Information for Faculty
In regards to access to higher education for students with disabilities, the intent of both pieces of impactful legislation, the American's with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, is to provide a level playing field. Accommodations are to ensure access, not necessarily success, and are therefore not intended to qualitatively change the nature of the academic course or program.
In order to be eligible to receive accommodations at the University, students must present appropriate documentation of a disability and need for accommodations. Appropriate documentation includes assessment results from a psychologist, psychiatrist, diagnostician, neurologist, or other medical doctor (for a physical disability or chronic medical condition). Because of the nature of the differences between secondary and higher education, documents created through an ARD or 504 meeting are not acceptable.
The student is responsible for identifying himself/herself as needing accommodations, and SDS will confirm this need. Faculty members are not obligated to identify students with disabilities, and, if you suspect a disability (even if it is obvious), you should give the same advice to all students. Therefore, your standard information for students having issues in your classes should always include a referral to SDS, and you should always include SDS contact information on your course syllabi.
A student who has registered with SDS (i.e. has provided appropriate documentation of disability) may request letters outlining appropriate accommodations for each eligible course. These letters indicate accommodations that are recommended by SDS professional staff. However, as the faculty member responsible for the academic content of the course, it is your responsibility, with consultation, to determine if the accommodations are reasonable. If you have concerns, please express those to SDS staff.