The Office for Students with Disabilities provides reasonable academic accommodations based on disability for eligible students under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADAA) of 1990.  

Below are recommendations faculty members should make before each semester: 

Include a Disability Access Statement in your course syllabi:  

“If you have a disability and need accommodations, please register with the Office for Students with Disabilities. The OSD office is in the Student Services Building 1320 and can be reached at 323-343-3140. If you would like to discuss your need for accommodations, please email me to schedule an appointment.” 

Accessible Material  

Faculty members are responsible for ensuring that all course materials are accessible to all students. Faculty members are encouraged to learn how to create accessible materials by utilizing the resources and assistance provided by ITS Accessibility.  ITS and OSD recommend the following to ensure that students are equipped prior to the start of the semester. 

  • Complete textbook orders as soon as possible.  
  • Make sure instructional materials are created in an accessible format. ATI can assist faculty with captioning and strategies for orally describing visual media. 
  • Review training guides and other ATI accessibility resources. 

Faculty members visit the New Faculty Accessibility page for additional information and training opportunities on accessibility. 


Accommodating Students 

The student will initiate a Faculty Notification of Academic Support Services email to you through our OSD Online Portal. This email verifies that the student is qualified to receive accommodations and what types of accommodations the student will need.  Faculty that have questions regarding the accommodations are encouraged to discuss them directly with the student; in the event questions remain, faculty should contact OSD at 323-343-3140 for further clarification.  

Faculty are under no obligation to provide accommodations to students who do not have verification of accommodations from the OSD office. Direct that student to the OSD office so that a Disability Management Specialist and the student, together, can determine eligibility for support services through the interactive process.  

Maintain confidentiality 

Confidentiality in the accommodation process must be maintained by all parties. OSD cannot provide specific information about a student's disability. It is important that faculty members maintain confidentiality and do not discuss a student's disability or accommodation request with other faculty or students, including any discussions in a classroom setting. 

While some students may be more comfortable disclosing the nature of their disability, many choose to keep their disability private.  

Faculty FAQ

By law, students have the right not to share any information about the nature of their disability. As long as a student has presented you with their Notification of Academic Support Services from OSD, you are required to implement the accommodations. Faculty who have questions about the implementation of accommodations listed on this document are encouraged to talk with the student and contact OSD if needed. 

However, some students may choose to share disability information with you. Be supportive and keep the information in confidence. Do not disclose the information given.  Listen, validate, and refer them to OSD. 

No. Students who have been verified for services have received written confirmation from OSD. If a student does not have written confirmation and is not registered, please refer them to our office in the Student Services Building, 1320. If you choose to provide a student with reasonable accommodations, you may do so at your own discretion, however, we do encourage accommodations to be facilitated by our office.

Yes, but our office has a cutoff of week 13, being the latest they can request accommodations. There could be numerous reasons why a student makes a late request. Perhaps the student could not get documentation of their disability any earlier, and, therefore, could not initiate accommodations earlier.  However, accommodations are not retroactive. Consult with OSD if you have questions. 

Faculty should understand that while they are required to provide reasonable accommodations to students with disabilities, they are not required to tolerate behavior that is substantially disruptive to their ability to teach and to other students' ability to learn. Faculty are expected to hold all students, including those registered with the OSD, to the same code of conduct. Faculty are welcome to consult with the OSD as needed. If a student's disruptive behavior cannot be contained, contact the University Police Department for immediate assistance. Faculty may also benefit from contacting the Dean of Students for additional non-emergency support. 

An interpreter's role is to facilitate communication between signed and spoken languages. Interpreters sign everything that is spoken and voice everything that is signed. 

Working with an Interpreter: Some Tips 

  • Provide the interpreter(s) with a copy of the course syllabus and/or other print materials for review and to follow as the class progresses. 
  • Provide a location for the interpreter.  
    • The Deaf student needs to have a line of sight to view the professor or lecturer, overhead or PowerPoint presentations, and the interpreter. 
  • Speak directly to the Deaf student, not the interpreter. For example, say, "Do you have your homework?" rather than "Does the student have their homework?" 
  • Direct contact is valued particularly in one-to-one interactions, direct eye contact on the part of the Deaf individual is not always possible, as the Deaf student will need to look at the interpreter.
  • Repeat other students' questions.  
    • This will allow the interpreter to ensure he/she does not miss the questions. 
  • When there are audio-visual presentations, allow the Deaf student time to follow along with the presentation; the student will need time to look at the instructor, as well as to look at what is being displayed. If possible, provide a copy of the visual presentation to the Deaf student before the presentation. 
  • Give the Deaf student sufficient time to read any written materials before you speak.  
    • Deaf students receive their information visually. If you speak while they are reading, they cannot watch the interpreter and read simultaneously. 
  • Provide good lighting for the interpreter.  
    • If during the lecture you need to darken the room to view slides, videotapes, films, or overheads, auxiliary lighting is necessary so that the Deaf person can see the interpreter. If a small lamp or spotlight cannot be obtained, check whether room lights can be dimmed, or a door or window shade can be opened to provide enough light to see the interpreter. 

CART, also known as Communication Access Real-Time Translation, is a speech-to-text service that uses a professional captioner to provide a text format for auditory. The captioner will use the audio from the microphone to capture all spoken information and type in near-real time so that the student can read the lecture or class discussion on their laptop. 

Working with a real-time captioner: Some Tips 

  • Provide the service provider with a copy of the course syllabus and/or other print materials for review and to follow as the class progresses. 
  • When setting up at the beginning of the class, the service provider and the individual using CART will work with you to figure out the best positioning for each, to ensure effective and comfortable communication. 
  • Speak directly to the Deaf or hard-of-hearing student, not the service provider. For example, say, "Do you have anything you would like to add?" rather than "Does he/she have anything to add?" 
  • Direct eye contact. While direct contact is valued particularly in one-to-one interactions, direct eye contact on the part of the Deaf or hard-of-hearing individual is not always possible, as the deaf or hard-of-hearing individual will need to watch the captioning screen. 
  • Try to face the class when you speak. Some Deaf and hard-of-hearing students prefer to follow a lecture through lipreading and use CART as a backup when they cannot understand. 
  • Ensure the Deaf or hard-of-hearing student's participation. Remember that the service provider is a few words behind the speaker. Therefore, allow time for the Deaf or hard-of-hearing student to obtain all the information and ask questions. 
  • If possible, provide "advance copies" of the visual presentation to the deaf or hard-of-hearing student prior to the presentation. 
  • Give the Deaf or hard-of-hearing student sufficient time to read any written materials before you speak. Deaf and hard-of-hearing students receive their information visually. If you speak while they are reading, they will not be able to watch the captioning screen and read simultaneously.