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Faculty Resources Guide

 

Welcome to the Office of Disability Services for Students. As a TAMIU faculty member you play a very important role in promoting access for students with disabilities. Students affiliated with DSS are encouraged to collaborate with their instructors to ensure that they have the reasonable accommodations they need to provide them with equal access to their education.

During the fall and spring semesters, DSS serves students with various disabilities including, but not limited to, students with learning disabilities, visual impairments, hearing impairments, physical impairments, mental health disabilities, and other health related impairments.  Accommodations provided to students are determined on an individual basis.

The information on the DSS website is intended to provide faculty with more in-depth information concerning working with DSS and with students with disabilities.  DSS staff members are also available to faculty and staff for consultation and presentations on disability related topics. For questions regarding a specific student’s accommodations, please contact the Office of Disability Services for Students.

 

Topics Covered by the Faculty Guide

Roles and Responsibilities

Syllabus Statement

Assisting You

 

Modified Attendance & Deadlines as an Accommodation

Federal law requires colleges and universities to consider reasonable modification of attendance policies and deadlines if needed to accommodate a student’s disability. In making this determination, two questions must be answered: 

Does the student have a documented disability that directly affects his/her ability to attend class on a regular basis or submit work on time? Office of Disability Services for Students will make this determination based on a review of documentation from the student’s physician or other qualified provider and provide verification in a letter the student presents to the instructor.

Is attendance an essential part of the class? Would modification of attendance policies or deadlines result in a fundamental alteration of the curriculum? Instructors make this determination in consultation with the Office of Disability Services for Students.

 

The Office of Civil Rights (OCR) has provided the following guidelines to assess if attendance is an essential part of a class:

  • Is there classroom interaction between the instructor and students and among students?
  • Do student contributions constitute a significant component of the learning process?
  • Does the fundamental nature of the course rely on student participation as an essential method for learning?

 

To what degree does a student’s failure to attend constitute a significant loss to the educational experience of other students in the class?

  • What do the course description and syllabus say?
  • Which method is used to calculate the final grade?
  • What are the classroom practices and policies regarding attendance?

 

The Office of Disability Services for Students requires that students with a disability-related need for flexibility in attendance and deadlines meet with their instructors to discuss the extent to which modification in attendance policies and deadlines may be reasonable for a particular class. Following this meeting the student and instructor should have a clear understanding of what accommodations can be made for disability-related absences. To facilitate this discussion the Modified Attendance & Deadline Agreement should be reviewed and completed to clearly set out expectations. The Office of Disability Services for Students staff is available to consult with instructors and students on issues concerning disability and attendance and can facilitate the completion of this Agreement.