Faculty Have Asked...

Does SAA conduct testing to diagnose a disability? No, SAA will refer students to the appropriate health professional.

How does SAA determine that a student qualifies for accommodations? The Director of SAA meets with the student, reviews all submitted documentation, and in some cases, speaks with the medical professional who authored the documentation. The director, in a collaborative process with the student, identifies areas that pose a barrier to accessing academic programs and university life, and determines reasonable accommodations. For complicated course issues, the instructor is included in the process. Faculty feedback and ideas are always welcome.

How can students function "in the real world" if they are dependent on accommodations? This is a very common question asked by both faculty and students. The “real world” does provide accommodations for persons with disabilities. For more information on employee accommodations the Job Accommodation Network (JAN) has an excellent website https://askjan.org/ . Also, SAA encourages their students to be as independent as possible through the use of technology. You may notice students using Livescribe Pens https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fqRiLCwL48c and photographing the board with their smartphones. These tools can often replace the note-taker accommodation and they can be used in the “real world.” 

One of my students met with me to explain that she had accommodations for laptop use in classrooms. I told her that I am happy to accommodate her, but I have a "no electronics" policy. How should I handle this in class? I do not want to change my policy for the rest of the students, but they will clearly see me allowing her to use her laptop. At the same time, I am not sure if the student would appreciate me explaining to the class that she has an accommodation. Since the laptop is obvious, it may be awkward for the student, as well. I suggest handling inquiries individually, with the explanation that exceptions to class policy are handled on a case by case basis and will likely be related to an ADA accommodation. I suggest including this statement in your syllabus after your "no electronics" policy. You could also announce in class that if anyone has a good reason for an exception to course policy they should meet with you to discuss it.

Exam Accommodations

If a student wants to take an exam at a different time than the class, do I need to check with SAA? If a faculty member determines that a student can take an exam at a different time than scheduled, SAA will ask the student for verification that they received permission from the instructor in the form of an email to SAA from the instructor. If a student needs a different time as an accommodation, SAA will consult with the instructor. Every situation is handled on an individual basis. 

Can SAA notify me when my students have finished their exam? No but the proctor can put the exam in a signed and sealed envelope, and the student can bring the exam to you.

If I have a student who needs to take a make-up exam but they do not have a disability, can SAA proctor the exam? No, SAA only proctors exams for registered SAA students.

If I give my students a take-home-exam, do I have to provide extended-time? That would depend how much time it would typically take to complete the exam and when it had to be submitted. If it is due within a few hours, then yes, but if it is due by the next class and it can be completed in a couple of hours, it should not be necessary.

I have a student in my class with exam accommodations. There is an exam tomorrow and they have not contacted me. Should I send one for them? Students who have exam accommodations are responsible for notifying you when they are taking an exam in SAA. The student should have asked you how and when you would like to be notified,  when they met with you to have the Accommodation Letters signed. Some students have disability related issues that affect their executive functioning. Either they forgot to notify you or they have decided not to use their accommodations for this exam.