DSS AND FACULTY: A COLLABORATIVE EFFORT
Disability Support Services (DSS) assists students and employees with disabilities in accessing the many resources of the University. Individuals with visual, mobility and hearing impairment as well as those with hidden disabilities such as chronic medical conditions, psychological, and learning disabilities are invited to make use of the services and equipment available. Individuals with permanent or temporary disabilities are also encouraged to consult with DSS.
Employees with disabilities that are in need of reasonable accommodations are encouraged to contact Joanna Harris, Director of DSS and the ADA Coordinator.
Information regarding the Reasonable Accommodation process can be found at http://studentaffairs.stonybrook.edu/dss/ada.DSS Responsibilities
The DSS staff is here to support student and faculty interactions.
Stony Brook policy appoints DSS as the designated office to evaluate documentation and notify faculty regarding accommodations.
An institution of higher education actually protects faculty members from unwarranted and dysfunctional pressures by designating a particular office as the place where documentation about disabilities is filed and where the institution's experience is concentrated for accommodation design and development. - Oklahoma Community College
Faculty members are protected by compliance with the accommodations recommended by the DSS office and are encouraged to consult with DSS staff regarding the appropriateness of accommodations within the curriculum. Students requesting accommodations should always be referrer to DSS.Student Responsibilities
Students are responsible for registering and providing documentation to DSS in order to receive accommodations. Students receive instruction from the DSS office that encourages them to meet with their faculty and discuss their needs. Unlike high school, college students need to self-advocate. This means they must be able to communicate their needs and discuss with faculty how accommodations will be administered. Students must follow the DSS procedure for testing accommodations. Students are responsible for making all testing arrangements with both DSS and the faculty.
Students who receive accommodations through DSS have provided documentation of the nature and limitations of their disability. The disabilities of individuals registering with DSS range from permanent medical conditions, limited mobility, loss of vision, and deafness or hearing loss, to learning disabilities, attention deficit disorder, acquired brain injuries or strokes, psychiatric disabilities. Below are common accommodation requests.
A student's disability may have an impact on attendance in class. When DSS is provided documentation that supports a student's need for flexibility in attendance faculty will be notified at the student's request. DSS can not waive attendance requirements and only the professor can determine when excessive absences are preventing the student from meeting the academic standards of the class. Students are instructed to remain in close contact with the professor and to negotiate making up missed assignments etc. with the professor after each disability related absence. Students are expected to attend and participate in class as part of the essential curriculum and while some flexibility is requested it is at the discretion of the professor.Extended Time for Assignments
The student's disability may impact on the completion of some assignments in a timely manner. The student has been instructed to negotiate with the faculty regarding deadlines and the impact of late assignments on meeting the academic requirements of the class. The student is aware that it is the professor who determines when late assignments prevent the student from meeting the academic standards of the class.Types of Testing and Classroom Accommodations
Testing accommodations are provided when there is a disability-related need for them. Faculty are not expected to lower their academic standards using accommodations available, students should be able to demonstrate their knowledge without the need for alternative tests or different evaluation/grading standards.
DSS accommodation letters state the appropriate testing accommodations, depending upon the nature of the course-work and the disability-related needs of the student.Some of the most commonly requested accommodations:
Testing Arrangements NOT Recommended by DSS Sometimes questions arise about the use of other arrangements as appropriate testing accommodations.We DO NOT recommend:
DSS has traditionally provided necessary exam accommodations for University students. Recently the number of students needing testing accommodations has grown, surpassing the physical testing space and funding available to DSS. DSS has found it increasingly difficult to attend to every testing situation that arises.
The Provost has expressed that it is not feasible or appropriate for DSS to administer faculty exams in every instance and the faculty and their departments collaborate to provide testing locations as well as staff to monitor questions students may have regarding the tests. The staff of DSS remains committed to working in partnership with faculty and departments to advise or assist them in their efforts to insure that students with disabilities have reasonable access to appropriate academic accommodations.
Students who require special testing arrangements due to a disability should be registered with Disability Support Services and can be expected to provide faculty with individualized letters of reasonable accommodation from this office. We advise that departments and faculty receiving authorized requests for reasonable accommodation be judicious in insuring that appropriate testing accommodations are provided, since there are specific legal requirements regarding the provision of such accommodations for students with disabilities. Please do not hesitate to contact DSS with questions or concerns.