General Faculty and Staff Support of Students with Disabilities

Although faculty and staff are not involved in making the determination, they are encouraged to assist and support the OEA and students with disabilities in different ways:

  1. Individual faculty members can put a statement in their syllabus announcing that a student who feels that he/she may need an accommodation based on the impact of a disability should contact the OEA. The statement should supply the contact information for the OEA and explain what the OEA does. Encourage meeting with them to discuss possible accommodations as they relate to your specific course and their individual disability. This shows a general willingness to work with the student and encourage the student to seek out the accommodations they need.
  2. How to assist a student if they have a disability but don’t have the necessary documentation if a student approaches you about a disability they believe they have and/or a request for accommodations without the necessary Letter of Accommodation from the OEA, you should provide the contact information of the OEA, explain what they do and why the student needs to go through OEA, and help them follow up with OEA.

Faculty Responsibility when a Student Provides Documentation of a Disability and a Request for Accommodations

Once a student provides you with the proper documentation from the OEA, you should meet with the student privately and establish a plan to provide or implement the accommodations.

It is important to note that under the law, accommodations are not implemented to give students an unfair advantage; rather, accommodations are intended to give students with disabilities an equal opportunity to achieve the same results that other students have the opportunity to achieve.

If a faculty member feels unsure about how to implement the accommodations, the OEA is a resource you should use, along with the student, to achieve the necessary implementation of the identified accommodations.

Continued communication with the individual student is important. Confirm with the student that the accommodation(s) is (are) effective and re-evaluate the implementation of the accommodation(s). If the faculty member and student find that it is not effective or believe that a different or additional accommodations may be advisable, communication with the OEA to find better solutions is pertinent.

If you would like more information about Section 504, the ADA, or faculty responsibilities, feel free to

Contact the Office of Educational Accessibility

(223 Lawrence Center, 610-436-2517) or access the OEA website.

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