Faculty Support for Accommodations

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In accordance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, "No otherwise qualified person with a disability in the United States... shall, solely by reason of... disability, be denied the benefits of, be excluded from participation in, or be subject to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance."

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 guarantees persons with disabilities their civil rights. The ADA upholds and extends standards of compliance set forth in Section 504, and ensures that students with disabilities remain free from discrimination, and have equal opportunities in all areas of postsecondary education.

Both these civil rights statutes were designed to prevent discrimination against individuals with disabilities. In accordance with these guidelines, the ADA & the Office of Student Enrichment ensures that CWI remains in compliance, and that students with disabilities are provided with the services they need. Students with disabilities, with appropriate accommodations, have the same right to succeed or fail as any other student.

Flexibility with Attendance

Students are expected and encouraged to attend class and meet deadlines for assignments and tests. Faculty have the right to establish attendance and late work policies. However, if a student has a disability with random or cyclical acute episodes that may occasionally impact their ability to attend class at the scheduled time, flexibility in attendance may be considered an appropriate accommodation. The number of allowable absences depends on the interactive or participatory nature of a course, or is based on department, college or accrediting agency rules.

Student Disability Services is unable to make any fundamental alterations to a course, including attendance. It is our goal to help students complete their courses successfully, but there may be times when missing too many classes can affect their success in college.

There are a few guidelines we take into consideration with attendance modification accommodations taken directly from the Office of Civil Rights (OCR) :

  1. Is there classroom interaction between the instructor and students and among students?
  2. Do student contributions constitute a significant component of the learning process?
  3. To what degree does a student’s failure to attend constitute a significant loss to the educational experience of other students in the class?
  4. What do the course description and syllabus say?
  5. What are the classroom practices and policies regarding attendance?

That being said, our office will accommodate modified attendance unless it threatens the integrity of the course as offered. Our office wants to make sure students requesting this accommodation meet with each of their instructors and then they can make an informed decision regarding alternatives if needed.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is the Student Disability Services office?

    The Student Disability Services office exists to help ensure that all students at the College of Western Idaho have equal access to the programs and services of the College of Western Idaho according to law. In addition to providing auxiliary aids and services to students with documented disabilities, Student Disability Services also provides information about disability services to the College as a whole.

  • One of my students claims he/she has a disability and needs accommodations. What should I do?

    Please refer the student to Student Disability Services at 208.562.2410 or 208.562.2496 . You can never assume that a student who is struggling has a disability.

  • One of my students brought me documentation about their disability. What should I do?

    Instructors should not accept a student’s disability documentation. Instructors should only accept a copy of the student’s Student Disability Services Letter of Accommodation. If a student does not have a notice, please refer the student to Student Disability Services at 208.562.2410 or 208.562.2496 .

  • A student has requested accommodations, but he/she does not have a Student Disability Services Letter of Accommodation. What should I do?

    Unless a Student Disability Services Letter of Accommodation is on file, an instructor does not have to make accommodations for a student. Please refer the student to Student Disability Services at 208.562.2410 or 208.562.2496.

  • What if I am not agreeable to a particular accommodation?

    Instructors are entitled to work with the student to provide reasonable accommodation. For questions about reasonable modifications or concerns, please contact Student Disability Services at 208.562.2410 or 208.562.2496.

  • What if a student does not use every accommodation on his/her Student Disability Services Letter of Accommodation?

    Each class has different demands, so it is up to the student to decide which accommodations to use. It is also the student’s responsibility to remind the instructor which accommodations he/she will need. Please note that a Disability Services Notice will not get them out of attending class, taking tests/exams or turning in class work, unless otherwise states on their notices for extended assignment time.

  • Is the Student Disability Services Letter of Accommodation retroactive?

    No. Accommodations start when the student meets with their instructor with their Letter of Accommodation. Students must have a new Letter of Accommodation each semester with the current accommodations listed.

  • A student is having difficulty in my class, but does not have a Student Disability Services Letter of Accommodation. What should I do?

    The College of Western Idaho believes that students should develop skills of self-advocacy, be aware of their disabilities, and assist in the process of finding strategies to be successful. Ultimately, it is the student’s decision to seek assistance from the Student Disability Services. If a student reveals a disability to an instructor, the instructor may then refer the student to Student Disability Services.  However, as a general rule, faculty should not ask students to disclose or ask questions about a student’s disability.

  • A student with a Student Disability Services Letter of Accommodation needs extended test time, a distraction reduced setting and/or a reader. What do I do?

    • If student needs testing accommodations, it is the student’s responsibility to remind the instructor of his/her needs 3 days prior to the test date.
    • The Ada Campus Lynx Building and Nampa Campus Micron Education Center currently have testing centers, and students may take their test at one of these sites during hours of operation.
    • If a student needs a reader or a taped test, the student should contact the SDS office and the Assessment Center to work with the instructor and schedule a reader for a test. The instructor may provide a copy of the test to the Assessment Center, and they will find a reader/tape the test and will coordinate with the student to schedule a testing time and location.
    • Instructors must submit the exam to the appropriate Assessment Center and fill out a TPRF, including the accommodations the student need
  • As an instructor, what else can I do to help students receiving accommodations?

    Instructors can help by:

    • Taking the time to read the student’s Student Disability Services Letter of Accommodation.
    • Asking questions if an accommodation request is not clear. Communication and compliance are important keys to accommodating students with disabilities.
    • Adding a reminder about services for students with disabilities to the course syllabus, including contact information for Student Disability Services.
    • Not accepting documentation directly from the student. Students should only give instructors a copy of their Student Disability Services Letter of Accommodation.
    • Staying in contact with students who are receiving accommodations.
    • Referring students to Student Disability Services or Instructional Support Services as personal and/or academic concerns arise.
    • Contacting Student Disability Services immediately if questions or concerns arise.
    • Remembering that participation by a student is voluntary and they are responsible for the choices they make.