Faculty & Staff Resources
As an instructor or faculty member at the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, you play an important role in ensuring access for students with disabilities. Students with disabilities are encouraged to work with their instructors to obtain reasonable accommodations that provide equal access and equal challenge in the classroom.
This information is intended to assist staff and faculty in developing a greater understanding on how to assure equal access. The Accessibility Center office is available for consultation and short presentations on disability related topics.
Faculty Roles, Rights and Responsibilities
Each member of the university has particular roles and responsibilities related to the Accessibility Center. The Office of Civil Rights (OCR) provides guidance on procedures used to determine and arrange accommodations. The Accessibility Center and Project Success are charged with reviewing documentation and determining reasonable accommodations.
Refer to the following roles, rights and responsibilities you have as an instructor.
- Make reasonable accommodations as outlined on the Accommodation Recommendation Card
- Provide access to classroom and materials
- Maintain confidentiality
Students present their Accommodation Recommendation Card (ARC) to the instructor in order to request accommodations. Once the ARC is shared and reviewed with the instructor, the instructor is then responsible to make accommodations as outlined.
Faculty and staff should not make determinations about disability or accommodation needs. When a student presents their Accommodation Recommendation Card, the student and instructor should discuss how to best meet the accommodation. If a student discloses to you that they have a disability and need accommodations but does not present an Accommodation Recommendation Card, please refer the student to the Accessibility Center located in the Dean of Students office.
In some cases, accommodations may require modifications to standard classroom approaches. Some examples include the following:
- Exam modifications such as taking a copy of the exam to Testing Services or Project Success so that a student may utilize extended time or have access to a less distracting environment or, in rare cases, an individual proctor or scribe.
- Allowing the use of adaptive technology such as a notebook computer or similar device to aid in taking notes or assisting in recruiting students in the classroom to work as note takers.
- Providing some materials to students in an accessible electronic format.
- Consider alternative ways of evaluating content mastery that measures academic ability rather than a disability. For example, modifying an exam from multiple-choice to an essay format or allowing an oral exam option.
If there is a question about how to make an accommodation work or a concern that an accommodation alters the fundamental nature of the course, please consult with the Accessibility Coordinator.
- To maintain academic standards for courses they teach.
- Determine course content and delivery methods.
- Confirm a student’s request for accommodations and seek clarification.
- Deny a requested accommodation if it has not been authorized on the ARC.
- Award grades based upon the student’s level of mastery of course material.
- Award a failing grade to any student who does not perform to academic standards regardless of disability.
Faculty members do NOT have the right to:
Refuse to provide an approved accommodation for a documented disability.
Challenge the legitimacy of a disability.
Request separate documentation concerning a disability or review a student’s disability file.
Faculty members are responsible to:
- Understand laws and University/UW System policies and guidelines related to students with disabilities.
- Refer students to the Accessibility Center when necessary.
- Provide requested accommodations and adjustments in a timely manner.
- Provide handouts, videos and other course materials in an accessible format upon request.
- Evaluate students based upon their ability rather than a disability.
- Maintain confidentiality of information.
The faculty member should meet with the student to discuss accommodation recommendations and make suitable arrangements for those accommodations. If a faculty member has questions regarding the provision or appropriateness of the recommended accommodations, please contact the Accessibility Coordinator noted on the AR.