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 from Disability Resources. 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 Manager of Disability Resources, Ronda Stone, at 812-464-1961 or email rfstone. If this still does not fully answer your question, you can contact the ADA Coordinator at 812-465-7101 or email drgoeppner. Depending on the circumstances and nature of the issue, consultation with both the Manager of Disability Resources 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 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 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 with 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 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 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 Manager of Disability Resources (812-464-1961 or email rfstone) or the ADA Coordinator (812-465-7101 or email drgoeppner). Depending on the circumstances and nature of the issue, consultation with both the Manger of Disability Resources 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 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 event that an accommodation is required to be provided retroactively, you will be notified directly by the Manager of Disability Resources 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 Public Safety 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 Manager of Disability Resources (812-464-1961 or email rfstone) or the ADA Coordinator (812-465-7101 or email drgoeppner). Depending on the circumstances and nature of the issue, consultation with both the Manager of Disability Resources and the ADA Coordinator may be recommended. Faculty are also encouraged to review the resources on the Counseling Center's web page on 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 Manager of Disability Resources (812-464-1961 or email rfstone) or the ADA Coordinator (812-465-7101 or email drgoeppner) at any time with your ADA/accommodation questions. You will also find links to helpful faculty-oriented information on the Disability Resources website. 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 email drgoeppner.
View more FAQ or contact the ADA Coordinator at 812-465-7101 or email drgoeppner.