We encourage questions from faculty to help provide an accessible education for our students. Below are some of our most frequently asked questions.
Do I need to talk about Accessibility Services in my class?
- Read the Accessibility Services ADA Syllabus Insert aloud to the whole class
- If you suspect a student is having academic difficulties due to a disability, refer the student to all academic support services (Learning Commons, etc...) in addition to Accessibility Services. Please do not single out Accessibility Services for any student, especially in the classroom, or assume any diagnosis.
- If the student directly discloses to you a disability or medical condition that impacts learning, please encourage the student to contact Accessibility Services for assistance.
- Please avoid providing accommodations (e.g. extra time for tests) for individual students who are not registered with Accessibility Services. Although you are the authority in your classroom, providing this accommodation can be perceived as discriminating against the rest of the class. If you offer accommodations for a non-Accessibility Services student, it must be offered to the whole class.
I have a student with a service dog. Am I responsible for the supervision of the animal?
The handler is responsible for caring for and supervising the service animal, which includes toileting, feeding, grooming, and veterinary care. Covered entities are not obligated to supervise or otherwise care for a service animal.
More information about service animals can be found on the Department of Justice Service Animal ADA Requirements page.
An Accessibility Services student has a note taker accommodation. Do I need to find the student a note taker?
Some students registered with Accessibility Services are approved to receive a copy of their peer's notes as an academic accommodation related to the student's disability. These notes are generally intended to be a supplement to the student's own notes and not a substitute for class attendance.
Many students are comfortable making arrangements for notetaking assistance on their own. Others will need the instructor's assistance in securing a volunteer notetaker in the class. Students also have varying concerns about confidentiality and whether or not they are comfortable with the volunteers knowing who they are. These are the types of issues that are important to clarify with the student directly prior to any arrangements being made. If the student has not met with you to talk about accommodations, please encourage the student to do so.
If the student does request your assistance in finding a notetaking volunteer, you can make the request via email to the class roster or verbally in class. In either instance, you should keep the student with a disability's name confidential. The following statement may be helpful in making the request:
"We are seeking the assistance of students to serve as volunteer notetakers. If you are a good notetaker and interested in helping other students, please contact me after class. Serving as a volunteer will require no extra work or time."
Note taking options
For paper notes, students with the note taking accommodation will need to ask for copies of notes or for notes to be scanned and emailed to them. If students with the note taking accommodation are requesting for copies from the volunteer student in the class, students with the note taking accommodation will need to make those copies.
Some students take notes on their laptops. In these situations, the volunteers can email their notes directly to the student or, if the student wishes to remain anonymous, he or she is encouraged to set up an anonymous email address specifically for this purpose. When the student prefers to remain anonymous, the volunteer can email the notes to the instructor.
I have a blind student in my class who would like the course packet and syllabus made into an accessible format. Can Accessibility Services help with that process?
Students who are blind, have visual impairments, or have learning disabilities may require printed materials that are transformed into alternate formats. Conversion of this text can take up to several weeks. Having early access to your syllabus and/or any course materials can help to determine the extent to which each text will be used and the order in which reading assignments will be completed.
Some students will rely on having printed material scanned and saved in computer format that can be listened to using voice output software. If you are collating various journal articles and portions of books into course packets, please use original copies or a copy that is as clean as possible. Creating course packets using second, third, and fourth generation copies of material (copies made from copies, etc.) may cause images of text that are fuzzy. Such blurring often makes it impossible for character recognition software to decipher images as readable text. If material included in course packets is not all of top quality, Accessibility Services would appreciate being able to briefly borrow your originals for scanning.
What are my options for providing instructional materials accommodation?
Some instructors put their own notes on D2L, and these may be sufficient for the student with a disability. It is important to remember that copies of Powerpoint presentations may not include additional information that was discussed in class and may not be sufficient. In addition, Powerpoint presentations are typically not accessible to students with visual disabilities who are using screen reading software. In these instances, they should be converted into an accessible format (e.g., docx or pdf). Please contact Accessibility Services at 719-502-3325 if you need assistance.
How can I make my classroom accessible?
Visit our Universal Design Teaching Strategies webpage for tips.