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Faculty Notification Letters

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Academic Accommodation Overview

Disability Services (DS) is responsible for supporting students with disabilities and ensuring access to their learning environment. Students are required to register with DS and then request their accommodations each semester they attend. When a student registers with DS, faculty will receive a Faculty Notification Letter (FNL). This e-mail notification is to alert faculty that a student has registered with DS and has an accommodation letter to review and implement.

Below is a general list and description of some of the accommodations provided to students. The accommodation process is individualized and interactive; therefore this list will not cover every situation. We encourage faculty to call, e-mail or stop by the DS Office if they have questions about accommodations or concerns about the requested accommodations. It is the faculty’s responsibility to implement accommodations immediately and to notify DS if they have any concerns about implementing the requested accommodations or they feel the accommodation will create a fundamental alteration to the learning outcomes of the course. Faculty needing guidance or who do not understand an accommodation should reach out to DS. 

Faculty are responsible for accessible course content.Inaccessible websites or digital content means that people with disabilities are denied equal access to information. Ensuring web accessibility for people with disabilities is a priority for the Department of Justice.The UAS Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT) is a resource for faculty who have questions about accessible documents, captions and transcripts, and other guidelines for accessible course content. Universal Design for Learning should be considered when setting up the course content. To view short step-by-step instructions on how to properly format course materials, please go to Universal Design Cheatsheets.

Accommodation Information

Note-Taking

Note-taking Assistance (via fellow classmate)

Some students need alternative ways to take notes because they may not be able to write efficiently or clearly, keep pace and organize the material while listening to a lecture, or participate in the class discussion.

Peer note-takers are recruited from within the class a student is registered in. Peer note-takers are paid $25.00 per credit per semester (e.g., a 3-credit course = $75 for the semester). The Peer note-taker can use carbon-treated note-taking paper (available from DS) so that when they take their notes, a second copy is produced without any additional work. Alternatively, the note-taker may choose to type and email the notes to the student or DS after each class session.

Students eligible for note-taking services may reach out to faculty for assistance with identifying a peer note-taker. If a student requests faculty assistance, please make the following announcement in class or on Blackboard without identifying the DS student:

"Disability Services is recruiting a note-taker for this course.  No extra time outside of class is required.  Notes can be taken by hand or on your computer and emailed.  For someone who already takes good notes, this is an opportunity to assist a fellow student and earn extra money.  Any interested student should let me know by email so I can connect you with the student needing notes. You will also need to contact Disability Services to set up payment."

Please do not identify the student when making the announcement.  Introduce a prospective note-taker to the student after class or via email.  The student will take care of all further arrangements.  If faculty uses outlines/notes for lectures, it will be helpful to share them with the student until a note-taker is found. Please let DS know ASAP if the faculty or the student is unable to find a peer note-taker.

Note-taking Device / Digital Pen or Livescribe

Students may audio record lectures and discussions even if a no recording policy exists for the course. These recordings are exclusively for the student needing accommodations and are not to be shared with others. If desired, DS can provide a written agreement to that effect. The student is responsible for providing their own recording device. Digital recorders, audio cassette recorders, and apps for personal mobile devices are examples of some of the devices allowed. The student may also use a Livescribe Pen provided by DS.

Alternative Format Textbooks and Documents

Students with learning disabilities, mobility limitations, or vision issues may require their texts or handouts in a format other than traditional paper copies. These formats are often electronic so that the text can be read by an Optical Character Recognition (OCR) software on a computer or mobile device. Accommodations are available for students who require alternative media formats such as enlarged text, Braille, audio, or OCR-compliant PDF documents for required textbooks. Faculty are strongly encouraged to contact the UAS Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT)if they have questions about accessible documents or guidelines for accessible course content. 

UA has a license available to all students, faculty and staff with TextHelp’s Read&Write - Literacy Support Program is anassistive technology software that helps with reading text out loud (text to speech), dictation, researching assignments, proofing written work and more.

Alternative Testing

Students who have test accommodations through Disability Services are held to theUAS Student Code of Conduct.

Faculty may provide testing accommodations in the classroom or have the test proctored in the UAS Testing Center. Faculty should make arrangements directly with the student and follow the Faculty Test Set Up guidance listed on the Testing Center's webpage. Please include details of the student’s accommodations in the special instructions section of the Test Information Form.

DS is available to assist both faculty and students as needed with scheduling/proctoring exams in unique situations or if there are other issues or complications. Faculty should contact DS immediately if any issues or concerns arise.

