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Faculty Resources

Frequently Asked Questions

What are reasonable accommodations?

A reasonable accommodation is always based on an individual’s documented need. Persons with similar disabilities may not require the same accommodations. According to the law, a reasonable accommodation cannot require an “undue hardship” on the college. In addition, the accommodation cannot require a fundamental alteration of any essential aspect of a program or activity. Any service that is personal in nature like a tutor or personal aide is not considered a reasonable accommodation in most cases.
The following is a sample list of accommodations that a student may be eligible to receive:

  • Access to professor’s handouts, PowerPoint slides and/or lecture notes when available.
  • Alternative Text
  • Extended Test-Taking Time
  • Reduced distraction environment in the Test Proctoring Center
  • Sign-Language Interpreter
  • Extended time on graded in-class assignments

How are appropriate accommodations for a student determined?

To determine appropriate accommodations for a student, the student must submit documentation that follows our documentation guidelines for review by the Office of Disability Services (ODS). Appropriate accommodations are based upon the substantial limitations of the student and the essential elements of a particular course.

How do I refer a student to ODS?/How do I let students know about ODS?

Asking a student for more details regarding their disability is not permitted, as the confidentiality of medical information must be maintained. It is an individual’s choice whether to disclose the nature of their disability. If you suspect that a student may benefit from services, you may be able to approach the student in a private setting and express concern about their performance. It could be that the student is under-prepared and may be able to benefit from some assistance at the Tutoring Center or other campus resource. Key words to listen for in your private conversation are IEP, or 504 Plan. It is acceptable to mention that there are free academic support and coursing services available on campus for students and include disability services in the list you provide, along with our contact information. Please note that at the postsecondary level, students must self-identify prior to services being initiated.

In your syllabus, include the provided ADA statement explaining that students with disabilities needing accommodations in your class should connect with ODS. Including this information in your syllabus helps inform students, especially first-year students, about the ODS office and the appropriate process for requesting accommodations.

How do I know if a student requires accommodations?

ODS distributes official accommodation letters at the beginning of each semester for those students who request or renew them. Each faculty member will receive a letter from the student listing their approved accommodations each semester, which may vary from course to course. If a student asks for accommodations and they have not provided you with an accommodation letter please have the student contact ODS. It is strongly recommended that faculty only accommodate those students who are registered with ODS.

What if a student discloses that they have a disability but doesn’t provide me with an accommodation letter?

Please refer the student to ODS so we can ensure that the student is qualified to receive services. If we do not follow the proper procedures, we place ourselves at risk for legal action by giving services to students without documentation.

What are my rights if a student wants to tape a lecture?

Some students are provided with the accommodation that allows for them to tape lectures. Tape recording of materials is specifically listed as an auxiliary aid under the Americans with Disabilities Act as Amended. The Accommodation Letter will denote” Tape Record Lectures”. Recording can be audio or video. The student is advised to speak with the instructor prior to the first taping session so the instructor is aware of this situation. The instructor has the right to ask the student to stop the recording if sensitive or private information is being discussed. However, the student cannot be assessed on material that they do not have access to via their accommodation. Please contact the Director of Disability Support and Success with concerns.

What is the process for accommodations for tests and exams?

Testing accommodations need to be  approved by ODS and the student needs to put them in place with the instructor prior to the exams. The process is different, depending on how the test is being taken:

Remote Test/Exam

 If the exam is taking place remotely, through Moodle,  the instructor can extend the time of the exam to reflect what is in the student’s accommodation letter.

In-Class Tests/Exams

Test Proctoring

Information about the Test Proctoring Center can be found on the Student Success Center webpage.

The process is also mapped out here in this document.

Why do students need extra time on tests?

The use of extended time is the most frequently used accommodation for students with disabilities.  The reasoning behind extended time for testing situations is to allow the student with a disability to have additional time to read and understand the questions. Students with learning disabilities may have difficulty with processing information. Students with ADHD or mental health issues may have difficulty concentrating. Some students need the test questions read to them which takes additional time. These students are given time and a half of the given classroom test time. A testing time other than the standard time and one half will be noted on the Accommodation Letter.

Why does an instructor have the responsibility to make reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities?

An instructor has the responsibility to make reasonable accommodations because accommodations make it possible for a student with a disability to overcome barriers enabling the student to communicate what he or she knows in the same way that glasses do not strengthen vision but help a person to see. The instructor also has a legal responsibility to provide appropriate accommodations. For more information go to the Americans With Disabilities Act as Amended website www.ada.gov.

Contact Us

Disability Services

Frank Ohotnicky, M.S.
Director of Disability Support and Success
Email: frank.ohotnicky@keystone.edu

Tel: 570-945-8988
Fax: 570-945-8969
Email: disabilityservices@keystone.edu

Office Hours:
Monday – Friday
8 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Hours subject to change)

Faculty Rights and Responsibilities

Below is a list of Faculty Rights and Responsibilities. For the list of Student and Disability Services Rights and Responsibilities, please follow the link here.

Faculty Rights

Faculty have the right to:

  • Determine the content of each course and decide how best to instruct students and assess student learning.
  • Maintain the academic standards and integrity of the course.
  • Receive verification of a documented disability from a student in the form of an accommodation letter which is produced by Disability Services and given to the student.
  • Expect students with disabilities to inform them of their accommodation needs in a timely manner.
  • Consult with Disability Services to discuss students’ accommodation needs and question and negotiate alternative accommodations if the requested accommodations seem to violate the goals or essential requirements of a course.
  • Be treated respectfully by all students and Disability Services staff.

Faculty Responsibilities

Faculty have the responsibility to:

  • Identify and establish the goals and essential requirements of the course and evaluate students on this basis.
  • Maintain the same standards for students with disabilities as are applied to all other students.
  • Inform students at the beginning of each semester of the procedures to arrange reasonable accommodations. The use of a syllabus statement and class announcements informing students of this process are strongly encouraged.
  • Provide and arrange reasonable accommodations in a timely manner to students for whom faculty have received an accommodation letter from the student.
  • Maintain student confidentiality by protecting the student’s identity and keeping disability-related information in a protected location.
  • Consult with Disability Services and the student with a disability if the accommodations requested seem to violate the goals or essential requirements of a course.
  • Understand the policies and laws regarding students with disabilities.

Test Proctoring Center

Information about the Test Proctoring Center can be found on the Student Success Center webpage.

 The process is also mapped out here in this document.

ADA Syllabus Statement

Please add the following to your course syllabus:

“Keystone College does not discriminate in any of its programs on the basis of disability.  In order to receive consideration for reasonable accommodations, students are encouraged to voluntarily and confidentially disclose any disability requiring an accommodation prior to the beginning of class.  This disclosure should be made to the Office of Disability Services at disabilityservice@keystone.edu or (570) 945-8988.  Students who disclose a disability, and who are seeking an accommodation, will be expected to participate in an intake interview and provide documentation verifying the disability.  In return, all students with verified requests will receive an accommodations letter which details their needs and should be shared with their instructors.  For more information, visit the Disabilities Services webpage: http://www.keystone.edu/campus-life/disability-resources/”