Information for Faculty on Academic Accommodations
In accordance with the American with Disabilities Act (ADA, 1990/2008) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (1973), Lawrence has a policy of nondiscrimination on the basis of disability and offers academic accommodations to students with disabilities who need them to benefit from the educational programs of the university. Students establish eligibility and request accommodations through the Center for Academic Success. The Accessibility Services Coordinator then notifies instructors and helps to coordinate any technology aids or support services.
Your role as faculty
Faculty members play an integral role in supporting students with disabilities. While many accommodations can be managed by students or through technology aids and services outside class, others require more coordination and support from instructors. The accommodations letter you receive from the Accessibility Services Coordinator will provide guidance for what to do for each student, and further information is available on this website.
Academic accommodations are adjustments or forms of assistance provided to students who are at a disadvantage due to a disability such as a physical or sensory limitation, attention or cognitive processing deficit, learning disability, or physical or mental health condition. Accommodations are also available to those who are temporarily disabled while recovering from illness or injury. Accommodations are meant to provide equal access and opportunity, not advantage. They must be reasonable, which means they do not fundamentally alter the academic program or cause undue hardship to the university. Class notes, technological aids, modified procedures, and alternative formats are considered reasonable; non-attendance and non-completion of course requirements are not. For more information, see Accommodations Overview.
All accommodation requests must be made by the student (not by parents or providers) through the Center for Academic Success. Academic accommodations can be provided to students with disabilities who have:
- registered for your course;
- established eligibility with the Center for Academic Success; and
- requested accommodations through the Accessibility Services Coordinator.
A student may ask you in advance for a course syllabus to use in meeting with the Accessibility Services Coordinator to plan accommodations for the term. Please provide this, even if it is not final, so that accommodations can be arranged for the start of classes.
If a student has been approved to receive academic accommodations for your course, an official accommodation letter will be sent to you by email. The letter will include information about the accommodations and how to implement them. Requests for flexibility on assignments or participation should be discussed to determine whether they fundamentally alter the academic program. Decisions about academic integrity are under the purview of the faculty member, department, and provost. If you have questions, contact the Accessibility Services Coordinator.
If a student in your class asks for an accommodation and you have not received notification, refer the student to this website and tell the student to contact the Center for Academic Success. You are not expected to provide accommodations to any student who has not gone through the process of establishing eligibility and having requests approved by the Accessibility Services Coordinator, and doing so may put the student in the difficult position of not having appropriate documentation for future accommodations on standardized tests like the GRE, LSAT, or MCAT.
If a student in your class is struggling and you suspect that the student may have a disability, please refer the student to the Center for Academic Success. We can arrange for disability testing and help cover the cost of testing where family insurance does not suffice.
Implementation of accommodations
The accommodations that most directly involve faculty are requests for visual aids and advance materials, note-taking services, and testing accommodations.
Visual aids and advance materials
Students with sensory deficits (visual or hearing impairment) may request that visual aids and handouts used in class be made available electronically or provided in advance. These can be made available through email, Moodle, or a class share space.
For students who need class notes, you can arrange to provide your own notes or those from a daily class scribe through email, Moodle, or a share space. Or you can ask the Center for Academic Success to arrange notetaking services for the course. We will ask you for names of students in your class who are effective notetakers and will recruit a paid notetaker ($50 per term). The notetaker will scan each day's class notes into a folder that can be accessed by the student who needs class notes.
Students with attention or processing deficits, learning disabilities, or anxiety may need extended time on tests and/or testing in a reduced-distraction setting (a quiet space with few students). Extended time is 1.5 times the normal test period unless otherwise specified. You can elect to have the student come early or stay late or take the test in sections (part in class and part in office hours or at an arranged time). For reduced-distraction testing, you can look for a suitable space in your building (ask the building secretary for help), send the student to the library to use a study carrel, or contact the Center for Academic Success up to one week before the test for assistance.
You should be officially notified of the need for testing accommodations during the first two weeks of the term. If a student becomes eligible while a term is underway, you will receive official notice that applies only to future assignments and exams more than one week away, not to any work already completed, past due, or due within the week.