Faculty Resources

Class photo in shape of letters U and M

Faculty play a critical role in the provision of accommodations. The following resources are available to assist faculty in preparing accessible classes. It is highly recommended that when possible, universal design principles should be implemented. Disability Services is here to assist. The best resource is a properly prepared course and open communication between Disability Services and instructors. 


Please add the following to your course syllabus: "The University of Massachusetts Amherst is committed to making reasonable, effective and appropriate accommodations to meet the needs of students with disabilities and help create a barrier-free campus. If you have a disability and require accommodations, please register with Disability Services (161 Whitmore Administration building; phone 413-545-0892) to have an accommodation letter sent to your faculty. Information on services and materials for registering are also available on their website www.umass.edu/disability."


All media must be captioned in the classroom and on any class websites. When showing films in class, the captioning option should always be selected. 

Alternate Formats for Text

All text used in your course should be made available in accessible documents. When texts are selected, it is essential that we can obtain accessible text information. Provide all text information including ISBN numbers on SPIRE when your course information is added. Preparing the text information on your syllabus well in advance of the semester is ideal as  locating accessible text can take time for our office. All scans of documents or notes must be clean (without writing) and single page instead of side-by-side. All text materials (scans, articles, textbooks, novels, etc.) must be available to students 2 weeks in advance of the semester.  


Students who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing may utilize interpreters or captionists. Interpreters will need to be afforded access to course sites, text and materials for preparation. In the classroom, they will also need proper seating and an appropriate space at the front of the classroom in the line of sight of the person needing the interpreter. Students utilizing captioning will need permission to use laptops in the classroom and instructors will either wear portable microphones or place mobile microphones properly in the classroom, depending on the need of the student. 

Audio Descriptions

Students who are Blind or Low vision may utilize Audio Descriptions on any visual media used in courses. Audio Descriptions are an additional narrative track added to media files that provide the necessary auditory information of visual information.  When media files are used, it is essential that we obtain the media file information and file.  Preparing the media information on your syllabus well in advance of the semester is ideal as locating or adding audio descriptions takes a considerable amount of time. Audio Descriptions must be added by a third party vendor (Disability Services does not provide that service) and take additional time in advance to add, if they were not produced with the film or procured from a library that has previously added them.