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Frequently Asked Questions

Please contact AccessibleNU if you do not find the answer to your question below.

How will I know if a student needs accommodations?

You will receive an accommodation notification email from AccessibleNU notifying you that a student has requested accommodations for your class. The notification email will identify the specific accommodations for which the student is approved. During their intake meeting with ANU, students are encouraged contact their instructors to discuss accommodation implementation once notifications are sent. Please alert students if they should also provide a notification to a TA, lab instructor, or another individual. Keep in mind that the student must initiate the request for an accommodation email; AccessibleNU cannot notify you without the student's explicit request.

What is the appropriate way to encourage a student to connect with ANU?

Connect what classroom behaviors and concerns you are seeing to why you suggest the student approach AccessibleNU. Make sure to focus on the behaviors as opposed to making general statements about the student as a person. In other words, you might start by saying,
  • "I notice that your answers on tests are typically correct but that you almost never finish your tests. Is this new, or has it been an issue in the past?"
  • "I've noticed you've seemed tired/stressed/etc. in class and I wanted to check in with you to make sure everything is okay?"
  • "What aspects of this class do you find challenging/easy, or what do you wish I would change about the class to make it better for you?"
  • "Tell me about your study approach to this class. Have you explored any additional resources to assist in your classes?"
This provides an opening to suggest approaching AccessibleNU or other campus resources students may not be aware of.

How do I work with students who do not have a permanent disability, but are requesting exceptions due to injuries or illnesses?

If you are prepared to excuse an absence, provide extra test time, or make other considerations for a student with an injury or illness but would like verification of the student's condition, please contact Health Service. Please refer to Health Service's policy and procedures related to academic work missed for medical reasons for more detailed information. 

A student with a test accommodation in my class is not eligible to have their test proctored in ANU. How do I implement testing accommodations on my own?

Students taking their exams with their instructor or TA is often the best solution because students can readily ask questions and be quickly informed if there are any changes to the exam questions while testing. For this reason, Testing Services encourages instructors to proctor their exams whenever possible.

Testing Services ask that instructors proctor their exams when there are more than 10 students with test accommodations in their course due to limitations of the ANU testing space. Please note that Testing Services can proctor for students with test accommodations in the form of 2.0x extended time, computer use for short answer and essay questions, assistive technology on exams, private testing room, and special furniture arrangements regardless of the number of students with test accommodations in a course. Testing Services asks that instructors work with their department to identify proctors who can supervise their students’ test-taking when they or their TA are not available.

As soon as instructors receive the accommodation notification emails from AccessibleNU stating test accommodations have been approved for students in their course, instructors should create a plan to proctor accommodated exams. Options for proctoring include:

  • Proctoring remotely using Respondus LockDown Browser.
  • Using your office or departmental space for in-person proctoring.
  • Reserving rooms for in-person proctoring via the Office of the Registrar’s room reservation system (25Live). Please do this as early in the quarter as possible to ensure space availability.

For more information, please see the Testing Services page.

Some of my students have an accommodation to record lectures. Do they have to sign any sort of fair-use form? May I alert the class that students may be recording?

Yes. Students must agree to the terms of the Fair-Use form, approved by General Counsel, each term that they request accommodations. This includes provisions that they will limit recordings to personal use, delete them at the end of the term, and recognize that the lectures are the faculty member's intellectual property and that it is considered an academic integrity violation if they do not comply with all provisions in the form. We have never had an issue with an AccessibleNU student violating the provisions in the Fair-Use form.

If you'd like to make alert students to the potential of being recorded, please me a generic statement such as "With available technology, students may be recording this class."

What if a student requests accommodations beyond those listed in their accommodation notification email?

Although this issue doesn't arise frequently, please direct the student back to AccessibleNU. It is possible that further review of their documentation on file or requesting additional documentation will provide the necessary support for AccessibleNU to approve the new accommodation. If so, you will receive a revised accommodation email that includes the new accommodation. If you feel that a student is misrepresenting their accommodations or is pressing you to go beyond what their accommodation email specifies (e.g., asserting that you should provide them double time on a test even though they're approved for only time and a half), please contact AccessibleNU yourself.

May I talk to students about their disabilities?

Some students may wish to keep specific disability information confidential, while others may choose to openly discuss their diagnoses and all related information with you. The decision to disclose disability information is made by the student, and you should therefore not ask them what their disability is or for any documentation of their condition. In most cases, you can best accommodate students by asking about their needs related to learning and fulfilling the requirements of your course. 

May I provide accommodations to a student for whom I do not receive an accommodation notification?

If a student makes reference to having a disability or other long-term condition and asks for an accommodation but you have not received a notification from AccessibleNU verifying eligibility for accommodations, it is strongly recommended that you contact AccessibleNU or ask the student to contact us. In general, we recommend that you not provide special consideration for a student without notification from AccessibleNU unless you are open to providing this consideration for the rest of the class.

If you are ever uncertain about your obligations, please review our faculty roles and responsibilities and contact us (847-467-5530).

Are there any general modifications I might consider to make my courses more accessible?

Yes. Here are some ideas:
  • Please include our syllabus statement
  • Consider sharing your notes before class in an electronic format. Text in electronic form can be paired with screen-reading software, which makes printed material accessible for students with various learning disabilities, visual impairments, or limited mobility. Additionally, students who qualify for use of note-takers can access electronic notes independently, instead of relying on classmates to make copies of notes.
  • Consider students’ diverse learning styles when developing lectures and assignments. Any one of your classes may include students with reading difficulties, auditory processing deficits, and other learning disabilities or weaknesses. You can contribute to the success of your students by incorporating multiple means of representation of material into your lectures. 
  • Ensure all digital material used in class is accessible. Accessible documents can be easily used with text readers, screen-reading,  and/or braille-conversion software. This software is made available through AccessibleNU.
  • Provide students with options (essay, presentation, video, etc.) for turning in assignments. this will allow students to use their strengths to best demonstrate learning.
Please see our Universal Design for Learning pages page for more ideas.