Information for Faculty and Staff

Instructor in a white lab coat delivering a lecture to students in a Science classroom

  • According to Section 504 (104.44), academic accommodations are adjustments that provide equal academic opportunity in a college environment for students with disabilities.  Academic requirements are not regarded as discriminatory when the college demonstrates they are essential to the program of instruction being pursued by such student or to any directly related licensing requirement. Both court decisions and agency rulings make it clear that requests of students need not be provided when: (1) the student is not qualified; (2) the accommodation would result in a fundamental alteration of the program: or (3) the institution is being asked to address a personal need.
  • Relevant information regarding the student’s accommodations may be shared with those who have a legitimate educational interest consistent with the Federal Education Right to Privacy Act (FERPA). However, faculty does not have the right to access the student’s diagnostic information. Woodland Community College follows the rules of confidentiality that are described in Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act (1973) and FERPA.
  • Faculty who disagree with accommodations or have questions, comments, concerns, or suggestions on classroom accommodations authorized by DSPS are encouraged to contact the certificated DSPS Specialist who signed the authorization of the accommodations.
  • Faculty does not have to modify a course requirement for any student, if such modification would fundamentally alter the nature of the course. The Course Outline of Record is the approved reference for course objectives and content. The determination of “fundamentally alter” should be discussed with DSPS faculty before an accommodation request from students are denied.
  • Faculty is requested to provide a statement within course syllabi regarding the provision of disability-related accommodations, such as: “Students with disabilities who believe that they may need accommodations in this class are encouraged to notify the instructor and contact DSPS as soon as possible to ensure such accommodations are implemented in a timely fashion.”    Additional examples.
  • Faculty will be notified by DSPS that a student who is deaf or visually impaired is enrolled in their course. “Authorization for accommodation” memos will be sent to instructors prior to the first class meeting to inform faculty of the expected alternate media needs of students, such as the production of printed materials in large print, Braille, e-text, and closed captioning.
  • Students are required to make test-proctoring arrangements with DSPS and faculty, by completing the DSPS “Test Proctoring Form”. If students disclose disability-related needs for test proctoring but do not have DSPS paperwork available at the time of their request, faculty should contact DSPS for clarification.
  • Because students with hearing or visual disabilities have the right to receive their handouts at the same time as those provided to students without disabilities, faculty are responsible to provide instructional materials electronically to DSPS for conversion at least four weeks in advance of class meetings. Converting text into larger sizes, Braille, tactile graphics, and audio files is time consuming. As a result, it is helpful for the instructor to provide the following to DSPS for conversion:
    • ISBN of textbooks
    • Approximate timelines of dates for starting each chapter
    • A syllabus for approximate dates of assignments, quizzes, and exams
    • All handouts and supplemental written materials
  • Under state and federal law, all videos that are shown in the classroom must be closed-captioned in the event that a hearing-impaired student is enrolled. Closed captioning provides text on the screen for all auditory signals on a live or pre-recorded show, movie, or other broadcast typically shown on a television, TV monitor, computer, or large screen projection devices. It is recommended that faculty do not wait until notification by DSPS in order to have videos captioned. There is no cost to the individual instructor to provide closed captioning.

Please do not hesitate to contact DSPS with any other questions, concerns, or requests that you may have regarding the program, accommodations, or service to students enrolled in DSPS.

Resource and Reference Documents