There is no need to dilute curriculum or to reduce course requirements for students with disabilities. However, special accommodations, as well as modifications, might be needed in the way information is presented and in methods of testing and evaluation. Depending on the disability, the student might require the administration of examinations through E-text or computer and/or scribes, extensions of time for the completion of exams, a quiet and private room to take the exam, or a modification of test formats. For out-of-class assignments, the student may negotiate the extension of deadlines. The objective of such considerations should always be to accommodate the student’s learning disability, not to lower scholastic requirements. The same standards should be applied to students with disabilities as to all other students in evaluation and assigning grades.
It would be helpful to put a statement at the end of a course syllabus such as, “Students with disabilities needing accommodations should contact the Office of Student Disability Services in Suite 239, Academic Success Center building 864-656-6848, prior to contacting me during office hours.” To ensure consistent accommodations with each student — and to inform students of support services available — please make referrals to Student Disability Services. Prior to receiving accommodations, a student obtains a Faculty Accommodation Letter from this office.
It is important to discuss appropriate accommodations with students; however, asking questions about a student’s disability, such as the diagnosis, must be avoided. Students have the legal right not to disclose the diagnosis; they need only discuss how reasonable accommodations assist them in their academic environment.
Faculty members are not required to make modifications that fundamentally alter the nature and content of a course. Faculty are not required to provide accommodations that have an adverse impact on the integrity of the academic program.
Remember to make sure students go through Student Disability Services in order to receive accommodations from you. For example, if a student tries to approach you with a pill bottle to document his or her disability or a psychological evaluation for you to review, please send them to disability services to certify the disability.
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