Frequently Asked Questions
A student approached me and told me that he has a disability and would like accommodations although he did not give me a letter from Division for Academic Success. Do I provide the accommodations?
You are under no obligation to provide accommodations to students who do not have a letter of accommodations. Direct that student to DAS so DAS staff and the student, together, can determine what accommodations are necessary to meet that student’s needs, if the student is eligible for services. However, if a student does not meet the criteria of a student with disability he/she will not receive academic accommodations.
Is it fair to other students in my class to give students with disabilities extra time on tests and assignments?
By providing the extra time, the student can be evaluated for what she knows about the material being tested rather than the effects of her disability, thereby, leveling the playing field.
I’ve had several students request accommodations in the middle or at the end of the semester. Why do students wait so long to let me know that they need support?
Some students with disabilities attempt courses without obtaining their accommodations. They may not want to disclose their disability, or they may feel they do not need the accommodations. At the middle or end of the semester, they may realize that they need to access the accommodations to which they are eligible to receive, in order to maximize their classroom performance.
If a student presents an accommodation letter in the middle of the semester, does the letter cover the student from the beginning of the semester?
The student’s accommodations begin at the point that you receive the accommodation letter. Accommodations are not retroactive and hence will not apply to any of the student’s work prior to receiving the letter of accommodations.
Do I need to change my academic standards and objectives to meet the needs of students with disabilities?
No. Students with disabilities are held to the same academic standards as all VCU students. However, students with disabilities may require modifications or accommodations so that they may fully participate in the lessons, assignments and tests.
Our program has certain technical standards students must meet. Can a student receive accommodations for this?
The answer is not a simple “yes or no”. There should be an interactive discussion with the student, faculty/staff, and the Division for Academic Success to determine if an accommodation is reasonable. As long as the accommodation does not result in a fundamental alteration of the program or cause an undue burden to the institution, it may be provided.