Policies & Procedures
Providing Access andOpportunity for Students with Disabilities
The role of Disability Services (DS) is to determine reasonable and appropriate accommodations for students with disabilities as outlined in Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. In determining who is eligible for accommodations, DS reviews relevant medical and psychometric documentation of the student's disability. When deciding what accommodations would be reasonable for a student with a disability, DS is careful not to offer an accommodation to a student which may violate the integrity of the course or fundamentally alter an essential component of the course. DS strives to ensure the civil rights of our students with disabilities while at the same time protecting institutional standards.
In keeping with federal and university policies and with best practices, the following items should be considered in an attempt to create a welcoming classroom environment for students with disabilities.
Please include the following statement on each course syllabus and read it aloud during the first week of each term.
If you need course adaptations or accommodations because of a disability, please contact me as soon as possible. BallState’s Disability Services office coordinates services for students with disabilities; documentation of a disability needs to be on file in that office before any accommodations can be provided. Disability Services can be contacted at 765-285-5293 or firstname.lastname@example.org .
While it is always best for students to communicate early in the term, we may not put dates or deadlines on legal rights. Should a student request an accommodation, indicate that you will be able to discuss that when he/she has presented you with a letter from the Disability Services office.
Faculty members are under no obligation to provide any accommodations to a student until the student presents the faculty member with a letter of accommodation from the DS office. Before determining what accommodations would be appropriate for a student, DS meets with the student and reviews disability documentation that must be age-appropriate, comprehensive, and must clearly diagnose a disability.
Accommodation letters will be on DS letterhead and contain three elements:
1. Verify the student's disability
2. List appropriate accommodations
3. Describe options for the administration of accommodated tests
When the student presents you with this letter, the two of you should meet to determine the method for the provision of these accommodations. The two of you may agree that you will provide these accommodations in an appropriate setting (possibly your office or the departmental office). Or, if you and the student agree, you may utilize the accommodated testing program offered through the Learning Center (NQ 350). Procedures have been developed at the Learning Center to maintain test security and the standards set by you and the university. Contact the Learning Center, 285-3779, for more information about their test administration procedures.
The DS office coordinates such services as notetakers, books in alternative formats, and sign language interpreters. We may ask you to share a copy of your class notes, if possible, or to assist in finding a notetaker for a student.
The inQsit testing system, which can be restricted to the secure testing labs or used at the Learning Center, is certified accessible and automatically adjusts test times to accommodate those students registered withDS.
While technology has offered individuals with disabilities access to many new opportunities, not all new technology has been created with access in mind. If you are creating or using technology in your classes, please consider how a student with a disability would access that program; how would a student who is blind or deaf use the technology? If you are creating a website for use in any of your classes, it is necessary that the site be accessible to students with disabilities. BSU has terrific resources to ensure technological access. Contact Carlos Taylor, BSU's Adaptive Technology Specialist, (RB 168, email@example.com, 285-6124) for assistance with this, to learn of Braille and other options for making text accessible, voice-activated computing, specialized keyboards, and much more.
To ensure access to videos for students who are deaf or hard of hearing, first contact Educational Resources (285-5333) to see if there is a captioned version available. If this is not available, contact Jeff Bowers (285-2766) at the Teleplex to get assistance with captioning of the video. Advance planning is important.
When planning a field trip and providing university transportation for the class, please plan ahead if there are access needs. Contact Transportation (285-1022) for assistance in arranging for an accessible vehicle. Extra costs (if any) will be paid by the university.