Reduced Distraction Environment

A distraction-reduced testing environment is a setting outside the usual classroom that limits interruptions and sensory input. This might be a room that reduces auditory (e.g., music, talking) and visual distractions (e.g., peers turning in exams, or peers entering or leaving the testing space). If faculty cannot proctor the exam, the Testing Center has private rooms available for students who require a reduced distraction environment. All testing areas are monitored by Learning Center staff and are equipped with cameras for additional surveillance. Faculty may provide testing accommodations in the classroom or have the test proctored in the UAS Testing Center. Faculty should make arrangements directly with the student and follow the Faculty Test Set Up guidance listed on the Testing Center's webpage. Please include details of the student’s accommodations in the special instructions section of the Test Information Form. 

Faculty should contact DS if they have a unique situation that cannot be accommodated by faculty or the UAS Testing Center.

Extended Time on Exams

Students can receive extended time for all exams, quizzes and finals. If faculty cannot proctor the exam, then they can set up proctoring through theUAS Testing Center. Faculty should contact DS if they have a unique situation that cannot be accommodated in the classroom or the UAS Testing Center.

Reader

A reader is a person who reads the test directions, questions, and answer choices to the test-taker. This person should be familiar with the terminology or language used on the test. A reader does not interpret, re-word, or explain the test. Students who require a reader for exams or quizzes will work with DS to make arrangements in advance.

Scribe

A scribe is a person who writes down, or otherwise records, the test-taker’s responses. The scribe does not create answers for the test-taker or help the test-taker identify correct answers. The scribe simply writes the test-taker’s answers down on the test or answer sheet. Students who require a scribe for exams or quizzes will work with DS to make arrangements in advance.

Memory Aid

A memory aid, such as a notecard/cue card, is a testing accommodation used to support students who have documented disabilities that impact memory. It is a tool used to prompt information that a student has studied but may have difficulty recalling due to cognitive processing disabilities and disabilities associated with memory and recall. The memory aid allows the student to demonstrate knowledge of course material by prompting the student’s memory, not by providing the answer.
A memory aid will not be very useful to the student unless the student already studies and understands how to use or engage with the information it refers to. The contents of the memory aid accommodation are at the faculty’s discretion and are NOT intended to fundamentally alter or reduce the essential requirements of the course. Therefore, the faculty may wish to determine what is allowed or not allowed through private conversation with the student. DS can facilitate the faculty/student interaction when requested.

Please review the Memory Aid Accommodation information sheet for additional information about a memory aid and implementing this accommodation.

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Accommodations

Interpreters

The student will be using certified American Sign Language (ASL) Interpreters during class. The Interpreters are held to a strict code of conduct and will interpret to and from spoken English. Please remember that the Interpreter's role is to serve as a conduit of information. It is important to address your comments or questions directly to the student even if the Interpreter is voicing on his or her behalf.

In face-to-face classes students using interpreters generally prefer to sit at the front of the classroom with the Interpreter(s) positioned as close to the instructor as possible. This allows the student to follow the instructor's cues, while also monitoring Blackboard or overhead notes. It is important that the student be able to see the Interpreter at all times, including during audiovisual (AV) presentations. If AV presentations are made, lighting requirements must be considered. Light dimmers, a partially adjusted window, or a lamp will allow the student to see the Interpreters, ensuring continued participation in the class. Please work with the interpreter(s) and the student to determine best placement for the room size, shape, and lecture style. DS is happy to work with you to identify the best solutions for any given scenario.

When presenting AV materials, check for the closed captioned (CC) symbols. If you are not sure how to enable captions, please contact theUAS Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT)or theUAS IT Helpdeskfor assistance prior to the start of your class.

 

Captioning

Captioning all videos is the standard for the university. It is also required for all videos when a Deaf or Hard of Hearing student is in the course. As a general rule, it is a good Universal Design Standard and is a benefit to the success of all students to caption all videos regardless of students with disabilities. For assistance with captioning, please contact UAS Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching (CELT).

Transcription

In person lecture and lab will be transcribed by a remote transcriptionist in real time for student. DS has contracted transcription services for students needing transcription services due to loss of hearing or other disability related needs.

Preferred Seating / Furniture

There are many disabilities that may require special furniture or seating arrangements. For example:

  • A student with a spine or limb injury may need a specialized chair or the ability to sit and stand or inconspicuously move about.

  • A student who is Deaf or Hard of Hearing may need to sit closer to the instructor to hear or have line-of-sight to the interpreter.

