What are the rights and responsibilities of an instructor when working with students with learning differences/disabilities?
An instructor has the right to confirm a student’s request for accommodations and to ask for clarification about a specific accommodation with the ODS. Instructors do not have the right to refuse to provide an accommodation or to review a student’s documentation including diagnostic data. Instructors have a responsibility to work with the ODS in providing reasonable accommodations, to keep all records and communications with students confidential, and to refer a student to the ODS who requests accommodations but is not currently registered. Instructors do not have to provide accommodations for students not registered with the ODS.

Why does an instructor have the responsibility to make reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities?
An instructor has the responsibility for making reasonable accommodations available to students because accommodations make it possible for a student with a learning difference/disability to overcome barriers; this enables the student to communicate what he or she knows, much in the same way that glasses do not strengthen vision but help a person to see. For more information go to the Americans With Disabilities Act website.

How are appropriate accommodations for a student determined?
To determine appropriate accommodations for a student, the student must submit acceptable documentation to the OAS, where the information is reviewed and appropriate accommodations are determined.  The accommodations are based upon the student’s substantial limitations and the essential elements of the course.

If an instructor feels that a particular student may have a substantially limiting disability, where should he or she refer the student?
If an instructor feels that a particular student may have a substantially limiting disability, he or she should refer the student to the OAS. Do not tell the student he/she has a disability, label him/her with a specific disability, or express any thoughts or feelings of the student being incapable or inferior.