To support students with disabilities, the following concepts have been found to be the most useful for faculty and staff members:
Responsibilities – the responsibility of utilizing the approved accommodations is on the student. As you get to know the students in your courses, you may learn more about your students with disabilities which may lead you to believe you can help the student secure an accommodation. Please encourage your students to do this for themselves. Some students with disabilities may choose to never use an approved accommodation for your course. Disability Services Staff members are always available to answer questions or concerns. Disability Services is also available to help you discover ways to work most effectively with any student with a disability.
Referrals – referring any requests for accommodations to Disability Services staff at 320-308-5757 (Office 1-460) or 320-308-5096 (Office 1-401) or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Inclusive – including the Statement of Accommodations in course syllabi. Additionally, being aware of inclusivity within course materials. For example, if videos are often used in the classroom, verify that they are captioned or transcribed. Atomic Learning is an online database of video-based technology training courses that can assist in many accessibility situations.
Announcement – announcing during the first course period “if any student needs accommodations for this course, please meet with me during my office hours”. This approach maintains privacy of the student and indicates the willingness of the faculty or staff member to assist the students.
Confidentiality – respecting and maintaining information about a student’s disability is very important. At no point should a faculty or staff member share information about a specific student’s disability unless at the explicit request of the student. Any paperwork associated with a student’s disability should be forwarded to Disability Services.
Communication – Communicating with Disability Services staff with any questions, concerns, or with needs for clarification is always appropriate. If a student chooses to utilize their approved accommodations for your course, maintaining communication with the student and Disability Services staff regarding the accommodation details can help in the student’s success.
Quick Facts for Faculty and Staff
An Individual with a Disability is:
- Any person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more of the person’s major life activities (such as caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, speaking, breathing, learning, and working). Most students registered with Disability Services have invisible disabilities, meaning they have no obvious signs indicating their accommodation needs.
- Any person who has a record of, a history of, or who has been classified as having a mental or physical impairment that substantially limits one or more of the person’s major life activities.
The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Minnesota State Board Policy 1B.4 establish criteria and offer guidance regarding the provision of services to students with disabilities in post-secondary education. While the scope and specific language of each of these laws differ, their goal in the higher education setting is the same: to provide meaningful access to the educational services offered by colleges and universities so that students with disabilities have an equal opportunity to participate.
Documentation of the Disability
Students who register with Disability Services must provide documentation of their disability from the appropriate professional for the disability. The documentation must provide an official diagnosis and must also address the functional limitations imposed by the disability. The cost of obtaining documentation is the responsibility of the student. Generally speaking, a high school Individual Education Plan (IEP) provides some helpful information about the student, but it does not provide enough diagnostic information related to the disability that helps determine appropriate accommodations at the college level. A high school IEP is a goal-oriented document created by a team of parents, teachers, school district representatives, school psychologists/specialists, and the student that relates specifically to the K-12 system.
Once registered with Disability Services, students have an established Accommodations Plan that outlines the specific accommodations they may choose to utilize. Accommodations Plans are determined based on a review of disability documentation and an interview with the student and is meant to provide equal access to all programs, services, and activities at SCTCC. Once the Accommodations Plan is in place, Disability Services staff strongly encourages the student to make an appointment to visit with you during your office hours to discuss his/her accommodation needs. Please be advised the student is under no obligation to discuss his/her disability with you nor should you question the student. Your obligation is to discuss how the accommodations will be implemented. The Accommodations Plan is confidential and property of Disability Services.
Services Provided to Faculty & Staff
One of the most important services we offer is consultation to you the faculty and staff members. Our role is to ensure St. Cloud Technical & Community College meets its obligations under Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and Minnesota State Board Policy 1B.4. If you have any questions or concerns about an accommodation or if you believe an accommodation will fundamentally alter your course, please contact Disability Services.
Providing accommodations for students in testing situations is the most common accommodation requested to Disability Services. We prefer to have students take their quizzes and exams in your department whenever possible, but we realize due to scheduling or the student’s accommodation needs that it is not always possible. If a student qualifies for testing accommodations, they should discuss their specific needs with you, share with you their Accommodations Plan, and complete the appropriate procedures for requesting Testing Accommodations.
When requesting accommodations for a specific test, the student should discuss with you any specific parameters (i.e. use of calculators, open book, open notes, use of cell phone, etc.) prior to signing up to take a test with Disability Services.