  • A student who uses a wheelchair may need a table instead of a chair with a built-in desk.

  • A student with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) may need to sit near a door or with their back to a wall.

  • A student with a service dog may require more space around them for the dog at their feet.

  • A student with a personal care attendant may require a second seat for that person.

Most of the time, the student will take care of this independently. If there are any questions related to accessibility (line-of-sight obstacles, ergonomic furniture placements, etc.) that need further arrangements, please let the DS Office know. DS will work with the student and faculty to determine what is needed. Furniture will be marked with a DS label. And should not be moved or removed. Please notify DS immediately if there is a problem with the furniture.

Flexibility with Attendance and Due Dates

Potential Need to Leave the Room

The student may need to occasionally leave the room during the class session, but will be as unobtrusive as possible and will take responsibility to follow-up with faculty regarding any missed course content.

Flexibility with Assignments and Exams

Students with an episodic disability may need flexibility with a due date on an assignment or exam. DS will only give this accommodation when there is well-defined substantiation that the impact of the student’s disability may affect their ability to meet a deadline.  DS is happy to engage in an interactive process to ensure that modifications made are reasonable and do not fundamentally alter your course objectives and learning outcomes. Your input in this process is important.

Students eligible for this accommodation are required to sign anAgreement for Flexibility on Due Dates, which outlines the expectations and process for requesting flexibility:

  • Notifying faculty and DS each time a disability-related flare-up has impacted a student’s ability to make a deadline.

  • Flexibility requests are not retroactive and must be made in advance of the class unless there is an emergency.

  • All requests must be disability-related. 

Students are expected to complete all assignments, quizzes, or exams in the timeframe agreed upon with their faculty. DS can facilitate the faculty/student interaction when flexibility is requested. Faculty are responsible for notifying Disability Services immediately if there are any issues implementing this accommodation.

Potential for Class Absences

Students with an episodic disability may need flexibility with attendance when impacted by their disability. DS will only give this accommodation when there is well-defined substantiation that the impact of the student’s disability may affect a student’s ability to attend class. DS is happy to engage in an interactive process to ensure that modifications made are reasonable and do not fundamentally alter your course objectives and learning outcomes. Your input in this process is important.

Students eligible for this accommodation are required to sign an Agreement for Flexibility on Attendance, which outlines the expectations and process for requesting flexibility:

  • Notifying faculty and DS each time a disability-related flare-up has impacted a student’s ability to attend.

  • Flexibility requests are not retroactive and must be made in advance of the class unless there is an emergency.

  • All requests must be disability-related.  

Students are expected to complete all assignments, quizzes, or exams in the timeframe agreed upon with their faculty. DS can facilitate the faculty/student interaction when flexibility is requested.Faculty are responsible for notifying Disability Services immediately if there are any issues implementing this accommodation.
Flexibility with attendance may not be an appropriate accommodation in some classes. Considerations for making this determination are below.

When Flexibility is a Fundamental Alteration

The US Office for Civil Rights has created a set of questions to help faculty establish if attendance is an essential function of their course. These questions include:

  1. How much classroom interaction is there between the instructor and students, and among students?

  2. Do student contributions constitute a significant component of the learning process?

  3. Does the fundamental nature of the course rely upon student participation as an essential method for learning (e.g., foreign language)?

  4. To what degree does a student's absence constitute a significant loss to the educational experience of other students in the class?

  5. How do you calculate attendance in the final grade?

  6. What is the classroom policy regarding attendance?

Potential for Seizures

This student experiences seizures and specifically wants you to know of this potential. While every seizure can look and feel different, below is some general guidance for supporting someone experiencing a seizure:

  1. Remain calm. Do not try to restrain the person.

  2. Remove any objects nearby that could get in the way.

  3. Do not force anything between the teeth.

  4. In the case of a Grand Mal seizure, loosen clothing around the neck. When seizing is over, turn the person on their side. If possible, place a jacket or towel under the head.

  5. It is not usually necessary to call 911. Most seizures are short-term events with a slightly longer period of recovery following.

  6. When a person who has experienced a seizure is becoming conscious again, allow a few minutes for resting. Seizures can be exhausting and very disorienting, so introduce yourself and talk with the person until they become oriented. If possible, place a jacket or towel under the head. In some cases, it may take hours or a few days to recover normal neurological functions.

  7. In the rare case of multiple or sequential seizures, seizures that last more than five minutes, if the person is injured, or does not resume normal breathing in a short amount of time, please call 911.