As a faculty member, students may disclose concerns to you in advising and class meetings that necessitate a referral to Disability Services for Students (DSS). These concerns may be expressed in many different ways, including but not limited to the need for extra time for exams, difficulty with processing information or concerns with note-taking.
Common Accommodations Requested by Students
- Testing Accommodations (extra time, distraction-free testing location)
- Note-taking Assistance
- Modifications to deadlines
HOW AND WHEN TO MAKE A REFERRAL
You may refer a student to DSS if they self-identify that they have a disability*, disclose that they had an IEP/504 Plan in high school, or if they request accommodations in your course but do not have a Faculty Memorandum provided by DSS.
*A disability is any condition that substantially limits one or more major life activities and learning is considered a major life activity. Common conditions include: mental health concerns, learning disabilities, physical disabilities, medical conditions (e.g. diabetes, Crohn’s disease, concussion, etc.)
After referring a student to Disability Services for Students, please be sure to reach out to DSS to let staff know that a referral has been made as this allows DSS to reach out to the student and provide information on requesting accommodations. It is important that if a student self-identifies as having a disability they are referred to the appropriate office and that you notify DSS as well.
ENCOURAGING USE OF ACCOMMODATIONS IN YOUR COURSES
Students respect you and your opinion as a faculty. Telling them that there are many students who require accommodations, how to request accommodations and encouraging them to take advantage of this resource respects their autonomy while also helping them to see that their faculty are working to reduce the stigma associated with having a disability. Additionally, please consider including the following statement in your syllabus, inviting students with approved accommodations to meet with you to discuss their needs in your course.
Suggested Syllabus Language
“I encourage students who have approved accommodations through the Office of Disability Services for Students to meet with me early in the semester to set up their accommodations and discuss their needs in this course. I am committed to providing equal access in my course and facilitating the use of all approved accommodations”