Faculty Resources - Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Why do we accommodate students with disabilities?
- According to federal and state laws we must offer appropriate accommodations to people with disabilities. If we do not offer reasonable accommodations we run the risk of losing federal funding, and could be sued by the students.
- It’s the right thing to do.
Q. May I ask for disability related documentation?
- No, there are privacy laws that protect students from having to disclose such information to most people. The SDS office staff is qualified to review records and determine whether students have covered disabilities and what accommodations are appropriate. Please refrain from asking the student’s what their disabilities are. If they wish to disclose to you that is their preference. Please refer students to SDS.
Q. What kinds of accommodations can students ask for?
- Some of the accommodations students can ask for may include, but are not limited to: tape recording lectures, note takers, books and materials on tape or Braille, interpreters, special seating, and test proctoring services that include extra time and possibly readers or scribes.
Q. May I talk to students about their disability accommodations?
- Yes we encourage students and faculty to talk about their accommodations. Please remind students that SDS is here and ready to help them with their needs.
Q. Sometimes I receive a request letter from SDS for a note taker. What should I do with it?
- If you don’t know a conscientious student in the class please make a request to the class for a volunteer note taker for the SDS office. Please do not disclose the name of the student in need of the notes. As an institution we are responsible for finding note takers for students with disabilities. When students volunteer to take notes please send them to the SDS office. The SDS office will provide the necessary information to the student volunteer. If no one volunteers please contact the SDS office for further information on what to do.
Q. How do I plan for accommodations of students with disabilities on field trips, practicums and internships?
- Students should give you enough notice to make the required adjustments. The accommodations to be made will depend on the job requirements, and the disabilities involved. Contact SDS if you have specific questions.
Q. How does the SDS office keep academic exams secure?
- When the test is picked up or delivered to the SDS office it is labeled with the instructor and student’s name and placed in a locked file cabinet. When the student arrives to take the test a member of the SDS staff proctors it. When the student has completed the exam it is immediately returned to the department office by an SDS staff member.
Q. Do I have to provide testing accommodations in my classroom if the students with disabilities ask me to?
- No. Refer them to the SDS office where the university provides trained staff for this purpose. You may choose to provide accommodations if you would prefer provided you are meeting the student’s needs of extra time, reader, scribe or whatever is necessary.
Q. Why are exams sometimes given earlier at SDS than they are to the rest of the class?
- Students who are entitled to double time when taking tests at SDS may have classes in the time blocks following their scheduled class time. In order to allow students to complete the test and still make it to their next classes on time, students may start a test before the rest of the class. SDS gives tests during regular office hours. Night or weekend tests need to be scheduled between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Students need to be finished with their exams by 4:00 p.m. in order for the SDS office to return them to the faculty the same day. Students must schedule their tests with SDS at least three business days prior to the date of the exam. In every case faculty should be aware of and should have signed off on exam times on the Alternative Testing Request Form. The SDS office is not open extended hours during final exam week. Contact the SDS office if more testing procedure information is needed.
Q. What can I do to improve services to students with disabilities?
- Get syllabi and text selections completed early. This information allows SDS to request taped texts in a timely fashion. Books that are not available on tape must be read onto tape by SDS staff. Obviously, this process takes a lot of time! Expect your students to be behind if you do not get your book order into the bookstores on time.
Q. What are the student’s responsibilities?
- Provide medical documentation to SDS with disability diagnosis
- Meet with SDS director to develop an accommodation agreement
- Keep timely contact with SDS
- Be on time for tests and follow test taking procedures
- Attend class--- notes are not provided for unattended classes unless approved by SDS
- Notify SDS of schedule changes including dropped classes
Q. How do I get additional information about disabilities?
- For more information on disabilities contact the Student Disability Services office: Centennial Hall 202, 308-4080 or 308-3117 or the SDS web page at www.stcloudstate.edu/sds/