"A disability statement opens the lines of communication making the student feel more comfortable approaching faculty to disclose their disability and need for accommodation." Jennifer Aaron, student self-advocate
In postsecondary settings, students are the best source of information regarding their special needs. They are responsible for disclosing their disabilities and requesting accommodations. To create a welcome course environment, include a statement on your class syllabus inviting students who require accommodations to meet with you. For example:
Learning support services and accommodations are available to students covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act. If you require accommodations in this course, you must immediately contact the Director of Disability Support Services at 410-532-5401 who will meet with you, review the documentation of your disability and discuss the services offered and any accommodations you require for specific courses. It is extremely important that you begin this process at the beginning of the semester. Please do not wait until the first test or paper.
- The accommodation process should be one of collaboration between student and instructor with support from Disability Support Services (DSS).
- Students already working with DSS have provided the office with documentation of their disability. Faculty should not ask the student for documentation, however, they can request that a letter from DSS be sent to verify the disability.
- A statement on the syllabus and an announcement in class normalizes the accommodation process by treating it as just another part of the course.
- The statement can be altered to meet the specific needs of your department/courses.
- It is recommended that instructors for multiple section courses and labs come to an agreement on the syllabus statement used.