Faculty Resources

Working with Students with Disabilities

Achieving reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities involves shared responsibility among the students, faculty and staff.

Students disclose documented disabilities to you via a "Letter of Academic Accommodation" from Student Accessibility Support. The letter signifies that the university has received appropriate documentation of the student's disability, and that we have determined reasonable accommodations. The letter informs you of the existence of a documented disability; more importantly, we hope that it becomes the springboard for a dialogue between student and instructor.

Accommodations cannot be requested retroactively, i.e., an instructor is not accountable for providing an accommodation when a student has not presented a letter of accommodation before a given exam or assignment in question.

For more information on how you can help support students with disabilities, please access the Center for Teaching and Learning.

Partnership with Student Accessibility Support

Information about a student's disability is confidential, but communication between a faculty member and a Student Accessibility Support specialist is interpreted as serving the student's needs. 

At times, a student will request an accommodation that is not appropriate to the course or to the university context. A member of the Student Accessibility Support team will engage in a dialogue with the student about what is appropriate and what is not — and about strategies to address the student's difficulty.

Determination of reasonable accommodations is done through Student Accessibility Support, with established processes. No faculty member is expected to be put in a position of having to determine an appropriate accommodation for a student on his or her own.