Prior to receiving accommodations, students MUST comply with the following procedures:
- Make an appointment to meet with Disability Services (located in the Academic Enrichment Center, in Howe 204) at the beginning of each semester to request accommodations. The phone number is (540) 665-4928.
- Provide Disability Services with the documentation that verifies the student’s disability.
- Work with Disability Services to determine needed reasonable accommodations.
- Obtain Accommodation Forms from Disability Services. (These forms explain the need for services to the student’s professors.)
- Meet with professors in a private location away from other students (to protect the student’s right to privacy) to discuss accommodations.
- Obtain professors’ signatures on the forms.
- Return the signed copies of all accommodation forms to Disability Services. These copies will be placed in the student’s file before the middle of the semester.
Students should also meet with Disability Services staff prior to the end of the semester.
Accommodations are not retroactive. Students must give their Accommodation Form to their professors at the beginning of each semester. Professors can provide accommodations only after receiving your accommodation letter. Accommodations cannot be given until the professor is provided the form.
Accommodations provided to a student in high school, or by other colleges or universities, may not automatically be provided by Shenandoah University.
Temporary Medical Impairment
Temporary medical impairments (injuries, temporary mobility impairments following surgery, etc.) are not covered under Section 504 and the ADA. There is no legal requirement to provide accommodations in theses situations. However, Disability Services may, on a case-by-case basis, assist students with temporary medical impairments with temporary assistance. Students are not guaranteed any assistance in these situations. Students will be seen by Disability Services for an evaluation of temporary services. Each case is considered individually and signed documentation on letterhead from a qualified professional is required. This letter must include: a diagnosis, functional limitations necessitating temporary services, suggestions for appropriate temporary services and the estimated length of time services will be needed.
All student records are confidential and shall be kept in a secure area in the Academic Enrichment Center.
Requesting Modifications in Specific Courses
A student who needs accommodations in a specific course should contact Disability Services will discuss options with the student. The student is responsible for informing the course instructor of the need for accommodations in the class. Disability Services staff will be available to serve as a liaison between the student and the instructor. If necessary, the student, the director of Disability Services, and the instructor may meet to discuss accommodations or auxiliary aids. Instructors are expected to make reasonable accommodations; however, they are not expected to lower course standards or their expectations for the quality of student work or fundamentally alter the course requirements.
Instructions For Using Accommodation Forms
Students must provide Accommodation Forms to professors in each course in which they wish to receive accommodations.
- Make an appointment during office hours with each instructor. It is not best to try to give them the letters before or after class.
- Discuss with your professors what your strengths and weaknesses are and how you think the accommodations will help you in the classroom. You do not have to disclose what your disability is. However, this disclosure may open the door for professors to ask questions and for you to educate the professor about the particular disability.
- Sign and date the Accommodation Form. As you give each professor the form, have him/her sign and date each copy. The professor will keep the “Faculty” copy in a confidential file in his or her office. The “Student” copy should be returned to the Disability Services and kept in your confidential file.
- If you or your professors have questions or concerns about your accommodations, please contact Disability Services at (540) 665-4928.
Approaching Faculty Members
Disclosing a disability to a professor can be a difficult task for students. The decision is up to the student. Students should know that disclosing the disability may make the professor slightly uncomfortable at first if he or she is unfamiliar with disabilities in general. A face-to-face meeting, however, is a good opportunity to educate the professor and make him or her feel at ease.
Other Tips for Students
- Schedule a meeting as early as possible, preferably before the start of the semester. This allows time to work out accommodations and answer any questions.
- Do not go into complete detail about the disability, but tell the professor about the limitations it causes and how it may affect studying and classroom work.
- Explain any weaknesses caused by the disability. The student should also tell the professor his or her strengths.
- Be willing to offer some of the information from the Accommodation Form
- Rely on past experiences. Tell the professor what has worked before. For example, if you have an auditory disability, let the professor know that writing instructions for assignments or tests on a blackboard will help. If you have a visual disability, extra large print handouts or overheads will be valuable.
- Ask the professor if he or she has any ideas. He or she may have worked with students with the same disability in previous classes to develop accommodations that worked.
- Discuss how your work will be evaluated. Clarify whether oral or written work will be evaluated, depending on the disability. Be clear about grading criteria and the type of exams. Also, agree on out-of-class work and what is expected of you.
- Check with Disability Services if you or the professor are unsure about accommodations.
- Reach an agreement that gives both you and the professor a clear understanding of the accommodations that will be provided and your responsibilities.
Procedures For Obtaining Textbooks And Other Materials In An Alternative Format
In order to receive textbooks and/or other materials in an alternative format, students must:
- Register with Disability Services (located in the Academic Enrichment Center, Howe Room 204).
- Complete the Resource Referral Form.
- Request alternative formats for each semester the student is in need of textbooks, readings, quizzes or exams in alternative formats. Disability Services will be the contact for these requests and will communicate with the student, professor(s) and staff regarding the student’s formatting needs.
- Pick up the materials from Disability Services (located in Howe 204). The student will be contacted once the materials are ready.
Procedures For Obtaining Note Takers
- Students using note takers are expected to assume an active role in acquiring this service. You must present your Accommodation Form to your instructor before receiving a note taker.
- During the first week of class, you may ask other students in the class if they would be willing to share notes with you. If yes, have them write their name, phone number and e-mail address on the Note Taker Sign-Up Form. You will need to complete this form and return it to Disability Services as soon as possible. We will then contact the volunteers to confirm.
- If you cannot (or prefer not to) find a note taker yourself, give your instructor notetaker sign up form and Ask him/her to please make an announcement on your behalf requesting note takers. Please be sure to ask the instructor to keep your name confidential if you wish to remain anonymous. After class, please retrieve the Sign-Up Form, complete your portion and return it to Disability Services.
- Students using note takers are expected to attend class. Note takers may be asked to discontinue if you do not attend class regularly, unless you have discussed attendance concerns with an advisor.
- It is up to you to inform Disability Services if you experience any problems with the note taking process. We will do our best to assist you with such issues.
- Please inform Disability Services and, if possible, the note taker, if you withdraw from the course or no longer wish to receive notes.
- If a student approaches you about requesting a note taker, you should make an announcement in your class asking if any students would be willing to copy their notes for a student in the class. To protect confidentiality, do not identify this student to the class. A statement such as, “If anyone is willing to share a copy of his or her notes with a fellow student who is in need of assistance, please see me after class.” In some instances, the student may have already attempted, unsuccessfully, to obtain a note taker.
- The student requesting note taker service should present you with an accommodation form and a notetaker sign-up form. The student requiring note taking assistance should complete his or her portion of the form and deliver the top copy to our office. Please keep the bottom copy for your records. The student volunteers will be contacted by our office. The student receiving notes is expected to attend class regularly unless advanced arrangements are made.
Testing Accommodation Procedures
It is the responsibility of the student to inform the professor at least four business days before the exam/test that they will need testing accommodations (extended time, distraction reduced area, large print, etc.).