Providing reasonable and appropriate accommodations in the classroom is a collaborative process between the student, the UA faculty, and ODS. Accommodations are provided to adjust for the limitations presented by a student’s disability, while maintaining the academic integrity of UA programs of study. They do not involve any lowering of standards of performance.
Receiving academic classroom accommodations at UA is a 4-step procedure:
- Students obtain accommodation letters from ODS at the beginning of each semester.
- Students deliver the accommodation letter prepared by ODS to their instructors. An instructor has no obligation to provide accommodations until s/he has received an accommodation letter from ODS.
- Students contact each instructor to schedule accommodations at least one week before the accommodation is needed from the instructor, although, whenever possible, accommodation letters should be presented to the instructor as early as possible. For example, the student would meet with his/her instructor no later than the 7th of the month to arrange for extended time on a test to be given on the 14th of the month; or s/he should contact the instructor at least a week before the start of the semester to arrange to tape record lectures from the beginning of class. This allows sufficient time for the instructor to discuss any problems about the recommended accommodation with ODS, and arrange for an alternative accommodation, if necessary. (Of course, those accommodations that require additional lead time, such as a sign language interpreter, adaptive technology, note takers, or relocation of a classroom, require additional advance notice to ODS.)
- Students report any concerns about accommodations to ODS as soon as possible.
ODS determines reasonable academic accommodations for students, based on appropriate documentation and the academic requirements of the individual program. ODS also considers current academic needs of students and accommodations that have been used in previous educational settings.
Accommodations are provided on a semester-by-semester basis, for students who have provided appropriate documentation to ODS. ODS prepares a letter listing the accommodations it recommends for the student. The student is responsible for delivering these accommodations letters to his/her instructors and scheduling with the instructor those accommodations that require additional or alternate time or space arrangements. Instructors are not obligated to provide any accommodations until they receive ODS accommodation letters from the student.
If an instructor disagrees with any accommodation that has been recommended by ODS for a student in his/her class, the instructor needs to contact ODS promptly to discuss the matter, so that it can be determined if an alternate accommodation is necessary. Until the matter is agreed upon by ODS and the instructor, the instructor is to provide the accommodations recommended by ODS. The student is responsible for reporting to ODS any concerns about implementation of accommodations. Instructors are not obligated to provide any accommodation that would substantially alter the nature of the course.