Office of Accessibility Resources & Services

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FAQ for Faculty

What if a student discloses to a faculty member that they have a disability and are not registered with OARS?

  • Faculty members are encouraged to refer students to the Office of Accessibility Resources and Services (OARS) to talk with a professional staff member.

How will I know if a student is registered with OARS?

  • Under ADA/504 laws, students registered with OARS have provided documentation from the appropriate practitioner (i.e. physician, psychologist, etc.) that addresses the disability and current functional limitations.
  • Students will notify faculty of their approved accommodations with a faculty letter that is provided by an OARS counselor to the student for dissemination to their instructors.
  • NOTE: If a faculty member has questions about a student’s accommodations they are encouraged to contact an OARS counselor

*If you have additional questions, please call the office and speak with an OARS counselor or refer to our website: OARS is here to assist you in meeting the needs of your students.

How does a student register with the Office of Accessibility Resources & Services?

Students come to the office in a variety of ways. They may register in the fall of their first semester or anytime during their academic career. Many students have been served as a student with a disability in high school and, as such, may have some documentation to show a disability. Under ADA/504 laws students must have current documentation that shows a disability, and it must address current functional limitations that warrant an accommodation.

A student should submit documentation from the appropriate practitioner to begin the registration process. In addition, a voluntary disclosure form should be submitted. After submission, the documentation will be reviewed to determine if the student is eligible for services.

At times students may need additional time to get paper work completed for registration. OARS will work with students for one semester while they get the appropriate documentation as long as the student shows proof of an attempt to secure this documentation. These students are not protected under the ADA; therefore, faculty members are not required to serve them.

Who determines the accommodations for students with disabilities?

Each semester students are required to meet with an OARS counselor. At that time the student and counselor will review the accommodations based on the syllabus for each class.

Accommodations are based on the academic needs of the student, which are outlined in the documentation provided. The documentation must link functional limitations to the need for a specific accommodation.

Click here to review our documentation guidelines.

What types of accommodations are professors required to make?

Professors will receive an OARS letter of accommodation from the student at the beginning of each semester informing them of the student’s disability and what accommodations have been approved for them. Faculty are encouraged to speak to the student about these accommodations and, at any time, are encouraged to speak to a disability counselor if they believe the requested accommodations fundamentally alter what is being taught and measured in the classroom.

Am I required to alter my test format (ex. number of multiple choice questions, essays, short answer, etc) or course standards for a student with a disability? Do I have to alter my attendance policy for students whose disabilities affect attendance?

Students with disabilities are expected to be evaluated in the same manner as students without disabilities. OARS can provide accommodations to make exams accessible to students with disabilities. In addition students with disabilities are expected to fulfill all of the course requirements, including attendance, for a class. Please refer to the OARS Policies and Procedures for the class attendance policy.

If a student discloses a disability midway through the semester, am I required to accommodate previous work submitted in the course?

Accommodations are not made retroactively. Students are encouraged to disclose their disability early in the semester so that the necessary accommodations can be implemented, and it is the student’s responsibility to do so. Thus, you are not required to accommodate previous coursework that has been submitted for evaluation.

How can disability services assist in providing the identified accommodations?

OARS can work directly with faculty members to help determine the accommodations needed for specific courses. Accommodations are determined on an individualized basis for each student and the documentation must link the functional limitations to the need for a specific accommodation.

If I object to an accommodation for a student, how should I proceed?

Contact OARS and speak with a counselor regarding your concerns.

How should I make a referral to the Office of Accessibility Resources & Services?

You can call our office at 334-5440 and speak with a counselor about a student you would like to refer.

What is the process used for test proctoring at OARS?

Students approved for testing accommodations are encouraged to be proctored by the faculty member, but may choose, with the agreement of the faculty member, to be proctored in the ODS office. If the student is to take their exam at OARS they should schedule tests at least 2 days prior to the scheduled test and at least 5 days prior to midterm exams and finals. Students will complete part I of the Testing Accommodations Request form and will ask professors to complete part II of the form. Students are expected to discuss testing accommodations with their faculty in a timely manner. Once the form is completed it should be turned in to OARS by the student. Tests are proctored in testing rooms under the supervision of OARS staff. A testing accommodation form must be filed for every exam the student plans to have proctored at OARS.

What should I do if I think that the student is pushing to get better grades because of a disability?

Grades should be assigned based on merit, not disability status. If the student has requested and received appropriate accommodations in the course ensuring equal access, then the student’s disability status should not have an impact on the grade they receive in class. Please note that students with disabilities who apply to UNCG are expected to meet the same admissions criteria as students without disabilities.

Doesn’t the provision of accommodations provide an unfair advantage for the student with a disability?

Students with disabilities may have different learning styles than the traditional student. Therefore, accommodations provide equal access for students with disabilities to learn in the academic environment.