Providing Accommodations in the Classroom
As a faculty member at California State University, Fresno, chances are you will have a student with a disability in your classroom at some point. The following information will help you become familiar with the process of accommodating students with disabilities.
How will you know that a student is eligible for services?
A student may approach you with a letter from the Services for Students with Disabilities office. The letter will state that the student is registered with the SSD office, has a verified disability, and needs accommodations in your classroom. Because the fact that the student has a disability is confidential, it's a good idea to make an appointment with the student to discuss the student's needs privately and to decide how effective and efficient arrangements can be made.
If a student tells you of a disability but does not have a letter from SSD, it may be that he/she has not registered with the office or has not submitted a schedule so a letter can be produced. Please inform the student about the SSD office and remind him/her to request accommodation letters. The letter assures you, as a faculty member, that the student has a disability and that the accommodations he/she is requesting are, in fact, valid and necessary. Included with the letter are information sheets describing the specific accommodations needed.
How are requests for Testing Accommodations facilitated?
Depending on the type of disability, a student may need extended time or a quiet place for exams. Testing accommodations may also be needed if the student requires a reader or scribe. As a service to the students as well as to faculty, the SSD office provides the location and proctors for these exams. The procedure for using testing accommodations is as follows:
The student informs the SSD office of exams by filling out a "Request for Testing Accommodations" form five working days prior to the first exam of that specific class.
3 days prior to each exam date, SSD will email you to remind you to email the Testing Coordinator the exam or reply back and state that the exam will be ready at your department for pick-up.
If you reply back that you would like a SSD to pick up the exam, please ask your department to notify us when the exam is ready for pick-up. We will send a courier. Please do not send exams through campus mail!
We will return the exam the same day or the following morning by courier to your department mailbox.
Security and complete confidentiality of your test materials is assured at all times.
Students are expected to take exams at the same time that the classroom exam is scheduled unless arrangements have been made with you. It may be necessary to reschedule an exam if the extended time would mean that the student would miss another class or if the class meets at a time that the SSD office is not open.
If you have any questions about testing accommodations, please contact the Alternate Testing Services Coordinator, Nyxy Imes, at (559) 278-0128.
How are requests for Volunteer Notetakers handled?
Some disabilities make notetaking difficult or impossible. In these cases, a classmate is recruited to provide copies of their own notes to the student. Please ask the student if they would like to recruit their own notetaker or if they would like you to make an announcement. If they would prefer that you make an announcement, please say something similar to this:"A student in this class has a disability that makes it difficult or impossible to take notes. Is there someone in the class willing to share their class notes? You can receive academic credit if you enroll in Com S 101 (Wait for someone to volunteer). If you are willing to be a notetaker, please fill out this blue card and return it to me now or at the end of the class."
To maintain the privacy of the student, please ask the volunteer to complete the bottom of the information sheet that will be in the envelope and to return it to you. After class, you can pass it on to the student who can then contact the volunteer. All information about the student's disability, including the fact that one exists, must legally be kept confidential, so please be sensitive when helping to recruit a notetaker.
In almost all cases, at least one student volunteers to share their notes. If no one volunteers, it is often helpful to ask a second time at another class time. It is a good idea to get a "backup" notetaker for days when the notetaker might be absent. If, however, no one volunteers or you have any questions about the procedure, call the SSD office at (559) 278-2811 as soon as possible.