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Faculty Resources

Syllabus Statement Regarding Disability

The purpose of the syllabus statement is to indicate the faculty's willingness to provide reasonable accommodations to a student with a disability as well as to serve as a reminder to students who have not yet registered for accommodations with the Office of Disability Services. The statement should be an invitation to students to meet with you, in a confidential environment, to review course requirements and to discuss their need for accommodations.

Sample Syllabus Statement Regarding Students with Disabilities:

Any student who requires accommodations to complete the requirements and expectations of this course because of a disability is invited to make his or her needs known to the instructor and/or to the Office of Disability Services at (252) 493-7294, Everett 150.


Disability Etiquette

Tips for Faculty

Web Resources

Frequently Asked Questions


Q: Who is responsible for determining appropriate accommodations?

A: The Office of Disability Services (ODS) determines appropriate accommodations. The determination is based upon the law and appropriate documentation received from the student.

Q: Am I required to provide accommodations to students who are registered with the Office of Disability Services?

A: Yes. The Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Section 504, as well as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) protect students with disabilities. These laws require that qualified students with disabilities receive equal access to their education.

Q: Do I have any recourse if I disagree about requested accommodations?

A: To clarify any disagreement about an accommodation, first contact the Office of Disability Services at (252) 493-7557. Disagreements should be discussed with the Director. Occasionally, some students may ask for accommodations not authorized by ODS. When in doubt, contact ODS to discuss your concerns.


Q: A student with a disability has requested that she take an exam at the Office of Disability Services. How do I know that my exam will be safe and that the student will get no unfair advantage?

A: The Office of Disability Services has developed a systematic procedure for administering exams and returning them to faculty once taken. We have a rigid check in and check out procedure and no student is allowed to take an exam with accommodations without authorization. While exams are at the Office of Disability Services, they are secured.  As students take the exam, they are monitored via video camera and/or close supervision. Tardies, absences, possession of unapproved testing materials, cheating or other inappropriate behavior are reported back to the instructor at once.

Q: I have a million things to do. I don't mind if students use exam accommodations, but do I have to fill out the Test Proctor Form?

A: Yes. In order for students to arrange for exam accommodations at the Office of Disability Services and in order to administer your exam to students with appropriate accommodations, faculty must fill out the test proctor sheets in their entirety. The proctor sheet facilitates scheduling and preparation of testing environment and accommodations. It also ensures we comply with your specific instructions.

Q: I have a student who has requested to take their test at the Office of Disability Services at a time other than the regular class time. Is this allowed?

A: No.  Tests must be taken at the same time it is administered in class. Students who receive extended time as an accommodation are allowed to begin the test earlier if the extended test time will conflict with their next scheduled class. If the classes are at night or on the weekends, tests must be taken at a time predetermined by the instructor and confirmed with our office (see Test Accommodation Policy).

Q: If a student registered with the Office of Disability Services is absent on test day, are they allowed to make up the test?

A: Maybe. Each situation is different and handled individually. Students with chronic medical conditions are allowed to make up tests when the severity of the condition warrants medical attention and/or intervention. Without documentation, the student should be held to the same standard as others in the class. Students with medical emergencies may miss class on test day. If the absence is directly related to their disability and they provide the Office of Disability Services with acceptable medical documentation that indicates the reason for the absence on the specific date(s), the student must be allowed to makeup the test.

Q: A student chose to take the test in the classroom instead of at the Office of Disability Services. What do I do?

A: Nothing. Students registered with the Office of Disability Services are granted specific accommodations based on disability verification and documentation. Despite this eligibility, students are not required to utilize them. Some students choose to use adaptation skills and strategies as much as possible to access courses and course requirements in the classroom. Some students use their accommodations only if they have ongoing difficulty. Once accommodations are granted, it is the student's choice. Therefore, to take advantage of accommodations such as testing or acquiring notetakers, the student must communicate their preferencs with the instructor and the Office of Disability Services in a timely manner prior to implementation.  

In Class

Q: When I have a student who is deaf in class, am I required to have an interpreter or transcriber in the class, too? My class is very crowded, and the students sometimes watch the interpreter instead of me.

A: Yes. You are required by law to have what is essential for the student to have equal access. This includes having a sign language interpreter or transcriber in the classroom when there is a need. Students will adjust in a few days and eventually will ignore the interpreter.

Q: I have a student who is having difficulty in my class. I think he may have a disability. What should I do to help him?

A: Talk privately with the student to discuss observed behaviors. The student may reveal he/she has a disability. If the student is not registered with our office, they may contact us for more information. If this is the case and the student is registered with the Office of Disability Services, suggest that he/she talks with our staff.

Q: I have a student who is blind in my chemistry lab. How is he going to participate and be graded on his lab work?

A: If possible, assist the student in getting a lab partner. If a volunteer lab partner cannot be found, suggest to the student to contact the Office of Disability Services as soon as possible for assistance in acquiring a lab partner. Once designated, the lab assistant must be referred to the Office of Disability Services to complete the required paperwork and orientation prior to working with the student. The timeliness of these arrangements is critical so the student will not fall behind. 


Q: Am I required to lower the standards of a required assignment because the student has a disability?

A: No. Standards should be the same for all students. However, students with disabilities may exhibit their knowledge, production, and other course expectations differently. For example, a student with a learning disability in writing may produce an essay exam by using a computer or scribe rather than writing out an answer without the use of accommodations. The content of the work should meet the course standards.

Q: I have a student with a disability who is behind in her schoolwork. This student has missed a number of classes and has not handed in several assignments. Although she has taken a midterm and used accommodations, she received a D for the midterm. At this point, she is not passing the class. Do I have a right to fail a student with a disability?

A: The student with a disability has the same right to fail as anyone else. Their work should be equivalent to their peers. It is a good idea to discuss observed behavior with the student just as you would with anyone else in your class who is experiencing difficulty. The student may also benefit from additional counseling from ODS.

Q: A student came to me in the eighth week of the semester requesting accommodations. I feel this is too late to ask for accommodations and arrangements should be made at the beginning of the quarter. I even made an announcement on the first day of class to meet with me about these arrangements. Do I have to provide accommodations for someone this late?

A: Yes. There could be numerous reasons why a student makes a late request. Perhaps he or she could not get documentation of his or her disability any earlier and, therefore, could not initiate accommodations earlier. Some students try to take a class without accommodations but find that their performance warrants additional assistance. Whatever the reason, students may request accommodations at any time during the semester. There may be a few situations when requests are so late that appropriate arrangements are impossible to make in a timely manner such as converting an entire textbook to an alternate format. Accommodations must be allowed once a student registers with the Office of Disability Services and is granted accommodations. The student is too late if he or she reveals a disability after the completion of a class and requests revision or deletion of a final grade.