Sample Syllabus Accessibility Statement

Including an accessibility statement on your syllabus can help to:

  • Signal to all students in a course (not just those with disabilities) that you welcome discussion about individual differences in learning, encountered barriers, and ways to maximize access.
  • Send a message that you value diversity and an inclusive learning environment.
  • Open the door to communication and help students feel more comfortable approaching you.
  • Normalize the accommodations process as just another part of the course.
  • Inform students about college procedures and available resources.

Guiding Principles:

  • Many typical “disability” or “accommodation” statements:
    • Single out students with disabilities, provide information for how they can request accommodations, and reference a college’s legal obligations but not much beyond that.
    • Use language that focuses on limitations caused by a disability as opposed to barriers encountered in course design or requirements.
    • Presume the Accessible Education office must always be involved.
  • A more inclusive “accessibility” statement:
    • Recognizes disability as an aspect of diversity and equity.
    • Places emphasis on inclusive course design.
    • Empowers the student and faculty member to work together to find solutions, involving the Accessible Education office when needed or desired.

Sample Statements:

Language has been adapted in part from the following resources:

Project ShIFT/Refocus: Syllabus Statement

Suggested Practice for Syllabus Accessibility Practices (T. Wood & S. Madden)

Sample 1

Bates College is committed to creating a learning environment that meets the needs of its diverse student body. If you anticipate or experience any barriers to learning in this course, please feel welcome to discuss your concerns with me.

If you have a disability, or think you may have a disability, you may also want to meet with Abigail Nelson, Assistant Dean of Accessible Education and Student Support, to begin this conversation or request an official accommodation. You can find more information about the Office of Accessible Education and Student Support, including contact information, here: http://www.bates.edu/accessible-education/. If you have already been approved for accommodations through the Office of Accessible Education, please meet with me so we can develop an implementation plan together.

Sample 2

It is my goal to create a learning experience that is as accessible as possible. If you anticipate any issues related to the format, materials, or requirements of this course, please meet with me outside of class so we can explore potential options. Students with disabilities may also wish to work with the Office of Accessible Education and Student Support to discuss a range of options to removing barriers in this course, including official accommodations. Please visit their website for contact and additional information: http://www.bates.edu/accessible-education/. If you have already been approved for accommodations through the Office of Accessible Education, please meet with me so we can develop an implementation plan together.

Sample 3

I am committed to creating a course that is inclusive in its design. If you encounter barriers, please let me know immediately so we can determine if there is a design adjustment that can be made. I am happy to consider creative solutions as long as they do not compromise the intent of the assessment or learning activity.

If you are a student with a disability, or think you may have a disability, you are also welcome to initiate this conversation with Abigail Nelson, Assistant Dean of Accessible Education and Support. The Office of Accessible Education works with students with disabilities and faculty members to identify reasonable accommodations. Please visit their website for contact and other information: http://www.bates.edu/accessible-education/.  If you have already been approved for accommodations through the Office of Accessible Education, please meet with me so we can develop an implementation plan together.

Making an Announcement in Class

Please consider reading this statement or discussing it in class at the beginning of each semester. This can further normalize the accommodations process and encourage students to feel comfortable approaching you.