Accommodating students at LSU Shreveport
LSU Shreveport is committed to making students with disabilities full participants in its programs, services, and activities through its compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 and the supplemental ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA). Student Development works with both students with disabilities and the University in accomplishing this goal.
The following is an outline of participants' responsibilities:
Roles and Responsibilities
Students with disabilities are responsible for:
- Identifying themselves to instructors and Student Development
- Providing Student Development verification of the disabling condition's impact upon the student in the educational environment
- Consulting with Student Development regarding specific accommodation requests
- Communicating their accommodation needs to the professor, in a timely manner and actively assisting in the arrangements
- Monitoring his or her own academic progress
Faculty are responsible for:
- Designing course materials with accessibility in mind
- Providing accommodations recommended by Student Development when required to make course content accessible to students with disabilities
- Consulting with Student Development if a question arises regarding specific recommendations for accommodations
- Working with students to determine how an accommodation should be provided in a particular class
Student Development is responsible for:
- Determining appropriate accommodations for students with disabilities
- Developing letters of verification for the student to provide to instructors recommending specific accommodations
- Working with students and instructors to provide recommended accommodations
- Maintaining records for each student with a disability
- Providing disability-related counseling and consultation
Arranging Test Accommodations
Testing accommodations (such as additional time or an alternate test location) are requested when a disability interferes with a student's reading rate, comprehension or ability to sustain concentration. The student has the responsibility to contact the instructor prior to the test date to make the arrangements.
Faculty are strongly encouraged to administer their own tests to students with disabilities so that they are available to the student in case of questions or irregularities with the test. However, when testing cannot be arranged by the instructor, Student Development provides the service as a courtesy to faculty and students. When the instructor requests the test administered by Student Development, the instructor must make these arrangements directly. It is important to know that Student Development can only administer a test during their office hours (8:00 am - 4:30 pm) and with advance notice from the instructor which includes: delivery and pick up instructions, special materials/directions for the student (if any), and the time allowed for test.
Arranging Volunteer Note Takers
Access to a peer note taker is appropriate for students with hearing impairments as well as students with learning/attention deficits and certain physical impairments. LSUS utilizes a volunteer note taker system. Under most circumstances, students with disabilities are quite capable and in the best position to manage their own note takers. While the instructor can serve as an important liaison and support to both the student and volunteer, it is the student's responsibility to initiate the process, maintain contact with the volunteer, and inform the instructor of any problems.
It is helpful if the student with a disability looks for a student who demonstrates regular attendance, attention in class, and a genuine interest in his/her education. When the student with a disability is not familiar with any student or not wanting to reveal his/her disability, the instructor may also be of assistance in locating and/or recommending a good student. In such cases, it is appropriate for the instructor to make an anonymous announcement in class, such as
"A fellow student has requested assistance with note taking. If you are willing to provide a copy of your notes so that these notes may be used by another student, please see me after class."
Student Development can provide NCR paper and is available to provide note taker training, make copies of the volunteer's notes, and verify volunteer hours for note takers.
Students with certain disabilities, such as chronic health impairments or psychiatric disabilities, may be more prone to miss classes. Some degree of flexibility in attendance policy is reasonable and should be considered when attendance is an issue. This flexibility may be more easily arranged in some courses than others, depending upon the nature and particular goals of the course. Therefore, attendance policies are set by faculty at the college, departmental or individual level and attendance requirements may vary according to the department or course.
Student Development recommends that students with disabilities know the requirements of a class and fully consider the impact of their disability prior to registering. When students are prevented from attending class on a regular basis based upon disability, "consideration for absences" may be requested as a formal academic accommodation. As a formal accommodation, consideration for absences is an attempt to
Consideration for absences is NOT:
- Reasonable when attendance is an essential element of the course (such as in a lab or seminar)
- Applied retroactively
- A waiver of all attendance requirements
Class attendance is extremely important and while a student may have legitimate absences, there is a point at which there may be too many missed classes to make up the work and other options must be considered. When a disabling condition significantly impacts a student's attendance and "consideration of absences" is no longer appropriate, the student is advised to contact the course instructor or an academic advisor and consider other academic options such as taking an incomplete or withdrawing from the course.