TO ASSURE EDUCATIONAL ACCESS FOR STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES
Educational access is the provision of classroom accommodations, auxiliary aids and
services to ensure equal educational opportunities for all students regardless of
disability. Creating equal educational opportunities is a collaborative effort between
the student, the faculty member, and the Abilities Office, the Chicago State University
office dedicated to serving students with disabilities. The Abilities Office can be
reached at 773-995-4401 or 773-995-3776 (TTY).
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and The Americans with Disabilities
Act (ADA) of 1990
protect students with disabilities from discrimination that may occur as a result
of misconceptions, attitudinal barriers,
structural and communication barriers
and/or failure of the institution to provide appropriate accommodations, auxiliary
aids, or services. Examples of accommodations and auxiliary aids include, but are
not limited to: qualified interpreters, note takers, extra time for exams, and educational
materials in alternate format (i.e. Braille, audiotape, electronic format, enlarged
- Request verification of a student’s eligibility for any requested accommodations.
Such verification will be in the form of a letter prepared by the Abilities Office
Coordinator and delivered by the student directly to you. The Abilities Office is the only office designated to review disability documentation
and determine eligibility for appropriate accommodations. Faculty should not view the medical documentation.
- Expect the student to initiate accommodation requests
- If the student is taking his or her tests at the Abilities Office, expect the Office
to administer exams in a secure and monitored environment.
- Identify and establish essential functions, abilities, skills, and knowledge of their
courses and evaluate students on this basis. Students with disabilities should meet
the same course expectations as their peers.
- Provide accommodations only to students who are registered with the Abilities Office.
It is NOT your responsibility to provide accommodations to students who are not registered
with the Abilities Office.
- Use a syllabus statement and class announcements to invite students to disclose their
- Act immediately upon receiving a student’s letter of accommodations. Contact the Abilities
Office if you have questions regarding the accommodation. Direct any unregistered
student requesting an accommodation on the basis of a disability to the Abilities
- If a student needs alternative media, please provide the Abilities Office with syllabi,
textbooks, course packets, etc, well before classes begin in order for students with
disabilities to use alternative media when all other students have course materials.
With such timely consideration, students with disabilities who have alternative media
needs for accommodations and instructional access will be best served. Alternative
media may be print material in Braille, on audiotapes, or enlarged.
- Work to ensure that all audio-visual materials used in class are accessible (e.g.,
that videos shown are captioned for students with hearing impairments and that the
VCR /DVD equipment used has captioning capabilities; that for visually impaired students,
videos shown will be made with auditory description in some way or that written transcripts
will be provided, etc.)
- Treat and protect all disability-related information as confidential medical information.
For example, keep printed items, such as Proctor Sheets or emails regarding student
disability-related information in a protected location.
- For students who test at the Abilities Office, clearly communicate your testing procedures
with the student and the office by completing a Proctor Sheet upon request or by providing
clear instructions for test administration and return of test.
- Consult with students with disabilities and the Abilities Office in providing appropriate
PLEASE NOTE: Faculty do NOT have the right to ask students if they have a disability. For those
students with documented disabilities, faculty do NOT have the right to ask about
the nature of the disability. However, if students choose to disclose their disability,
this information should be treated confidentially.
This Fact Sheet was adapted from content compiled by the Ohio State University Partnership
Grant, "Improving the Quality of Education for Students with Disabilities", funded
by the U.S. Department of Education under grant #P333A990046.
This Fact Sheet is available in alternate format upon request. Please call the Abilities
Office of Disabled Student Services at (773) 995-4401.