Rights & Responsibilities

Complying with disability civil rights laws, and thereby providing equal access to students with disabilities, are shared College responsibilities. Student Accessibility Services is committed to working with you to fulfill these responsibilities.

Role of Student Accessibility Services

Student Accessibility Services (SAS) reviews and maintains documentation to confirm eligibility for services, and determines reasonable accommodations based on the documentation provided and its functional impact. Accommodation determinations are made based on the individual student's condition and the nature of your course.

Encouraging Students to Self-Identify Early

Students who feel comfortable with you and trust that you will keep their concerns confidential are more likely to self-identify early in the quarter. SAS students tell us that your inclusion of a syllabus statement about SAS and your making it a point to reference the statement during class contribute to that sense of comfort.

SAS implores students to notify you early about their need for accommodation; however, we cannot automatically notify you on behalf of a student without the student initiating that specific request. If it helps for planning purposes (such as planning for accommodated exam administration), SAS can share the number and the type of accommodations (but not the identities) of the SAS students eligible for accommodations in your class, although they may not all ultimately request accommodations.

Keep in mind that the main reasons students wait to notify you aren't necessarily out of disorganization or forgetfulness but that they often hope not to need accommodations, feel uncomfortable self-identifying, or may have only recently been diagnosed with their condition.

Your Rights

  • Receive student-initiated verification from SAS regarding the need for an accommodation in advance of that need
  • Identify and make visible (e.g., on your syllabus) essential functions, abilities, skills, knowledge, requirements, and standards for your courses, programs, services, and activities, and to evaluate students on this basis
  • Consult with and receive support from SAS staff regarding any disability- or accommodation-related questions or concerns you may have

If you are concerned about a student's behaviors (such as frequently missing classes), please contact SAS, and we will gather and maintain any relevant documentation and advise you on reasonable determinations regarding absences or other requests that concern you. Moreover, if you feel that a student's request for an accommodation would fundamentally alter the essential elements of your course or require you to create additional or modified course materials, please review the interactive process for addressing accommodation concerns and contact us right away at 603-646-9900.

Limitations to Faculty Rights

On the other hand, it is not your right to know a student's diagnosis or specifics of their condition or to request documentation of disability-related information such as verification of doctor visits. It is also not your right to outright deny an accommodation, determine whether an accommodation is reasonable or not, or recommend an alternative accommodation to a student. Any discussions of this nature should be initiated with SAS (not the student).

Your Responsibilities

  • Direct students requesting disability-related considerations to SAS. (Providing disability considerations to one student who does not provide verification of services from SAS and not another could raise an equity concern.)
  • Provide or arrange for the provision of reasonable accommodations, academic adjustments, auxiliary aids, and services for students with disabilities who are registered with SAS in courses, programs, services, and activities. SAS can assist with the implementation of most accommodations (e.g., we offer faculty the support of a Testing Center).
  • Ensure that courses, programs, services, and activities, when viewed in their entirety, are available in the most integrated and appropriate settings. SAS and Learning Designers can provide relevant input to this end.
  • Engage in an interactive process with SAS to develop reasonable modifications that do not interfere with essential course or program elements and allow you to evaluate students on their abilities, not disabilities.
  • Apply the same grading criteria to students with disabilities as those without (e.g., a student's extra time shouldn't be "taken into consideration" when grading).
  • Honor students' legitimate need for accommodations, recognizing that they will likely be needed in some form throughout students' lives.
  • Maintain appropriate confidentiality of accommodation notifications and disability-related communications except where permitted or required by law or when the student requests that such information is shared.