It is important for instructors to remember that students with disabilities desire to be treated with the same respect and in the same fashion as non-disabled students. DSPS encourages students to discuss their needs with their instructors, but this is not always done. If you have questions about whether or not a student needs special assistance and/or accommodation you may, in a private setting and tactful manner, ask the student whether they will need any special assistance. The student is the "expert" when it comes to his/her individual needs.
An ideal way to encourage students with disabilities to discuss needed accommodations is to include the following statement on the course syllabus and repeat it during the first class meetings:
"If you need academic accommodations because of a disability, if you have emergency medical information to share with me, or if you need special assistance in the event the building must be evacuated, please make an appointment to discuss your needs or e mail me at..."
"Students requiring accommodations for a certified disability that may affect class performance are requested to schedule an appointment with me during the first week of the semester. You can also meet with a staff member at Disability Support Programs and Services (DSPS) so those appropriate arrangements can be made. DSPS is located in the DeRicco Building, 2nd floor. The phone number is (209) 954-5151 x6272."
Accommodations for a disability are not intended to alter the fundamental nature of a course or program. A student with a disability must be able to comprehend the course material and communicate this to the instructor in one form or another. Accommodations merely give the student the opportunity to achieve this outcome. If the instructor has questions concerning the nature of accommodations provided to a student he/she may contact a DSPS counselor for clarification. The DSPS counselor may have access to confidential information upon which the recommended accommodations are based and is available to assist the instructor with questions he/she may have in order to insure the integrity of the course is being preserved and that the student's appropriate needs are being met.