Information for faculty

Class Attendance

While some students with disabilities may have conditions which necessitate occasional absences, class attendance is a required and an essential academic component. Disability Services does not establish class attendance policy. When documentation supports flexibility in attendance, Disability Services recommends such accommodations for certain students. However, Disability Services defers to individual class attendance policies. Class attendance policies (when applicable) should be clearly stated in syllabi. These policies should be applied equitably to all students.

Grading Scale

Students receiving accommodations are to be graded on the same scale as any other student in the class. Accommodations should neither alter essential elements of the course nor affect the integrity of the course. Students with disabilities should neither be graded at an advantage nor penalized for having received appropriate accommodations.

Accommodations Through Disability Services (located in Academic Enrichment Center)

Accommodations should not be provided to a student who is not registered with Disability Services. Faculty should direct students with documented disabilities to Disability Services to meet with an advisor to arrange appropriate accommodations. Or, if a faculty member suspects a disability, he or she should discreetly approach the student with his or her observations and suggest that the student contact the Disability Services to schedule an appointment with an advisor.

Tag Lines For Syllabi

Faculty are encouraged to include a statement about the Academic Enrichment Center in their syllabi.

Example:

If you are a student with a disability and you need academic accommodations, please see me and contact Disability Services (located the Academic Enrichment Center) at 540-665-4928.  All academic accommodations must be arranged through Disability Services.

Disagreements With Approved Accommodations

If faculty disagree with an accommodation approved by Disability Services (listed on the student’s accommodation form), they should contact Debbie Wyne at 540-665-4928. The burden should not be placed on the student.

Suggestions For Faculty Who Teach Students With Disabilities

The following suggestions describe possible ways that faculty may address teaching students with various disabilities.

  1. Make the class syllabus and required texts available during registration when possible. Be available to discuss class content and your teaching style with students with disabilities.
  2. Begin lectures or discussions with a review of the previous lecture and an overview of topics to be covered that day.
  3. Use the chalkboard or overhead projector to outline lectured material; when practical, read the outline aloud.
  4. Emphasize important points, main ideas and key concepts orally during lectures and highlight them on an overhead or on the board.
  5. Speak distinctly and at a relaxed pace, pausing occasionally for students to ask questions or catch up on their note taking or for an interpreter to catch up.
  6. Try to diminish or eliminate auditory and visual classroom distractions, such as noise in the hallway or flickering fluorescent lights.
  7. Provide opportunities for participation, questions and/or discussion during or at the end of the lecture.
  8. Ascertain whether students understood material presented by asking volunteers to give examples or summaries.
  9. Give assignments in writing as well as orally, and be available for further clarification.
  10. Provide suggested time lines for long-range assignments, and suggest the submission of rough drafts at appropriate points.
  11. Provide time during office hours for individual discussion of assignments, questions about lectures, and readings.
  12. Provide a study guide for the text, study questions and review sessions to aid in mastering material and preparing for exams.
  13. Help students form study groups to verbally process and discuss material from class and readings.
  14. Ask all students who disclose a disability how you, as a professor, can facilitate their learning.
  15. Encourage students to use the Writing Center, library assistance, tutors and other academic support.
  16. Discreetly approach a student whom you suspect may have a disability and discuss with her or him your observations. Suggest that the student contact Disability Services (located in the Academic Enrichment Center).