Faculty

Disability Services is committed to making reasonable, effective and appropriate accommodations to meet the needs of students with disabilities and help create a barrier free campus. Faculty members are poised to play a critical role in assisting in the removal of barriers for students with disabilities, and are often called upon to provide classroom accommodations directly. Each student who is eligible for an ADA accommodation and is registered with Disability Services may request academic adjustments. Accommodations are determined by consultation between students and their Consumer Managers on an individual basis. 

Disability Services relies on timely information and communication from Instructors to put accommodations in place.  

Please plan to: 

  • Provide syllabus info on SPIRE with as much information as possible regarding texts, media use, instructor contact information and location when the class is added for registration. ISBN numbers for texts, media links and due dates are very helpful. This information is crucial for DS to obtain alternate formats of texts, captions, audio descriptions and proper interpreter preparation, which can take several weeks to prepare. 
  • Seek a student note taker in your course and provide any notes you have on Moodle or a course website. DS can provide you an announcement to be made in class or placed on the syllabus. DS provides a credit or community service incentive and handles all administrative set up, simply refer interested note takers to us.
  • Provide all requested exams to the Exam Proctoring Center by noon, one day prior to scheduled exams or 3 days in advance for Finals. Exams can be uploaded to Clockwork, emailed to the Exam Proctoring Coordinator at examsaccess@admin.umass.edu or hand delivered to 169A Whitmore.
  • Obtain captioned materials for use in the course or provide captions for media. (Closed Captions should always be utilized on media but must be provided if an accommodation need is determined in your course or if you have public facing web content).
  • Communicate questions or concerns with DS as soon as possible.  Access delayed can be access denied.

Additional examples of accommodations an instructor can provide include: 

  • implement universal design principles in the planning of course instruction.
  • organize distraction reduced settings and extended time for exams for your class.
  • make room for an interpreter(s) at the front of the class, in the sight line of the student.
  • wear a lapel mic when requested for communication access and restate questions posed from the class.
  • prepare visual media files in advance of your class. When you have a Blind/Low vision student in class who need audio descriptions as an accommodation, all visual media files must have audio descriptions utilized. If audio descriptions are not available, have the media audio described by a vendor.
  • agree to sign off on requests for audio or visual recordings of a class for the full inclusion of a student's accommodation need.
    • DS can provide a contract documenting that the student may not share or post class content, hinder the instructors access to copyright or a classmates right to participation.
  • provide clean text information for scanning to alternate formats.
  • allow for flexibility when students must take exams at the proctoring center, particularly for night exams that must be taken during the day.
  • familiarize oneself on how to make accessible course materials. Here are a few resources: The Accessible Classroom: Content,  The Accessible Classroom: Assistive Technology
  • understand that due to a limited amount of accessible classroom space available on campus, particularly large auditoriums, classes may need to be moved with little advance notice to accommodate a need and communicating the room change to their students in a timely manner.