Faculty are an integral part of the student's accommodations process. Luther College Disability Services provides faculty information about the accommodation process, testing accommodations, rights and responsibilities, and more.
Concern of Disability
If you have a concern that a student may have a disability, or a student has expressed concern they may have a disability, encourage the student to contact Disability Services for more information.
Luther’s Accommodation Process
Requests by students for accommodations are made for reasons of disability or health issues through the Disability Services office in the Center for Academic Enrichment (CAE). The request process has two required steps:
- Submission of the request in written form. This should include the reason(s) for the request and the specific needs that should be accommodated.
- 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 their disability, but in most cases, a student will notify you that they are working with Disability Services by providing you with an Accommodation Letter which lists the student’s accommodations they are eligible to receive as a result of their documented disability (but not the specifics of the disability).
If you have questions or concerns about a student you are working with, you can call Disability Services or CAE at 563-387-1270. Disability Services will 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.
If you have a student who is registered with Disability Services and has given you an updated accommodation letter that requires a separate, quiet testing room, please complete the Disability Services Testing Request Form to request a testing room location. If the student requires special assistive technology to complete the exam, please request the CAE as the testing location. If the student does not require special assistive technology, choose “Other” and a location in Campus House, Koren, Main, Olin, or Valders will be scheduled for the student by the CAE.
- Faculty should submit this form at least 24 hours in advance of the exam date and time. Failure to do so may result in the exam being rescheduled.
- Please complete if you have a student who is registered with Disability Services, has given you an updated accommodation letter, and needs to take an exam in a separate, quiet room
- Your exam can be emailed, hand-delivered, or sent through campus mail to the designated office
- Students are reminded that they are expected to adhere to Luther’s Academic Integrity Policy and the Honor Code while testing
- Testing rooms are not monitored by staff. Professors are always welcome to check on their students while they are testing
- Students are asked not to bring their cell phones and smart watches into the testing room
Faculty Rights and Responsibilities
Faculty members 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 Disability Services office
- Ask a student who requests an accommodation to provide an Accommodation Letter
- Discuss an accommodation with the student and Disability Services if it seems unreasonable
Faculty members have the 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 Disability Services and CAE
- Work with Disability Services and the student to ensure they are accommodated in a timely manner
- As part of the process of identifying potential accommodations, Disability Services may ask for information concerning the essential elements of your course or program
- Discuss with Disability Services any concerns related to an accommodation or arrangements that have been requested by a student
- Maintain confidentiality
Frequently Asked Questions
To be eligible for services, including classroom accommodations, students with disabilities must identify themselves and present professional documentation to Disability Services.
Students who have met with Disability Services, provided documentation, and been given appropriate accommodations will give their professors an accommodation letter which lists their academic accommodations.
Sometimes, a representative of Disability Services will email this letter to the student’s professors.
Students may choose to notify all of their instructors, or only instructors of the classes in which they wish to use the accommodations.
Students are responsible for reminding professors before an exam if they intend to use testing accommodations.
Yes, in compliance with the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the 2008 ADA Amendments Act, and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, we must provide accommodations to students with disabilities.
However, the accommodations should not alter the fundamental components of a program. If you believe the student’s accommodation(s) threaten the essential elements of your course, please contact Disability Services to discuss further.
A student’s disability is considered confidential information, and therefore is not divulged to persons outside the Disability Services office. Professors are given the information they need in order to accommodate the disability.
Students may register for Disability Services at any time during the semester. New diagnoses can occur at any time in people’s lives. Once the Disability Services office receives documentation for any disability, an accommodation letter is provided, accommodations can be activated.
All students who have accommodations are encouraged to have a discussion with their instructors regarding the specifics of their accommodations. However, it is a good idea to give a simple announcement at the beginning of each semester, and January Term, reminding students with accommodations to talk to you individually.
These announcements should be conducted in such a way as to preserve the anonymity of students with disabilities. This information can also be added to the syllabus, see the information on Universal Design for more information.
If a student asks you for accommodations in the classroom or on an exam, but you have never received an accommodation letter from them, please refer them to Disability Services for assistance. All students who request accommodations need to go through the process of determining the appropriate accommodations and providing documentation to support their request.
Accommodations are in place to provide equal access to learning opportunities for students with disabilities. The accommodations do not provide an unfair advantage, but rather place the students on an even level with their peers.
No, only students who are currently registered with Disability Services for academic accommodations can take their exams in the CAE.
Students are not monitored when taking exams in the CAE.
Yes! In fact, this is the preferred method we would like faculty to use. If you have the space and the time, please have the student take the exam near you. This also helps the student if they have questions during exam. The CAE is available if the time and space do not work out for you at exam time.
Please fill out the Disability Services Testing Request Form to schedule an exam for a student. You can hand-deliver the exam to the CAE office in Preus Library 108, or email the exam to firstname.lastname@example.org. We appreciate any time that faculty can give the CAE exams ahead of time as we can get very busy with exams during the semester.
The CAE will need:
- Name of student(s) taking exam
- Date and time they are taking exam
- Whether students take exam earlier or later
- Course number and title
- Faculty name
- How to reach you during exam
- Length of regular class period
Additionally, provide information on what the student can use during exam (i.e. books, notes, calculator, or other aids).
Please call the CAE at 563-387-1270 and a staff person can notify your student. Faculty can always come to the CAE during exam times and check in with their students.
When giving your testing instructions to the CAE, be sure to give us a phone number where you can be reached during the exam time so the student to call you if they have questions.
There are several options:
- You can pick it up from the CAE
- A work-study student can return it in a signed/sealed envelope
- The CAE can send it in inter-campus mail (be sure to let the CAE know your office number and building)