Perimeter College Disability Services’ Faculty Guide
Federal Disability Laws
Georgia State University is committed to providing educational opportunities for all students and assisting them in making their college experiences successful and positive. In compliance with Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Georgia State University recognizes a student with a disability as anyone who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activity. Disability Services coordinates the provision of reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities. All reasonable accommodations are individualized, flexible and confidential and based on the nature of the disability and the academic environment. If a student with a disability does not have an observable disability, current documentation of the disability from a licensed professional must be provided to the Disability Services coordinator on their campus.
Working with Students with Disabilities
There is no need to dilute curriculum or to reduce course requirements for students with disabilities. However, special accommodations, as well as modifications, may be needed in the way information is presented and in methods of testing and evaluation. Depending on the disability, the student may require the administration of examinations through e-text, computer or scribes, extensions of time for the completion of exams, a quiet and private room to take the exam or a modification of test formats. The objective of such considerations should always be to accommodate the student’s disability, not to lower scholastic requirements. The same standards should be applied to students with disabilities as to all other students in evaluation and assignment of grades.
Sample Student Accommodation Syllabus Statement
The following should be placed in the syllabus: Students who wish to request accommodations for a disability may do so by registering with Disability Services. Students may only be accommodated upon issuance by Disability Services of a signed Letter of Accommodation and are responsible for providing a copy of that letter to instructors of all classes in which an accommodation is sought.
In order to receive accommodations from faculty, students must go through Disability Services. If a student requests accommodations and has not registered with Disability Services, please refer the student to Disability Services. To receive accommodations, students must document both the impairment and the impact the impairment has on them. The impairment must substantially limit the student’s ability to participate in or benefit from the educational programs and services offered by the institution. The assessment of pertinent data and the ultimate determination of whether a student has a substantial limitation involves the consideration of a number of factors including, but not limited to, the general nature of the impairment, the specific manifestations of the impairment, the impact of the impairment on the student’s major life activities and the student’s present abilities and limitations in relationship to the educational environment in question or to a similar or comparable environment. Disability Services is responsible for making this assessment and the decision on accommodations on the institution’s behalf. In providing academic adjustments, an institution does not guarantee the success of the student, rather it commits itself to providing that student whatever assistance is necessary to ensure the same opportunity of academic success as any other student in the same program.
It is important to discuss appropriate accommodations with students; however, asking questions about a student’s disability, such as the diagnosis, must be avoided. Students have the legal right not to disclose the diagnosis; they need only discuss how reasonable accommodations assist them in their academic environment. Faculty members are not required to make modifications that fundamentally alter the nature and content of a course. Faculty are not required to provide accommodations that have an adverse impact on the integrity of the academic program.