Managing Accommodations

What Are Accommodation Letters?

An accommodation letter is the official notice from our office to you of a student’s approved disability accommodations. Accommodation letters will be emailed to you directly (with a copy also sent to the student). These letters are sent after a student who is registered with our office lets us know that they will need accommodations in your course.

Timing of Notification

Accommodation letters may come at different times in the semester. While we do encourage students to initiate that notification at the start of the semester, students can register with our office at any point in their Cornell career, or request different accommodations if they experience new access barriers. This can result in either new or updated letters being sent later in the semester. 

Students are expected to request accommodation letters with an appropriate amount of advance notice for you to implement the accommodations.

Tracking Accommodation Needs

If you have certain course staff who should receive a copy of student accommodation letters due to their role in assisting with the implementation of accommodations in your course, be sure to include that information in your syllabus statement. You can request that your students forward a copy of their accommodation letter to those designee(s). As per our University’s responsibility to ensure equitable access and accommodations are provided to students with known disabilities, we also encourage you to make sure the appropriate course staff have the information. 

You can use the SDS Faculty Portal to view copies of your student’s accommodation letters, or to view a combined list of all the accommodation needs of students in your course(s).

We recommend setting up an email filter to keep all the accommodation letters that we email to you in one, easy-to-reference folder. 

Implementing Accommodations

Students are expected to communicate with you (or your designee) to discuss the specific logistics of how their accommodations will be implemented in your course. If you have questions or concerns about any of the student’s approved accommodations, particularly if you are unsure if it is a reasonable one for your particular course, reach out to SDS right away. You can also review our Fundamental Alteration Review Process.

SDS may also be in touch with you to coordinate the specifics of implementing certain student access needs (e.g., Sign Language interpreting, note taking, captioning). We thank you in advance for your partnership in arranging for equitable access!