Disability Services

Faculty FAQs

Q: How will I know if there are students with disabilities in my class?

A: Students who are registered with this office will self-identify their disability status by sharing with you an Accommodation Card that has been issued by this office. The Card has the student’s photo, their Empl, and their accommodations listed. In lieu of the Card, some students may provide you with a letter from Student Disability Services. Please note that we do not disclose what the disability is, just the accommodations.

Sometimes students with disabilities first disclose to their professors, and the student is not registered with this office.  When this happens, use your discretion. If the disability is one that needs no further review (obvious) and the accommodation is simple enough for you to provide, then go ahead and do so.   Or, you can tell them the student needs to register with SDS (VC2-272) in order to receive the accommodation.  They can return to speak with you when they have the Accommodation Card (or letter) issued by this office.

Q: What are disability accommodations or academic adjustments?

A: Accommodations/academic adjustments are reasonable modifications to programs, facilities, or curriculum that ensure equal access and opportunity for students with disabilities. By definition, accommodations must be reasonable in nature and should not compromise course standards or fundamentally alter the curriculum. Some examples of reasonable accommodations include sign-language interpreters, extended time testing, assistive technology, recording, and class notes provided.

Q: How are accommodations determined?

A: Reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities are determined on an individual, case-by-case basis.   Eligibility for accommodations is determined through an interview and a review of disability documentation in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. Accommodations are determined collaboratively by the professional staff in the disability services office and the student.

Q: What if I don't agree with the student’s accommodations?

A: Professors are encouraged to speak to Student Disability Services should they have any questions regarding reasonable accommodations.  We are here to support not just students, but faculty and staff. Sometimes an accommodation necessitates that the faculty, staff and student work together to ensure access.

Q: Who is permitted to know about a student's disability status or accommodation needs?

A: Student disability information is protected by Family Education Rights Protection Act (FERPA) and is considered confidential. . Any public disclosure of a student's disability is a violation of this law. Please be sensitive to this in the classroom, and do not publically announce that a student has a disability or accommodations.

Q: What if I would like to know more about what resources are available on campus?

A: Please visit our webpage https://www.baruch.cuny.edu/studentaffairs/ossd/disabilityServices.htm or call us 646-312-4590. We are here to answer any questions you may have and we are here to ensure you receive the support you need in the classroom.

Q: How can I design my class in a more inclusive way where accommodations may not be necessary?

A: Implementing some concepts of Universal Design in Learning into your course is a great place to start. Consider why your exams are timed, Do they have to be?  Consider using video that is captioned when selecting course content so a person with low hearing can read it. Have assignments ready in multiple formats (multiple choice vs. essay). Consider multiple ways a student can indicate they have grasped the material, aside from the usual. Most importantly, all handouts and reading material should be available electronically so a person who is blind and uses a screen reader can access course content. Share your class notes, typed, electronically so a low vision/blind person can study them using a computer screen reader.

Q: How should I handle a conduct issue with a student who has identified as Disabled?

A: All Baruch students are held to the same code of conduct. While you are required to provide reasonable accommodations to students with disabilities, you are not required to tolerate behavior that is substantially disruptive to your ability to teach and to other students' ability to learn.

Q: When a student requests a copy of copyrighted material in an accessible format, doesn't this violate copyright laws?

A: No. Under copyright laws, students with disabilities are permitted to make one copy of copyrighted material in an accessible format for personal use. Students must first purchase a book, bring us the receipt, and then we work with them to convert to accessible format. Some students, as an accommodation, may record classes. When the student borrows the recorder, they sign a form stating that the recording is for study use only, and the recorder will be returned to SDS at the end of the semester. We delete and clean each device. On request, we would be happy to share this form with you.

Q: Should my syllabus include a statement on requesting accommodations?

A: Yes. Your syllabus should contain a statement such as this:

“It is college policy to provide Accommodations and Academic Adjustments to students with disabilities. Any student who has a disability who may need accommodations in this class should register as early as possible with Student Disability Services which is located in VC2-272.  All discussions will remain confidential. 646-312-4590.”