FAQs for Accommodations

Common Faculty Questions About Accommodations

If you have a question that is not sufficiently addressed below, please do not hesitate to contact SAS at (603) 862-2607 or by email

Ask  the student if they have met with SAS and if an accommodation letter has been created in ClockWork.  If so, they need to send the letter to you electronically via ClockWork for you to view and approve.  It is the student’s responsibility to meet with you to discuss how the accommodations will be implemented.

Refer the student to SAS if they have not yet met with SAS to create the accommodations letter.  Remind the student that accommodations cannot be implemented without a formal accommodations letter from SAS.


Faculty may view and approve students' accommodation letters via ClockWork.  See instructions provided on the ClockWork for Faculty page. 

Please contact SAS with any accommodation questions or concerns.  

An accommodation letter is intended to communicate the academic accommodations necessary to fully participate in each course, based on the present impact of the student's disability as disclosed to SAS.

Specific information regarding disability history, diagnosis, and medications remain confidential in the student's file in SAS.  The student may choose to discuss with you the impact of their disability and what strategies, communication methods, or accommodation needs exist.  It's considered inappropriate to ask the student direct questions about their diagnosis or disability. We recommend asking questions about how the disability will impact their participation in your class and how best that can be accommodated.

If the student discloses a disability without presenting a letter of accommodation from SAS, please refer the student to the SAS Office -- 201 Smith Hall.

It is the student's responsibility to:

(1) self-identify
(2) request services/accommodations through SAS
(3) send faculty accommodation letters (via ClockWork), and
(4) follow-up with instructors to discuss logistics of classroom and exam accommodations.

While we recommend students contact us at the beginning of the semester, there is no deadline for the student to contact SAS, complete an Intake, provide documentation, or request accommodations. Students may also provide additional documentation and/or talk with SAS as concerns and needs arise, or as the condition of the disability changes.

Faculty accommodation letters are created once documentation is received, reviewed, and discussed with the student. SAS emphasizes and reiterates the following to students:

"Sending the letters is a 2-step process:

     1. Send the letters via ClockWork (done by the student each semester)
     2. Meet with each faculty member to determine how those accommodations will be implemented in his/her specific course.

It is essential that you  meet to discuss the logistics early enough to ensure the accommodations can be implemented. We recommend talking with your professor 7 days prior to an exam; otherwise, there may not be enough time to implement the exam accommodations. The same is true for other accommodation needs such as accessible texts or sign language interpreters. Reasonable notice is necessary to ensure timely provision of requested accommodations."

SAS is only able to provide limited space for those students whose exam accommodation requires the use of Assistive Technology. Instructors are expected to provide exam accommodations for students registered with the SAS Office as specified in the student's accommodation letter. Meeting with the student is necessary to discuss how those accommodations will be implemented. INSTRUCTORS, please check with your Department or College regarding any support or process. As extenuating circumstances may arise, please contact SAS at 603-862-2607 or by email.

INSTRUCTORS, please check with your Department or College regarding any support or process for providing test accommodations.  As extenuating circumstances may arise, please contact SAS at 603-862-2607 or by email.


Reasonable accommodations are determined on the basis of the disability, its impact, and the course, program, activity or facility involved.

The intent of accommodations is to provide the student an "equal opportunity" to access, engage and demonstrate mastery of the course content in an equally effective and integrated manner as their peers.  Accommodations do not guarantee "success".

Reasonable accommodations may also require adjustments to policies and procedures  (i.e. adjustments to a no pets policy or strict attendance policies). 

Accommodations are determined by SAS through review of the documentation, an interactive process with the student, and an assessment of the essential elements* of the program/activity. A student must be "otherwise qualified" and is held to the same standards, requirements and expectations that exist for all students. 
Provisional ('temporary') accommodations may be provided for 1 semester while additional documentation is sought to clarify the specific needs and appropriate accommodations. Provisional accommodations will be based on the available information at the time.

