Procedures related to adjustments identified by Student Disability Resources

As noted above all University syllabi must include a disability statement. Student Disability Resources suggests that faculty use the statement below or one modeled after the statement below.

“Student Disability Resources Penn State welcomes students with disabilities into the University's educational programs. Every Penn State campus has an office for students with disabilities. Student Disability Resources (SDR) Web site provides contact information for every Penn State campus: http://equity.psu.edu/sdr/disability-coordinator. For further information, please visit Student Disability Resources Web site: http://equity.psu.edu/sdr.

In order to receive consideration for reasonable accommodations, you must contact the appropriate disability services office at the campus where you are officially enrolled, participate in an intake interview, and provide documentation: http://equity.psu.edu/sdr/guidelines. If the documentation supports your request for reasonable accommodations, your campus’s disability services office will provide you with an accommodation letter. Please share this letter with your instructors and discuss the accommodations with them as early in your courses as possible. You must follow this process for every semester that you request accommodations.”

At Penn State, students with disabilities have met the same academic requirements for admission to the University as nondisabled students. They take the same Penn State courses and earn the same degrees. Penn State welcomes all academically qualified students to the University and we embrace the rights of all enrolled students to full and equal educational opportunities.

Not all students with disabilities will require academic accommodations, but for some students, accommodations will minimize or eliminate the impact of a disability. Examples of accommodations include closed captioned videos for a student with a hearing loss, audiobooks for a student with sight loss, or different ways for a student with a learning disability to respond to exam questions. Academic accommodations are determined on a case-by-case and course-by-course basis. Modifications need not require alterations of any essential elements of a course or program.

Federal and state legislation (e.g., the Americans with Disabilities Act Amended, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, PA Human Relations Commission PA Code Chapter 44) prohibits discrimination against qualified individuals with disabilities in university programs. Title II of the ADA Amended Act requires that the institution provide persons with disabilities with reasonable access to services, programs, and activities. This includes timely availability of accessible print and video-recorded materials.

Implementation of policies requiring reasonable accommodation for students with disabilities is a shared responsibility among faculty, student, and Student Disability Resources. Students are expected to inform Student Disability Resources, in a timely manner, of their need for instructional accommodations. Faculty, in coordination with, and with advice from, Student Disability Resources, are expected to work with students to provide reasonable accommodations.

The Penn State Student Disability Resources offers a faculty handbook for working with students with disabilities with specific information on how to arrange for individual student accommodations (http://equity.psu.edu/ods/faculty-handbook).

Faculty can minimize last minutes changes by working to make sure course materials are accessible. The Accessibility web site (http://accessibility.psu.edu/) provides many useful resources, including a checklist that faculty can use (http://accessibility.psu.edu/checklist/)

In order to make videos, textbooks and other course packet materials accessible, Student Disability Resources needs to know well in advance of the start of the semester the course materials that will be used so that materials can be prepared for students in a timely manner.

Additional Resources:
Student Disability Resources, 116 Boucke Building, University Park, 814-863-1807, http://equity.psu.edu/student-disability-resources

The World Campus offers a free, online faculty development training module on accessibility for faculty teaching online courses, OL 3000. The module can be accessed from http://wcfd.psu.edu/course-schedule/