Information for Faculty
Students who use the Office for Students with Disabilities (OSD) support services are directed to meet with individual professors during office hours at the beginning of the quarter in order to discuss how their disability may impact on the specific course. The student will provide the professor the “ADA Reasonable Accommodation” form that indicates the accommodations for that student. Some students choose not to identify themselves, thereby choosing not to utilize recommended class/test modifications, for various reasons. Other students may be involved in a learning disability assessment for much of the quarter, and may find they are eligible for support services in the middle, or even at the end of the quarter. It is important to realize that any student requesting classroom accommodations must make reasonable accommodation requests for appropriate accommodations. See the Faculty Instructional Brochure or the Faculty Resource Guide for further information.
Questions and Answers
What do I do if I suspect a student has a disability?
Do not tell a student you think he/she has a disability. Approach the student as you would any other student having difficulty in the class. Inquire about what might be impacting the student's progress in the class. A student with a disability will likely disclose at this time if the difficulties are disability-related. Refer the student to OSD if he/she discloses a disability or indicates he/she suspects a disability. If neither of these scenarios occurs, we recommend providing the student with a list of campus resources, including the OSD.
Is a student required to divulge the nature of the disability?
No, students are not required to tell you the nature of their disabilities or to provide copies of their disability documentation. Students requesting reasonable accommodations do have to provide you with an “ADA Reasonable Accommodation” form from OSD confirming that they have a documented disability and listing the approved accommodations.
Do I need to accommodate the student's disability without any written verification from the OSD?
No. Students who have been verified for services have written confirmation from OSD. If a student does not have an “ADA Reasonable Accommodation” form, please refer him/her to our office in the Student Affairs building, Room 115.
Who is eligible for exam accommodations and who determines what accommodations they receive?
Students with disabilities who have functional limitations that would impact their ability to take exams may be eligible for accommodations. The most common accommodations are extended time and the use of a quiet room. While it may sometimes seem that students with disabilities are advantaged in testing arrangements over their non-disabled peers, each accommodation is carefully considered by a counselor and supported by the documentation of their disability. Accommodations are provided only to ensure that a student's performance on an exam is representative of their mastery of the subject, rather than a reflection of their disability.
How do I submit tests that will be proctored by OSD?
Tests are to be forwarded to OSD by emailing them to OSDExams@cslanet.calstatela.edu. OSD requires that all proctored examinations be sent to the office via email 48 hours in advance and 72 hours for those tests requiring alternative format/e-text conversion. If you require additional security for tests that are being emailed, encryption can be applied. Please contact your IT support or the Center for Effective Teaching and Learning (CETL) for any assistance with encryption. If you have questions, please contact OSD.
What are notetaking accommodations?
Some students with disabilities have difficulty taking notes in class because of a disability. To accommodate this disability, OSD provides an opportunity for the student to receive copies of someone else's notes. The accommodation is provided only when the student is in class; it is not a substitute for attendance.
How can I assist a student in getting a notetaker from the class?
A student who wants an in-class notetaker will give the professor a memo asking for their assistance in recruiting a student-notetaker from the class. For privacy reasons, it is important not to identify the student with the disability unless stated in the memo. Please follow the steps that are stated in memo for referring the student-notetaker to OSD. The notetaker can obtain “NCR” paper which makes an immediate copy or can utilize the copier in the OSD office to make copies of their notes. The notetaker will deliver the notes according to the arrangements that are made.
In the past I have had a student with a disability in my class who was very disruptive. He told me that he was late as a result of his disability and that there was nothing I could do about it. He also interrupted my class lectures and group work, and when reprimanded told me that he was protected by the law. Is that true?
All students, regardless of disability status, are required to meet the provisions of the California State University Los Angeles Student Code of Conduct and the academic expectations contained in your syllabus. Students are expected to behave civilly, attend class and participate appropriately. The Americans with Disabilities Act requires that reasonable accommodations be made but you are not required to modify academic standards to accommodate inappropriate or disruptive behavior. In addition, faculty are recognized as having jurisdiction over academic matters such as class attendance, tardiness and due dates for assignments.
Close Captioning on Video
Video that will be used as part of instruction for students must have closed caption capability to provide the option for students that may require that accommodation. Work with your department or college to ensure that this feature is available. If you have questions, please contact OSD and/or the Center for Effective Teaching and Learning (CETL).
OSD identifies students with disabilities that fall below a 2.5 GPA to implement academic interventions and improve and maintain positive academic standing with the university. As part of the academic intervention students will be required to meet with their professor’s at the beginning of the quarter and will hand a mid-quarter progress report. The report can be used by the professor to provide the students’ academic progress in the course midway through the quarter. It is encouraged that the professor forward the report to the students’ specialist whose name and contact can be found on the mid-quarter progress report.
Instructional Approaches to Students with Disabilities
Many teaching strategies that assist students with disabilities are known also to benefit non-disabled students. Instruction that is provided in an array of approaches will reach more students than instruction using one method. The following are teaching strategies that will benefit all students in the academic setting.
Students surveyed reported the two most helpful things professors can do to facilitate student learning:
- speak slower when lecturing
- speak louder in large classrooms
- select a text with a study guide or one which has study features built into each chapter
On the Syllabi
- include a statement that encourages students to inform faculty members of their special needs as soon as possible to ensure that those needs are met in a timely manner
- make a verbal announcement, stating this information for students who may not be able to read print syllabi
Before the Lecture
- write key terms or an outline on the board, or prepare a lecture handout create study guides
- assign advance readings before the topic is due in the class session give students questions that they should be able to answer by the end of each lecture
- present written information in an audible form as well as a written form (Be sure to provide all written course materials to non-print readers in accessible formats and in a timely manner, i.e., at the same time everybody else gets these materials.)
During the Lecture
- briefly review the previous lecture
- use visual aids such as overheads, diagrams, charts, graphs
- provide visual aids in alternative formats for non-visual learners in the class
- allow the use of audio recorders
- emphasize important points, main ideas, key concepts
- face the class when speaking
- explain technical language and terminology
- speak distinctly and at a relaxed rate, pausing to allow students time for note-taking
- leave time periodically for questions
- administer frequent quizzes to provide feedback for students
- give assignments in writing, as well as orally
Grading and Evaluation
- consider alternative test formats and multiple grades for various tasks
- work with the student promptly to make testing arrangements with DSS to provide prescribed accommodations