Information for faculty/instructors working with students with disabilities.
The purpose of this handbook is to provide general guidelines for classroom accommodations for students with disabilities. The need for modifications can range from presentation of materials to responses on exams. The underlying purpose of these adjustments is to enable students to be evaluated on the basis of their abilities, not their disabilities.
Providing accommodations is not as ominous as it may sound and not all students with disabilities require adaptations. Adaptations may result in only minor revisions or changes, or may require a search for a mutually satisfactory solution for the instructor and the student.
Needs vary so much among individuals, even those with the same disability, that these suggestions represent only general guidelines for classroom adaptations. It is also important to remember that a student may have multiple disabilities that have to be taken into consideration. It should be stressed that the primary person with whom to work in making appropriate and/or necessary changes is the student with the disability.
Arranging suitable adjustments involves a shared responsibility between the classroom instructor and the student. Students with disabilities are responsible for bringing their individual needs to the attention of their instructor as early as possible in the semester, but some students are hesitant to make special requests. It is suggested that, early in the semester, instructors put a general statement on the course syllabus. The suggested Disability Services Course Syllabus Statement is as follows:
Note to students with disabilities: Penn State welcomes students with disabilities into the University's educational programs. If you have a disability related need for modifications or reasonable accommodations in this course, please inform the instructor or contact Disability Services, 610-396-6410, 169 Franco Building, as early in the semester as possible.
The Pennsylvania State University is committed to the policy that all persons shall have equal access to programs, facilities, admission, and employment without regard to personal characteristics not related to ability, performance, or qualifications as determined by University policy or by state of federal authorities. The Pennsylvania State University does not discriminate against any person because of age, ancestry, color, disability or handicap, national origin, race, religious creed, sex, sexual orientation, or veteran status.
Direct all inquiries regarding the nondiscrimination policy to:
Affirmative Action Director
The Pennsylvania State University
3rd Floor Boucke Building
University Park, PA 16802-2801
Telephone: (814) 863-0471
Office for Disability Services
Michelle Strawley, M.S.
Disability Services Coordinator
169 Franco Bldg., P.O. Box 7009
Reading, PA 19610-6009
Phone: 610-396-6410 Fax: 610-396-6402
E-mail Michelle (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- For Prospective Students
- Disability Services