Procedures & Best Practices

Faculty Best Practices

The following guidelines are considered best practices for faculty regarding accessibility and students with disabilities registered with Disability Services for Students.

Place your text book orders early

DSS provides books in alternate formats (e-text, audio, Braille) for eligible students. It can take up to six weeks to produce a textbook in alternate format. For students to have access to their books on the first day of classes DSS needs the book information weeks ahead of time.

Put a statement in your syllabus to initiate dialogue with students

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. We are optimistic that by including this or a similar statement in syllabi, and by alerting students to this process, those with documented disabilities will secure necessary classroom accommodations in a timely fashion.

"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 disability.office@unh.edu. 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."

Verify students' eligibility for accommodations.

When students tell you they will be using accommodations in your class, verify that they are registered with our office and approved for the requested accommodations. Ask to meet with the student in a confidential setting to review their Accommodation Letter with them. Discuss how you will implement or arrange for the needed accommodations.

Assist students and DSS with notetaker recruitment

Students eligible to receive a copy of a classmate's notes may need the professor's assistance in recruiting a suitable notetaker. When requested, please assist with this process by recommending a competent student or making the following announcement:

"A notetaker is requested for this class by the office of Disability Services for Students. A stipend is paid to the notetaker assigned to the course for the semester. A notetaker should attend class regularly, take accurate, legible notes and provide a copy of them to the office of Disability Services for Students through Blackboard. If you are interested in applying to be the notetaker for this course, please log onto http://www.unh.edu/disabilityservices/notetaker-availability-form, where you may access the Notetaker Availability Form.”

Please have the student notetaker contact DSS within 1-2 business days to make arrangements for completing the notetaking contract and for instruction on how to upload notes to our Blackboard site.

Ensure that material on Blackboard is accessible.

Material posted on Blackboard should be in doc, txt, rtf, or htm format to ensure compatibility with Assistive technology. Most PDFs cannot be read by a screen reader. Whenever possible, post handouts and assignments on Blackboard in addition to or instead of handing out a paper copy. Online format allows students with vision impairments and learning disabilities to use screen-reading software to read the document aloud.