Faculty and other teaching staff have a legal responsibility to provide reasonable and appropriate accommodations for qualified students with disabilities and/or medical/mental health conditions, and it is prudent to consider accommodating the student in the manner requested. However, there may be elements of the course work that make the requested accommodation difficult to fulfill. In this case, contact the student’s coordinator at Student Access and Accommodation Services (SAAS) to discuss effective alternatives.
NOTE: The laws that protect the rights of individuals with disabilities also protect the standards of the attending institutions. Having a disability and/or medical/mental health condition does not preclude a student from meeting the essential course elements or from following the established policies and procedures.
A student needs to supply a SAAS Faculty Notification Letter. Faculty Notification Letters will include the accommodations the student has been approved for, the name of the student, and the expiration date of their services (only if approved for accommodations for a specific time frame rather than permanently).
As a university, we are obligated to notify all students of services available. As individuals who participate in the educational process for students we all want each student to be successful. Placing the following accessibility statement on your syllabus will help fulfill this.
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 350 Fell Hall, (309) 438-5853, or visit the website at StudentAccess.IllinoisState.edu.
If a student with a disability and/or medical/mental health condition has the approved accommodation of taking an exam at SAAS, the student is required to submit the Exam Request three (3) business days before the exam. There are no exceptions. Our office needs this time to set up the accommodations. If the student says that SAAS has refused to accommodate their exam request, please call SAAS to verify the validity of that statement and to discuss options in this situation.
SAAS does not accommodate retroactively. Accommodations are considered only when the student has provided the appropriate documentation as verification of disability and/or medical/mental health condition. If a student discloses their disability and/or medical/mental health condition "after the fact," refer them to SAAS. Do not accommodate the student until that student sends you their SAAS Faculty Notification Letter as verification of being a qualified individual with a disability and/or medical/mental health condition.
The student will place a request with SAAS, and the office staff will work on filling that request. If the staff is not able to find a volunteer within one week of the request being submitted through our volunteer database or through email, they will contact faculty to arrange an in-class notetaker recruitment. During a recruitment, the staff talks to the class for a few minutes about the volunteer opportunity and asks a few students to fill out a card to become a volunteer notetaker.
Illinois State University views class attendance as an individual student responsibility, and it is expected that students follow established classroom attendance policies. Some students with a disability and/or medical/mental health condition that is chronic and/or episodic/cyclical in nature may request a modified attendance accommodation. For more information about this, review the modified attendance accommodation policy.
Completing course assignments on time is an individual student responsibility and students should follow established assignment due date policies as provided. However, some students with a disability and/or medical/mental health condition may require occasional extensions for class assignments if their disability impacts their ability to attend class and/or turn in their assignments within the deadline provided. For more information, review the extensions on assignments policy.
Adequate time must be allotted for completing the processes of converting textbooks into alternative formats (i.e., Braille, enlarged print, computer-based electronic text, creating closed captioned videos) and requesting sign language interpreters to insure that qualified students will have access to required course materials at the start of the semester. Faculty and other teaching staff are asked to provide names of textbooks and other reading materials, as well as reading lists (i.e., the sequence of the chapters or sections that will be assigned) to Student Access and Accommodation Services Text Conversion Lab upon request.
In addition, faculty are asked to submit videos used in the course/classroom to the Text Conversion Lab upon request when a deaf or hard of hearing student is registered for the course. When completed, the faculty member will receive the original videos and the newly closed captioned videos. For further information, please call (309) 438-2202.
The following are some of the common teaching techniques being used by many faculty to enhance accessibility in their classes. These techniques can improve learning for all students in addition to providing access for students with disabilities and/or medical/mental health conditions:
A sign language interpreter is a licensed professional who facilitates communication in the classroom for a student who is deaf/hard of hearing. The interpreter is bound by the Professional Code of Conduct for Sign Language interpreters, through the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf. There will be two interpreters if your class is two hours or more. The interpreter is present only for the purpose of facilitating communication. Please do not ask the interpreter for their opinion or to perform additional tasks other than interpreting. You will be sent an email that there will be a student who is deaf in your class and that a sign language interpreter will be present.
What is a Frequency Modulation system? The FM system is equipment used in the classroom to amplify the lecture and classroom experience for the student with a hearing loss. The professor wears a simple lapel attached microphone which allows the student to directly hear the professor’s voice. The signal from the microphone is transmitted to the student’s headphones, through a receiver. This blocks out distracting sounds within the classroom. This has no impact on the other students in class.
Direct the student to SAAS. We will work with the student to determine which type of seating will best accommodate their needs. There may be a table placed for use by a student who uses a wheelchair. A specific chair may be placed for a student who has a medical or a physical need. As the faculty, you will receive an email from us letting you know that there will be a chair and/or table placed in your classroom and the name of the student who will be using that equipment.