Accommodations are based on a standard of "reasonableness" - what a reasonable person would reasonably consider to be reasonable (legal comment).

An accommodation is deemed to be unreasonable when it:

     1. Fundamentally alters an essential element*; and/or
     2. Results in an undue financial or administrative burden.

*In courses where an element is deemed to be "essential" (i.e., attendance) a discussion between the instructor and SAS may be necessary to determine if that element meets the "essential" threshold, as defined by legal decisions in OCR and court cases.

If you believe an accommodation request is unreasonable, please call SAS to discuss your concerns with the Director (603-862-0830).

While implementation of accommodations may vary, it is illegal to deny identified, and reasonable accommodations.

Addressing students in a holistic manner provides a universal approach for all students. In this way,  there is no "accommodation" since what is considered and provided would be allowable for any reasonable need/request from any student. (EXAMPLE: allowance for absence -- due to flat tire, inclement weather, flare-up of a medical condition/disability.) Please feel empowered to apply the same considerations and allowances to any student as a way to address individual needs, regardless of "disability".

If you are providing something only because of a "disability", it then becomes an "accommodation". Following the directions outlined in the SAS Accommodation Letter, and discussing ideas or concerns of what may be appropriate with SAS, will help minimize over/under accommodating a student.

Students with disabilities are held to the same academic standards and expectations as all students. Accommodations are intended to address the impact(s) of the disability and allow the student  an equitable opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge/mastery of the material. Student performance then should be evaluated on its merit, and graded accordingly.

The grading rubric is often complex incorporating quizzes/exams, written assignments, homework, attendance, and participation. One or more of these areas may be  impacted by the disability. In these cases, it is important to determine the purpose of each and how it relates to the overall performance and completion of work expected in the course.

The intent of accommodations is to provide "equal access" and "equal opportunity" for a student with a disability. As for any student, there is no guarantee of success.  With the specified accommodations provided, a student must be "otherwise qualified" and is held to the same academic standards, requirements, and expectations that exist for all students in your class. 

SAS is always available to consult or collaborate about implementation of accommodations, other possible strategies, and addressing concerns about student performance.

Students with disabilities are held to the same academic standards and expectations as all students.  Accommodations are intended to address the impact(s) of the disability and allow the student  an equitable opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge/mastery of the material.  Student performance then should be evaluated on its merit, and graded accordingly.  As for any student, there is no guarantee of success.

If evaluation of the work/performance merits a failing grade, that is appropriate.

Specific information about a student's disability is confidential, and should not be shared.  General information about classroom strategies may be discussed while ensuring the student's anonymity.  Feel free to contact SAS for assistance and refer other instructors to SAS as well.

Information about a student's disability is considered confidential and should be treated as such. Sharing limited information on a 'need to know' basis (per FERPA) is permissible for effective provision of services to the student.

Check with SAS (603-862-2607) or ADA Compliance (603-862-2930) in advance if questions exist.

Accommodation letters are only provided for students registered with SAS who have provided appropriate documentation.

If a student discloses a disability and/or requests accommodations without an accommodations letter, they should be referred to SAS.  There is no obligation for faculty to provide any accommodations without receipt of a letter from SAS. Faculty should not accept any documentation from the student. Please instruct the student to bring any documentation with them to the SAS Office, Rm. 201 Smith Hall. 

SAS is solely responsible for collecting disability-related documentation, determining the existence and nature of the disability, and ensuring appropriate academic accommodations.  The accommodations letter is created after  an interactive process with each student and professional review of the documentation.

The Americans with Disabilities Act as amended (ADAA) defines a person with a disability as:

     (1) a person with a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity,
     (2) has a history of such impairment, or
     (3) is regarded as having such impairment.

While the ADAA offers protection from discrimination for individuals who have a record of impairment and people who are regarded as having a disability, accommodations are only necessitated by the functional impact(s) of the disability in a given environment.