Instructor Role in the Accommodation Process

Instructors play a very important role in the accommodation process. Instructors assist in accommodation implementation, as well as play a role in helping students know when to engage in the accommodation process. Some of the important roles instructors play in the process include: 

Implementing Accommodations

Instructors play a vital role in implementing a range of classroom accommodations. Instructors are officially notified of student accommodations through an accommodation letter in Accommodate. Once notified implementation could include:

  • Providing students with direct supports (providing additional time on exams, providing a distraction reduced testing space, providing materials in advance of a class session, etc.)
  • Allowing or helping to facilitate the use of personal supports (allowing a student to access their technology, preferential seating, etc.)
  • Providing students with accessible materials (captions, accessible text, transcripts, etc.)
  • Providing course flexibility (short breaks, flexibility related to participation, attendance and assignment deadline flexibility, etc.)

As needed, SAS can help support faculty in implementing these accommodations. You can contact SAS directly, or review our SAS Accommodation Guide for additional guidance. 

SAS Accommodations Guide: Procedures and Practices

Communicating with Students

While some accommodations may require very little instructor-student communication, others may require that communication is more proactive and on-going. For example, providing a student with extended time on exams may require a brief discussion about logistics for the course. Flexibility agreements, however, may require a specific meeting in the beginning of the course and additional follow-up through the semester.

Students are encouraged to communicate with their instructors about their accommodations. Activating their accommodation letter is one important step, but SAS also encourages students to reach out to instructors to talk about their accommodations.

Discussing Accommodations 

Helping Students Connect with SAS

Some students with disabilities may already be connected to SAS. If a student sends you an accommodation letter, it is clear that the student has already connected to our office. However, there are a few other situations in which instructors may have to help students connect with SAS. This could include: 

  1. Students who disclose having a disability. 
  2. Students who share that they have had accommodations in the past. 
  3. Students who are struggling and want to explore accommodations.
  4. Students who ask for accommodations without an accommodation letter.
  5. Students who have concerns about or want to revise their accommodations.

In all of these scenarios, the instructor should connect the student with SAS. 

Contact SAS

Collaborating with SAS

Instructors also collaborate with SAS to help ensure that accommodation needs are met. While SAS collaborates with faculty in a number of ways, related to accommodations and the accommodation process, collaborations include:

  • Discussions about how to implement specific accommodations (Also please see the SAS Accommodations Guide)
  • Assistance with creating, purchasing, and acquiring accessible course materials
  • Coordinating ASL (American Sign Language) interpreters and CART (Communication Access Realtime Translation Service)
  • Discussions about reasonable course flexibility
  • Assistance with determining essential course requirements
  • Discussions about accommodation and student concerns

SAS is not only a student resource, but a faculty resource as well. SAS is happy to collaborate with instructors.

Contact SAS

Creating Accessible and Inclusive Learning Spaces

One of the best ways to help with accommodations is to ensure classrooms spaces are both inclusive and accessible from the start. This will ensure that not only are the needs of students with disabilities met, but that other students also have access to relevant and important supports.

In relation to accommodations, classrooms should be designed to be flexible so that students can utilize their accommodations and the supports that they need without feeling called out or excluded. For example, it is important to create course materials that are accessible so students who use screenreaders or text-to-speech software can effectively engage with the materials. Environments should be flexible enough that when personalization is needed, students can access what they need.

Accessible UNH