Testing accommodations in a nutshell…
- Role of Student:
- Be approved for and request the appropriate accommodation according to established procedures in Disability Services
- Communicate with faculty/instructor that accommodation will be used for the specific test
- Be aware of and follow any specific instructions from faculty/instructor
- Role of Faculty:
- establish tests and testing dates,
- set expectations for test (i.e., use of notes, calculators, open book, etc.), and
- forward tests to Disability Services (or having test available online with appropriate accommodations) in a timely manner
- Role of Disability Services Staff:
- Schedule and proctor test according to approved accommodations (which may impact dates/times, but not test material)
- Return test to faculty/instructor in timely manner
Disability Services will accommodate testing accommodations at the student’s request and requires notice of three (3) school days for tests, quizzes, or exams. For Final Examinations, Disability Services requires 2 weeks advanced notice for accommodation requests. Some students with disabilities may choose to take their exams without any accommodations.
When a student has requested Testing Accommodations, faculty/instructors receive notification in the form of an Outlook appointment via SCTCC email. Notification from Disability Services/Accommodations Calendar will include:
- Course Information
- Date and Time of the scheduled exam
- Amount of time scheduled for the exam (the duration of the appointment)
- Room/Location for the exam
- Specific instructions given to the student (i.e. use of calculators, open book, open notes, etc.)
After receiving notification of the Testing Accommodation, we ask faculty/instructors to:
- Confirm the details of the appointment
- If this is a paper examination, please forward the examination to Disability Services by bringing the hard copy to Office 1-460. You may also send the paper examination to Disability Services via email at email@example.com
- If this is an online/D2L examination, please insure that the exam is available to the student for the given amount of time.
- Notify Disability Services of any specific requests for receiving the completed examination.
- Disability Services will return the completed examination to the faculty/instructor in person or via inter-campus mail.
- Faculty/instructors may also choose to pick up the examination from Disability Services (Office 1-460), or have the examination scanned and emailed to the faculty/instructor.
Additional Testing Accommodations Information:
- If an arranged exam needs to be cancelled or rescheduled for any reason, the student is responsible for notifying Disability Services and the faculty/instructor.
- All test, quiz, or Final exams must be scheduled during normal business hours. Hours for testing are: Monday-Friday 8:00am-4:00pm. All exams must be completed by 4:00pm.
Evening classes must also have examinations scheduled during normal business hours.
- Any suspected evidence of cheating will be documented by Disability Services and forwarded to the faculty/instructor and other appropriate SCTCC staff.
- Test proctors may enter a student’s testing room at any time for purposes of Academic Integrity.
Note Taking Services
Another common accommodation for SCTCC students is requests for Note Taking Services. Many students qualify for this accommodation and are encouraged to find a note taker on their own first. For students who are not comfortable finding their own note take, we ask them to discuss their note taking needs with you at the beginning of the semester. Students are informed that having a note taker is not an excuse for missing class.
If the student is approved for a note taker through Disability Services, the student will present his/her Accommodations Plan to you. If you post your notes online or are willing to email your notes to Disability Services staff, the student likely will not need a volunteer note taker.
When presented with this accommodation need, we ask you to:
- Identify a student in the class that you believe is attentive and would take good notes and ask him/her to volunteer to share notes. Note takers can remain anonymous at their request.
- Refer the volunteer note taker to Disability Services staff to meet and discuss the process for sharing notes.
- Disability Services staff will scan a copy of their notes and email the student who has the approved accommodation. Disability Services uses the SCTCC email for correspondence with students.
- If the notes do not meet the student’s need, we ask students to first share the notes they received with the faculty/instructor to evaluate the quality of the notes.
- Disability Services staff will coordinate with you an alternative method to receive course notes.
Please remember that this is confidential information. If you need assistance locating a volunteer note taker, please contact Disability Services staff.
For more information about specific accommodations offered at SCTCC, please see Examples of Academic Accommodations.
Additional Links for Faculty and Staff
- Examples of Academic Accommodations
- Accommodations NOT provided at SCTCC
- Faculty Guide for Students with Disabilities (FAQ)
- Supporting Students with Specific Disabilities
- Note Taking Service
- Statement of Accommodations (Syllabus)
- Statement of Accommodations (posters, brochures, workshops, etc.)
- Testing Accommodations
- Atomic Learning