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General Information Regarding Accommodations

Students are responsible for providing documentation of a disability to OSDS that meets stringent criteria. Documentation is then reviewed, and based on student eligibility, accommodations are determined. Once accommodations have been determined by OSDS, “Accommodation Letters” are given to the student (one to keep for him or herself and one to give to each instructor). Every student is told to make an appointment with their instructors, share their accommodation letter with the instructors, and discuss how those accommodations will be implemented. The instructor is not obligated to allow accommodations unless this is done.

What Faculty Need to Know Regarding Student Disability Services (informational brochure).

Resources

Faculty In-Service Information

Autism Spectrum Disorder:

  • General Autism Spectrum Disorders PowerPoint

Blind/Low Vision:

 Hearing Impaired/Deaf:

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What pedagogy makes education accessible to most students? (click here)
  • What are the laws that mandate services for students with disabilities at the postsecondary level?(click here)
  • Who determines accommodations for students with disabilities? (click here)
  • How do I know that a student is qualified for academic accommodations? (click here)
  • Are students required to identify their disability or provide copies of disability documentation to faculty? (click here)
  • Is a student’s disability confidential? (click here)
  • Should I place a statement on my syllabus to notify students about the office of disability services? (click here)
  • Do students with disabilities have an unfair advantage over other students? (click here)
  • What are typical academic accommodations and how do I provide them? (click here)
  • Testing Accommodations (click here)
  • What are instructors’ responsibilities to ensure students with print disabilities have accessible materials? (click here)
  • What are instructor’s responsibilities for students with hearing impairments? (click here)
  • How do I get closed captioning for videos that I create or that are older? (click here)
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  • What pedagogy makes education accessible to most students?
    • Providing and adhering to a course syllabus that includes test/quiz dates and due dates for assignments.
    • Providing access to lecture outlines, notes and/or copies of PowerPoints for students to reference during class.
    • Giving assignments both orally and in written form.
    • Verbally describing or explaining charts, diagrams and graphs.
    • When possible, demonstrating new procedures.
    • Encouraging active use of office hours for information clarification.
    • Using cooperative learning techniques.
    • Approaching teaching and learning from a multi-sensory perspective.
    • Encouraging peer learning and teaching.
    • Using materials that focus on students’ experiences, opinions, and reactions.
    • Allowing student to answer questions in class on a voluntary basis rather than calling on students.

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  • What are the laws that mandate services for students with disabilities at the postsecondary level?
    • In accordance with federal law, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and the Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act of 2008, the university must provide reasonable accommodations, auxiliary aids and services to qualified students with disabilities. In addition, all faculty and teaching staff have a responsibility to ensure that each course is accessible. This accessibility is essential and should be considered in the forefront of course and technological planning.

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  • Who determines accommodations for students with disabilities?
    • The Office of Student Disability Services (OSDS) has been designated by the university to verify and determine appropriate accommodations, auxiliary aids and services for qualified students. Instructors are not responsible for determining academic accommodations, but they must comply with federal law by providing the accommodation(s) to qualified students.

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  • How do I know that a student is qualified for academic accommodations?
    • Students should pick up their accommodation letters from the OSDS at the beginning of each semester, make an appointment with their instructors, and share their accommodation letters during the scheduled meeting. A discussion should take place between the student and instructor so each party understands what accommodations are needed for a particular class and how accommodations will be provided.

      Students are usually your best resource in determining how to provide an accommodation for a specific class. Do not hesitate to contact the Office of Student Disability Services for confirmation of the accommodation or further consultation on the specifics of how to accommodate the student. You may also have some innovative ways to provide an accommodation for the specific class you teach.

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  • Are students required to identify their disability or provide copies of disability documentation to faculty?
    • No. Students are not required to disclose their disability or provide faculty with copies of their disability documentation. Students requesting accommodations are only required to give instructors their letter of accommodation from the OSDS and discuss how accommodations will be implemented.

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  • Is a student’s disability confidential?
    • Yes. Disability information is confidential and should never be discussed or referred to in front of classmates or other individuals. When disclosing their disabilities, students expect that confidentiality will be maintained. Any information regarding the disability will be housed in a client file in the Office of Student Disability Services.

