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Office of Disability Services

Faculty Guide: Introduction and Frequently Asked Questions

Welcome and thank you for your commitment to students with disabilities! The purpose of this page is to acquaint faculty members with ODS procedures and best practices for the accommodation and inclusion of Wright State students with disabilities. The most crucial take-away of this training is to help faculty and staff understand their roles and responsibilities for facilitating accommodation(s) and access. It is also our hope to share some information about The Office of Disability Services (ODS) and the partnerships we hope to foster between faculty and ODS.

Introduction to Accommodations

Wright State University is committed to providing equal access to University programs and facilities for students, employees and visitors who self-identify with a qualified disability. In accordance with The ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA) and Section 504/508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the University provides reasonable academic adjustments (accommodations) in order to minimize or eliminate the impact of a disability by allowing equal access and opportunity to participate in University programs.

The provision of academic accommodations is a shared responsibility between students, faculty, and disability services staff. Reasonable accommodations serve many functions, including:

  • To provide access to course content and academic opportunities by mitigating the impact of the disability
  • To allow students with disabilities to be evaluated on the basis of their ability (not their disability), and
  • To maintain the integrity of the faculty’s academic content.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What happens if I am approved for a face covering exemption/alternative?

    Students who have been approved will receive an accommodation letter that they are encouraged to print and keep on their person while on campus. Additionally, the student’s faculty, student conduct office, and student housing (if applicable) will also be notified once a student is approved for a mask/face covering exemption/alternative.

  • If I am a person with a disability, how do I get an exemption/alternative to the face covering policy?

    The Office of Disability Services will work with each request on a case by case basis. Individuals seeking a face covering exemption/alternative will need to provide documentation from a licensed medical provider that substantiates the impact of the disability on the individual’s ability to safely wear a face covering. Accommodations/adjustments to the face covering policy may include using a university-approved face shield or, when a face shield is not possible, the option to take courses remotely.   

    Please contact mask-ada@wright.edu for additional information on how to request a face covering exemption/alternative.

  • Is there a reason a person might not be able to wear a face mask?

    The CDC states that a person who has trouble breathing, is unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove the face mask without assistance should not wear a face mask or cloth face covering.[6]

    Examples of a person with a disability who might not be able to wear a face mask:

    • Individuals with respiratory disabilities such as asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), or cystic fibrosis may not be able to wear a face mask because of difficulty in or impaired breathing. People with respiratory disabilities should consult their own medical professional for advice about using face masks. The CDC also states that anyone who has trouble breathing should not wear a face mask.[7]
    • People with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), severe anxiety, or claustrophobia (an abnormal fear of being in enclosed or narrow places).[8] may feel afraid or terrified when wearing a face mask. These individuals may not be able to stay calm or function when wearing a face mask.
    • Some people with autism are sensitive to touch and texture. [9] Covering the nose and mouth with fabric can cause sensory overload, feelings of panic, and extreme anxiety.
    • A person who has cerebral palsy may have difficulty moving the small muscles in the hands, wrists, or fingers. Due to their limited mobility,  they may not be able to tie the strings or put the elastic loops of a face mask over the ears. This means that the individual may not be able to put on or remove a face mask without assistance.
  • How do I give students their accommodations for online quizzes/exams in Pilot?

    Tests given via Pilot with time limits will need to have the time limit adjusted according to the Access Plan emailed to you earlier in the semester. Instructions on adjusting time limits for individual users: CTL Instructions for Individual Time Extensions

    • Extra Time - 1.50x - 50% Additional Time: The student is eligible for 50% additional time of what is allowed for the test. For example, if the class is allotted 60 minutes, the student with this accommodation should be allotted 90 minutes.
    • Extra Time - 2.00x - 100% Additional Time: The student is eligible for 100% additional time of what is allowed for the test. For example, if the class is allotted 60 minutes, the student with this accommodation should be allotted 120 minutes.
    • Extra Time - 3.00x - 200% Additional Time: The student is eligible for 200% additional time of what is allowed for the test. For example, if the class is allotted 60 minutes, the student with this accommodation should be allotted 180 minutes.
    • Extra Time - Stop Time (Breaks) - To account for this need, please add 50% additional time of what is allowed for the test. For example, the class is allotted 60 minutes, the student with this accommodation should be allotted 90 minutes. (In the ODS Test Proctoring Center environment we stop the clock as needed for students with this accommodation.)
    • Bathroom Breaks - Video monitoring in Respondus may find that the student leaves the screen during the test.

