Provide accommodations only to students who provide you with a letter from the SDS explaining the approved classroom accommodations.
When you receive a letter from the SDS concerning a student with a disability, the letter will explain what accommodations that student requires in the classroom. The most frequently requested accommodations are: extended time on examinations and quizzes; testing in a quiet or private location; and use of student notetakers. Students with hearing impairments may need interpreters in class, or use assistive technology that will require the instructor to wear a microphone when lecturing. Students with low vision may need enlarged print examinations and handouts. At times the SDS may ask the Registrar to change the location of a class to accommodate a student with limited mobility or a student who needs access to internet and telephone connections in the classroom.
The purpose of an accommodation is to ensure that students with disabilities have access to programs. Accommodations should not change the essential elements, criteria or performance levels of the course. If you have such concerns about a requested accommodation, please contact the SDS.
Arranging for accommodations is a cooperative endeavor involving the student, the SDS Office, and the instructor. If you believe that you can provide an accommodation in a manner that is superior to what has been requested, please speak to the SDS about it.
Many students with disabilities require 150% or 200% time on examinations. If you have such a student in your classes, please try to make arrangements for the student to take the examination under your supervision. Many departments have seminar rooms and offices that could provide a quiet or private space for the student to take an examination. The University does not have a testing center that can accommodate all of the students who receive extended time on examinations. The Student Disability Services can only handle a few students at a time. If you cannot arrange for an examination requiring extended time, please contact the SDS office and we will work with you to see what arrangements can be made. The form for requesting that SDS proctor the examination can be found at http://web.jhu.edu/disabilities/images/request_forms/testingspace.doc.
SDS is responsible for providing notetakers for students with documented disabilities. Students request notetakers by submitting an online form to firstname.lastname@example.org. SDS recruits and trains the notetakers.
Deaf and hard of hearing students may use an interpreter in the classroom, or they may use assistive devices that require the instructor to wear a small microphone that can send signals to either an FM device that amplifies sound for the student or to a telecommunications device that enables a voice captionist to convert the sound signal to written text on the student’s laptop computer.
In a seminar setting where there is considerable class discussion and the class is small, the microphone can be replaced by a speakerphone that can pick up speech from all directions.
Many hearing impaired students will be able to communicate in a one-on-one situation by lip reading. But in a few cases, the student may need to bring an interpreter when meeting with a faculty member. If a student does rely on lip reading, remember that you will only be understood if you are facing the student without obstructions or strong back lighting that would obscure the student’s view.
If you are having difficulty communicating with the student, you and the student can write the information that is unclear. Writing down your suggestions is especially helpful with hearing impaired students because lip readers generally pick up less that half of the information that is spoken.
If you use films and videos in your classes, it is important to make the information accessible to hearing impaired students. Please consult with the DSC to discuss having your materials captioned.
Some students with visual impairments require large-print written materials. This may mean making enlarged print copies of examinations and handouts. If the student has trouble reading overheads, instructors can make enlarged print copies for the student. Most departments have copying equipment that can enlarge documents.
Disability Services can also provide students with assistive reading technology, books on tape, and books in Braille.
If you use films and videos in your classes, it is important to make the information accessible to students with visual impairments. Please consult with SDS to discuss your specific situation.
Many students with disabilities are hesitant to let other students know about their disability. In addition, information about disabilities is part of the student’s confidential academic record. Therefore, faculty members need to respect the student’s privacy when providing accommodations. This means that faculty should not discuss disability-related matters with the student when other students are present, unless the student approves. Some accommodations will naturally draw attention to the student with the disability (e.g., using a sign-language interpreter in class) and this cannot be helped.
In addition to accommodations in the classroom, students with disabilities may also require programmatic accommodations and support services. The DSC will discuss these matters when the student registers with the DSC. However faculty may become involved when they advise students with disabilities about their courses. Here are some suggestions for advisers when working with students who disclose information to you about their disabilities: