The following provides guidelines and answers for some often asked questions about the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973:

Guidelines

  • A student is not considered by UAH to be a student with a disability unless they have registered with Disability Support Services.
  • Accommodations begin after the student has provided the instructor (including teaching assistants) with an official Letter of Accommodation from Disability Support Services for that specific semester. The student is responsible for this action.
  • The instructor signs the Letter of Accommodation Receipt Form to acknowledge the requirements of the Letter of Accommodation. It is the student’s responsibility to obtain the instructor's signature and to return the receipt form to Disability Support Services.
  • Accommodations must not change the educational integrity of the course and are not meant to do so.  If you believe an accommodation will interfere with educational integrity of the course, contact Disability Support Services at 256.824.1997 and speak to Kelly Cothran to find a solution.
  • Every student should be held to the same educational and behavioral standards. For example, if you would allow a make-up exam for a student without accommodations due to illness, then you would also allow a make-up exam for a student with accommodations due to illness. Another example, if a student without accommodations is sufficiently disruptive that you would report them to your department chair or to Charger 360, then you would do the same for the student with accommodations.
  • Disability Support Services levels the playing field so that students can use their strengths and accommodations to enable their best performance.  If a student's performance earns them a low grade, they should be assigned that low grade just the same as if their performance earned them a high grade, then they would be assigned the high grade.

If you have any questions about implementing any of these guidelines, please contact DSS before taking action.

Kelly Cothran, LPC, NCC

Senior Coordinator

256.824.1997
dssproctor@uah.edu

Faculty Responsibilities

  • Identify and establish essential functions, knowledge, skills, and abilities of courses and evaluate students on this basis.  Students with disabilities should meet the same essential course functions as their peers without disabilities.
  • Refer students who state they have a disability to Disability Support Services if the student does not provide a Letter of Accommodation for that semester.
  • Use a syllabus statement and class announcements to invite students to register with Disability Support Services.
  • Expect all students to observe academic standards and follow the code of conduct as outlined in the course syllabus, Student Handbook, and University policies.
  • Act immediately upon receiving a student's Letter of Accommodation by following the accommodations described or by contacting Disability Support Services if there are questions or concerns.
  • With regard to testing, the accommodation process begins with the student and the faculty/department. Every effort should be made to accommodate students at this level, particularly for basic accommodations such as extended time for exams or reduced distraction environment for exams.
  • If faculty or the department are unable to provide accommodations for testing, the student should contact Testing Services to schedule their exam. Testing Services prefers that students contact them to schedule their exams a week in advance to the date needed.  They test at 9 am and 1 pm on business days. The student is responsible for notifying the professor of the date and time they have scheduled their exam, and reminding them to send the exam to testing@uah.edu .  The faculty is responsible for emailing the exam to Testing Services and may alternately hand deliver the exam to WIL 225 if that is their preference. Testing Services will return the completed exam to the professor in a timely manner.
  • Disability Support Services can administer exams for students that need more advanced accommodations beyond extended time and reduced distraction environment. If a student schedules an exam with Disability Support Services, the student is responsible for notifying the professor of the date and time they have scheduled their exam and reminding the professor to send the exam to dssproctor@uah.edu.  Disability Support Services will send a courtesy email to the student and instructor with the date, time, and email address for the instructor to send the exam.  Instructors may hand deliver the exam to WIL 128 if that is their preference.  Disability Support Services will return the completed exam to the professor in a timely manner.  For students in upper division or highly technical courses, Disability Support Services may not have the content knowledge necessary to provide readers or scribes.  Faculty or the department may be asked to assist with this accommodation.
  • Work to ensure that materials used in class are accessible.  If you need a video captioned, email helpdesk@uah.edu and cc: dssproctor@uah.edu your request for video captioning.  Make sure you mention that it is for a student with a disability.
  • Protect all disability-related information as required by FERPA. Keep your student's Letter of Accommodation and emails regarding student disability-related information in a protected location.

Remember

Faculty are not legally allowed to ask students if they have a disability. For those students registered with Disability Support Services, faculty are not legally allowed to ask the student what their specific diagnosis is.  If students choose to disclose their diagnosis or the nature of the disability, this information should be kept in confidence.