Best Practices & FAQs
For the following Frequently Asked Questions, click on the question to see the response. If you have a question that is not listed here, please contact the Student Disability Resource Center at (850) 474-2387.
What are my legal responsibilities when I have a student with a disability in my class?
Academic departments and individual faculty members are responsible for ensuring that their programs and course content are accessible to qualified students with disabilities. This responsibility includes physical access as well as necessary modifications in the format or delivery of information.
How can I help ensure that my course content is accessible online?
Ensure that all materials on the site are accessible to software that reads text aloud. Use bold or color fonts for emphasis VERY sparingly and ALWAYS consistently. Use a consistent, predictable, and logical navigation pattern for all course web pages so that students using screen readers do not have to relearn layouts for each page. Audio and Video Files need to be Closed Captioned or have transcripts for the hearing impaired.
As you create materials for your online course, please keep Section 508 standards and universal design principles in mind. “Universal design means that, rather than designing your instruction for the average student, you design for potential students with a broad range in ability, disability, learning style, native language, and other characteristics”. Adhering to these standards will not only benefit students with disabilities but will help assure that all of your students will be able to access and use the online content you wish to share with them.
Faculty can request more tips on universal design at the Academic Technology Center.
How am I notified about a student who is registered with SDRC?
You will receive an email from the SDRC identifying the student and the accommodations for which the student is eligible. Students are encouraged to make appointments with their instructors to discuss accommodations at the beginning of each semester.
What if I am unable to accommodate the student due to a lack of resources?
If a faculty member is unable to provide a specific accommodation due to a lack of resources or support, contact the SDRC for assistance.
What does SDRC offer to faculty members?
The SDRC serves as a resource and subject area expert for disability accommodations. The SDRC provides guidance and works with faculty to ensure that reasonable accommodations are made for the student while ensuring the integrity of the course is not compromised. Our goal is to provide assistance to you and the students to effectively resolve any concerns.
What if a student says his disability limits his attendance?
In general, students are expected to attend class. On rare occasions, the nature of a student’s disability may prevent the student from attending every class or submitting assignments on time. It is expected that class absenteeism will be accommodated as long as such an accommodation is reasonable and does not compromise the essential nature of the learning experience.
What if a student’s behavior disrupts class instruction?
Faculty has the right and the responsibility to secure a learning environment that benefits all students. A student with a disability that affects behavior has the right to reasonable accommodations to support his or her responsibility to behave in an appropriate manner in the classroom. If the student's behavior is not appropriate, faculty should contact the Dean of Students for assistance.
Does providing extra time on exams give some students an unfair advantage?
Allowing students more time on a test is not an unfair advantage. Students with specific disabilities may have a condition which significantly impedes their ability to process information quickly or causes problems with seeing or writing. They may need extra time to read, write, comprehend or process information.
Does the SDRC provide retroactive services?
Are students with disabilities that need to tape record a class lecture legally entitled to do so?
Yes. However, you can require that all tapes be returned to you at the end of the semester or that they be destroyed.