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Instructor Handbook

Pointers for Faculty/ Instructors
Frequently Asked Questions from Faculty/Instructors
Compliance Checklist
Disability Services Staff
Additional University Resources

Each year students with disabilities enroll in higher education. These students are protected from discrimination based on their disability by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), ADA Amendments Act, Section 504 and Section 508 Act of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

The mission of the Disability Services (DS) office is to collaborate with the NDSU community to facilitate equal access in academic pursuits, promote self-advocacy, and foster inclusion for students with disabilities.

To ensure equal access, reasonable accommodations are identified. Implementing reasonable accommodations is a collaborative effort between the student, the faculty/instructor, and NDSU DS staff.

This booklet provides general information about teaching students who have a disability. For additional information, please contact the DS office at 231-8463. DS staff look forward to consulting and working with you.

PLEASE NOTE: Treat any information received about a student's disability as highly confidential and do not share it with others unless the student has provided a signed release of information form.

Working with Students with Disabilities:Pointers for Faculty and Instructors

  1. On each course syllabus include an invitation for students who need an accommodation due to disability to notify you as  soon as possible.
    See example below:

    To request academic accommodations due to a disability, please contact the Disability Services Office (231-8463). If you have a form from their office
    indicating you have a disability which requires academic accommodations, present it to me so we can discuss any accommodations you might need in
    this class.

    In addition, consider reading the statement to the class and making your syllabus available on the Internet. Ask students who request reasonable accommodations based on disability to provide a completed Course Accommodation Form from the DS Office
    (signed Exam Reservation forms and Note-taker Approval forms may substitute for the Course Accommodation form)

    Please note: You are not required to accommodate students who have not provided the proper verification from Disability Services.

    Examples of reasonable accommodations include:
    Alternative testing, access to class notes, sign language interpreters, audio recorders, auxiliary aids such as captioned videos & large print services, assistive technologies such as auditory trainers, text scanning and speech synthesis, computer readers, and speaking tactile graphics systems.

  2. Students with disabilities are expected to inform their faculty members of their needs as early as possible in the semester.
    Students are encouraged to request accommodations in a timely manner. Students are not required, however, to reveal the precise nature of their disability to the faculty member; that information is maintained confidentially in the Disability Services Office. A student may choose to sign a release of information but is not required to do so.

  3. Be prepared to make modifications in degree or course requirements to reasonably accommodate the needs of students with disabilities; such modifications should be made on a case-by-case basis after consultation with appropriate campus personnel. Be aware of university offices available as resources when seeking answers to questions about these responsibilities.

  4. Adapt teaching techniques and materials used in the classroom, as needed, to provide accessibility and accommodation in individual cases. Disability Services staff have expertise to assist faculty in deciding which accommodations and modifications are most appropriate and helpful. For example, frequent use of visual projections may be inappropriate for a class that includes a student with a severe visual impairment. In addition, offering to share lecture notes or encouraging students with visual or motor impairments to tape lectures may greatly enhance their learning.

  5. Do not advise students with disabilities toward more restrictive careers than students without disabilities (unless such advice is based on strict licensing or certification requirements in a profession).

  6. Have a plan for emergency exit from the classroom and building. Consider which procedures are most appropriate for the particular disabilities of students currently enrolled; consult with the student(s) in making this determination.

  7. Encourage the inclusion of people with disabilities in instructional materials and classroom discussions to facilitate positive learning experiences.

The following is a compliance checklist that may be helpful.

  • Stand by academic standards and freedoms, which include full and equitable access to academic programs.
  • Provide verbal and written notice to your students of your willingness to accommodate. For example: “I encourage students with disabilities to discuss accommodations with me.” 
  • Communicate clear and concise expectations for performance to your students. Distinguish between essential and non-essential components of the course. The student with a disability is required to meet the same academic, behavioral, performance and technical standards as a student without a disability. 
  • Respect a student’s request for reasonable accommodations.
  • Permit students to use auxiliary aides and technologies that ensure access (examples: access to class notes, sign language interpreters, readers, scribes, tape recorders/players, assistive listening devices)
  • Assure that your course materials, whether printed or electronic, are accessible and available in alternative formats (examples: Braille, computer electronic text, large print, internet, CD/cassettes, videos).
  • Consult with the office of Disability Services if you have questions when a student requests accommodations.
  • Keep student disability-related information strictly confidential.


Disability Services Staff

Disability Services Director
Gail Bollinger

Disability Specialist
Jennifer Erickson

Disability Specialist
Kari Chaffe Klettke

Accommodations Coordinator
Beth Fiechtner

Administrative Secretary
Judy DuBois

Library, Suite 17 (Lower Level)
Phone: 711-231-8463
Fax: 701-231-8520

E-mail address:

Additional University Resources

Student Support Services / TRIO Programs

Casey Peterson, Director

Counseling Center
Bill Burns, Director

Academic Collegiate Enhancement (ACE) Tutoring
Betsy Carter, Learning Services Coordinator

Athletic Academics
Kelli Layman, Associate Director

“North Dakota State University does not discriminate on the basis of age, color, gender expression/identity, genetic information, marital status, national origin, public assistance status, sex, sexual orientation, status as a U.S. veteran, race, or religion. Direct inquiries to the Vice President for Equity and Global Diversity and Global Outreach, 205 Old Main, (701) 231-7708.”

Student Focused. Land Grant. Research University.

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North Dakota State University
: +1(701) 231-8463 / ND Relay: (800) 366-6888 / Fax: (701) 231-8520
Campus Address: Main Library, Suite 17
Physical/delivery address: 1201 Albrecht Blvd., Fargo, ND 58102
Mailing Address: NDSU Dept. 2860 / P.O. Box 6050 / Fargo, ND 58108-6050
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Last Updated: Wednesday, February 07, 2018 1:39:06 PM
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