Student Accessibility

As with all students, students with disabilities bring a unique set of strengths and experiences to college. While many learn in different ways, their differences do not imply inferior capacities. Although some may manage without accommodations, others require modifications in the way information is presented, and in methods of testing and evaluation to successfully meet their course requirements.  

Students with disabilities bear the primary responsibility for identifying their disability and for requesting necessary adjustments to the learning environment that necessitate collaborations between the Office of Accessibility Resources (OARS) and faculty members. It is the faculty’s responsibility to ensure that the accommodations determined and approved by the OARS are provided to the student in a timely and responsive manner.  

Faculty should ensure that students with disabilities receive appropriate accommodations and support as they access and engage with content in the course. Faculty should communicate with the Office of Accessibility Resources (OARS) regarding students who require accommodations. In addition: 

  • Choose compliant course material and use Microsoft applications’ Accessibility Checker to ensure compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Federal Rehabilitation Act.  
  • Provide flexibility in attendance, assignments, and testing.  
  • Review the OARS Accessibility Resources Faculty Guide for more information about teaching students with disabilities.

Teaching Practices that Support Students with Disabilities 

Consider carrying on a long conversation with an individual who has a mobility impairment from a seated position. 

Promote a productive learning environment by clarifying your policies, establishing ground rules, and following up with students.

Allow opportunities for addressing specific questions. 

Plan assignments that allow students to work towards the same goal in different ways. 

Design lessons based on students’ learning styles. 

Use multiple formats for instruction. 

  • Use project checklists. 
  • Offer directions or instructions both orally and in writing. 
  • Repeat questions from audience members. 
  • Be descriptive. 

Be open to alternative assignments for all students. 

  • Provide information in alternate means (e.g., written, spoken, diagrams). 
  • Give alternative presentation options.