Student Letter(s) of Accommodation requests
Student Disability Services (SDS) determines student eligibility for accommodations. To be eligible for accommodations students must submit an application and documentation of a disability from an appropriately licensed professional. Eligible students then meet with a SDS Access Consultant to discuss the academic accommodations necessary to afford the student an equal opportunity to participate in the student’s courses. These accommodations are documented in a Letter of Accommodation(s) (LOA).
The Letter of Accommodation(s) (LOA) is a document generated by Student Disability Services (SDS) that informs instructors that a student has a documented disability and has been deemed eligible for specific academic accommodations. The information in the letter is confidential and should be treated as such.
Students must share the Letters of Accommodation(s) with the instructor in order to receive accommodations for the instructor’s course. Beginning in the Summer of 2023, instructors can view Letters of Accommodation via MAUI in ICON. Students and instructors should engage in an interactive process to determine how the accommodations will be provided in the instructor’s course.
Student Disability Services staff are available to provide consultations. We encourage all faculty, staff and students to contact us should questions or concerns arise.
How to address requests for accommodations:
Instructors are required to provide accommodations for students in their classes who provide the instructor with a Letter of Accommodation(s).
SDS recommends instructors take the following steps to implement Letters of Accommodation(s).
- Inform students how to contact instructors regarding Letters of Accommodation(s). This should occur at the beginning of the semester (preferably the first day) and be included on the course syllabus.
- Review Letters of Accommodation(s) in their entirety. The SDS website includes information on common accommodations and SDS Access Consultants can assist with understanding the accommodations listed in the Letters of Accommodation(s).
- Connect with the student regarding their Letters of Accommodation(s). This communication can occur via email, in person, or remotely (if agreeable to the student and instructor). Communications should occur privately and be limited to the information needed to implement the Letter of Accommodation(s) in the course.
- Refrain from asking questions about a student’s disability.
- Do not ask students questions about their disability including their diagnosis or the nature of their disability.
- Do not question if the accommodation is necessary.
- Do not request documentation of a disability directly from a student. The student provides this documentation to Student Disability Services.
- Coordinate with other members of your teaching team to determine how the accommodation(s) will be provided. Consider who needs to know information about Letters of Accommodation(s) and inform them of the obligation to keep the information confidential.
- Communicate plans to implement the Letters of Accommodation(s) to the student. If the accommodation listed in the Letter of Accommodation(s) is provided to all students in the course, let the student know this and explain how it is provided.
- Contact Student Disability Services with questions or concerns. Each Letter of Accommodation(s) includes the contact information for a SDS Access Consultant who can assist with student specific questions or concerns.
Managing Student Accommodation requests with MAUI in ICON:
Beginning in Summer 2023, instructors will be able to view the SDS Summery tab in MAUI in ICON. This summary tab supports instructors in organizing accommodation requests by allowing instructors to:
- View the Letters of Accommodation(s) (LOAs)
- Sort by accommodations
- Email specific students or groups of students, as appropriate
- Receive summary email notifications when there are new LOAs for the course (primary instructors only)
These functions help instructors save time by automatically tracking requests, providing a centralized location to view all the letters of accommodation(s) for a course, and allowing them to send bulk emails to students with the same accommodations. Visit the Office of Teaching, Learning and Technology’s website for directions on how to use the MAUI in ICON tool.
Student and Instructor Rights and Responsibilities:
Students have several rights and responsibilities as they work with Student Disability Services and their instructors. With the SDS Summary Tab in MAUI in ICON feature, students are responsible for engaging in the interactive process by sending out their Letter of Accommodation(s) to their instructors and communicating with their instructors. More information about student rights and responsibilities are listed on Student Disability Services website.
With the SDS Summary Tab in and MAUI in ICON feature, instructors are responsible for responding to emails they receive regarding student accommodation requests in a timely manner and for engaging in the interactive process with students upon receiving Letters of Accommodation(s). Instructor rights and responsibilities are also listed on the Student Disability Services website and it is recommended to be aware of these when providing accommodations.
Student Referral to SDS
If a student expresses that they may have a disability, or an instructor believes a student may benefit from receiving accommodations, please encourage the student to contact Student Disability Services for more information. Student Disability Services works with several campus units regarding referrals for evaluations. Students can learn more about the process to apply for accommodations on our website.
Tips for Common Accommodations:
- Exam Accommodations: Add exams to the Proctored Exams Portal well in advance so students can proactively schedule the exam. Upload your exam once it is completed but no less than 24 hours in advance so testing centers can be prepared. The SDS Exam Services page has more information on support for testing accommodations.
- Disability Related Absence and Deadline Modification: Meet with students who have a Disability Related Absence and Deadline Modification (DRADM) accommodation to go over expectations using the DRADM agreement form. These meetings generally happen in office hours if they do not conflict with a students’ other courses.
- Class Notes: resources on Class Notes including tips for requesting a volunteer note taker, slides, etc.
- Couse Design: Consider designing your course with Universal Design for Learning (UDL) to reduce the need for student specific accommodations and increase inclusion and learning in your course. Visit the Office of Teaching, Learning, and Technology to learn more about strategies to support all students in your courses.