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I have a student with a disability who is behind in their homework. This student has missed a number of classes and has not handed in several assignments. Although the student has taken a midterm and used accommodations, the student received a D for the midterm. At this point, the student is not passing the class. Do I have a right to fail a student with a disability?
In most instances, “yes.” There are numerous reasons why a student makes a late request. Perhaps they could not get documentation of their disability any earlier and, therefore, could not initiate accommodations earlier. Some students try to take a class without accommodations but find that they aren't doing well and need accommodations. Whatever the reason, students may make requests for accommodations any time during the semester.
The DSS office recognizes that faculty try to avoid, as far as practicable, academic procedures that create temptations to violate SSU’s Honor Code. Students taking exams in a separate location from the class are reminded by DSS staff of their obligation under Sonoma State University’s Honor Code. If you have reason to believe the student committed an Honor Code violation, you should follow through with the usual reporting procedures established by the Office of Student Conduct.
Talk privately with the student to discuss your observations. The student may reveal he or she has a disability. If this is the case and the student is registered with the DSS office, suggest that they talk to a Disability Adviser in the office.
The short answer is, “yes.” Textbook publishers are often not able to provide books in digital formats that are usable or acquired in time for a course. Publishers do grant authorization to create digital copies of traditional texts for eligible students with disabilities. However, textbook conversion is a time-consuming, labor-intensive task. Every semester the DSS office Alternate Media staff creates screen-readable text (e-text), Braille, or other formats for students.
No. You are under no obligation to alter or waive your attendance policy. However, you are strongly encouraged to identify and determine how much attendance is considered an essential part of your courses. The DSS office may make recommendations to faculty about unique circumstances where attendance considerations would be beneficial. Attendance considerations for students from DSS always carry a "standard of reasonableness" with them. It is always good practice to clearly state on your course syllabus your attendance requirements.
No. Standards are the same for all students; however, some students with disabilities may use accommodations to exhibit their knowledge, their production, and their meeting of other course expectations differently than their peers. For example, a student with low vision may produce an essay exam by using a computer rather than writing out an answer. The quality of the work should be the same.
If a laptop is an approved accommodation, a policy modification for the student with a disability is reasonable. In order not to publicly identify the student with a disability the instructor is encouraged to state on the syllabus something like the following: "Exceptions for the use of a laptop may be granted for compelling reasons at the discretion of the instructor."
There are instances when the DSS student will need to use various technologies during your class. These will be outlined in the Accommodation Letter. This may include, but is not limited to, a laptop to take notes, a recorder to audio record class lectures, and other types of technology as needed.