|Dear Faculty, |
The Office of Civil Rights (OCR) requires the college to inform students with disabilities of the services available to them. While that information is certainly available to our students in a variety of other venues, OCR strongly suggests that tools such as syllabus statements are among the most effective methods of reinforcing this knowledge.
Frequently students are reluctant to access services because they have been shy about coming into my office, because they are not clear about what is available to them, or because they are concerned that they will somehow appear to be different. A well written syllabus statement can help to normalize this process into another necessary piece of administrative detail, on a par with assignment dates and absence policies. The goal would be to encourage eligible students to get in touch with the Support Service Office early in the semester, rather than later, when they may already be caught in a frustrating and unproductive cycle of behavior, or, equally awkward, keep them from waiting until exam time to raise the issue at all. Syllabus statements certainly will not eliminate this behavior completely, but may help us to support a few more students as they work at being independent learners.
To that end, I ask that you consider including one of the following statements on your syllabus for the coming semester. If you prefer, you are of course welcome to develop your own statement. It should inform your students that accommodations are available for students with disabilities, that you are willing to provide those accommodations, and how they can get the ball rolling to receive the accommodations. Make sure that it is clear that they need to provide appropriate documentation to my office and develop a plan with me, along with speaking with you personally in order to use academic or testing accommodations. This is for your protection as well as the protection of the student and the college.
Thank- you. I cannot tell you how much I, and the students, appreciate your cooperation.
- Students with disabilities, whether physical, psychological, or learning, who believe that they may need accommodations in this class are encouraged to contact the Learning Specialist as soon as possible to ensure that such accommodations are implemented in a timely fashion. Please meet with Robin Goodall to verify your eligibility for accommodation and/or academic assistance related to your disability. She can be reached at the Student Support Center (Conant 224), extension 1278, or by email ( firstname.lastname@example.org) .
- Students with disabilities may request accommodation as provided within federal law. All such requests should be made by first contacting Robin Goodall, Learning Specialist, in the Student Support Center (Conant 224). She can be reached by phone at 728-1278 or by email at email@example.com. Information regarding services and supports, as well as documentation requirements, is available at the Student Support Center.
- Anyone who feels they may be eligible for an accommodation based on the impact of a disability should contact me to arrange an appointment to discuss the course format and the sorts of supports that may be needed. I rely on the Learning Specialist Office for assistance in verifying the need for accommodations and developing accommodation strategies. If you have not contacted the Learning Specialist, Robin Goodall, I encourage you to do so. She is available at the Student Support Center (Conant 224), ext. 1278, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- In compliance with college policy and equal access laws, I am available to discuss appropriate accommodations that you may require as a student with a disability. Request for accommodations should be made at the beginning of the semester, except for unusual circumstances, so arrangements can be made. Students are encouraged to contact Robin Goodall at the Student Support Center (Conant 224) (1278, or email@example.com ) for information regarding disability verification and for the determination of reasonable accommodations.