The Luther Process
Requests by students for accommodations are made for reasons of disability or health issues through the Disability Services office in the Student Academic Support Center (SASC).
Requests for special accommodation are made to the Disability Coordinator in SASC. The request process has two required steps:
1. Submission of the request in written form. This should include the reason(s) for the request and the specific needs that should be accommodated.
2. Submission of documentation by an appropriate professional, e.g. physician, supporting the condition and providing support for the request.
When the request and documentation have been received, a letter of accommodation is given to the students to distribute to the appropriate faculty / staff. This letter confirms the student’s connection with Disability Services and indicates which accommodations they are eligible to receive for each specific course. If you feel the request jeopardizes the integrity of the course, please contact the Disability Services office.
As an instructor you will rarely know the specifics of a student’s disability. In rare cases a student may ask to meet with you to discuss his or her disability, but in most cases, a student will notify you that he or she is working with Disability Services by providing you with an “Accommodation Plan” letter that will list the accommodations they are eligible to receive as a result of their documented disability (but not the specifics of the disability).
The accommodations listed on the Accommodation Plan letter are meant to be guidelines for the instructor and student. Teaching styles are different and each class requires different skills. The need for accommodations and the manner in which they are given may vary from class to class.
If you have questions or concerns about a student you are working with, you can call Disability Services or SASC at ext. 1270. DS and SASC may not be able to tell you what a student's disability is, but they can provide you with some guidance for working with the student.
Faculty Rights and Responsibilities
As a faculty member you have the right to:
- Maintain the fundamental nature of course content;
· Maintain the academic standards of your classroom and/or program;
- Require students to demonstrate knowledge of essential course material;
· Verify that a student has a documented disability with the DS office in SASC;
- Ask a student who requests an accommodation to provide an Accommodation Plan letter;
- Discuss an accommodation with the student and DS if it seems unreasonable.
Faculty members have a responsibility to:
- Include the ADA statement on each course syllabus;
- Provide reasonable and appropriate accommodations, academic adjustments, and/or auxiliary aids for students with disabilities;
- Ensure that all activities related to the experience of the course area are accessible to all students;
- Implement best practices to reach a wide range of learners;
- Direct students to the necessary resources such as DS and SASC;
- Work with DS and the student to ensure he or she is accommodated in a timely manner;
- As part of the process of identifying potential accommodations, DS may ask for information concerning the essential elements of your course or program;
- Discuss with SASC and DS any concerns related to an accommodation or arrangements that have been requested by a student;
- Maintain confidentiality.
Syllabus language for faculty:
Faculty members are strongly encouraged to include a statement on their syllabi directing students to DS, should they need accommodations or assistance for a disability. Such a statement indicates the faculty member’s willingness to assist in the provision of reasonable accommodations and informs the student of the institution’s legal responsibility to provide necessary accommodations. A syllabus statement opens the lines of communication making it more likely that a student who needs accommodations will disclose that need to the faculty member. An example of an acceptable statement is:
Services for Students with Disabilities and/or Medical Conditions
Any student needing classroom or exam accommodations due to the impact of a disability or medical condition must register for services with the Disability Services office in the Student Academic Support Center (SASC). The office will verify the need for accommodations and develop a plan to be distributed to appropriate instructors. Students who use accommodations should also contact the instructor privately and in a timely manner to discuss the most effective methods to implement the approved accommodations. The SASC office is located in Room 108, Preus Library, and can be reached at (563) 387-1270.
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