WSU Faculty are an integral part of providing academic accommodations to students with disabilities. Winona State faculty and other college officials are expected to provide reasonable accommodation(s) in accordance with official written “Faculty Notice of Eligibility” forms issued by Access Services. You may have gotten a notice from Access Services that a student in your class has a disability, or a student may have disclosed to you that they have a disability, and you’re wondering what to do.
If you can’t find an answer to your question, please contact Access Services at 507.457.5878.
Basic information can be found below, but for a more comprehensive list of information, please consult the WSU Faculty Handbook for Students with Disabilities.
What is a disability?
Under Section 504, a person with a disability is defined as:
A person is considered to be a person with a disability if he/she is someone with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. This includes care for oneself, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning and working.
A person is considered to be a person with a disability if he/she has the disability, has a record of the disability or is regarded as having the disability.
What is an accommodation?
An academic accommodation is a modification that is made to a course, program, job, activity or facility that eliminates or minimizes disability-related barriers to allow for equal access.
What are the most common disabilities at WSU?
Access Services accommodates over 300 students per year. For the last school year, the top three disabilities on campus were ADD/ADHD, psychiatric disabilities such as depression or anxiety, and Learning Disabilities. Instructional strategies and characteristics of disabilities can be found by going to Disabilities by Type.
What should I put on my syllabus for students with disabilities?
The following information about WSU’s Commitment to Inclusive Excellence and access for students with disabilities should be included on your syllabus each semester:
What are a faculty member’s responsibilities?
A student in my class told me they have a disability. What do I do?
You should ask them if they are registered with Access Services. Encourage them to stop in to Maxwell 314 to get registered. You can also email the coordinator of Access Services if you have information that would be helpful.
Do I have to make retroactive accommodations?
If a student discloses that they have a disability partway through the semester, you are not required to accommodate previous work that was already submitted for grading. Students are encouraged to register early in the semester with Access Services so that necessary accommodations can be implemented, and it is the student’s responsibility to do so.
Don’t accommodations give an unfair advantage to a student?
Students with disabilities may have different learning styles than a traditional student. Accommodations provide equal access to students with disabilities to learn in the academic environment.
How does a note taker work?
Your help will be appreciated in making an announcement to your class that a voluntary note taker is needed. This can be done in class or via email. Visit the Faculty Handbook for a suggested email message. Please have the volunteer contact Access Services via email.
Ideally, the exchange of notes will take place right after class in the classroom. Access Services can provide special carbonless paper to the note taker so the copy can be given right to the student. The student who will be receiving the notes may prefer to remain anonymous, so your assistance may be needed to facilitate the exchange of the notes.
Notes can also be taken on a laptop and emailed to Access Services at firstname.lastname@example.org,which we will send to the student, or in a notebook that can be brought to Access Services (Maxwell 314) for copying and distribution. In some instances, an advance copy of a Power Point presentation would be helpful to a student.
Having a note taker is not a substitute for attending class. Contact Access Services or the student directly if you notice abuse of this accommodation.
Where will a student take their exams?
You may choose to accommodate a student’s exam in your department office, a quiet classroom, or other quiet, low-distraction environment. Some professors prefer this so they are available to the student if they have questions.
A student with a disability may also take their exam in Access Services. Private and semi-private rooms are monitored by Access Services staff to ensure the integrity of the exam.
Please see the Access Services Faculty Handbook for more detailed information regarding testing accommodations.
How will I know if a student will be testing in Access Services?
You will receive an email notice 3 days before an exam if a student is signed up to take their exam in Access Services. You can email the exam as an attachment to email@example.com with your proctoring instructions or have it hand delivered to Maxwell 314. Campus mail is not recommended. Upon completion of the exam, it will be returned to your specified location or submitted via D2L.
Can I ask a student to tell me their disability?
No, that information is confidential. A student may choose to share information about their disability with you, but that is at their discretion.
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