General Accessibility

Question: When Should I Refer a Student to the Office of Academic Accessibility?

If a student reports difficulty accessing the classroom or curriculum, a faculty member should refer the student to the Office of Academic Accessibility.

A student may choose whether or not to contact the OAA for further discussion of the reported difficulties.

Students may reach the Office of Academic Accessibility by emailing, calling 828. 232. 5050, or making an appointment.


Question: Should I Ask a Student About Their Disability?

No. While faculty members will receive a Letter of Accommodation detailing information about the accommodations that the student will use, you should not ask about a student’s disability or seek information that may be considered personal. While a student may choose to disclose information about their disability to you, they are not required to so in order to receive academic accommodations. 

Any information shared with the Office of Academic Accessibility is protected by FERPA guidelines. We may not disclose information about a student’s disability to faculty members. We find that most questions about disability tend to be best addressed by careful discussion of what barriers exist in the curriculum, and  how we may best work to provide strategies and accommodations based in accessing the curriculum. 


Question: What Do I Do if a Student Without Accommodations Asks for an Accommodation?

If a student states that they have accommodations, but you have not received a Letter of Accommodation, please check your faculty portal. If a student connected with the OAA has requested the use of accommodations your course, those accommodations will be listed in a Letter of Accommodation. The Letter of Accommodation will be located in your faculty portal. If your student is not listed in the faculty portal as having accommodations, encourage the student to contact the Office of Academic Accessibility to ensure their Letters of Accommodation have been sent out.

From the time the student sends the Letter of Accommodation, it may take 24-48 hours for the instructor to receive an electronic version of the letter through the faculty portal. 

Faculty members are not legally mandated to provide accommodations to students that have not been determined eligible for reasonable accommodations through the Office of Academic Accessibility. Faculty members are strongly encouraged to refer students asking for academic accommodations to the Office of Academic Accessibility instead of granting the accommodation on their own.


Question: How Do I Access a Letter of Accommodation?

Letters of Accommodation are emailed to faculty members within 24-48 hours of the  the student sending the Letter of Accommodation.

You may access all Letters of Accommodation for students in your courses by logging into the faculty portal.


Question: Do I Need to Meet with a Student After Receiving a Letter of Accommodation?

Yes. It is the responsibility of the student to request a meeting with each faculty member to go over the implementation of accommodations. If you’ve received the Letter of Accommodation from a student, you may prefer to reach out to the student to discuss the accommodation request; it is not required that you wait for the student to initiate a meeting once they’ve sent their LOA to you.


Question: A Student in my Course has the Accommodation of a Note Taker. What Do I Do?

When you meet with the student about their Letter of Accommodation, go over your expectations for course notes. How often will notes be taken? Will notes be a primary source of information for the student after the class has ended? Are students expected to take notes?

If the student determines, from your conversation, that a note taker would be beneficial in the course, please make an announcement to your students that there is a need for a note taker. If you teach more than one section of a course, and the material from each section is the same, you may recruit a note taker from any section of the course. Please do not reveal the identity of the student who has requested a note taker.

Faculty members may use the Note Taker Recruitment Statement as a guide for their course announcement.


Question: What Should I Do if a Note Taker Cannot be Located?

If a student note taker cannot be located, the Office of Academic Accessibility should be informed. Alternate means of access will be considered to ensure that the student receives effective and meaningful access. (Ex: The use of Zoom transcription, access to instructor notes, etc.)


Question: A Student in my Course is Eligible for a Reasonable Attendance Adjustment. What Do I Need to Do?

A student and their faculty member should meet to discuss essential course requirements,  attendance expectations, and anticipated absences. If requested, an OAA staff member will attend the meeting between the faculty member and the student to help facilitate access.

Please view the Reasonable Attendance Adjustment Plan page for more detailed information about how to best implement this accommodation.

The RAAP form must be completed, signed by both student and instructor, and shared with the Office of Academic Accessibility before the accommodation can go into effect.