    RESPONDUS Lockdown Browser

    Text-to-speech/Read&Write Gold software utilized for print related accommodations is not compatible with Respondus. Please remove the lockdown browser requirement, concerns can be addressed with Sheri Penwell, our Test Proctoring Coordinator.  

    If you do not use time limits or Respondus for your Pilot tests, you will not need to make any changes for your students with disabilities.

    You can utilize our Faculty Portal to review a full list of students who have requested accommodations for your classes and view their accommodation letters.

    If you have follow-up questions, please let us know: Disability_services@wright.edu or 937-775-5680.

  • My disability affects my ability to attend class in person due to the current state of the pandemic, are there options?

    Most of the university’s academic programs have essential in-person components. Remote participation can be approved as a reasonable accommodation if a student’s disability makes them unable to participate in person. Students eligible for remote participation are approved for one semester. Approval is contingent upon determining feasibility for the student’s courses in collaboration with faculty. This accommodation is not intended to be used for multiple semesters in a row or convert an in-person program into an all-virtual experience.

    If you are interested in requesting full-semester remote participation for Fall 2021, please make a note of the following:

    • Remote participation, if approved, is on a per-semester basis. Previously eligible students will not be automatically eligible for future semesters.
    • Requests will require a letter of support from your healthcare provider.

    The provider’s letter of support must include the following:

    1. A description of your professional relationship.
    2. A confirmation of your relevant medical or mental health diagnoses.
    3. A statement of support for remote participation, including an estimated end date when you can return to in-person classes.
    4. A description of how your disability creates a significant barrier to your full and meaningful participation in an on-campus experience.
      • For students with CDC-recognized COVID-high-risk conditions (e.g., diabetes): The description should include a holistic assessment of your health risks for being on campus, considering: your unique medical profile, the latest information on vaccine efficacy, and the university’s safety practices.
      • For students without high-risk conditions (e.g., mental health conditions): The description should include an explanation of how your disability will disproportionately affect you compared to your peers such that remote participation is the only viable option for you. This impact must go beyond the typical stress or nervousness that most people are expected to feel in readjusting to an in-person experience.
  • Is the Office of Disability Services (ODS) open?

    Yes, ODS is still operating Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m.–5 p.m.  If you have a question or concern, please either call the office at 937.775.5680 or email ODS.

  • How Are Accommodations Facilitated?

    The implementation of academic accommodations is a shared responsibility between the student and the course instructor. ODS is available to advise faculty on making appropriate accommodations that maintain their course’s academic objectives.

    Students registered with ODS are advised to contact their instructors regarding their approved accommodations, either before classes start for the semester, or as soon as the student becomes eligible for services. In some circumstances, it may be permissible for the professor to contact the student prior to the first class session or prior to the student personally broaching the topic of accommodations. Remember to conduct any conversation regarding accommodations in a private, confidential manner.

    When communicating with the student, an agreement should be made outlining how the requested accommodations will be provided during the course, within the specific framework of your course. Faculty should contact ODS if they have any questions about providing any approved accommodations, or if students request accommodations that are not listed on their accommodation notification email from ODS.

  • How Will I be Notified of a Student's Request for Accommodation?

    Once their academic accommodations are approved, students must request their accommodations via their account in the ODS accommodations portal, AIM.  Upon submission of the AIM request, a notification is sent to each of the students’ instructors, listing their approved accommodation(s) for each course. The notification is usually generated automatically from the AIM portal, directly to the course instructor’s University email address.