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  • Should I place a statement on my syllabus to notify students about the Office of Disability Services?
    • Yes. The university is obligated to notify all students of services available. You may include a statement on your class syllabus inviting students to contact the Office of Student Disability Services for information regarding accommodations and services for a disability. A sample statement might read:

      If you are a student with a documented disability in need of accommodations to fully participate in this class, please contact the Office of Student Disability Services (OSDS). All accommodations must be approved through OSDS. Please stop by Ninth Street Hall, Room 2006, or call 217-581-6583 to make an appointment.

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  • Do students with disabilities have an unfair advantage over other students?
    • Accommodations do not give students with a disability an advantage, but do minimize the impact of a disability by providing students an equal opportunity to learn and demonstrate mastery of information.

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  • What are typical academic accommodations and how do I provide them?
    • Accommodations may include testing accommodations such as: extended test time, separate testing environment, use of computer, scribe (someone to write for the student), or a test reader. Other academic accommodations may include a voluntary peer note taker, visual instructional materials at the beginning of the class, use of a spell checker or calculator, tape recorder, or circling answers on tests rather than using scantron forms.

      If a student has a note taker as an accommodation, faculty should ask for a volunteer from the class to share their notes. Faculty can give the volunteer’s name to OSDS, who will prepare a letter of appreciation for the student’s portfolio.

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  • Testing Accommodations
    • Students with disabilities may require testing accommodations to minimize the adverse effects of a disability. These accommodations are determined by the Office of Student Disability Services (OSDS). The Office of Testing & Evaluation (OTE) provides proctoring services for  these students if the instructor wishes for the office to do so.

      Based upon the extent of the student's disability, the most common testing accommodations include the use of a reader, a scribe, appropriate extended time, separate testing environment, use of a computer, assistive technology and/or adaptive equipment.

      Following are descriptions of the most common testing accommodations:

      Test Reader — The student requires the test in an oral format. You, or a designated reader, may read the test questions to the student, tape record the test and allow the student to listen to the questions, or provide text to speech software to read the test from a computer. The Office of Testing & Evaluation has 10 computers with TextAloud text-to-speech software available.

      Test Scribe — The student requires a scribe to document test answers or should be allowed to answer test questions verbally.

      Extended Time — The student requires extended time on all tests and quizzes. The extended time may be for time and one half, double time, or more if determined appropriate by OSDS. If it is necessary to relocate the student in order to implement this accommodation, the new location should be as free as possible from distractions. The hallway is not an appropriate alternate testing environment.

      Separate Testing Environment — This student will require an individual test site in which to complete tests. This site must be as free as possible from distractions. The hallway is not an appropriate alternate testing environment.

      Use of Computer — The student should be allowed to use his personal laptop or a computer provided by the academic department or university to type answers to essay tests and for in-class written assignments.

      Assistive Technology — The student may require assistive technology to answer test questions. The specific technology would be listed on the student’s accommodation letter and it would be provided by the student or the university.

      Adaptive Equipment — The student may require specific adaptive equipment to take tests. The specific equipment would be listed on the student’s accommodation letter and it would be provided by the student or the university.

      The above list is not exhaustive. Because all accommodations are determined on an individual case-by-case basis, you may see additions and variations to this list. For more information regarding testing accommodations for students with disabilities, please call the Office of Testing & Evaluation at 581-5986.

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  • What are instructors’ responsibilities to ensure students with print disabilities have accessible materials?
    • Textbooks and other instructional materials must be converted to an alternate format for students who have difficulty reading due to a visual impairment, learning disability or another disability affecting their ability to read. For these students to have equal access, they must have their books and other instructional materials at the same time as all other students in the class. Conversion is a time-consuming, labor-intensive process; therefore, OSDS will provide timelines for instructors to submit materials when a student with a print disability requires them in an alternate format.

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  • What are instructor’s responsibilities for students with hearing impairments?
    • Students who are deaf or hard of hearing may require a sign language interpreter. If so, OSDS will make every effort to hire one who is certified to interpret at the postsecondary level. Since EIU is in a rural community it can be very difficult to secure these interpreters, therefore, Video Remote Interpreting (VRI) may be provided when an interpreter cannot be located and hired. When students require a sign language interpreter or VRI, OSDS will offer to meet with instructors to provide an in-service in order to answer questions and address concerns.

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Please contact OSDS with any questions or concerns regarding students with disabilities in your courses. Our phone number is 217-581-6583.

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