Faculty and Staff FAQ's

An academic accommodation is defined as any modification to the usual manner of teaching, demonstrating, or evaluating a course objective that enables a qualified student with a disability to have an equal opportunity to participate in the educational experience. Accommodations should not fundamentally alter the nature of the course or a program of study.

How are accommodations determined?

Accommodations are developed from the individual student's documentation provided to ODS, as well as during a collaborative interview with the student by an ODS staff member. As necessary, conversation with the faculty may be needed. Two students with the same disability may qualify for and be eligible to receive different accommodations. The particular accommodations that a student utilizes will depend upon his or her particular characteristics and needs, as well as the demands of the course and learning environment.

When do I have to comply with a student’s request for accommodations?

The law provides the student with a disability the right to request accommodations from the college once he or she has provided the college with appropriate documentation. The documentation is kept by ODS and is held in a confidential manner. The University asks that the student discuss her or his disability with ODS and follow the ODS process for communicating with the faculty regarding the accommodations.

What happens if I do not agree with a formally requested accommodation?

The student can take legal action against you and/or the institution. Denial of accommodations could be considered a violation of a student's civil rights. Colleges and universities cannot discriminate against qualified people with disabilities in recruitment, admission, or treatment after admission. You should contact ODS to discuss your concerns. Academic Affairs may be advised and a meeting scheduled. The documentation would be reviewed and the reasoning for and against the requested accommodations reviewed. You will need to be able to substantiate that the provision of the accommodation(s) pose a fundamental alteration to the nature of the course being taught. If upon this review, the accommodations are determined to not fundamentally alter the nature of the course, you would be required to accommodate the student. If you have concerns about a particular accommodation request you should discuss it with ODS.

A student just brought me a Student Accommodation Agreement Form. I don’t have the flexibility in my schedule to provide extra time for testing and/or the ability or know-how to provide the accommodations. What do I do?

ODS can proctor exams for you in the Accommodative Testing and Adaptive Technology Center (ATATC), SC 1046. The ATATC can assist with other accommodations as well, like securing volunteer note-takers and enlarging materials. Just give us a call at 504-280-7284 or 504-280-6222

A student came to me in the middle of the semester and said he has a disability. What do I do?

The student with a disability is responsible for requesting and initiating all disability-related services and accommodations. An instructor should immediately refer the student to ODS. ODS will need the student to submit appropriate documentation and meet with the student. There is no time-line during the semester or true deadline for making requests. Students can usually request accommodations at any point during the semester.

Why does ODS keep asking me to choose a textbook for my class next semester? It is months away and I cannot decide right now.

Students whose disability impacts their reading may receive an accommodation for their course materials (textbooks, handouts, syllabi, lab manuals) to be in an accessible format. Formats include audio, Braille, large print, e-text or scan and read access. Advanced planning is essential in the provision of alternate format materials. Depending upon the particular format, it can take from 8 weeks to 3 or more months to produce
the document.