The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 2008 require that reasonable accommodations be made in the delivery or assessment of educational experiences when a documented disability exists. This does not mean a faculty member must make the class "easier." The goal is to provide an equal opportunity for success, not to provide special advantages for some students.
Some accommodations may be as simple as wearing a microphone when lecturing. Others may include allowing extended time for completion of assignments or tests. Please keep in mind that some disabilities are "invisible." Be assured that requests for accommodation are forwarded to faculty only after the University receives verification of need from an appropriate professional. The student has the right to withhold from a faculty member the specific nature of a disability and still receive reasonable accommodations.
It is extremely important that faculty provide accommodations only when requested through the Disability Coordinator in the Academic Success Center. This assures that proper documentation of a disability exists. Extending accommodations when there is no documentation of disability can open the faculty member and the University to accusations of unequal treatment of able students.
It is recommended that your syllabus contain the following statement:
Policy for Students with Disabilities
It is the policy of the University of Charleston to provide reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals with documented disabilities. This college will adhere to all applicable federal, state, and local laws, regulations and guidelines with respect to providing reasonable accommodations as regards to affording equal educational opportunity. It is the student's responsibility to contact the disability coordinator and provide current documentation from appropriate credentialed persons. The disability coordinator is located in room 302 of the Learning Commons (3rd floor of Clay Tower Building) and will assist students and faculty in arranging appropriate accommodations. This is in accordance with Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.