Frequently Asked Questions, from Students & Faculty

FAQs from Students

Where can I find information about Section 504, ADA and ADAA?

The following links may be useful:

ADA Home Page:
ADA Responsibilities for Postsecondary Institutions Questions and Answers:
Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) pamphlet: "Students with Disabilities Preparing for Postsecondary Education: Know Your Rights and Responsibilities":
Association on Higher Education and Disability:

What if I am failing one of my classes?

Providing accommodations to a student with a disability does not guarantee academic success. The provision of accommodations levels the playing field, so that students with disabilities have the same access to programs and activities as their non-disabled peers. Students with disabilities must be given the equal right to fail, as any other student, as part of their educational experience. Students experiencing academic difficulties are encouraged to contact their faculty members, academic advisor, and their OSWD counselor for assistance.

I am receiving notes, but I have missed most of the classes. Can I still get these notes?

Students with disabilities must attend classes in order to receive Note Taking Services assistance. Their accommodation does not excuse their absences.

FAQs from Faculty & Staff

What if a student is disruptive in class?

The ADA does not exempt students with disabilities from disciplinary action for disruptive behavior, even if the behavior is due to a disability. The University must apply the same disciplinary actions to students with disabilities as those applied to non-disabled students as listed in the Student Code of Conduct.

How do I inoffensively suggest a student may have a disability?

Simply suggest that the student schedule an appointment with OSWD to discuss further the challenges the student is currently facing. OSWD will identify next steps in the eligibility process. This may entail referring the student for assessment or in contacting medical or diagnostic personnel on behalf of the student.

What if a student is failing a class?

Providing accommodations to a student with a disability does not guarantee academic success in the course. Students with disabilities must be given the same rights as any other students to fail as part of their educational experience.

I am undecided about what book to use for my class, but OSWD keeps asking me to select a book ASAP. Do I have to do so?

Yes, OSWD respectfully requests that you select a book as soon as possible so print alternative material for students with disability can be prepared in a timely manner. At least three months prior to the start of the semester is recommended.

A student in my class has missed most of the classes. Should the student still be getting notes?

Students with disabilities must attend classes in order to receive assistance from Note Taking Services. Their accommodation does not excuse their absences.

Must I lower the standards of a required assignment or exam because a student has a disability?

No, academic accommodations actually allow students with disabilities the same opportunities to study as their peers. Students with disabilities are expected to meet all course requirements.

A student has asked to take an exam at OSWD. Will the student be tested without unfair advantage?

OSWD has systematic and secure procedures for getting exams from faculty and returning them once the student has taken the exam, so that no one is able to take an accommodated exam without authorization. Students are proctored while taking exams.

A student using Note-Taking Services approached me with concerns about the quality of the notes received. What should we do?

The student must retrieve course notes by coming to the OSWD and collecting them from his or her personal folder, labeled with Student Identification number. Notes typically are placed in the folder within 24 hours after the end of the class. If there is any dissatisfaction with the quality of service, professionalism, and competence of the Note Taker, or an absence of notes in the folder, the student should contact the Note Taking Services Coordinator.

A student has given me an accommodation letter. How do I make sure the student's needs are being met?

We encourage students and faculty to meet at the beginning of the semester. The purpose of this meeting is to allow the student to make the faculty aware of disabilities and accommodations that may be approved. It also allows the professor to have questions answered by the student.

If the student either hands you the letter or leaves it for you, then we suggest that you reach out to the student and suggest a time for the two of you to meet. Creating an opportunity for both of you to discuss the situation, ask questions, and solve problems will be a benefit in the end.

OSWD has given me a Faculty Accommodations Letter several weeks after the semester began, and the student now wants to retake an exam. Must I allow it?

No. Faculty are not required to provide reasonable accommodations until OSWD has presented a Faculty Accommodations Letter.