Frequently Asked Questions
You will receive an email from Educational Counseling & Disabilities Services (ECDS) with a link to view the student’s Course Accessibility Letter (CAL). The CAL will list the student’s approved accommodations. It will also list the Counselor of Record. This is the person who is working directly with the student. You may contact this person if you have any questions. Accommodations must be renewed each semester.
Refer the student to ECDS. In the meantime, it is up to you if you want to give them any flexibility while you are waiting for official accommodations to come through. Professors may decide to give leniency for absences or missed assignments prior to the accommodations being approved. It is important to remember that if this is done for one student, it would need to be done for any other student in a similar situation.
ECDS will only provide information necessary to implement the accommodation. Any medical or diagnostic information is kept strictly confidential.
No, ECDS can only provide information if the student has elected to use their accommodations in your class. Each semester, the student must select which instructors to notify.
The CAL is the official notification of accommodations. In most cases, meetings are recommended but not required. However, students with modified attendance accommodations must communicate with professors to discuss their implementation. Professors can always request a meeting with a counselor to discuss implementation of accommodations and to review options and ideas.
Contact the Counselor of Record. The counselor can contact the student and give you guidance on how to proceed with the accommodation.
Modified attendance is an accommodation that allows a student with a chronic condition to have some flexibility around attendance. For this accommodation, you should meet with the student and/or the Counselor of Record to discuss the following questions:
- Maximum number of disability-related absences allowed for this student for this course:
(Please do not restate the number of absences allowed for all students in the course. Be as specific as possible. Avoid vague phrases such as “flexible”, “to be determined”, or “open”.) If needed, provide a separate number for lecture and lab.
- How and when will the student notify the instructor of a disability-related absence (email, phone, etc.)? Depending on the nature of the student’s disability, is it reasonable for the student to notify the instructor of a disability-related absence either before or after the missed class session? A doctor’s note will not be required for disability related absences.
- Procedure for turning in homework/assignments/projects due the day of a disability-related absence; include maximum number of days assignments may be late and how they are to be submitted.
- Procedure for making up a missed quiz, examination, or in-class graded assignment given on the day of a disability-related absence; include maximum number of exams that can be rescheduled.
Contact the Counselor of Record. The counselor will discuss the student's options at this point.
The most common test accommodations are extended time (usually time and a half, but occasionally double time) and a distraction-reduced environment for exams. You will be notified of these on the student’s CAL. If you are not able to provide those accommodations in your location, ECDS provides test proctoring on the Big Rapids campus in ASC 1017, Monday through Friday between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. The student must schedule 3 business days in advance. We do make exceptions for new students who were approved for accommodations less than 3 business days before an exam. Other test accommodations may include a reader or use of assistive technology for exams.
No. Disability status is protected under FERPA. Information regarding a student’s accommodations and/or disability status must be kept strictly confidential. Information should not be shared with employees or other students. There are exceptions for those who may have a need to know (ex. faculty co-teaching a course, SLA facilitators, lab instructors, employees involved in test proctoring, department chairs or deans). Students may become aware of other students’ accommodations, but you are not permitted to discuss those accommodations.
Yes, other faculty members involved in the team-taught have a legitimate need to know about student accommodations.
Yes, accommodations are legally required even if they conflict with course policies.
CART is live captioning during the lecture. This is necessary to provide access for students who cannot hear the lecture. You will receive a link half an hour before class begins. You do not need to log on until you are ready to begin lecture. A caption provider will connect to transcribe as you speak. The student will connect via their own device to view the transcription in real time.
Accommodations are not retroactive.
Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is an educational framework based on research in the learning sciences, including cognitive neuroscience, that guides the development of flexible learning environments and learning spaces that can accommodate individual learning differences. It reduces or eliminates the need for accommodation by creating an environment that is accessible to all.
You may find more information here: UDL: The UDL Guidelines (cast.org)
Educational Counseling & Disabilities Services welcomes feedback. Feel free to contact us at [email protected] with any comments or suggestions.