Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

 

Students

 

    Yes, if at all possible, particularly if a physical disability is present and you are concerned about accessibility. Take a tour. Meet with the admissions office. Meet with the Program Director of Services for the Office of Accessibility (OA). If it is not possible to visit, call and ask questions. Plan ahead.

 

    No fee is charged for the services offered through OA.

 

    No. All disabilities - physical, learning, psychological (e.g. Attention Deficit Disorder), chronic medical, etc. - are served by OA.

 

    No. All student documentation regarding a disability is confidential. It would not be released to campus Records and Registration or to a potential employer without signed student consent.

 

    No. Students should ask their high school disabilities coordinator what procedures the high school follows in order to have documentation of a disability sent to a college or university. Students should follow-up with OA to ensure that their documentation arrived. Please note: A 504 Plan or an IEP alone is not appropriate documentation at the college level.

 

    Students needing housing accommodations must notify Residence Life of their disability needs by requesting accommodations on their housing application. The Accommodations Request Form must be completed and submitted to OA by the appropriate deadline. Requests for housing accommodations must be submitted by May 15 for the fall semester and Dec. 1 for the spring semester. Requests for accommodations received after the deadline will be considered on the basis of availability.

    Even with genuine and documented needs, there are limits to reasonable accommodations. All Residence Life applications and fees must be submitted to Residence Life by the appropriate deadlines. Contact OA if you need additional information about documentation and accommodations.

 

Faculty

 

    The Office of Accessibility determines appropriate accommodations. The office bases their decision upon documentation collected from a student with a disability and the student's functional limitations.

 

     No, it is likely that many students with disabilities have chosen not to be registered with OA or they may not have met the eligibility criteria for services. In either instance, faculty do not need to provide these students with accommodations.

 

    Notify students that accommodations are available and coordinated through the Office of Accessibility (OA). A statement on the course syllabus and an announcement on the first day of class would be helpful.

 

    No, you are only responsible for reasonable accommodations if requested. In these types of situations, it would be appropriate to speak to the student privately to let the student know that you welcome the opportunity to discuss reasonable accommodations if the student is interested.

 

    Students with disabilities are protected by the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Section 504. This law requires that qualified students with disabilities get equal access to an education, and this includes testing accommodations.

 

    OA has documentation on file for each student registered with the office. The student, if registered with OA, can submit you their Letter of Accommodation (LOA) through our AIM software.

 

    Faculty must complete and Alternative Testing Agreement in the AIM software.  From there, upload any exam materials for the student’s appointment. All tests are kept in a locked cabinet until the student arrives for their test. All students are required to present their Winthrop student ID upon arrival. No tests will be administered without proper identification. 

    Typically, tests are to be taken in one sitting unless a student has an accommodation that would necessitate bathroom breaks. You will be notified if your student leaves the room for any reason during testing. Because classroom policies vary on this matter, any action taken beyond that notification is at your discretion.

    Test proctors utilize random walk-throughs, security mirrors, computer monitoring software, and lockdown browser software to ensure academic integrity. Students are limited to approved testing materials at the test stations. Lockers are provided to store their personal belongings.

    In the event of testing irregularities, a report documenting the incident will be sent to you and the Dean of Student’s Office. Signs indicating this reporting policy are posted at each test station as an additional deterrent.

 

    You are required by law to have what is essential for the student to have equal access to an education, and this includes a sign language interpreter or real time captionist.

 

    Some students with disabilities have difficulty taking notes. Sometimes faculty notes are only a brief outline of the actual lecture given. These notes may not be too helpful. It is important that you assist the student in getting access to class notes. You may want to help the student find a volunteer note taker in class by making an announcement in class without revealing the student's name. If you have a graduate student in class to assist you and if this person takes notes, these notes may be another option. If you feel your notes are good, sharing your notes would be a third option. Many faculty and departments have developed website guided notes. This has been extremely helpful to many students who lack the ability to keep up the pace in taking thorough notes. It may also be appropriate for some students to use an audio recorder in class.

 

    Talk privately with the student to discuss your observations. The student may reveal they have a disability. If this is the case and the student is registered with OA, suggest that the student talk to his/her counselor in this office. Suggest that the student call OA at 803-323-3290 for further information.

 

    No, the standards should be the same for all students; however, some students with disabilities may exhibit their knowledge, production, and other course expectations differently than their peers. For example, a student with a learning disability in writing may produce an essay exam by using a computer or scribe rather than writing out an answer without the use of accommodations. The quality of the work should be the same.

 

    The student with a disability has the same right to fail as anyone else. Their work should be equivalent their peers. It may be a good idea to discuss your observations with this student just as you would with anyone else in your class who is experiencing difficulty.

 

     Some students with disabilities have difficulty taking notes. Sometimes faculty notes are only a brief outline of the actual lecture given. These notes may not be too helpful. It is important that you assist the student in getting access to class notes. You may want to help the student find a volunteer note taker in class by making an announcement in class without revealing the student's name. If you have a graduate student in class to assist you and if this person takes notes, these notes may be another option. If you feel your notes are good, sharing your notes would be a third option. Many faculty and departments have developed website guided notes. This has been extremely helpful to many students who lack the ability to keep up the pace in taking thorough notes. It may also be appropriate for some students to use an audio recorder in class.

 

    To clarify any disagreement about a requested accommodation, you can contact OA and speak with Shardae Nelson-Johnson (Coordinator) or Chris Keck (Program Director) at 803-323-3290.

 

Also, please see more information on the Questions and Answers for Accessible Online Classes page

Have more questions? Please contact us!

Last Updated: 11/17/20