An accommodation is a modification or adjustment to instructional methods and/or a course, program, service, activity, or facility that enables a qualified student with a disability to have an equal opportunity. An equal opportunity means an opportunity to attain the same level of performance or to enjoy equal benefits and privileges as are available to a similarly-situated student without a disability.
The University is obligated to make an accommodation/adjustment only to the known limitations of an otherwise qualified student with a disability. Students are not charged for the cost incurred in providing reasonable accommodations, including auxiliary aids and services (e.g., sign language interpreters/Typewell/CART, note taking services, text conversion to alternative accessible formats).
To determine accommodations that are necessary, DRES utilizes the documentation provided by the individual and the individual’s self-report to engage in an interactive process to discuss accommodations. DRES may seek information from appropriate University personnel regarding essential standards for courses, programs, services, activities, and facilities. Final determination of necessary accommodations are made by DRES in collaboration with the student and faculty as warranted. Necessary accommodations are determined by examining:
- The barriers resulting from the interaction between the documented disability and the campus environment;
- The possible accommodations that might remove the barriers and provide access;
- Whether or not the student has access to the course, program, service, activity, or facility without accommodations; and
- Whether or not essential elements of the course, program, service, activity, or facility are compromised by the accommodation.
DRES and the student with a disability will engage in an interactive process to discuss the interaction between the disability and the academic environment in order to determine necessary academic adjustments and modifications. Consultation with faculty, staff, and outside professionals regarding essential elements and accommodations will occur in situations that are new, complex, or sensitive.
DRES will outline the process for the provision of necessary accommodations and will present this verbally and in writing to the student.
The DRES Access Specialist will write an individualized Letter of Academic Accommodations which certifies that the student has a disability, cites the circumstances for which accommodations are needed, and describes the accommodations recommended by DRES. The student provides instructors the letter in a paper or electronic format. The Letter of Academic Accommodations will also invite students and/or faculty to contact DRES if there are concerns or questions about the accommodations.
Standard policies and procedures, established by DRES, for auxiliary aids and services will be included with the Letter of Academic Accommodations. DRES staff will contact individual faculty members as necessary to discuss the purpose and rationale for the recommended accommodations, as well as the process by which they could be most effectively implemented. Individual faculty members can always contact the DRES access specialist who services as a resource.
Faculty will be expected to assist with the provision of accommodations when reasonable and necessary. Faculty are not expected to compromise essential elements of the course or evaluation standards.