1. What do I do if a student tells me he or she has a disability? Students with disabilities must be registered with the office of Accessibility Resource Center (ARC) in order to secure academic accommodations. Any student who discloses a disability, inclusive of temporary medical conditions, should be referred to Disability Support Services located in DF Lowry, room 107, phone number (910) 521-6695.
2. Who determines academic accommodations for students with disabilities? Once students have completed their intake packet, their file is reviewed by the Documentation Review Committee (DRC). Through the deliberative process the DRC ascertains if the student qualifies as a student with a disability and, if so, which accommodations the student qualifies for based upon their functional limitations?
3. How do I know a student is registered with Disability Support Services and is qualified for accommodations? The student will first contact you for a confidential meeting. He or she will bring a letter of accommodation on letterhead which will outline the accommodations. Together you will discuss which accommodations he or she would like to implement in your class and how the process will work. This will be noted via a collaborative discussion between you and the student on the contract. Never sign a blank contract. Additional paperwork may include a note taker slip, a tape recording agreement and/or test proctoring forms for those students who will test in the lab in Disability Support Services. Please call the DSS office immediately if you have any concerns or questions during this meeting with your student.
4. When must a student notify me of his or her accommodations? A student can implement accommodations at any time during the semester. However, we recommend that the student do so at the beginning of the semester to maximize their effectiveness. Accommodations begin when you and the student fill out the contract and, therefore, are not retroactive. Students must also be ‘timely and reasonable’ in their requests for accommodations.
5. The letter of accommodation states that the student needs a note taker; how does that work? The student should have brought the letter of accommodation, a contract for your class and a note taker slip. You keep the note taker slip and then read it to the class in the next class meeting. The identity of the student with a disability must be kept confidential. Once a student raises his or her hand to volunteer to be a note taker, simply hand him or her the note taker slip. The volunteer will then come to Disability Support Services to fill out paperwork, learn to use the copier and find out where copied notes are placed. The student with a disability will come to the office to pick up the notes.
6. The letter of accommodation states that the student can tape record the class. The qualifying student will bring a copy of a tape recording agreement signed in our office ensuring that he or she will not share the recording with anyone. It is the belief of some educators that some students may not participate in class discussions if they know they are being recorded. When commencing a class discussion in which experiential learning takes place and tape recording need not be done, simply tell students to turn off their recording equipment (some students could be recording with their cell phones or other equipment that are not DSS students).
7. The student and I agree that in order for the student to get his or her extended time, he or she must test in the Disability Support Services lab. What is the process and how secure is the testing environment? Each professor determines where and how tests are proctored. Should the professor determine DSS should proctor the tests, there is an Exam Proctoring Authorization Form which must be completed and turned into the office of Disability Support Services prior to each test being taken. It is the student’s responsibility to facilitate this process. There is an area on the form which allows faculty to check off any materials allowed in the testing room such as notes or a textbook. Without this authorization, students are not allowed to take personal items, course materials, their own paper nor their own pen into the room. Faculty also indicates on the form how the test will be delivered to our office and when pick up will occur. Tests can be hand delivered or emailed to the Accommodations Coordinator (firstname.lastname@example.org). The testing procedure follows that of standardized testing centers, and there are security cameras in the room. Should an instance of cheating occur, the proctor will end the test and contact the professor immediately. The proctor will then write up the incident for the professor to use when utilizing the Academic Honor Code policy.
8. I have a student who has “relaxed attendance” as an accommodation. What does this mean? Under a ‘commitment to resolve’ between Office for Civil Rights (OCR) and UNCP, relaxed attendance is a reasonable accommodation for a class. DSS personnel are the only employees who may determine the need for relaxed attendance polices. However, faculty has the right to negotiate with DSS personnel on what constitutes a reasonable attendance accommodation for a particular class. If the request needs further clarification or modification, contact the office of Disability Support Services to clarify what this means for your class. We will discuss how relaxed attendance will work with your curriculum requirements and pedagogy. It is best to conduct this call while meeting with the student and prior to signing your contract with the student. The student may have to miss a class due to a disability-related issue, but he or she must still meet the competencies and requirements of your class.
9.Am I allowed to request documentation from the student or view the documentation on file with Disability Support Services? No. Documentation is confidential and all records are housed securely in the office of Disability Support Services.
10. Will I be asked to alter course standards for a student with a disability? Staff at Disability Support Services will never ask you to lower your course standards nor compromise an essential component of the curriculum for a student with a disability. Although you may be asked to alter the format of materials in order to make the assignment or test accessible to the student, students must be able to fulfill course standards.
11. What can I do if I think the accommodation alters course standards? As stated on the letter of accommodation:
UNCP’s Documentation Review Committee (DRC) has met and determined this student is eligible for the following accommodations under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act. If an instructor determines any accommodation compromises an essential component of his /her curriculum and the instructor wishes to challenge the accommodation, a letter must be submitted to the DRC justifying the request for release from accommodations and sent directly to the Director of Disability Support Services. The DRC will reconvene and communicate a written decision to the instructor.
12. I have a student with a disability in class who is not handing in all of the work and the work submitted is not up to standard. Can I fail a student with a disability under these circumstances? Students with disabilities must produce work according to course standards. If the student is not handing in work or is completing sub-standard work, he or she has the same right to fail as any other student.
13. I have a student who is disrupting my class. What can I do? Ultimately you can address the behavior through the Student Code of Conduct, but before you reach that point, have a frank discussion with your student in a confidential setting. DSS personnel are happy to help you with the conversation should you want support. Some disabilities are such that the understanding of social nuances is impaired, therefore, be direct and concrete in your conversation. If you are not sure how to handle the situation or would like help with the student, call Disability Support Services at (910) 521-6695.