    Instructors may also receive messages from ODS staff members, especially if there are accommodation instructions that are very specific to a particular student. ODS may also contact faculty in order to understand course requirements while trying to determine appropriate accommodations for a student who is registered with ODS. The student and faculty member should have a private conversation to discuss how the accommodation(s) will be provided in the course.

    ODS is always available to consult with faculty about student accommodations. Feel free to contact ODS at any time if you have questions about accommodations, procedures, referrals to ODS.

  • Who Do I Contact for Guidance?

    Each student's needs are unique, and specific situations may necessitate further discussion between faculty and ODS in order to appropriately and effectively accommodate each student. If you have questions or concerns about accommodating a student who is registered with our office, please contact their case manager:

    Caseload Staff Email
    A-C, F, G, T-Z Angela Masten angela.masten@wright.edu
    D, E, N, O, P, S Heather Rando heather.rando@wright.edu
    H-M, Q, R

    Katherine Myers

    katherine.myers@wright.edu
  • What Are My Responsibilities as an Instructor?

    Our partnerships with faculty are essential in providing access and engaging all students in University activities and educational programs. ODS can be a helpful resource for you to ensure that your courses are accessible to all students. You may also work with the Center for Teaching and Learning while developing content. Please refer to the ODS website for the most updated information, and feel free to consult with an ODS staff member at any time if you have questions, ideas, clarification, or need more information.

  • How Do Students Register with ODS?

    Any student who discloses a disability and/or requests accommodation from the University should be directed to ODS. Once the student initiates the registration process with ODS, a case manager communicates with each student about the documentation needed in order to substantiate a disability.  An ODS case manager reviews the submitted documentation and determines the student’s individual eligibility for reasonable accommodation of the disability. To complete the registration process, the student must attend an College Accommodation Plan (CAP) meeting with an ODS case manager to discuss/establish their approved accommodation(s), learn the process for implementing the accommodation(s) and to learn about the responsibilities involved in using accommodations in college. Referrals to other helpful campus resources will often be made, as well (tutoring, etc.)

    To receive accommodations, students must complete a confidential registration process (separate from admissions):

    1. Complete the online application
    2. Submit professional documentation of disability, and
    3. Attend a College Accommodation Planning meeting
    4. Implementation of certain services may require additional action or coordination.

    Each student is provided with a letter that summarizes all of the accommodations and referrals discussed in the CAP meeting with ODS.

  • Who Registers with ODS?

    ODS serves more than 750 students with disabilities, including:

    • ADD/ADHD
    • Autism Spectrum Disorder
    • Blindness and Low Vision
    • Deaf and Hard of Hearing
    • Health Conditions
    • Learning Disabilities
    • Mental Health Disabilities
    • Mobility Impairment
    • Temporary Disabilities
    • Traumatic Brain Injury

    ODS By the Numbers

    • 761 registered students
    • 382 have more than one disability
    • 12% have a visible disability
    • 88% have an invisible disability
  • Why Do Students Establish Accommodations?

    Reasonable accommodations are determined on the basis of each specific disability and the ways each disability impacts the student (some sort of functional limitation). Accommodations may be adjusted in consideration of specific course requirements, as well. In these cases, collaboration between the student, faculty and ODS is ideal, if not necessary.

    The needs among students with a disability vary greatly, sometimes even amongst those with the same type of condition or diagnosis. Therefore, accommodations are individualized on a case-by-case basis and are generally determined through an interactive narrative process with the student.

    Once the student is eligible for reasonable accommodation(s), they must request specific accommodations for each semester. When a student request accommodations for specific courses, the student’s course instructors are notified of the approved accommodation(s) via email.

    When students express intention to use the approved accommodations in a course, they are encouraged to discuss their needs with their instructors. During this discussion, an agreement should be reached regarding specifics of how the student’s accommodations will be provided in your specific course.