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Faculty and Staff Guidance

Collaborate with us to provide a more inclusive educational experience.

Facilitating Access in your Course

  • Use the following statement in your syllabus:

    Any student needing to arrange a reasonable accommodation for a documented disability and/or medical/mental health condition should contact Student Access and Accommodation Services at 308 Fell Hall, Office Phone (309) 438-5853, Video Phone (309) 319-7682 or visit the website at

    We recommend taking some time to review this statement with your class as it may help students feel more comfortable approaching you with proactive requests.

  • Create your course with accessibility in mind

    Illinois State University is a place for all students to be welcomed and provided an accessible learning opportunity free from barriers. Accessibility means everyone can learn the information, regardless of how they encounter it. The university has created Accessibility Tutorials containing information about for all digital materials. In addition, SAAS and Center for Integrated Professional Development (formerly CTLT) are happy to answer questions related to creating accessible course content.

  • Promptly respond to accommodation requests.

    Students are trained on their specific accommodations and the process. Students need to provide their faculty with a Faculty Notification Letter which will include the approved accommodations for the student. If you are unsure about an accommodation, please contact SAAS.

  • Respect the student’s right to confidentiality

    Students are not required to disclose medical details, such as their diagnoses, to instructors. Student Access and Accommodation Services keeps all students’ medical information and documentation confidential.

    Discuss accommodations with students in a private setting such as during office hours or by appointment.

  • Contact SAAS when you have questions or concerns regarding a student or request.

    Each student registered with SAAS is assigned a coordinator who is available to you for answering questions, brainstorming solutions, and determining whether or not an accommodation request is reasonable.

Faculty Professional Development

If you or your department would like further guidance on our policies and procedures for accommodating students or best practices for teaching students with disabilities, please contact our office and we would be happy to work with you.

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Tips to Help You

Find tips to help you engage with students in your class.

  • Identity

    Allow the student to identify if they would like person first or identity first language to be used in conversations. It is always best to listen and let the person share how they would like to be identified.

  • Microaggressions

    Microaggressions can occur and though people do not mean to make assumptions, it can happen. Consider your approach and in the case of a microaggression, call it out, apologize and consider alternative points of view.

  • Communication

    Keep in mind that not all students participate in the same way. Be open to different forms of communication (both in person and via email), different types of eye contact, and different levels of speech. Some students encounter a great deal of anxiety speaking in front of a class and students with speech limitations may be nervous to talk in front of a class. Perhaps avoid calling on students unless their hand is raised.

  • Behavior

    If classroom behavior is of concern, do not hesitate to talk directly with the student to address the behavior and possible solutions. Using time after class, via email or through office hours can be specific time that will not intrude on class instruction.

  • Allow Breaks

    Consider allowing breaks in your longer classes for those who need a rest from focusing or socializing.

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