Instructors can help normalize the accommodation process. They can make an announcement at the first class meeting and can voluntarily include a statement on the syllabus inviting students with disabilities to meet with them to discuss accommodation needs.
What should a syllabus statement contain?
The wording of the statement should include the following four pieces of information:
- An invitation for the student to meet confidentially to discuss their need for academic adjustments and to work out the logistics of the accommodations. This discussion should lead to an understanding about how the academic adjustments will fit into the curriculum. A plan should be developed to provide the accommodations.
- Notification that students must present requests for accommodation in a timely manner. Instructors can ask students to make accommodation requests at the beginning of the semester, but need to be flexible in certain cases. Some students may be diagnosed with a disabling condition in the middle of a semester, or administrative delays may impede the processing of necessary paperwork.
- An invitation for students to reach out if they encounter any access barriers.
- A statement encouraging students to register with Student Disability Services, if they haven't done so previously, for disability verification and to determine reasonable accommodations.
We encourage the use of the below statement.
Recommended Syllabus Statement
Students with Disabilities: Your access in this course is important to me. Please request your accommodation letter early in the semester, or as soon as you become registered with SDS, so that we have adequate time to arrange your approved academic accommodations.
- Once SDS approves your accommodation letter, it will be emailed to both you and me. [Optional, if applicable to your course: It is your responsibility to also email your accommodation letter to [insert name and title].] Please follow up with [me, TA, etc.] to discuss the necessary logistics of your accommodations.
- If you are approved for exam accommodations, please consult with [me, TA, course staff, etc.] at least two weeks before the scheduled exam date to confirm the testing arrangements.
- If you experience any access barriers in this course, such as with printed content, graphics, online materials, or any communication barriers; reach out to me or SDS right away.
- If you need an immediate accommodation, please speak with me after class or send an email message to me and SDS at email@example.com.
If you have, or think you may have a disability, please contact Student Disability Services for a confidential discussion: firstname.lastname@example.org, 607-254-4545, sds.cornell.edu.