Faculty Guide to Student Accommodations

  • Faculty Role in Accommodations
  • Procedures for Testing Accommodations
  • Disability Law Definitions and Information
  • Universal Design for Learning (UDL)
  • Learning Disabilities
  • Psychiatric Disabilities

When students are registered for accommodations, you will receive an accommodation letter stating the approved accommodations the student receives. You may be asked to:

  • Assist the student in finding effective peer note-takers from the class. Alternatively, you could provide the student with a copy of your lecture notes or outline.
  • Allow the student to record lectures.
  • Allow the student extended time on exams.
  • Allow the student to take the exam in a distraction reduced location.
  • Allow the student to use a calculator for exams.

If you have questions or concerns regarding a student's accommodations stated on their letter, please talk with the student or contact the Coordinator of Student Accommodations.

  • Discuss accommodations stated on the accommodation letter with the student
  • Complete and return the Exam Request Form to the student upon receiving one to fill out. Keep a copy for your records.
  • At least 24 hours prior to the scheduled exam time, send exams via email to disabilityservices@pittstate.edu or hand deliver the exams to Student Accommodations in 113 AXE Library.

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act and American with Disabilities Act, including its many amendments prohibits discrimination against otherwise qualified students with disabilities.

  • Discrimination means excluding a student with a disability from any University course, program, service or employment because of the student's disability.
  • Qualified means that the student has met the admission requirements of the University with or without accommodations. Students with disabilities must meet all relevant academic and conduct standards at Pittsburg State University, just as other students, to remain qualified.
  • Accommodations provide equal access to students with disabilities to the facilities, activities and academics on Pittsburg State University's campus who are registered with our office.
  • A Reasonable accommodation does not fundamentally alter a course or reduce the academic standards of a course or program. 
    • If you think an accommodation suggested by Student Accommodations will fundamentally alter your course please let us know immediately.

Americans with Disabilities Act – www.ada.gov

Universal Design for Learning reduces barriers within instruction and provides flexibility in ways class material is presented and how students respond and demonstrate knowledge. UDL gives all individuals equal opportunities to learn. 

In order to create universally accessible courses, colleges must take the following steps to ensure their classes and campuses are completely inclusive:

  • Allow students with special needs to complete coursework, give presentations, and take exams using alternative formats.
  • Work with students with specific needs to gain access to adaptive software and technology that helps them learn effectively.
  • Appoint individuals who can assist these students as note-takers, readers, scribes, or other essential roles.
  • Offer students with special needs additional time for assignments and tests, as well as getting to class.
  • Guide students with disabilities to specialized counselors, resource centers, and other on-campus services dedicated to assisting these individuals.

Other resources:

A specific learning disability as "a disorder in one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using language, spoken or written, that may manifest itself in the imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell, or to do mathematical calculations." This disability category includes such conditions as perceptual disabilities, brain injury, minimal brain dysfunction, dyslexia and developmental aphasia (a type of language disorder).

Specific Learning Disabilities (SLD) is by far the largest category of disability within the Individuals for Disabilities Education Act.

Specific learning disabilities commonly affect skills in the areas of:

  • Reading (called dyslexia)
  • Writing (called dysgraphia)
  • Listening
  • Speaking
  • Reasoning
  • Math (called dyscalculia)

Specific learning disabilities include:

  • Difficulty reading out loud
  • Poor reading comprehension
  • Struggling to write papers and essays
  • Trouble understanding lectures
  • Difficulty holding a pencil

National Center for Learning Disabilities (NCLD) - www.ncld.org

"Mental Illness" is a medical condition that disrupts a person's thinking, feeling, relating and daily functioning. It often results in a diminished capacity for coping with the demands of life. A mental illness is rarely apparent to others. However, students may experience symptoms that interfere with their educational goals and that create a "psychiatric disability."

The following are some of the psychiatric diagnoses:

  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD)
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Dissociative Identity Disorder
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Depression
  • Eating Disorder
  • ADHD

National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) - www.nimh.nih.gov

Children and Adults with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (CHADD) - www.chadd.org

A great video to watch: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SH3vt-XrkEs

Great Resource developed by the University of Nebraska - Lincoln: http://solutions.unl.edu/wiki/