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Key Points to Remember

Accommodating Eligible Students with Disabilities

Include a Syllabus Statement: Include a statement such as, “If you are a student with a disability and need accommodations, you are welcome to meet with me to discuss arrangements for the accommodations. University of North Georgia is committed to equal access to its programs, services, and activities. Students who require accommodations and services must register with Student Disability Services (SDS) and submit supporting documentation.”

Verify the Accommodations: Students who are eligible for accommodations can provide you with an Accommodation Notification (AN) from SDS. If a student indicates that the need for accommodation, or suspicion that he or she has an accommodation, but does not have an accommodation, please refer the student to SDS. You are not required to give accommodations retroactive to a time prior to when the student notified you of his or her accommodations.

Show Receptiveness: Encourage students to make an appointment during office hours to discuss their accommodations, and which ones they plan to use in your class. Ask students how you can assist them with course material. Contact SDS with any concerns, such as fairness or academic integrity, rather than discussing these issues with the student.

Provide Accommodations and Insure Access

Any accommodations the student requests that are listed on the accommodation notification must be provided. Students may choose not to use all, or any, accommodations in your class. If you are uncertain how to accommodate a student, remember that the student is a great source of information, and SDS is available to work through accommodation challenges with faculty and students.

It is important to select textbooks, reading assignments and audiovisuals well in advance for students who use alternate formats. SDS obtains classroom materials in digital, Braille, and large print formats, but this takes time.

Resources are available to caption videos, but advance notice must be provided. For assistance in assuring that all videos shown in class are accessible for students who have visual or hearing impairments, see Access to Course Content; Guidelines for Captioning Audiovisuals on the SDS website. All new purchases of classroom media must be accessible.

Students with a variety of disabilities, to include blindness, seizure disorder, psychological disability, and autism spectrum disorder, may have a service dog. Please be aware that service dogs must be allowed in the classroom, and the ADA allows faculty and staff to ask only two questions; Is the dog required because of a disability? And, what work or task has the dog been trained to perform? Because this is a working animal, do not feed or pet the service dog. If you have questions or concerns, contact SDS.

Whenever possible, plan early to allow all students the opportunity for internships, study abroad experiences, and other out-of-classroom opportunities. Consult with SDS as early as possible so that additional accommodation needs can be considered and addressed.

Online course content must also be accessible. Access is also a key issue for the increasing number of traditional classes that have at least some course content online. Contact Distance Education and Technology Integration for questions pertaining to online instruction.

Finally, communicate effectively with teaching assistants (and anyone who may teach your class in your absence) about student accommodations that may be used in the classroom. For example, a student may have the Classroom Allowances accommodation to leave as needed during lecture, which is often for a medical condition. This could cause embarrassment if the professor knowingly confronts the student. Please note that it is not necessary to identify the student who may use the accommodation in your absence.

Protect Confidentiality

Remember that information pertaining to a student’s disability is confidential by law. Discussions with students about accommodations must be held in private, where they cannot be overheard by others. All records, including Accommodation Notification papers, are to remain confidential, and should be shredded at the end of the semester. Violating the student’s confidentiality is often traumatic to the student, and can be the basis of a complaint to the Office for Civil Rights.

Communicate Expectations

Before the course begins, be clear about expectations. Once accommodations are provided, expect students with disabilities to perform at a level commensurate with their peers. Students with disabilities are subject to the same code of conduct requirements and consequences as all UNG students. However, as issues related to disability and/or medical treatment can sometimes explain a change in behavior, feel free to consult with SDS. Please also be aware that accommodations are a legal right, and cannot be withheld as a consequence of behavior.

Incorporating Universal Design to Reach All Students

Universal Design enhances the accessibility of courses for all students by creating and utilizing products or materials that can be used by everyone, regardless of their age, ability or status in life. Universal Design in the classroom embraces three basic principles.

  • Providing multiple means of representation, the “what”
  • Providing multiple means of action, the “how”
  • Providing multiple means of engagement, the “why”

To follow are suggestions for how to incorporate Universal Learning Design in your classroom. By making the classroom more accessible for students with disabilities, access and engaged learning is achieved for all students.

Select flexible curriculum

Choose textbooks and other curriculum materials that address the needs of students with diverse abilities, interests, learning styles, preferences, and other characteristics. Use materials that are well organized, emphasize important points, provide references for gaining background knowledge, and have chapter outlines, study questions, and practice exercises.

Put learning in context

Incorporate multiple examples and perspectives to make specific concepts relevant to individuals with diverse characteristics such as age, ability, gender, ethnicity, race, socioeconomic status, and interests.

Provide cognitive supports

  • Start each lecture with an outline of material to be covered during the class. At the conclusion, briefly summarize key points.
  • Present new or technical vocabulary in advance, and use terms in context to convey greater meaning. Give examples and non-examples.
  • Provide study questions in advance for exams. Choose ones that illustrate the format, as well as the content, of the test. Explain what constitutes a good answer and why.
  • Provide adequate opportunities for questions and answers, including review sessions.

Use multiple modes to deliver content

Deliver instructions clearly and multiple ways, such as both orally and in written form. Offer multiple types of learning opportunities, such as collaborative learning, small group discussion, hands-on activities, online assignments, and fieldwork.

UNG follows Section 508 Standards and WCAG 2.0 for web accessibility. If you require the content on this web page in another format, please contact the ADA Coordinator.

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