Faculty are responsible for collaborating with students with disabilities and the Office of Disability Services to create an accessible class experience. Provide the approved accommodations, outllined on the student's Accommodation Letter, in a fair and timely manner.
Use a Syllabus Statement
It is important to provide a clearly welcoming environment so that students understand they can come forward with accommodation requests and connect with you if necessary. Encourage students with disabilities to approach you early in the semester by placing a statement on your syllabus such as the one provided below, and being available for conversation with students during office hours or scheduled appointments.
Sample Syllabus Statement:
UNC Charlotte is committed to access to education. If you have a disability and need academic accommodations, please send me your accommodation letter as early as possible. You are encouraged to meet with me to discuss the accommodations outlined in your letter. For more information about accommodations, contact the Office of Disability Services at 704-687-0040 or visit their office at Fretwell 230.
Guidance on Protecting Privacy
Students with disabilities have the right to privacy and are not required to disclose the nature of their disability to faculty. Follow the individual student’s lead in discussing his or her disability(ies). Some students may be very open about the nature of their disabilities, while others may be more private. The knowledge of a disability should be treated in a confidential manner by the instructor not disclosed to others. Identifying a student to peers or making comments about a student’s disability in class violates the student’s right to privacy. Focus your conversation and questions on how to best provide the accommodations within the context of your course.
Disability Services staff can communicate with University officials on a need-to-know basis concerning relevant information, accommodations, and services. Students who have requested accommodations through the DS Portal have an assigned counselor. That counselor will be listed on the student's Accommodation Letter.
Accommodation Letters via the DS Portal
Disability Services determines appropriate accommodations based on the student's documentation. These pre-approved accommodations are outlined in the student's Accommodation Letter available online to instructors via the DS Portal. Students who are registered with Disability Services will send their accommodation letters electronically and faculty will be notified via email from the DS Portal system. Faculty are able to view and acknowledge students' accommodations via the DS Faculty Portal. Note that instructors are still responsible for the accommodations outlined even if they do not acknowledge receipt of the letter. A student's diagnosis is private and not included in the accommodation letter. The Office of Disability Services maintains disability documentation in secure files.
- Accommodations may be requested at any point in the semester.
- Accommodations are not retroactive.
- Grade the performance of a student with disabilities as you would all other students.
Disability Services staff act as a resource for faculty, too. We encorage faculty and staff to contact our office with disability-related questions or concerns.