What is the college's obligation to students with disabilities?
By law and by policy, the college is committed to providing equal access for all qualified individuals to its programs and educational opportunities. The need for physical access (elevators, ramps, etc.) is obvious to most of us, but access needs also include the curriculum itself and measures of evaluation. Academic adjustments may include special seating, testing accommodations, use of adaptive technology, or presentation of course materials in alternate formats. The college has designated Gabriella Vasta, Coordinator of Access and Equity Services, to identify appropriate academic adjustments and to coordinate the provision of these services.
What is my obligation as an instructor?
You are an agent of the college and, as such, share the college's obligations to provide
access within your classroom and curriculum. Your course outline should include the
uniform disability statement found in the uniform course syllabus in Vancko Hall.
It is the college's policy to provide, on an individual basis, equitable academic adjustments to students with disabilities which may affect their ability to fully participate in program or course activities or to meet course requirements. The class material needs to be available in accessible alternative formats upon request.
What should I do if a student identifies him/herself to me as a person with a disability?
Ask the student if he or she has been in contact with Gabriella Vasta, Coordinator of Access and Equity Services and/or the Resnick Academic Achievement Center. If not, refer the student. You should not personally collect and/or maintain any disability documentation, nor should you make a determination as to the existence of a disability or the reasonableness of a request without consultation. Unless you are willing to provide a requested modification to all students, you should not provide it to any student without having first received an access memo from the Coordinator.
What is the procedure for students receiving academic adjustments?
The student must provide the Coordinator of Access and Equity Services appropriate
documentation identifying the disability and the limitations relating to learning.
An access plan is then developed between the student and the Coordinator. Appropriate
classroom, testing and other academic adjustments are identified on a written Memorandum
of Academic Adjustments, which the student sends to each faculty member from whom
he or she is requesting academic adjustments. For online instruction, it is also the
student's responsibility to send the Memorandum of Academic Adjustments to each faculty
member from whom he or she is requesting academic adjustments. Students are also responsible
for copying the Access and Equity Office on the email they send to faculty.
You are entitled to reasonable notice of any requested academic adjustment. We encourage you and the student to discuss the particulars of the request.
Recognizing the importance of allowing students with disabilities equal access to professors during the testing process, we recommend testing in class, wherever possible. Students needing only extended time and a distraction-reduced environment can be permitted to take their tests in the classroom and faculty can provide the adjustment.
If this is not possible, or if additional academic adjustments are required (use of a reader, scribe or computer), the student must follow the policy and procedure guidelines by submitting an Accommodated Testing Notification at least three days in advance. The Instructions for Accommodated Testing Form must be attached to the exam and delivered to the Testing Center. Please be aware that the student is responsible for arranging exam testing with you and the Testing Center.
As a professor, you are responsible for providing students with the required reading material well in advance of the start of class, a time period that students with disabilities may need so they can get materials in the proper format. Faculty who knowingly and without good cause fail to submit textbook adoptions seven weeks before the start of class will be held responsible for any complaint regarding inaccessible products and services.
A recent case at the University of California at Berkeley resulted in an 18 page out-of-court settlement based upon inaccessible library materials.
What is the faculty procedure for testing modifications on campus?
Tests will be administered during Testing Hours, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. A student might need to take a test at a different time than the class to accommodate their extended time.
Directions for Delivering Tests
The following information is provided for SUNY Delhi faculty who participate in accommodated
student testing in the Resnick Academic Achievement Center.
Hand Delivery Method
Tests can be delivered by hand to the testing room, Bush Hall Room 222, between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m. The Instructions for Accommodated Testing Form must be attached to each test.
Student Delivery Method
Students may pick up the test from their instructor. It should be placed in a sealed envelope with the instructor's signature across the seal. The instructor will be notified if the seal has been broken. The Instructions for Accommodated Testing Form should be attached to each test.
Delivery via Document Attachment
The test and Instructions for Accommodated Testing Form should be sent 48 hours prior to the test date. This location also offers the option to upload an exam. If delivered in an accessible format, the Testing Center will accept the test 24 hours prior to the test date. You may also send the exam by email to email@example.com.
