Frequently Asked Questions: A Guide for DU Faculty
Q. Can I get a list of DU students with disabilities?
A. Right-to-privacy guidelines dictate that we cannot disclose information about students without their consent; however, we encourage students to discuss their disabilities and necessary accommodations with faculty at the beginning of each course. Once a student has approached you, feel free to contact us if you have concerns or questions about the accommodations.
Q. May I discuss the student and/or the disability with other faculty or staff and parents?
A. Students at least 18 years old are afforded all the rights of adults, including privacy. Instructors must receive in writing the student’s permission before sharing any information with anyone other than the student. If the student has signed a release, DSP can discuss educational issues with faculty and staff.
Q. What do I do if a student appeals a grade based on a disability?
A. Accommodations cannot be granted retroactively. To receive an accommodation, a student must disclose the disability, provide proper documentation, and request it at the time it is needed.
Q. What should I do if I think a student has a disability?
A. According to the ADA, a student is disabled if he or she meets at least one of three criteria: 1) Has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits at least one major life activity, 2) Has a record of such an impairment, 3) Is regarded as having such an impairment If you suspect that a student meets any of these criteria, you may suggest that he or she contact a DSP staff member for guidance.
Q. What is my responsibility if a student requests accommodations?
A. It is the instructor’s responsibility to provide requested accommodations. DSP helps ensure that the accommodations are appropriate and obtainable. The student provides DSP with documentation of the disability. DSP staff reviews the documentation and determines appropriate accommodations. At the student’s request, DSP can provide a Faculty Letter outlining necessary accommodations. If an instructor grants an accommodation without DSP involvement, the student could be perceived as disabled under ADA criteria, and that could put the instructor and the University at risk if there is a problem or complaint related to the accommodation.
Q. What if I think an accommodation is inappropriate?
A. DSP staff can help determine appropriateness. Accommodations that compromise the integrity of an academic program, impose undue financial burden on the University, or alter the programmatic content are neither reasonable nor appropriate. Students must meet the goals and objectives of any course(s) in which they are enrolled.
Q. A student needs a note taker in class; what do I do?
A. Either the student or the faculty can ask for a volunteer note taker at the beginning of the class. DSP provides Note Taker Agreements and special paper or copy machine access. If a volunteer note taker is not available, DSP will provide one from outside the class.
Q. What is extended time testing, and how does it work?
A. Many students with disabilities are afforded this accommodation. At DU, students receive extended time to take in-class quizzes and exams. While an instructor may choose to give any student extra time to take an exam, DSP uses the following procedures:
1. The student fills out a DSP testing form and returns it to the DSP Testing Coordinator at least seven days prior to the test date. The Testing Coordinator then contacts the instructor to make arrangements to get the exam.
2. The student takes the exam in the DSP testing facility at the same time the rest of the class is taking it, unless prior arrangements have been made with the instructor and Testing Coordinator.
3. A DSP proctor is present in the room, or nearby, during the exam.
4. DSP returns completed exam and all related materials to the instructor or department.
5. If a computer is needed, DSP provides a secure computer.
Q. How do I handle a student with a temporary disability, e.g., a broken arm?
A. Students with temporary disabilities or injuries should contact the DSP office to discuss their needs. In general, the same disability guidelines apply. DSP will provide students with a Faculty Letter and work with students to provide reasonable accommodations.
Q. If a student needs Alternate Format Texts (taped, e-text, Braille), what do I do?
A. Students with this accommodation can request that DSP perform one of the following options:
1. Electronically scan materials; text-tospeech computer software "reads" material to the student.
2. Tape materials not available at Recording for the Blind and Dyslexic (RFB&D), a not-for-profit organization that provides free recorded materials to members.
3. Braille materials for blind students. Students are encouraged to contact instructors prior to the start of the quarter to identify reading lists and are required to purchase textbooks and course packs. The student is responsible for bringing class handouts to DSP for recording, or you may send them to us. For reserve readings at the library, we ask that instructors provide DSP with a copy of all materials. They will be returned after the course is completed. You may also provide DSP with a password for e-reserve readings.
Q. Can students bring assistants to class?
A. Assistants are provided by DSP if they are needed for academic work in the classroom or lab, but some students may need a personal assistant. An assistant should not interact with instructors or other students in the class; communication should be with the student enrolled in the class. If you have questions about the role of an assistant, contact DSP.
Q. Do students pay for accommodations?
A. No. Individuals with disabilities are not charged for their accommodations. However, in some instances they may be responsible for their own equipment or aides such as specialized computer hardware and software.
Q. What is the Learning Effectiveness Program (LEP), and how is it related to
A. The LEP is a fee-for-service program that works with students, primarily undergraduates, who have learning disabilities and/or Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Most LEP students also receive accommodations through the DSP office, so they are held to the same standards and responsibilities. These students also have LEP counselors who assist them with paper development, time management, and organizational skills.
Q. What about faculty and staff who have disabilities and need accommodations?
A. DU has an ADA coordinator in the office of Diversity and Equal Employment. Contact the coordinator at x12585.