A student approaches a professor and discloses a disability but does not have a letter from the Academic Resource Center. How should this request be handled?
If a student discloses a disability, ask whether the student has met with a staff member in the Academic Resource Center. If the answer is yes, then the student must present the professor with the letter that outlines the accommodation(s). If the answer is no, then encourage the student to contact the Academic Resource Center to discuss accommodations. The instructor is not obligated to implement accommodations if the student has not registered and followed the policies and procedures of the Academic Resource Center.
Accommodations are determined on a case-by-case basis after reviewing documentation from a medical professional. Some commonly used accommodations include the following:
- alternate format materials
- assistive technology
- extended time and/or computer use for examinations
- interpreters for D/deaf students
- access to notes
The Academic Resource Center staff determines accommodations based upon medical documentation and the student’s accommodation history. Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, accommodations should level the playing field so the student with a disability has access to programs and facilities.
Although students with temporary injuries are not covered under the ADA, the Academic Resource Center acts as a resource to the deans advising students with temporary injuries. If it is determined that a student needs extra time to handle an exam, for example, then the Academic Resource Center will work with the student and professor.
It is highly recommended that the professor contact the Academic Resource Center and discuss the situation with the appropriate administrator. For example, if the student fails to attend class, then the professor should notify and discuss their concerns with the Academic Resource Center administrator. Ultimately, the Academic Resource Center serves in a consultative role to aid professors while preserving a student’s confidentiality.
A student qualifies for extended time for tests. Who is responsible for handling the implementation?
When the student shares the accommodation letter with the professor, a conversation should take place. During this discussion, it should be determined how test accommodations are handled: either the student takes the exam with the professor, or the student makes arrangements to take the exam in the Academic Resource Center.