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According to federal law, faculty must provide a student registered with DSS, who provides a letter specifying accommodations, those accommodations. They may not question whether the disability exists when DSS has authorized accommodations nor ask to examine the student's documentation. Faculty are encouraged to discuss with the DSS professional staff how most effectively to provide accommodations.
- Work collaboratively with DSS to provide authorized reasonable accommodations and support services.
- Provide accommodations in a fair and timely manner.
- Meet in a private setting with any student provides letters of accommodation. Students should initiate that meeting to review accommodations outlined in the student's Accommodation Letter. If you feel any of the accommodations and/or services listed in the Accommodation Letter compromise the essential functions or requirements of your course, please contact DSS immediately. Accommodations are never designed to alter expectations or standards fundamentally in instructional level, content or performance criteria.
- Refer the student who is requesting an accommodation without official notification from DSS to DSS in writing or by phone. If the disability is visible (use of wheelchair, hearing aids, service dog, etc.), a requested accommodation is obviously appropriate; the faculty member should notify DSS and provide the accommodation while paperwork is being completed. Establishing reasonable accommodations is the responsibility of UNH DSS and are considered on a case-by-case basis based on the functional impact of each individual and the specific essential requirements of each course.
- Refer students to DSS who you believe may qualify for DSS services. Do not provide them with accommodation unless DDS has authorized them.
- Stand by academic standards and freedoms. Full and equitable access to academic programs serves as the foundation to standards and freedoms.
- Communicate clear and concise expectations for performance to your students. Care should be taken to distinguish between essential and non-essential components of the course.
- Allow reasonable accommodations. Accommodations are changes in the way things are done and affect only non-essential aspects of a course. They are reasonable so long as course standards are not fundamentally altered.
- Provide notice to your students of your willingness to accommodate. This can be done verbally during lectures and in writing within a course syllabus. DSS recommends both. One might say, “Students with disabilities are welcome to discuss accommodations with me”.
- Many students use auxiliary aides and technologies which ensure access. Depending on the disability, students may use note takers, sign language interpreters, readers and scribes. Others may use audio recorder/players, computers,magnification devices, assistive listening devices and other technologies for the same purpose.
- When requested, provide text book information so alternatives to printed information such as Braille, computer electronic text or large print can be produced for the student. If Internet resources and other technologies are used, then they must be accessible to students with disabilities as they are for other students. Please contact Rebecca McMillan, Assistive Technology Specialist, with any questions.
- Make academic adjustments in instruction. Some students need lecturers to face the audience while speaking. Others may need written or graphic information spoken aloud or described. Adjustments such as these may be made after the student requests them.
- Grant testing accommodations. Again, depending on the particular needs of a student, it may be necessary to extend testing times, change testing formats, test in a quiet environment and so on. Instructors may accommodate independently or ask DSS for assistance in providing test accommodation services. Please contact Becky Michaud, Student Services Assistant, with any questions.
- Regard disability related discussions and information with the strictest confidentiality.
In an effort to facilitate the process of identifying students with disabilities and their accommodation requests early in the semester, please include the syllabus statement below.
"The University is committed to providing students with documented disabilities equal access to all university programs and facilities. If you think you have a disability requiring accommodations, you must register with Disability Services for Students (DSS). Contact DSS at (603) 862-2607 or firstname.lastname@example.org. If you have received Accommodation Letters for this course from DSS, please provide me with that information privately in my office so that we can review those accommodations."
Accommodation Letter Procedure
1. DSS students hand deliver their Accommodation Letters to faculty in their office and discuss the requests for specific accommodations as listed in the letter.
2. During this meeting, the instructor and student should determine how they will work together to provide the accommodations outlined in the Accommodation Letter.
3. During this meeting if questions arise, both the instructor and student are encouraged to contact DSS and speak to a professional staff member.
4. At the end of the meeting the student should have clear instructions as to how the accommodations will be provided by the instructor.
5. Faculty are to retain the Accommodation Letter in a private file and shred it once the semester if completed.
6. DSS retains electronic scans of each student's Accommodation Letter if needed for future reference.
7. Students can request accommodations with reasonable notification at any point during the semester.
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