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Seven Provisions for Classroom Accommodations

  1. Accommodations should not minimize the "essential" requirements of the course. Professors need to determine which are the MOST essential components in order to achieve the same learning outcomes for everyone.
    • ASK "What is the impact of providing such accommodation on the student's ability to meet essential course requirements?"
  2. Just because a student has a history of academic success does not mean he or she doesn't have a disability or does not need accommodations.
    • Ex: Students with learning disabilities may achieve a high level of academic success, but be "substantially limited in one or more of the major life activities" (Section 504/ADA) in reading, writing, speaking, or learning, because of the additional time or effort they must spend to process words, calculate, articulate, or concentrate compared to most students in the general population.
  3. Being entitled to "meaningful access standard" does not mean students with disabilities have to produce the same level of achievement as their peers without disabilities, but it does mean they must be given equal opportunity to gain the same benefit.
  4. Professors are entitled to a reasonable amount of time to REVIEW, PROCESS AND RESPOND to requests for accommodation; however, professors CANNOT REFUSE to consider accommodation requests based on arbitrary reasons, e.g., missing deadline for submission of the letter of accommodation or the student forgetting to show up for an appointment to discuss his or her accommodation needs.
  5. Extra Credit—ensure that all students have equal opportunities to earn the extra credit assignments, whether it's attending a special event, completing an additional assignment or giving another presentation in class.
    • Ex: If the professor is aware that some students are unable to go on a field trip due to the fear of height or anxiety toward animals, then these students do not have the same opportunity to earn the extra credit like everyone else. An alternate opportunity should be considered.
  6. When decided on the type of adjustments, ensure that there is "not a substantial adverse impact" on the student's receipt of educational benefits. The KEY is to be able to:
    1. Demonstrate that the student's request was given GOOD FAITH consideration.
    2. Provide clear evidence that the accommodation is, in fact, EFFECTIVE.
  7. Professors should NOT take a "hands off" approach and wait for the student to determine if an accommodation is or is not effective. Regularly follow up and have the student outline the difficulties he or she may be experiencing in and outside of class and encourage them to use institutional resources as supports. Such interactive process will hopefully EMPOWER your student with a disability to meet all the course expectations.

Questions? Please email

McKay Classroom Building Room 181

Counseling & Disability Services

Updated: 8/11/2019