Disability Accommodation Quick Tips for Faculty
These quick tips for faculty are provided to assist in creating an accessible learning environment for students with disabilities attending Belmont University.
1. Students with disabilities are to be held to the same academic standards as every other student enrolled in the course with or without reasonable accommodations.
2. In planning ahead, provide notice to your students of the university's process to accommodate students with disabilities. This can be done verbally or within your course syllabus. Example syllabus statement:
"Any student who may need an accommodation based on the impact of a disability should contact me privately to discuss your specific needs and register with the Disability Services. The Disability Services office may be reached by calling (615) 460-6407 and is located on the second level of the Beaman Student Life Center within the Office of the Dean of Students, Suite 200."
3 .Refer the student with the disability to the Dean of Students office, Disability Services (DS), when accommodations are needed and the student has not provided you with a current Accommodation Form from the DS office for your signature.
4. Grant reasonable accommodations as recommended by the DS staff. Accommodations are reasonable as long as course standards are not fundamentally altered and there is a logical link between the student's functional limitations and the accommodations.
5. Permit the student to use auxiliary aids and technology that ensure access. Depending on the disability, students may use note takers, sign language interpreters, readers, scribes and lab assistants. Others may use recorders, computers, assistive listening devices and other technologies for the same purpose.
6. In situations where a note taker is a recommended accommodation by the DS staff, please ask another student in the class if they would be a volunteer note taker for the semester by providing the student with a copy of their course notes. Copy services or carbon copy paper may be utilized by contacting the DS office.
7. Permit testing accommodations as recommended by the Disability Services staff. Testing accommodations include, but are not limited to: extended time, alternative formats, distraction-reduced environment, readers and scribes.
8. Maintain disability-related information with the strictest confidentiality and please refrain from identifying students with disabilities unnecessarily to their peers or your colleagues without the students consent.
Other tips which may enhance access to your course(s):
1. Select course textbooks and materials early. Students who are blind or visually impaired, as well as, other students with print disabilities must have adequate time to obtain their course materials in alternative formats in order to stay on pace with the course syllabus. The earlier the student and DS staff know the textbook requirements, the earlier the student can purchase the textbook and begin the alternative format process.
2. When requested, provide alternatives to printed information such as class handouts or reserve materials in the library. Alternatives to print include: computer electronic text, large print, Braille and digitally recorded information. If Internet resources or other technologies are used, then they must be accessible for use with the students text to speech reading software.
3. Consider making academic adjustments to your instruction presentation style. For example, for students with hearing impairments, position yourself to face the audience while speaking or use an FM receiver if requested. For students with visual impairments, read aloud or describe written or graphic information.
4. When selecting videos for classes, select closed caption videos only as students who are deaf or hearing impaired will need to read the video content.
5. Consult with the student and/or the Disability Services staff for more helpful information on making your courses accessible by calling (615) 460-6407. The DS office is located within the Dean of Students office on the second level of the Beaman Student Life Center, Suite 200.