Partners & Collaborators
There are many occasions where faculty members are approached with requests for academic accommodations and there is uncertainty about how to respond. SAS welcomes the opportunity to discuss these requests, and our staff is happy to collaborate on finding appropriate solutions to meet student’s needs while protecting the integrity of a course or program.
Approached by a Student
SAS encourages students to learn the skills of self-advocacy when it is appropriate. For this reason, students may approach a faculty member directly to ask for an academic accommodation.
When this is done electronically, students are encouraged to copy their SAS Advisor so that we can clarify and lend support as needed.
When done in person, it is certainly appropriate for an instructor to ask a student if they may confer with their SAS Advisor. Faculty members are not expected to render a decision on the spot as they may need to confirm the details about the accommodations recommended by SAS, and/or consider other possible solutions.
Approached by SAS
SAS Advisors generally present requests for academic accommodations in a tentative fashion. It is understood that faculty members are the experts in their courses and programs, and may have to weigh a variety of factors when deciding how to accommodate a student’s disability-related needs.
The role of an SAS Advisor is to provide information about the student’s functional abilities, and to verify that a disability exists for which accommodations are required under existing legislation and policies. Such advice does not necessarily include a specific recommendation on how that accommodation is to be made.
When appropriate, we are also happy to provide information about how other faculty members have responded to similar requests, describe the logistics of how specific types of accommodations might work, and explain the procedures and safeguards we put into place in order to protect academic integrity.
Of course, there are limits to academic accommodations, and we are happy to discuss the standards that are commonly applied to determine those limits.
In many cases we are also able to engage in collaborative problem-solving with the instructor to respond to any concerns that might come up while accommodating the student’s disability-related needs.