Reasonable accommodations are any modification or adjustment to the classroom environment and curriculum that will enable a student with a disability to participate fully in their courses and related activities. Reasonable accommodation also includes policy adjustments and services to assure that an individual with a disability has equal access to those of students without disabilities.
Student-Instructor Communication Prior to Accommodation Initiation
While we do encourage students to have a conversation with their instructors about their accommodations, we cannot require students to have a conversation about their accommodations with their instructor before their accommodations are implemented.
These conversations can be helpful for both parties. DRC Coordinators can also help facilitate these conversations and assist faculty with setting up an agreement with students about accommodations (for example, Coordinators can help instructors and students determine the parameters for acceptable numbers of absences or timelines for assignment extensions).
The issuance of an accommodation letter is considered legal notice of a student’s need for accommodations. Instructors are responsible for implementing students’ accommodations whether students request accommodations in person or not. If the instructor is unsure of the accommodation needs of a student who has not reached out to them or who is not responding to the instructor’s outreach, the instructor can contact the student’s assigned DRC Coordinators for assistance and guidance about how to proceed. The student’s DRC Coordinators is listed at the end of the student’s accommodation letter.
Clarifying Disability Information in Accommodation Letters and Requesting Medical Documentation
Students with disabilities have a right to privacy regarding their medical diagnoses and medical documentation. For this reason, we only send faculty a list of the accommodations and services students for which students qualify and ask faculty not to request medical documentation from students with disabilities. Faculty can contact the student’s assigned Service Coordinator, who can explain how the need for disability accommodation is assessed.
We ask faculty not to request medical documentation from students with disabilities. The DRC Service Coordinator can review medical documentation and confirm disability related need for accommodations including absences, make-up exams, and extensions on assignments.