Disability Student Services
Faculty Resources

Students with disabilities must be afforded an equal opportunity to participate in and thus, benefit from all FHSU programs, services, and activities including any academic, research, occupational training, housing, health insurance, counseling, financial aid, physical education, athletics, recreation, transportation, on-campus employment, etc. FHSU may not impose upon students with disabilities rules that have the effect of limiting their participation in an education program or activity (e.g. disallowing tape recorders in classrooms, guide dogs in buildings, etc.). Below is pertinent information to help faculty understand their role in educating students with disabilities.

Student Responsibilities
Students with disabilities are responsible for informing the university, residential life, and faculty members in particular, of disabilities that require accommodations in the educational process. Students with disabilities should first contact the Disability Student Services Office (DSS). After providing documentation of the disability that requires accommodations, they will discuss with the DSS Office what accommodations are appropriate. Once the student is registered with the office, an accommodation letter will be forwarded to all their currently enrolled course instructors. This letter will inform faculty members of the student's necessary and specific course accommodations.

Students are responsible for meeting individually at the beginning of each semester, or as soon as the need for assistance is reasonably known, with their instructors to discuss any questions or problems they may have. Accommodations should be requested in a timely manner so that professors and Disability Services staff may plan for those accommodations.

Students with disabilities must maintain the same responsibility for their education as other students. These responsibilities include preserving the academic integrity of courses and behaving appropriately.


Faculty Resources - Working with the DSS Office
Faculty Resources - Advising Students with Disabilities
Faculty Resources - Accommodating Students with Disabilities


Faculty Resources - Working with the DSS Office


Creating a Comfortable Class Atmosphere / Statement for Syllabus

Due to the very personal and private nature of some disabilities, it may be extremely difficult for some students to identify themselves as having a disability. It is important that faculty create an atmosphere where students feel comfortable about coming forward to discus any special needs they may have. Faculty can demonstrate openness and willingness to help students by including on syllabi a statement encouraging students to make an appointment to discuss course accommodations. It may also be helpful if faculty would announce to students at the first class session their willingness to help with accommodations. The following statement is an example of what may be placed in the syllabus:

Special Learning Conditions/Accommodations:

Fort Hays State University, in accordance with The Americans With Disabilities Act, provides assistance and resources for students with disabilities.  The Disability Student Services Office (DSS) is located in the Kelly Center, Picken 111, 785-628-4401. This is the appropriate office for students, faculty or staff to contact to verify and notify the University of a student’s documented disability.  The DSS office after verification of a documented disability, will initiate a request for services.  Students should contact the instructor within the first two weeks of class if they require special accommodations for the test taking, carrying out assignments, or any other need for assistance. 

Since faculty, especially in large classes, cannot reasonably be expected to identify every disability that would pose a problem, this announcement makes it clear that the faculty member will welcome input from the affected student. A faculty member may also confer with the DSS Office if they feel a student who has not identified him/herself as having a disability may require accommodations. Academic accommodations are not required unless the student follows policy and procedures and has notification sent to faculty by the DSS Office.

Setting Up Accommodations
Faculty will receive a letter from the DSS Office confirming students with verified disabilities at the beginning of each semester. This letter will outline appropriate classroom accommodations. If a student does not need specific accommodations but has a condition that may interfere with his/her course work or attendance, the letter will explain the implications of the condition. Students are responsible for meeting with faculty and discussing any concerns that may arise. Please note that because many disabilities are invisible, students must provide documentation verifying them. This documentation is confidential and faculty members should not request to see it. The DSS Office will verify that the student does have the claimed disability and will advise faculty on reasonable accommodations. Faculty should inform any teaching assistants they are supervising about this policy.

No disability requires a specific set of accommodations, and specific accommodations are not necessarily unique to certain disabilities. The law requires that reasonable accommodations be made. The letter from the DSS Office will detail those accommodations that are reasonable for the particular student given his/her disability. Questions that arise regarding accommodating a student's disability should be discussed with the student and/or referred to the DSS Office. Collaboration assures that faculty and students are comfortable with the modifications.

Evaluation of Course Work
When evaluating course work and assigning grades, the same standards should be applied for all students. Although examinations may need to be administered in different formats, students with disabilities are entitled to the same scholastic requirements as non disabled students.

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Faculty Resources - Advising Students with Disabilities



Students with disabilities are assigned an academic advisor the same way all other university students are. Each student with a disability is required to meet with the DSS Office after registering for the semester in order to determine accommodations for the semester. Advisors may also refer the student to the DSS Office prior to enrollment for consultation. Advisors are encouraged to contact the DSS Office for any information that is pertinent to the advising process.

If the student informs the advisor of a disability, the advisor should encourage the student to contact the DSS Office, if the student has not already done so; however, the advisor may notify the office. The DSS Office will encourage students to inform advisors of their disability and will send pertinent information to the advisor. If students are unable to participate in the regular registration procedure the DSS Office will make arrangements with the Registrar for these students. The DSS Office will also assist students who require accessible classrooms or special furniture/equipment.

Concerns that the student and advisor might discuss include a reduced class-load, special scheduling of classes in order to get from one area of the campus to another, and scheduling classes at times of the day which take into account the student's physical needs (e.g., fatigue, medical schedule, and meals).

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Faculty Resources - Accommodating Students with Disabilities


Below are suggestions for accommodating students with disabilities:

Visual Impairments:

  • Provide large print handouts and exams
  • Seat the low vision student in the front row and face the class when speaking
  • Verbalize all information written on the chalkboard
  • Access to a computer equipped to enlarge screen characters and images
  • Encourage taping of lectures

Learning Disabilities:

  • Provide a detailed syllabus or clearly convey course expectations at the beginning of the course
  • Read the syllabus aloud to the entire class
  • Extended time for class work when appropriate
  • Assist in securing a good note taker following a request for one
  • Use a variety of visual and auditory methods to present information

Mobility Impairments:

  • Arrange for a change in the classroom or building, if inaccessible
  • Be aware that absence and lateness may be unavoidable due to exacerbation of the disability
  • Integrate students in the class; avoid placing them in the doorway, or the back of the room
  • Assist the student in finding a volunteer note taker for classroom lecture notes
  • Allow for class assignments to be made available in electronic format

Hearing Impairments:

  • Use visual aids and the chalkboard to reinforce spoken presentations when possible
  • When possible, provide the student with class outlines, lecture notes, & lists of new terms
  • Communicate with the student in writing when conveying important information
  • Assist the student in finding a volunteer note taker for classroom lecture notes
  • In general, try to avoid such movements as pacing & turning your back to the class

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