Tips for Accessibility

 

While not required, a student may choose to disclose a disability to you. When this occurs, conversation around anticipated barriers, and implementation of approved accommodations can be helpful to both the student and faculty member. This resource is designed to provide general tips for facilitating access and broad information relevant to specific disabilities.

General Guidelines and Recommendations

  • Open the door for communication. Include a statement in your syllabus and make an announcement on the first day of class encouraging students to meet with you to discuss accommodation needs. Sample Accessibility Statements for syllabuses are provided here.
  • Maintain confidentiality. It’s a student’s right not to disclose their disability or related information and, legally, you may not ask. However, all students are strongly encouraged to discuss, with their professors, how approved accommodations will be implemented. Whatever level of information a student may share, ensure it is kept confidential.
  • Recognize the student as the best expert. Students will be most effective in describing accommodation needs and providing assistance in figuring out how to best implement them.
  • Evaluate potential barriers to access. When designing a course and syllabus, consider how you can make it most inclusive and universally accessible to ALL students, not just those with disabilities. For more information on inclusive design, check out the Faculty Resources page as a starting point. There is a lot of information out there to support instructors in this.
  • Use Accessible Education and Student Support as a resource. Abigail is available for consultation, problem-solving, and questions. If a student gives permission, more specific information related to a disability and resulting limitations may be shared. Email anelson2@bates.edu or call 207-786-6222.