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Faculty and Disability Support Services: A Collaborative Approach

Office of Accessibility & Accommodation seeks to partner with faculty to provide equitable access to course materials to students with disabilities. Our goal is to provide accommodations with respect to your pedagogy. The accommodations we authorize are for students who have met the requirements set by the Americans with Disabilities Act and Amendments Act of 2009 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Each student has already provided documentation to our office verifying their status as a person with a disability, and their accommodation plan was developed in accordance with their documentation and disability law.

We have implemented a case management approach to working with students. If you see a struggling student, or have concerns about their progress in your course, please contact OAA or submit a Student Care Network form.

Message from Dr. Brenda Llewellyn Ihssen:

COVID-19 accelerated trends that were already underway in higher education, the most positive of which has been the incorporation of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) into university education. For clarity, UDL is not about providing an unending list of options or accommodations for students; rather, it is the conscious adaptation of multiple methods of teaching and learning, for the benefit of all students and faculty. The Office of Accessibility and Accommodation supports faculty who are looking to more intentionally incorporate UDL into their syllabi. If faculty are interested in conversations about how to do so, or are interested in learning more, please contact OAA at Beiermad@plu.edu to schedule an appointment with faculty who currently use UDL in their classes.

Commonly Requested Information

  • To receive notification of the authorized accommodations for a student in their course who has indicated they would like to use accommodations in that course.
  • To discuss with OAA staff the implementation of accommodations when they conflict with course pedagogy, or when unsure of implementation method for an accommodation.
  • To expect students to meet the academic standards and course outcomes regardless of disability status.
  • To expect students to keep scheduled appointments unless an emergent situation arises.
  • To discuss questions or concerns with OAA staff about a student’s class interactions or progress.

  • The student meets with Office of Accessibility & Accommodation staff to discuss policies and procedures for instituting accommodations.
  • Students complete an online application for services and submit appropriate documentation of the disability.
  • OAA staff will determine if accommodations are to be provided through consultation with the student.
  • The student electronically requests and authorizes the Faculty Notification Letter, which is sent to designated professors describing the authorized classroom accommodations.
  • Students must request notice be sent to each faculty member. Chosen faculty will then receive the Faculty Notification Letter via email. This email should be kept confidential and should only be discussed privately with OAA staff or the student

  • Require a change in the functional outcome of a course.
  • Require an alteration to the technical standards of a program, particularly when that program has requirements that lead to certification or licensing.
  • Create a financial or administrative hardship on the institution.
  • Significantly compromise the health or safety of the student or others.
  • They are not retroactive

  • If a student is requesting classroom accommodations and you have not received a Faculty Notification Letter, please refer the student to the OAA office in Lee House. PLU does not provide testing for disability qualification. However, we can provide a list of local resources. (PLU does not endorse any providers on this community resource list.)
  • Please include a statement about requesting accommodations in your syllabus, such as: If you require course accommodations due to a disability, or have emergency medical information to share, please contact Office of Accessibility & Accommodation in Lee House or call x6392.
  • Please provide classroom accommodations only after you have received a Faculty Notification Letter from Office of Accessibility & Accommodation.  It is required that the student and faculty have a discussion regarding accommodations and the contents of the Faculty Notification Letter.
  • Please contact OAA staff when designing off-campus experiences or atypical class activities.

  • Thoroughly read the Faculty Notification Letter and any communications from the OAA office.
  • Asking how the disability affects the student’s learning and participation in your class.
  • Ask the student if they would like to share any additional context beyond what is noted in the Faculty Notification Letter.
  • Direct initial questions about implementation of an accommodation to OAA staff, and then discuss with your student.
  • Remember that records related to accommodations are protected by FERPA and should be treated with discretion.

  • Asking the student for the actual diagnostic label of their disability.
  • Stating assumptions about the student based on the type of disability or your previous experience with other students.
  • Commenting on the student’s disability or accommodation plans in front of or within earshot of others.
  • Complaining to the student about providing accommodations.
  • Challenging the student to explain the need for accommodations.
  • Publicly “singling out” or identifying students with disabilities to the rest of your class, even to be helpful.
  • Leaving a Faculty Notification Letter in plain view of other students.
  • Providing unsolicited information or advice related to a student’s disability or accommodations.

If students require the accommodation of an oral transcript of lectures, this faculty notification letter is a notice of student consent that your lectures will be recorded by the student. If you do not consent to this accommodation, please reach out to OAA@plu.edu to find a reasonable alternative.

Students are not allowed to share the lecture recordings publicly and must delete them at the end of the term.

Faculty Tutorial Videos

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ADA Basics

The APA's DART Toolkit on ADA Basics