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Disability Access Checklist for Faculty

Faculty Resources

Adapted from The University of Montana’s Faculty Guide to Making Accommodations for Students with Disabilities

This checklist is provided to assist faculty in creating an accessible learning environment for their courses. Students with disabilities may potentially be in every course. It is not required to anticipate every accommodation that any student with a disability might need prior to the request; however, it is advisable to be prepared for the fact that some request for accommodations will be made.

  1. Hold students with disabilities accountable to the same standards you hold every other student. Provide notice to your students of these standards and of your willingness to accommodate. This can be done verbally or within your course syllabus as outlined in the boilerplate.
  2. Verify the existence of disability and need for accommodation with the Disability Coordinator at 874-6228. The Disability Coordinator will provide information necessary for an instructor to assure program access while protecting privacy.
  3. Grant reasonable accommodations as recommended by the Disability Coordinator. Accommodations are reasonable as long as course standards are not fundamentally altered and there is a logical link between the student limitations and the accommodations.
  4. Permit the student to use auxiliary aids and technology that ensure access. Depending on the disability, students may use note takers, sign language interpreters, readers, scribes and lab assistants. Others may use tape recorders, computers, assistive listening devices and other technologies for the same purpose.
  5. Grant testing accommodations as recommended by the Disability Coordinator. Testing accommodations include, but are not limited to: extended time, alternative format, distraction-reduced environment, readers and scribes.
  6. Treat disability-related information with the strictest confidentiality. Refrain from identifying students with disabilities unnecessarily to their peers or your colleagues without student consent.

Other tips which may enhance access to your courses

  1. Select course texts early. Blind and other students with print disabilities must have adequate time to obtain their texts in alternative formats.
  2. When requested, provide alternatives to printed information such as class handouts or reserve materials in the library. Alternatives to print include: Braille, computer electronic text, large print, and tape cassettes. If Internet resource or other technologies used, then they must be accessible.
  3. Make academic adjustments in instruction. For example, for students with hearing impairments, face the audience while speaking or use an FM receiver if requested. For students with visual impairments, real aloud or describe written or graphic information.
  4. Consult with the student and/or the Disability Coordinator for more helpful information on making your courses accessible.

When are accommodations not provided?

The college must provide accommodations unless they fall under one of the following two categories:

  1. Fundamental Alteration
    If an accommodation lowers the academic standards of the college, its programs, or courses, the college denies the accommodation and deems it unreasonable to alter these fundamental standards as an accommodation for a student with a disability.
  2. Undue Hardship
    If an accommodation costs too much or is impossible to administer, the college denies the accommodation and deems it unreasonable. An undue financial burden applies to Miles Community College system as a whole. Therefore, decisions regarding undue financial hardship can only be made by the Dean of Student Services and cannot be made by a department or program. In every instance, the college reserves the right to offer other equally effective accommodations.