In compliance with Americans with disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 19673, NDSCS will provide reasonable accommodations in the classroom. Reasonable accommodations in the classroom are a civil right. When you receive a letter from the Accessibility Coordinator, you are responsible for providing the accommodations listed. However, you are not required to compromise the academic quality of your course in order to accommodate the student. Students with disabilities are required to demonstrate the required level of understanding or performance competency as determined by the instructor and by the department’s course objectives to pass the course. If you have any concerns that academic rigor is not being upheld due to an accommodation, please contact the Accessibility Coordinator to discuss.
Choose from the 3 Suggested statements below to include on class syllabi to inform students of the procedures for obtaining ADA disability accommodations:
- Any student with a disability requiring accommodations in this course is encouraged to contact me after class or during office hours. Additionally, please contact the Accessibility Coordinator at 701-671-2623 or by email at NDSCS.Accessibility@ndscs.edu or stop in at Old Main 230A to discuss accommodation options.
- If a student has a disability that qualifies under the American with Disabilities Act and requires accommodations, he/she should contact the Accessibility Services Office for information on appropriate policies and procedures. Disabilities covered by ADA may include learning, psychiatric, physical disabilities, or chronic health disorders. Students can contact the Accessibility Coordinator if they are not certain whether a medical condition/disability qualifies. Address: Old Main 230A Wahpeton Campus Telephone: 701-671-2623 Email: NDSCS.Accessibility@ndscs.edu
- Any student who feels they may need an accommodation based on the impact of a disability should contact their instructor privately to discuss specific needs. Please contact the Accessibility Coordinator at NDSCS.Accessibility@ndscs.edu or by phone at 701-671-2623 as soon as possible in the semester to discuss possible accommodations.
A syllabus announcement can be individualized to the specifics of your course. Contact Mindi Bessler at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 3-2623 if you have questions about wording of an ADA Syllabus Statement for your course(s).
The NDSCS Test Center is open to all NDSCS students. Occasionally, students with disabilities utilize the test center for testing accommodations. The test center instruction form should be completed and sent to the test center at email@example.com along with the test. If you prefer to hand deliver a test, please do so in Old Main 230 for Wahpeton students and to the front desk in Fargo. If the student requires audio testing, you will be asked to provide a PDF or word document of your test at least 48 business hours in advance of the test. The test center form can be found by clicking here.
Accommodations at NDSCS are student led. Some students with disabilities identify themselves by contacting the Accessibility office and/or their instructors before or early in the semester. Others may not. Students with disabilities are not obligated to register with campus offices of disability services and only need to do so if they decide to request accommodations.
Student accommodations are flexible. The student does not need to take every test in the test center if they have been approved and elect to use that accommodation. They must complete the test in the chosen environment. The student is able to utilize accommodations as needed for each course.
It is crucial that the faculty member includes a statement in the class syllabus (see example) encouraging students with disabilities to arrange accommodations early in the semester.
Dialogue between students with disabilities and their instructors is essential early in the semester, and follow-up meetings are recommended. Faculty should not feel apprehensive about discussing students’ needs as they relate to the course. There is no reason to avoid using terms that refer to the disability, such as “blind,” “see,” or “walk”, provided these conversations are held in a private location.
The objective of academic adjustments is always to accommodate the student’s disability, not to dilute scholastic requirements.
As always, if you have any concerns or questions about accommodations, please do not hesitate to reach out.
Universal Design in Learning
Universal design in higher education is a way to provide instruction that is accessible and usable to all students without the use of adaption or special accommodation. Universal design for learning is different from accommodations for students with disabilities. Some examples of universal design in learning are:
- Multiple delivery methods that motivate and engage all learners
- Allowing students to turn in parts of a large project for feedback before the final project is due
- Class outlines and notes that are on an accessible website
- Assessing student learning using multiple methods
- Captioned videos
- Furniture and fixtures in classrooms that are adjustable in height and allow arrangements for different learning activities and student groupings, including use of computers that are on adjustable-height tables
- Examples that appeal to students with a variety of characteristics with respect to race, ethnicity, gender, age, ability, disability, and interest