Frequently Asked Questions for Instructors
- What is a reasonable extension?
- How many absences are a reasonable number of additional excused absences?
- A student in my course has “accessible alternate format” as an accommodation. What do I need to do?
- A student in my course asked me for accommodations; however, they are not registered with DSS. What should I do?
- What should I do if a student in one of my courses appears to have a disability?
- An increasing number of students are requesting accommodations. Did something change?
If a student is approved for extensions due to the nature of their disability or diagnosed condition, they are informed it is their responsibility to communicate with their instructor as soon as possible anytime they feel they will not be able to meet a deadline. Some episodic conditions may not allow for a student to have much advance notice of a flareup in their symptoms that could impact academic performance. Additional considerations could include the length and complexity of the assignment.
The number of additional excused absences that are considered reasonable is at the instructor’s discretion due to the fact that multiple factors should be taken into consideration. For example, how often the course meets and whether or not in class participation is a fundamental element of the class. Students approved for this accommodation are encouraged to ensure they understand the attendance policy for each of their courses and to establish with the professor what a reasonable number of additional excused absences would be.
In most cases, the student will work with DSS to obtain the alternate format needed. There could be times when DSS will ask you to provide course materials such as PDF’s, Power point slides, handouts, or course packets in order to accommodate a specific student. We strongly suggest that faculty make their documents accessible from the start! It’s not that difficult to do and staff at DSS can offer guidance. The UD Accessibility website is a good place to find additional tools and resources. There is also an accessibility checker in Canvas that can assist you with making your course material more accessible.
A student in my course asked me for accommodations; however, they are not registered with DSS. What should I do?
Encourage the student to register with DSS as soon as possible. In the meantime, if the accommodation seems reasonable it would be at the instructor’s discretion to provide it. Instructors with questions are welcome to contact DSS for consultation at 302 – 831 – 4643 or DSSoffice@Udel.edu .
If a student’s academic performance and/or physical access are causing you to feel concerned, reach out to them privately. Explicitly and sensitively share your concern. Include a syllabus statement stating you hope all students feel welcome in your course and encourage students to register with DSS if they need accommodations.
Yes. In 2008, the Americans with Disabilities Act was amended. The new language expanded the definition of disability increasing the number of individuals who are eligible to receive accommodations.