How will I know if a student needs accommodations?
A faculty member with a student requiring accommodations will receive an e-mail from Disability Services identifying the specific accommodations for which the student is eligible. Students are encouraged to make appointments with their instructors to discuss accommodation needs at the beginning of each semester.
How are testing accommodations arranged?
Students are encouraged to discuss with their instructors possible ways to arrange their testing accommodation. There are advantages for students to take the exams with the class, because they can ask questions and if there are any changes during the exam they would be informed of such changes. Students can either come earlier to start the exam before the rest of the class begins or stay longer after all the other students have left the exam room. Please be mindful of confidentiality of the students when making such arrangements. Another option is for you to make arrangements to have the students take the exam in your office.
What if I am unable to accommodate the student?
If the instructor is unable to proctor the students’ exams because of their need for alternative testing arrangements, including extended time for testing, alternate quiet location, or computer access the exam can be completed through Disability Services in the Teaching and Learning Center. Students are responsible for completing the on line Test Proctoring Request form, a week in advance of the exam for each exam they need to take in the Teaching and Learning Center. Once a completed Test Proctoring Request Form has been received the instructor will be notified. It is our hope that the student has already spoken to you, as they are encouraged to do.
Unless specifically allowed by the instructor, books, notes, cell phones, or any test-related material will not be allowed into the testing room. Students are permitted to exit the testing room only to use the rest room.
May I provide accommodations to a student who I did not receive notice has accommodations?
No, if a student asks for an accommodation and you have not received an e-mail from Disability Services verifying the student is eligible, please contact Disability Services or ask the student to do so. Similarly, if a student asks you for an accommodation and that specific accommodation is not listed in the certifying e-mail from Disability Services, you are not obligated to provide it. If you are ever uncertain about your obligations, please contact Disability Services.
Do I have to provide the accommodations listed from Disability Services if they do not fit with my philosophy or style?
Yes. Federal law requires students who present the appropriate documentation and who are registered with Disability Services be entitled to the accommodations given to instructors. Providing accommodations is a shared obligation of Monmouth College faculty and staff.
What accommodations are appropriate?
Disability Services grants accommodations to students with documented disabilities, and visibly obvious disabilities on a case by case basis. They are based on the recommendations of medical, mental health or other appropriate professionals and on the needs of students. These accommodations should not fundamentally alter instructional programming and we ask that you contact Disability Services as opposed to approaching the student if you feel that the student's accommodations do fundamentally alter your programming.
Examples of common accommodations include extended time for testing, alternative test locations to reduce distractions, access to materials in alternative formats, and use of note-taking services. All students, including students with disabilities, are expected to attend class and turn assignments in on time. It is not a standard policy of Disability Services to allow students to be exempt from due dates or other essential components of their courses, but in some instances, arrangements for due date extensions can be made if a student’s symptoms are acute.
May I talk to students about their disabilities?
No, although some students may wish to divulge information about their diagnoses. The majority of students choose to keep specific disability information confidential. The decision to disclose disability information is made by the student, and you should therefore not ask them to divulge what their disability is or for any documentation of their condition.
In most cases, you can best accommodate students by asking about their needs related to learning and fulfilling the requirements of your course, and by providing the accommodations outline in the accommodation letter faculty receive from Disability Services. Most students are aware of professors' efforts to accommodate them and are appreciative of the support.
What are some general modifications I might consider to make my courses more accessible?
- Provide lecture notes in electronic format. Text in electronic form can be paired with screen-reading software, which makes printed material accessible for students with various learning disabilities, visual impairments, or limited mobility. Additionally, students who qualify for use of note-takers can access electronic notes independently, instead of relying on classmates to make copies of notes.
- Provide clear copies of handouts. When handouts are copied clearly, they can be easily scanned onto disk for use with screen-reading or Braille-conversion software. This software is made available to students by Disability Services.
- Include information about obtaining accommodations on your syllabi. It is Monmouth College’s obligation to inform students of the existence of Disability Services. Here’s an example of what you should include on your syllabi: Any student with a documented disability needing accommodations is requested to speak directly to Disability Services (firstname.lastname@example.org or 309-457-2257) and to the instructor within the first two weeks of the semester. All discussions will remain confidential.
- Consider students’ diverse learning styles when developing lectures and assignments. Any one of your classes may include students with reading difficulties, auditory processing deficits, and other learning disabilities or weaknesses. You can contribute to the success of your students by incorporating multiple media into your lectures and by varying the formats. For example, consider presenting a topic orally and reviewing it with an activity or with a written handout.