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Suggested Syllabus Statement

Students with Disabilities

Students with disabilities who seek reasonable accommodations in the classroom or other aspects of performing their coursework must first register with UNF Student Accessibility Services (SAS) located in Building 57, Room 1500. SAS staff members work with students to obtain required documentation of disability and to identify appropriate accommodations as required by applicable disability laws including the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). After receiving all necessary documentation, SAS staff determines whether a student qualifies for services with SAS and if so, the accommodations the student requires will be provided. SAS staff then prepares a letter for the student to provide faculty advising them of approved accommodations. For further information, contact SAS by phone (904) 620-2769, email (SAScenter@unf.edu), or visit the SAS website (unf.edu/sas/).

 

Military and veteran students who return from combat exposure may be utilizing the post 9/11 GI bill to continue postsecondary education goals and may need both physical and academic accommodations. Contact the Military and Veterans' Resource Center by phone (904) 620-5131 or email mvrc@unf.edu.

Frequently Asked Questions by Faculty

What is Student Accessibility Services (SAS)?

Student Accessibility Services coordinates and ensures services and accommodations for registered students with disabilities as mandated by the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. SAS also acts as a gateway for disability-related information and guidance. These services provide equal educational opportunities to students by minimizing the impact of functional limitations upon their academic and non-academic lives.

Who is responsible for determining reasonable accommodations?

SAS is the only office on campus that determines appropriate accommodations. Decisions regarding accommodations are based on documentation provided by the student with a disability, as well as the student's functional limitations.

Are all students with disabilities registered with SAS?

No. It is possible that a student with a disability has chosen not to register with SAS, or he/she may not have met the eligibility criteria for services. In either instance, faculty members do not need to provide accommodations for those students.

How do I know if a student is registered with SAS?

Students registered with SAS will present you with a current letter of warranted accommodations. The student may elect which accommodation he/she would like to use in a given class after discussing the framework of the class with the professor.

If a student requests a note taker, what is my responsibility?

The student should provide you with a Note Taker Request form from SAS. You may make an announcement that a student in class needs the services of a volunteer note taker. Due to confidentiality, please do not mention the student's name, the student's disability, or identify the student in any way during your announcement. You may introduce the volunteer note taker and SAS student to each other unless the SAS student wants to maintain their anonymity. This is an accommodation specifically for on campus courses and courses with real time online lectures that are not prerecorded.

Volunteer Note Taker Request Steps:

  1. The SAS student requester, fills out the top portion of the Note Taker Request form completely and hand-delivers/emails it to their professor. This form can be found under the General Note Taking Information Module on the SAS Canvas page.
  2. The professor should ask the class for a volunteer note taker when they receive the form. If no volunteer can be found in the class a student from another section of the same course might be willing to provide note taking services.
  3. Once a volunteer is found, they will be given the Note Taker Request form by the professor in order to fill out the bottom portion. 
  4. The form should then be emailed by the volunteer note taker to amy.williams@unf.edu so that a OneDrive Folder can be set up on the cloud and the link can be shared with the SAS student and volunteer note taker. 
  5. The volunteer note taker uploads notes directly to the folder, and the SAS student can retrieve them directly from the folder. 
  6. This process is set up to allow the SAS student requester to remain anonymous if they so choose.

What is my responsibility if a student's accommodation is extra time on tests?

If a student has extended time as an accommodation, you must provide the designated extra time delineated on their accommodation letter. Student Accessibility Services can provide a testing environment for all registered students requiring extended time.

When is a student required to notify me of a need for accommodations?

SAS encourages but does not require registered students to meet with you at the beginning of each semester to discuss their Letter of Accommodations. However, a student can register with SAS or present their Letter of Accommodations to you at any time during the semester. Accommodations are not retroactive; they will begin as soon as the professor receives notification of accommodations.

Am I allowed to request disability documentation from the student for any reason?

No. Documentation stating and describing a student's disability is confidential information. Documentation for students registered with SAS is kept at SAS center. However, please call SAS if you have concerns about a student in your class.

I have a student in class who provided me a letter of accommodations but has never used them. What is my responsibility in this situation?

You are only responsible to provide accommodations when a SAS registered chooses to use their warranted accommodations.

I have a student in class who provided me with a letter of accommodations but has never used them. The student then comes to me at the end of the semester right before finals, and tells me he/she is failing and asks for the requested accommodations now. What do I do?

The student has ultimate responsibility to make use of the accommodations that have been identified as reasonable. You are not expected to retroactively make adjustments on academic work prior to student use of their accommodations. If they request to use their accommodations, you must provide them the opportunity to do so. You are to provide accommodations from that point on.

Do I have any recourse if I disagree with the requested accommodations?

Yes. You should contact SAS to discuss your concerns with one of the SAS Directors.

If a student informs me that he has a disability and would like an accommodation such as extra time for an exam but does not have a letter from SAS stating his/her accommodations, am I required to provide accommodations?

No. You are not required to provide any requested accommodations unless you have been presented with a current Letter of Accommodations. A student must be registered with SAS before accommodations will be provided.

Am I required to lower the standards of a required assignment because the student has a disability?

No. The standards should be the same for all students. However, students with disabilities may exhibit their knowledge, production or course expectations differently than their peers. Accommodations are designed to address those differences, but the quality of the end result should be the same. Modifications of policies and practices are not required when they would fundamentally alter the nature of the course, service or activity.

I have a student who is having difficulty in my class. I think this student may have a disability. What should I do to help the student?

Talk privately with the student to discuss your observations. Do not assume that the student's difficulties are a result of a disability. After a thorough discussion with the student, you may want to refer the student to one of more campus resources. Offer options to the student such as the Academic Center for Excellence (ACE), the Personal Counseling Center, as well as the SASS. If the student discloses that they do have a disability or believes they have a disability, you might suggest that the student contact Student Accessibility Services to explore options for accommodations.

I have a student with a disability who is getting behind in his schoolwork. The student is missing a number of classes and has not handed in several assignments. Although he has taken a midterm and used accommodations, his grade is about a D. At this point he is not passing the class. Do I have a right to fail a student with a disability?

The student with a disability has the same right to fail as anyone else. Work produced by the student should be equivalent to his peers. Provision of accommodations is no guarantee of academic success.

 

Universal Design Information

 

 

Colorado State University offers a Universal Design for Learning Module with useful tutorials.

 

University of Washington's DO-IT Faculty Resources help you to create a classroom environment that maximizes the learning of all students, regardless of disability.

 

DO-IT Video Equal Access: Universal Design of Instruction