Information For Faculty About Accommodations for Students With Disabilities
The Coordinator of Disability Services in the Disability Resource Center:
- Works with students with disabilities to assess their needs and assist with academic accommodations that may be necessary and appropriate due to their disability.
- Assists faculty who teach students with disabilities.
- Upholds the academic standards and integrity of the university.
- Ensures university compliance with disability legislation.
- The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act require that post-secondary institutions provide reasonable accommodations to otherwise qualified students with disabilities to ensure that they have equal access to course content and equal opportunity to demonstrate that they have mastered the material.
- Students with disabilities must meet all admission requirements and academic standards.
- Disability is defined as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities and may include Learning Disability, ADD, Acquired Brain Injury, Psychological Disorders and Autism Spectrum Disorders, Sensory Impairment, Mobility Impairment and Systemic Medical Illness.
- The University System of Georgia sets standards for documentation of disability.
- The Regents’ Center for Learning Disorders at Georgia Southern University is one of three regional centers created by the University System of Georgia to assist disability service offices at institutions in the southern part of the state. RCLD staff review documentation of Learning Disability, ADD, Acquired Brain Injury, and Psychological Disorders and Autism Spectrum Disorders to ensure that it meets system requirements and approve accommodations. The RCLD also provides comprehensive psychoeducational assessments to students for a flat fee of $500.
- The most frequently used accommodations are: extra time on tests, low distraction test room, use of word processor with spell-check for essay exams, use of calculator for math exams, permission to tape record lectures, assistance finding a volunteer note taker in class, enlargement of printed materials, read aloud books, assistive listening devices, relocation of inaccessible classrooms in Herty Hall, priority seating in front of class, and access to adaptive technology.
- Accommodations vary with the type of disability and the student’s individual documented needs.
- The university provides accommodations to the student at no charge.
- Accommodations must be supported by appropriate disability documentation.
- Accommodations do not provide a guarantee of academic success, only equal access.
- Self-identify to the Disability Resource Center (DRC).
- Participate in an intake interview with Coordinator of Disability Services.
- Provide current, sufficient documentation of the disability that meets Board of Regents standards for documentation. DRC can make referrals to assist with obtaining documentation.
- Pick up Accommodation Letter from DRC and share it with professors at beginning of semester.
- Meet all admission criteria, academic standards and code of conduct standards, attendance, make up work, missed test policies and project deadlines.
- If student is using test accommodations and taking tests with DRC, he or she is responsible for scheduling the tests with DRC to be taken on the same day as the rest of the class unless permission is received from you to take it on a different day.
- Seek appropriate medical treatment, medication and counseling as needed.
- Understand that campus compliance with the ADA is a shared responsibility.
- Understand that many students are very uncomfortable discussing their disabilities. Be respectful and keep the information confidential. Don’t press for more information.
- Don't try to talk a student out of using his or her accommodations.
- Carefully read the Accommodation Letter and sign the Acknowledgement Form. Keep your copy of the Accommodation Letter in a secure place.
- If a student has test accommodations, discuss and decide if you can handle them or need DRC to do so. Indicate your preference on the Acknowledgement Form.
- If a student approaches you and requests accommodations for a disability, but does not have an Accommodation Letter from DRC, refer them to DRC and encourage them to follow through. Do NOT give a student accommodations until the student has completed the process with DRC. If you have questions or the student requests additional accommodations that are not mentioned on the Accommodation Letter, call DRC.
- Understand that every student might not need every accommodation on his or her Accommodation Letter in each class. Needs vary and the student may decide that he or she does not need all the accommodations listed. If a student decides not to use accommodations, he or she is responsible for the consequences.
- Consider adding a disability statement to your class syllabus that encourages students with disabilities to obtain an Accommodation Letter from DRC and to make an appointment to see you to discuss their Accommodation Letter.
The following is a suggested syllabus statement
Savannah State University is committed to providing reasonable accommodations to students with documented disabilities, as required under federal law. The purpose of disability accommodation is to provide equal access to the academic material and equal access to demonstrate mastery of the material. Students with disabilities must meet all the academic requirements and standards of the class, including the attendance policy. If you have a disability and need accommodations, please contact Tadisha Sams-Young, Coordinator of Disability Services at (912) 358 3115 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The Disability Resource is located in King Frazier 205. You will need to meet with Tadisha Sams-Young, who can help you gather documentation of your disability or refer you to an appropriate resource for assessment. Once documentation of the disability is gathered and approved, Tadisha Sams-Young will provide you with an Accommodation Letter, detailing the appropriate, approved accommodations, which you should present to me so we can discuss and implement your accommodations.
If an accommodation seems to undermine an essential function of your class, or there is a problem implementing the accommodations, please contact the Coordinator of Disability Services immediately so we can discuss how the situation can be handled and find a solution that works for the professor and the student.
Handling Test Accommodations
- When you review the Accommodation Letter with the student and see that the student needs test accommodations, discuss with the student how the tests will be handled. If you want to provide the test accommodations and can do so completely, effectively and consistently, CDS encourages you to do so. If the student needs test accommodations that you can’t provide, DRC can administer and proctor the test for you. Sign and indicate on the Acknowledgement Form included with the Accommodation Letter your decision regarding tests.
- If we are proctoring the tests, the student schedules the test with DRC with at least 48 hours notice.
- The morning before the test, DRC will email or call you to remind you that we need a copy of the test. Plan to deliver the test to our office or email it by the end of the day. Include specific directions and a list of any approved materials that can be used (such as formula sheets, calculator, periodic table, etc). DRC staff will proctor the test and deliver it back to you. Please do not put tests in the interoffice mail or give them to the student to transport.
If your class involves tightly timed online tests, there are two options for providing the extra time accommodation. We can print out the test and let the student complete it on paper, then sign in to the computer and input answers. Or you can adjust the timer on the test for the student.
Brief PowerPoint presentations regarding different disability issues are sent via email to all faculty and staff on a monthly basis and are available upon request.