FAQ

Q: What if a student discloses they have a disability but is not registered with your office?

We ask that you refer students to DSS. We will work with the student to provide resources, application material, and set up an appointment. To receive accommodations in the classroom, students with disabilities must be registered with our office.

Q: Do I accommodate a registered DSS student for a request that is not on the Academic Accommodation Letter?

Professors are not required or encouraged to accommodate student requests outside of their approved accommodations through our office. Refer them to their DSS coordinator to update the services they need.

Q: If I do not have a Deaf/Hard of Hearing student in my class, do I have to caption videos?

Section 508 of The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 states that we are required to have closed captions on any video that we, as an institution, show to any TWU student and to the public. Section 508 Refresh expands the law in reference to accessibility standards issued by WCAG 2.0, “a globally recognized, technology-neutral standard for web content” (United States Access Board).

Texas state agencies and institutions of higher education are required to comply with Texas accessibility mandates (TGC 2054.451, 1 TAC 206, 1 TAC 213) to provide accessible media, which includes all videos that are shown in the classroom, on a learning management portal or to the public, (Texas Department of Information Resources).

DSS will happily work with you to review how to create captions for your videos. Please reach out to us at (940) 898-3835 for tips on how to create accessible videos.

Q: Are students allowed to have animals in class as an accommodation?

It depends on the purpose of the animal. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) states that services animals are allowed to accompany people with disabilities in all areas where members of the public are allowed to go. Faculty and staff may ask only two questions: (1) is the dog a service animal required because of a disability, and (2) what work or task has the dog been trained to perform. Faculty and staff cannot ask about the person’s disability, require medical documentation, require a special identification card or training documentation for the dog, or ask that the dog demonstrate its ability to perform the work or task. A service dog in training has the same rights to access as trained service dogs in Texas. A student cannot bring their Emotional Support Animal (ESA) to class with them without an accommodation approved by DSS. A student’s ESA as an accommodation will be stated on their Academic Accommodation Letter.

Q: I received an Academic Accommodation Letter, but the accommodations do not apply to my class. What do I do?

We realize that every accommodation may not be applicable for each course. Consult with DSS staff to discuss the appropriateness of approved accommodations for the specific design and objectives of your course. 

Q: Should I ask the student what their disability is to better help accommodate them?

No. Students may submit their verification to Disability Services for Students without disclosing to their professors the specific nature of their disability. Upon a student's request for accommodations, the university and the professor are required by law to appropriately accommodate the student in a timely manner. While students are not required to share their specific disability information, students are encouraged to discuss their specific accommodation needs with their instructors.

Q: What is a reasonable accommodation?

A reasonable accommodation is a modification or adjustment to a course, program, service, job, activity, or facility that enables a qualified individual with a disability to have an equal opportunity to attain the same level of performance or to enjoy equal benefits and privileges as are available to an individual without a disability. Some common academic accommodations include extended time on tests, use of peer note takers, use of computer with spell check, and provision of sign language interpreters.

Q: How does a person become eligible to receive accommodations?

To become eligible, a person must have a documented disability and inform the University that he or she is requesting accommodations based on that disability.

A student must:

  1. Contact Disability Services for Students
  2. Provide specific documentation of the disability from a qualified professional
  3. Consult with an coordinator in Disability Services for Students to determine appropriate and reasonable accommodations.

Q: Who determines the accommodation?

Disability Services for Students staff determine the accommodations using:

  • Documentation of the disability from qualified professionals provided by the student
  • Information gathered from an intake process, and information from history of the disability

The determination of reasonable accommodations considers the following:

  • Classroom or physical barriers,
  • The array of accommodations that might remove the barriers,
  • If the person has access to the course, program, service, activity, or facility without accommodations, and
  • If essential elements of the course, program, service, activity, or facility are compromised by the accommodations.

Q: What if a student with a disability is failing?

Treat the student as you would any student who is not performing well in your class. Invite the student to your office hour to discuss reasons for the failing performance and what resources the student may use to improve. Encourage the student to see DSS staff to discuss some additional strategies to improve their grades.

Q: Do I need to alter my teaching style with an interpreter?

Interpreters are professionals who facilitate communication between hearing individuals and people who are deaf or hard of hearing. The role of the interpreter is similar to that of a foreign language translator: to bridge the communication gap between two parties.

Some adaptations in presentation style may be helpful when using a sign language interpreter. The interpreter will let you know if you need to slow down your rate of speaking or if they need you to repeat any information. A desk copy of the book is especially helpful for the interpreter when the class is using examples or doing exercises from the text.

Q: What can I expect if there is an interpreter in my classroom?

Interpreters are bound by the code of ethics developed by the National Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, which specifies that interpreters are to serve as communication intermediaries who are not otherwise involved.

When an interpreter is present, speak directly to the Deaf or Hard of Hearing person rather than to the interpreter, and avoid using phrases such as “tell them” or “ask them."

Speak normally, noting that there may be a lag time between the spoken message and the interpretation.

When referring to objects or written information, allow time for the translation to take place. Replace terms such as "here" and "there" with more specific terms, such as "on the second line" and "in the left corner."

In a conference room or class environment, the Deaf student and interpreter will work out seating arrangements, with the interpreter usually located near the speaker.

Inform the interpreter in advance if there is an audiovisual element in a presentation, so arrangements can be made for lighting and positioning.

In sessions that extend longer than one hour, the interpreter may require a short break to maintain proficiency in interpreting.

Page last updated 5:37 PM, June 29, 2020