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Faculty Responsibilities to Students with Disabilities

What are faculty responsibilities to students with disabilities?

  • Include the following paragraph on syllabi: Disability Accommodations: If you need academic accommodations for a disability, you must first contact Disability Accommodations & Success Strategies (DASS) at 214-768-1470 or www.smu.edu/alec/dass.asp to verify the disability and to establish eligibility for accommodations. Then you must schedule an appointment with the professor to make appropriate arrangements.
  • Implement the recommendations communicated by letter from the DASS disability accommodations coordinator. The most common accommodation is extra time on tests. The director is a resource for help in implementing the accommodations.

Where should faculty go for more information?

How many SMU students have disabilities?

About 370 students with disabilities are enrolled at SMU each semester. This number includes only students who have provided the appropriate documentation to SMUís Disability Accommodations & Success Strategies Team. Nationally about one in 11 college students have disabilities, nearly triple the number in 1978, according to the National Clearinghouse on Postsecondary Education for Individuals with Disabilities.

How do students with disabilities establish their eligibility for accommodations?

Students provide documentation to the DASS director that shows they have a condition that meets the legal definition of a disability and describes the current impact of their condition. The documentation must be provided by an appropriate professional, such as a licensed psychologist for a learning disability, a licensed psychologist or psychiatrist for ADD/ADHD, or an audiologist for a hearing impairment.

How do the disability accommodations coordinators determine accommodations?

Based on a review of the documentation and the impact of the condition on the student, the coordinator determines reasonable accommodations. The accommodations are outlined in a letter from the coordinator to faculty members. Students are responsible for giving the letters to faculty members.

How do I get involved with disability issues on campus?

The Presidentís Advisory Committee on the Needs of Persons with Disabilities is an active committee, made up of faculty, staff and students who all care about the needs of people with disabilities. Please contact the committee chair to volunteer.

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