Each year faculty/instructors teach students with various types of disabilities. These students are protected from discrimination by federal laws, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), ADA Amendments Act, Section 504 and Section 508 Act.
The mission of NDSU Disability Services is to collaborate with the NDSU community to facilitate equal access in academic pursuits, promote self-advocacy, and foster inclusion for students with disabilities.
Below please find general information about teaching students who have a disability. For additional information, please contact the Disability Services office at 231-8463. Disability Services staff look forward to working with you.
Pointers for Faculty and Instructors
1. On each course syllabus include an invitation for students who need an accommodation due to disability to notify the instructor 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 letter or 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.
2. Ask students who request reasonable accommodations based on disability to provide a completed Course Accommodation form from the Disability Services 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 Course Accommodation form (or other appropriate forms) from Disability Services.
Examples of reasonable accommodations include:
Alternative testing, note takers, sign language interpreters, tape 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.
3. Students with disabilities are expected to inform their faculty members of their needs as early as possible in the semester. 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.
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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. 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).
7. 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.
8. Encourage the inclusion of people with disabilities in instructional materials and classroom discussions to facilitate positive learning experiences.
Additional University Resources
Assistive Technology Lab
Gail Bollinger, Director
Bill Burns, Director
Student Success Programs/TRIO
Casey Peterson, Director
Betsy Carter, Learning Services Coordinator
Kelli Layman, Associate Director