Providing Access and
Opportunity 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. A printable PDF is available here.
Syllabus/Course Outline Statement
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.
State’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.
Accommodation Letters & Testing Accommodations
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 Disability Services office. Before determining what accommodations
would be appropriate for a student, Disability Services 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 Disability
Services letterhead and verify the student's disability, list appropriate
accommodations, and describe options for the administration of accommodated
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
(North Quad 350). Staff at the Learning Center will work with you and the
student if you choose to utilize this testing option. Procedures have been
developed at the Learning Center to maintain test security and the standards
set by you and the university.
Blackboard Exams If
you use online exams (such as Blackboard), you will need to ensure that the
student gets extended time. There are two ways you can do this with
Blackboard. If the Blackboard system does not shut the student off after
the allotted time, you can simply permit the student to continue taking the
exam for longer than you have assigned. Otherwise, if you do set a time
limit for your exams, you can easily go into the Blackboard system and extend
the time for this student’s exams. More information about how to do this
is available here. Please make sure you
communicate with the student as to which approach you will use.
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 using media/technology in any of
your classes, it is necessary that the technology be accessible to students
with disabilities. BSU has terrific resources to ensure technological access.
For students with visual impairments: Contact Carlos Taylor, BSU's Adaptive Technology
285-6124) to ensure that technology is accessible for students using adaptive
software. Carlos can also assist with
Braille and other options for making text accessible.
For students who are
deaf/hard of hearing: If captioning is needed for any video used in
class, first contact Educational Resources (285-5333) to see if there is a
captioned version available. If not available, contact Jeff Bowers (285-2766)
at University Media Services to get assistance with captioning of the video. Advance
planning is important as adding captions to video is a laborious process.
Field trips 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.
Copyright © 2017 Ball State University 2000 W. University Ave. Muncie, IN 47306
800-382-8540 and 765-289-1241