- Make syllabus and textbook information available as soon as possible. Many students need alternate media, such as braille or etext; these formats take considerable time to create. Allow students with disabilities to access your reading materials prior to the start of the semester.
- While we encourage students to discuss their needs with their instructors, students don't always follow this recommendation. If you have questions about whether a student might require accommodations, the first person to ask is the student, but not in front of the class or other students. Confidentiality is required.
- Respect the individual student's privacy when discussing his/her performance, behavior, or accommodations. Students may also decide not to use accommodations. This is also a protected right for students with disabilities.
- Using terms such as “students with disabilities” rather than “disabled students” or “SAS students” puts the emphasis on the person not the disability. Students are not required to provide their disability diagnosis to faculty members.
- Be flexible when you can.
- Without compromising instruction, be flexible with absences and assignment due dates.
- Encourage all students to avail themselves of campus resources.
- Use technology whenever possible, i.e. put your syllabus online, and offer your notes, PowerPoint slides, study guides and additional resources.
- Provide study questions for exams that demonstrate the question format, as well as the content, of the test. Explain what constitutes a good answer and why.
- Including a disability statement in your syllabus, provides an invitation to students who have disabilities to meet with the faculty member, normalizes the accommodation process by treating it as just another part of the course, and opens the lines of communication making the student feel more comfortable approaching faculty to disclose their disability and need for accommodation.
- Write changes to the syllabus, exam dates, deadline dates for assignments on the board and announce verbally.
- Provide course expectations clearly in writing and verbally. How students will be graded, where makeup tests or rewrites of papers are allowed.
Sample Syllabus Statement:
- For an online or remote instruction courses, consider including this statement in addition to any of the Sample Syllabus Statements below–
“I have made every effort to make this course accessible to all students, including students with disabilities. If you encounter a problem accessing anything in this course, please contact me immediately by email and also contact the Student Accessibility Services (SAS) office phone number 510-659-6079 or by email at email@example.com
- Students with disabilities, whether physical, learning, or psychological, who believe that they may need accommodations in this class, are encouraged to contact the Student Accessibility Services (SAS) office as soon as possible to ensure that such accommodations are implemented in a timely fashion. Authorization, based on verification of disability, is required before any accommodation can be made. The phone number for SAS is (510) 659-6079 and they are located in Bldg. 7, on the First Floor, Room 7122 or you can email them at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Students with disabilities who need academic accommodations are encouraged to privately discuss their authorized accommodations from Student Accessibility Services (SAS) with me. To receive accommodation services, please contact the SAS office at (510)659-6079 or email@example.com SAS is located in Bldg. 7, on the First Floor, Room 7122
- Students who may need an academic accommodation based on the impact of a disability must initiate the request with the Student Accessibility Services (SAS) Office. Students should contact SAS as soon as possible to request and receive accommodations in a timely manner. If you have been approved for accommodations from the SAS office, please meet with me privately to discuss how I can best meet your needs. To receive accommodation services, please contact the SAS office at (510) 659-6079 or at firstname.lastname@example.org SAS is located in Bldg. 7, on the First Floor, Room 7122
- If you prefer, you are welcome to develop our own statement.
- When possible and if necessary, allow students a variety of options to demonstrate mastery of core concepts, such as oral vs. written demonstrations, group projects, take-home quizzes and exams, etc.)
- When class participation appears difficult for the student, if possible grade student on knowledge and application of course concepts instead.
- Be considerate of the extra time it might take for a person with a disability to get things said or done. Don't talk for the person who has difficulty speaking, but give help when needed. Keep your manner encouraging rather than correcting or impatient.
- When lecturing, speak slowly, clearly and begin with an outline of what is to be covered that day. It is extremely helpful is the instructor briefly reviews the major points of the previous lecture or class and highlights main points to be covered that day.
- Face students and read aloud any material written on the board, or shown on the screen.
- Show only captioned videos and film clips.
- Make sure to give breaks in class to help students stay focused and engaged.
- Teach students memory tricks and acronyms as study aids. Use examples from current course work and encourage students to create their own tricks.
- Periodically offer tips and encourage class discussion of ways for improving studying such as organizational ideas, outlining techniques, summarizing strategies, etc.
- Remind students often of your availability during office hours for individual clarification of lectures, readings and assignments.
- Restate key points several times. Try to present reviews and previews both visually and orally.
- Emphasize new or technical vocabulary
- Use color and graphics to emphasize key concepts and break down steps in solving problems.
- Use verbal and written descriptions of graphics and other visual diagrams.
- Assist the student to obtain a note taker when this is an authorized accommodation.
- Allow the use of technology as an accommodation
- Permit the use of calculator when mathematical disability is severe.
- Permit the use of a dictionary or spell checker for essay exams. Give less weight to spelling when the disability is severe.
SAS welcomes questions and partnering with classroom faculty so we can support you in your efforts to accommodate a student with a disability. Individual consultation with our highly qualified SAS faculty and staff is most welcome and available to all Ohlone College faculty and staff on any disability related issue. We look forward to collaborating with you.