What are My Obligations to Students with Disabilities?

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 protect students with disabilities from discrimination. Everyone in the Barry community is obligated to uphold those laws, but there is a particular onus on faculty to abide by the Rehabilitation Act and ADA because most efforts to avoid discrimination of students with disabilities come in the form of academic accommodations. If you are notified by the Office of Accessibility Services (OAS) that a student in your class has been granted academic accommodations, you are required to provide those accommodations. If, however, you have misgivings about the accommodations granted or feel stressed by your obligation to provide accommodations, you should contact the OAS Director to talk about your concerns. We are here to partner with you and help you meet your obligations with as little inconvenience to you as possible.

Obligation Do's and Don'ts

  • You should only provide accommodations to students who are registered with the OAS. You will know if a student is registered because the student will show you a copy of his/her OAS Accommodation Memo. You may make a copy of the Memo for your records.
  • The Accommodation Memo does not reveal the nature of the student's disability, and you should not ask the student to disclose his/her disability. If the student tells you about his/her disability you must keep that information confidential.
  • If you are asked to solicit for a note taker for a student because your student has that accommodation, the OAS will send you a letter suggesting how you may solicit for a note taker while maintaining confidentiality.
  • If the student has been granted the accommodation of extra time for testing, or testing in a distraction-reduced environment, you may provide those accommodations yourself or have the OAS do it for you. If a student wants to take a test with the OAS, it is the student's responsibility to make a reservation with the OAS and give you a Faculty Testing Form to fill out and return to the OAS with the test. The OAS will return the test and the student's answers to you.
  • Most students register for services with the OAS at the beginning of the semester. However, for various reasons some students register late. When this is the case, you should not provide accommodation retroactively. For example, students should not be allowed to repeat tests. The accommodations take effect on the day the Accommodation Memo shown/given to you.
  • Aside from providing accommodations, you should treat the student with a disability exactly as you would any other student. There is no need to modify policies or take any other actions unless the modification or action were specified in the student's Accommodation Memo.