Faculty and Staff Resources
Additional Information for Faculty
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.
- Universal Design: http://www.washington.edu/doit/universal-design-instruction-udi-definition-principles-guidelines-and-examples
- Learning Disabilities: http://www.ncld.org/
- Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD): http://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/topics/attention-deficit-hyperactivity-disorder-adhd/index.shtml
- Autism Spectrum Disorder:http://www.disabled-world.com/health/neurology/autism/famous-autistic.php
- Presentation at EIU on Autism presented by Dr. Temple Grandin:
- Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): http://www.ada.gov/pubs/ada.htm
- Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, Subpart E: http://www2.ed.gov/policy/rights/reg/ocr/edlite-34cfr104.html
Faculty In-Service Information
Autism Spectrum Disorder:
- Instructional Considerations for Blind and Visually Impaired Students
- Alternate Media - Making Supplemental Materials Accessible for Students with Disabilities
- A Faculty Guide: Working with Hearing Impaired and Deaf Students Who Utilize a Sign Language Interpreter
- Guidelines for Teaching Hearing Impaired Students
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)
- What are instructor's responsibilities for students requiring closed captioning? (click here)
- What should I do when a student mentions they have had services in the past and it appears they truly need them, but they state they are not interested in utilizing the services provided by the Office of Student Disability Services? (click here)
- What if the student is registered with OSDS, but did not provide the letter of accommodations to the teacher nor did they mention that they were registered with the office? Are instructors still held responsible for ensuring accommodations are met when they do not know they exist? (click here)
- Since not all students share their letter of accommodations with instructors, why does OSDS not share the information instead to ensure that all instructors are aware of the students who have disabilities? (click here)
- What if a student has an accommodation on their letter and they later decide that they no longer want to utilize this accommodation in a specific course? (click here)
- Beyond the interpreters provided for specific students, does OSDS have a list that departments may access to obtain interpreters for specific events? (click here)
- What should an instructor do if they are approached by a student who has never been diagnosed with a disability, but they feel they may have one? (click here)
- What pedagogy makes education accessible to most students?
- Providing and adhering to a course syllabus that includes exam/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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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. Click here for additional information on this service
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. http://www.eiu.edu/acatest/otetestctr.php
- 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.
- 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.
- What are instructor's responsibilities for students requiring Video closed-captioning?
- Instructors are notified that they have a student in their class requiring captioning as soon as the Office of Student Disability Services is made aware of it. This does not always provide ample time to ensure captioning is done by the time the instructor wants to show videos. It takes CATS 4-6 weeks to complete captioning. Therefore, ensuring all videos are captioned may be the best option for instructors.
- In accordance with federal law, ALL INSTRUCTORS (as agents of the University) are required to make all classroom materials available to students with disabilities at the same time that it is made available to all other students. All videos and/or clips that you plan to show during the semester must be checked by you for closed captioning. In the event that any videos (whether shown in class, or assigned outside of class) are scheduled to be shown you will:
- Want to check to determine if the video being shown is captioned,
- If the video has not been captioned work with your Instructional Support Specialist (ISS) within your department to make sure the video is captioned, or
- Contact CATS to have the video captioned by calling 217-581-8396 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Click on the following link for additional information: https://www.eiu.edu/panthertech/multimedia.php
- What should I do when a student mentions they have had services in the past and it appears they truly need them, but they state they are not interested in utilizing the services provided by the Office of Student Disability Services?
- Express that you understand that they are not interested, but also explain that the office is completely confidential. Explain that even if they do not register with the office and only visit to learn more, this visit is kept private. All services provided by OSDS is maintained in files that are kept within the office and are not shared with anyone else. Student information is not placed on transcripts nor is it shared with instructors unless the student chooses to share the information with the instructors. All disclosure of the disability is based on what the student chooses to share and this right is protected. Encourage the student to schedule an appointment with an OSDS staff member to discuss the role of OSDS and what the office could do to help.
- What if the student is registered with OSDS, but did not provide the letter of accommodations to the teacher nor did they mention that they were registered with the office? Are instructors still held responsible for ensuring accommodations are met when they do not know they exist?
- No, instructors are not responsible for what they have not been given the opportunity to meet. Students are required to share their letter of accommodation with their instructors and if they chose to not share the letter it will not be at the fault of the instructor. Accommodations will not be given retroactively to students who later share that they have a letter and feel they would have performed better if they had utilized the accommodations on previous assignments, projects, or tests.
- Since not all students share their letter of accommodations with instructors, why does OSDS not share the information instead to ensure that all instructors are aware of the students who have disabilities?
- It is the right of the student to choose when and whom they will disclose their disability to. If OSDS shared disability information to instructors instead of the students sharing the information, OSDS would be breaking confidentiality. In addition to the legal issues with disclosing information regarding students, OSDS is not sufficiently staffed to inform all instructors of students with disabilities. Example: There are typically over 300 students registered with OSDS at the time of the 10th count day. If each of the 300 students is enrolled in 4 courses, that would require OSDS to provide at least 1200 notifications of students enrolled in specific courses. Not only is confidentiality and staffing an issue, but many times students change courses, which may not be shared with OSDS. Over all it is each student’s right to self-disclose that they have a disability when and to whom they chose to do so.
- What if a student has an accommodation on their letter and they later decide that they no longer want to utilize this accommodation in a specific course?
- On the bottom or back of the accommodation letter that the instructor keeps on file, have the student write a statement that they will no longer be utilizing the specific accommodation. They should then sign and date the statement. This should be done in a private setting where the student and instructor may sign and discuss the change privately.
- Beyond the interpreters provided for specific students, does OSDS have a list that departments may access to obtain interpreters for specific events?
- OSDS has an updated list of area interpreters. Please call or visit the OSDS if you would like access to this list.
- What should an instructor do if they are approached by a student who has never been diagnosed with a disability, but they feel they may have one?
- Encourage the student to contact OSDS. You may share the contact information to reach OSDS. You may also contact OSDS for the student, but make sure the student is aware that you will be reaching out.
Please contact OSDS with any questions or concerns regarding students with disabilities in your courses. Our phone number is 217-581-6583.