Returning the Test
Faculty may pick up completed tests in the Resnick Academic Achievement Center, have them returned via inter-campus mail, or returned electronically (email), as specified on the Instructions for Accommodated Testing Form.
What do I need to know about pop quizzes?
Administering Pop Quizzes to Students with Disabilities
- Allow the student additional time after class to complete the quiz.
- Administer the pop quiz at the end of the class.
- If the test has four questions and you allow the class ten minutes to take the quiz, grade the student on two questions or three questions, depending upon whether the student is entitled to time and a half or double time.
- Allow the student to take the quiz in a previously agreed upon location near the classroom. The student would return to class after the extended test time.
- If none of the above options are feasible, another possibility would be for the student to take the pop quiz without extended test time, but the instructor would not count the grade for or against the student.
- For those professors who want to give pop quizzes but who do not want to use extended
time from class to give the quizzes, a few ideas are offered below:
- Give quizzes at the end of class and allow the student to stay later if the student does not have a schedule conflict or, if they have a scheduled break (in longer classes), professors could try giving the quiz before the break and those who need more time (disability and not) could work into the break.
- Ask student to come to the office for an oral pop quiz as soon after class as possible.
Consider why pop quizzes are used and the purpose of them and then create a different method to reach the same purpose.
- Hand out questions at the end of class to be turned in prior to the next class.
- Send "pop quiz" questions by email 12 hours prior to class and ask the students to have the questions completed by the beginning of class.
- Put questions on a website or on Blackboard for students to get and answer at some point before the next class.
- Distribute questions during class and have a small group discuss.
What is the faculty procedure for testing accommodations online?
You are required to provide the student who presents you with an access plan their extended time in the online environment. (This does not mean unlimited time. Their plan will advise you of the required time extension.)
What if the requested academic adjustment conflicts with my course structure and/or policies?
You may have to make an adjustment in your structure or policies; if not, doing so
will discriminate against the student because of the disability. However, while the
need for academic adjustment in a particular case is not negotiable, there are often
alternate ways to provide the accommodation. Academic adjustment must be sensitive
to the fundamental structure and objectives of your course. If you believe that a
requested adjustment will so alter your course, immediately consult with the Coordinator
of Access and Equity Services. What constitutes a reasonable request in one course,
or even section of a course, may not be reasonable in another.
Feel free in all cases to discuss methods of accommodation with the student and with the Coordinator.
The college has hired you for your expertise in your field and in the classroom. We do not expect you to have expertise in the field of disability and postsecondary education. Let us help you create the best possible learning environment for both you and your students.
Faculty Tip Sheet
- Assist students in following the university's policies, such as possible requirements that all requests for academic adjustment be referred to the Access and Equity Office and not be handled by individual faculty members alone. This protects students, faculty, and the institution by ensuring consistency and takes the responsibility off individual faculty members to determine whether an academic adjustment is appropriate or how to provide it. Violations have been found in cases where faculty members have not followed institutional policies.
- Ask questions if you don't understand something, or are not sure how to proceed. Your Access and Equity Office can be very helpful in this regard.
- Respect the privacy of students with disabilities. They need not disclose their disability to fellow students. While they must disclose disability to a designated official at your college in order to access academic adjustments, this does not require disclosure to everyone. Treat disability information which has been disclosed to you as confidential.
- Treat students with disabilities with the same courtesies you would afford to other students.
- Hold up your end with regard to academic adjustments which have been determined to be appropriate.
- Provide the academic adjustment which has been approved by the institution's designee (Access and Equity Coordinator). Not providing the approved academic adjustment may subject your institution or you to liability.
- Provide extended time for tests, for those who have access plans. Be careful, because if you start providing for those who do not have access plans with our office, you are setting past precedence and might have to provide for all.
- Help students secure a note-taker, if stated on their access plan. This may include class members volunteering to take notes, or you providing your class materials.
- Allow students to record lectures if it's stated on their access plan.
- Provide copies of exams in the required time frame to the Access and Equity Office in order for a student to take the examination under alternate circumstances, such as extended time, using a scribe or braille, etc.