Access Services Resources for Faculty      

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. 

Access Services accommodates more than 700 students per year with disabilities including:  

  • psychiatric disabilities such as depression or anxiety
  • learning disabilities

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.

If you’re wondering what to do next or have other questions, contact Access Services at 507.457.5878.

The WSU Access Services Faculty Handbook (PDF) has more detailed information as well.

Key Definitions

Faculty Responsibilities

  • Be aware of and comply with WSU’s policies and procedures for providing academic accommodations
  • Refer students with a disability to Access Services
  • Announce to class at the beginning of the semester that students who may need accommodations due to a disability should see you during your office hours to privately discuss their needs or contact Access Services to receive accommodations
  • Maintain confidentiality of a student’s disability
  • Provide students’ exams to Access Services prior to test time for students who are taking their exams in Access Services
  • Caption all media in your class, especially if you have a student with a hearing loss
  • Permit the use of approved accommodations (e.g., recording devices, laptops for notes, sign language interpreters, note takers)

Disclosing a Disability Is Voluntary

You cannot ask a student to disclose a disability because that’s confidential information. A student may choose to share information about their disability with you, but that’s at their discretion. 

If a student in your class tells you they have a disability, you should ask if they are registered with Access Services

Encourage them to stop by Maxwell 314 in Winona or Student & Campus Services (Office 128) in Rochester to get more information. You can also email the coordinator of Access Services if you have information that would be helpful.

Retroactive Accommodations Are Not Required

If a student discloses a disability partway through the semester, you are not required to accommodate previous work already submitted for grading.

It’s the student’s responsibility to register with Access Services. We encourage them to register early in the semester, so we can implement necessary accommodations. 

Syllabus Statements

All faculty are encouraged to put these statements on their class syllabi. 

Academic Accommodations

Here’s how you can support some of the common accommodations for students with disabilities. 

Students may have the accommodation of audio recording lectures or laptop/iPad use for notetaking in class.

Professors must allow the use of technology for students with this accommodation, but there are restrictions placed on students’ use of technology and/or recording device in the classroom.

All students with this accommodation are required to confirm their understanding of the following expectations:

  • Unless authored use of internet, email, or any other communications during class is prohibited, and such actions may render the student ineligible for this accommodation
  • If using recording device for notetaking, the student may not share, send, post, publish, or make profit financially from the content recorded
  • If using a recording device for notetaking, they are to only record the professor lecturing and recording must stop during class discussion, presentation, and other conversation
  • All recording will be deleted at the end of the semester

Students are aware that any violation is a violation of the student code of conduct.

If any student is found to be in violation of these guidelines, please contact Gale Lanning in Access Services immediately.

If you wish to restrict general use of laptops in your classroom, you must make this expectation clear in a way that doesn’t call attention to students with disabilities who require this accommodation.

We recommend you use the following options:

  • A syllabus statement of: “If you wish to take notes using a laptop, you must first see me to discuss this request. It’s not permissible to use a laptop in my classroom for any purpose other than notetaking. Access to the internet must be disabled before the start of class, and any abuse of this requirement will result in denial of authorization to use a laptop for notetaking.”
  • A syllabus statement of: “Laptop use for notetaking is by permission only.”
  • An announcement to class of: “If you’re a student who wishes to use a laptop for notetaking, please come see me during office hours to discuss your rationale for this.”

This choice of words will maintain student anonymity, compliance with ADA laws, and your capacity to restrict laptop use to those with accommodations.

During your discussion with the student, you can be explicit about your exceptions regarding laptop use protocols in your class.

Alternative testing—including extended time, distraction free, scribes, and audio format—is a common academic accommodation for students.

You’ll receive an email notice 3 days before an exam if a student is signed up to take their exam with Access Services.

You can email the exam as an attachment to with your proctoring instructions or have it hand-delivered to Maxwell 314. We do not recommend sending it via campus mail.

Upon completion of the exam, we’ll return it to your specified location or submit it via D2L.

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’re available to the student if they have questions.

A student may also take their exam in Access Services. Access Services staff monitor private and semi-private rooms to ensure the integrity of the exam.

WSU-Rochester students will use a quiet room on the third floor of the library to take exams with accommodations provided by Access Services staff.

The WSU Access Services Faculty Handbook (PDF) has more detailed information regarding testing accommodations.

Contact Access Services
Access Services


Email Access Services
Office Hours

Maxwell 314

Academic Year

8am – 4:30pm


7:30am – 4pm