi.edu for assistance in locating where to direct your request for accommodations.

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  Contact the ADA Coordinator

If you do not see the answer to your question in the FAQs, or if you need additional information related to the ADA or other disability issues, please contact Doug Goeppner at 812-465-7101 or drgoeppner@usi.edu.

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ada events calendar

 

NOTICE: The University department that manages academic accomodations for students with disabilities, the Office of Disability Resources, is currently undergoing a transition that may impact the functioning of various internet links found on the ADA Coordinator's web pages. If you are seeking infomation/resources about student accommodations and cannot find it on these pages during this transition period, you can directly contact the Disability Resources Coordinator, Ronda Stone, at 812-464-1961 or at rfstone@usi.edu. You can also find Ms. Stone at her temporary location in Room 095 of the Orr Center.

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