Information for Faculty & Staff

Faculty and staff are integral partners in the accommodation process. As such, all have rights and responsibilities to ensure that accommodations are fully implemented:

  • Faculty and staff will partner with Accessible Learning and students to provide authorized academic accommodations and/or support services for the student in a fair and timely manner.
  • Faculty must review the Accommodation Form with the student. Students are expected to identify in a timely manner with all faculty members and participate fully in the accommodation process.
  • Faculty will provide timely information regarding textbooks/course materials to Accessible Learning for the purpose of securing alternative-format materials, as requested.
  • Faculty can consult with Accessible Learning on questions concerning academic accommodations.
  • Faculty will allow students with disabilities to record classes when such recording is necessary to provide equal access to course material. (The student may be required to sign an agreement protecting copyright.)
  • Faculty have a right and responsibility to ensure that the class atmosphere is harassment-free, inclusive, and nondiscriminatory for students with disabilities. This includes addressing issues of classroom behaviour that is inappropriate according to Sheridan’s Code of Student Conduct.
  • Faculty and staff will maintain the student’s rights regarding confidentiality and will not disclose personal disability-related information unless the student has provided written approval to the faculty or staff member.
  • Faculty and staff will draw disability-related issues to the attention of Accessible Learning promptly.

For more complete information on the policies and processes at Sheridan, and for tips and resources, please go to the Accessible Learning for Faculty VC on Slate. If you do not have access, please contact the Manager of Accessible Learning.


Faculty and Staff Guide: Accommodating Students With Disabilities

There are no standard ways of accommodating a student with a disability. The differences among individuals in terms of the type of disability, its degree, and its impact will vary such that each student’s needs must be assessed individually. In general, though, accommodations will affect one or more of the following:

The way in which you teach

  • Organizing course material earlier, projecting clearly toward the class when lecturing, and explaining verbally any visual aids are all ways of accommodating students for a standard academic course. Students may require early access to course syllabuses or reading lists so books may be ordered in alternative formats (e.g., taped texts or Braille).

The space in which you teach

  • Your class may have to be relocated to an accessible location, or to a lecture hall with better lighting or appropriate technology. There are several areas within the college that are currently not accessible for students with mobility impairments. All efforts are made to ensure this does not happen, but in some cases changes to classrooms may have to be made.

The methods you use to assess students

  • You may be asked to consider allowing students to provide evidence of what they have learned in different, though equally challenging formats – orally, instead of in written form, or vice versa. The nature of the course, however, must not be compromised. You may find that you need to adopt alternative ways to evaluate all your students.

The way in which you test

  • The most common form of accommodation granted to students with disabilities is the opportunity to write tests and examinations outside of the regular format. Some students with disabilities require extra time to complete a test. Other students require adaptive equipment. The completed work, however, should be treated no differently from that of other students in your class. Grading of work is always treated the same as any other student at the college.

The time you allot for assignments and tests

  • You will find that time is an important factor for some students with disabilities. College policies and practices around the granting of extra time for completing assignments or writing tests or examinations have been designed not to give students with disabilities unfair advantages but to provide them with fair and equitable opportunities to demonstrate what they have learned.

How you communicate

  • When you meet with a student who has a disability, talk directly to her or him, not to an accompanying person. If you offer help to a person with a disability, wait until it is accepted before providing assistance.
  • Make an effort to use the terminology that the student uses to describe his or her own disability.
  • Decide on a method for regular communication between yourself and the student who requires accommodation. Examples might include a brief post-class discussion each week, a meeting during your office hours, or regular email correspondence.
  • If you can see problems arising from a particular aspect of a course – a practicum or field component, a newly assigned text that is not available on tape, the structure of a test – talk about it with the student as soon as possible. With sufficient time, you can probably find a way to accommodate the student’s needs or develop an acceptable alternative to that component of the course.

CONSULTATION WITH ACCESSIBLE LEARNING

If you are unsure of how to deal with a specific situation or would like advice on designing appropriate instructional strategies, our staff is available to provide consultation. Please contact the office staff at :

 

Trafalgar in Room B104, ext. 8196

Davis in Room B230, ext. 5168

HMC in Room A247, ext. 5737 

In addition, staff are available to conduct Professional Development workshops regarding working with students with disabilities.

CONFIDENTIALITY

It is the student’s right not to disclose specific information regarding his/her disability to faculty and staff. However, students are encouraged to do so where appropriate. It is the student’s responsibility to discuss accommodation needs with the faculty, preferably prior to the first class or soon thereafter. Students who do not provide an Accommodation Form from Accessible Learning will not be guaranteed accommodations.

Diagnostic or other information cannot be shared with faculty or staff without the student’s consent. Accessible Learning staff will not communicate any information unless the student gives written consent upon registering with our services.

Accessible Learning Advisors are available to provide confidential services and supports as necessary.

Faculty and staff providing services to students with disabilities will not release any identifying information to any parties other than those involved with direct provision of services.

Students, faculty, and staff are encouraged to communicate and consult about any arising issues so that appropriate strategies may be implemented to resolve the situation.