Office of Student Life

Disability Services

Best Practices and Resources for Faculty/Staff

Navigation Links:

5 Steps for Facilitating Access in Your Course

Step 1 - Use the following accessibility syllabus statement (updated AU23):

The university strives to maintain a healthy and accessible environment to support student learning in and out of the classroom.  If you anticipate or experience academic barriers based on your disability (including mental health, chronic, or temporary medical conditions), please let me know immediately so that we can privately discuss options.  To establish reasonable accommodations, I may request that you register with Student Life Disability Services.  After registration, make arrangements with me as soon as possible to discuss your accommodations so that they may be implemented in a timely fashion. 

If you are isolating while waiting for a COVID-19 test result, please let me know immediately. Those testing positive for COVID-19 should refer to the Safe and Healthy Buckeyes site for resources.  Beyond five days of the required COVID-19 isolation period, I may rely on Student Life Disability Services to establish further reasonable accommodations. You can connect with them at; 614-292-3307; or

Note: We recommend taking some time to review this statement with the class. This may help students feel more comfortable making proactive requests.

Step 2 - Promptly respond to accommodation requests.

Registered students will contact you to request accommodations by personally generating a course accessibilty letter e-mail or other method of contact. Students are trained on the accommodation process and should provide letters or forms to you. In addition to discussing the requests, you may also be:

  • filling out electronic forms (e.g. alternative testing agreements, intermittent flex plan agreements),
  • identifying students in class to be volunteer note-takers, and/or
  • corresponding with our staff as needed (e.g. sending exams; discussing a student situation).

Step 3 - Respect the student’s right to confidentiality.

Students are not required to disclose medical details, such as their diagnoses, to instructors. Disability Services keeps all students’ medical information and documentation confidential. The student’s registration status should only be shared with others on a need-to-know basis. We recommend discussing accommodations with students in a private, one-on-one setting such as during office hours or by appointment. 

Step 4 - Consult with us when you have questions/concerns about a request. 

Each registered student is assigned an Access Specialist who is available to you for answering questions, brainstorming solutions, and determining whether or not a particular accommodation is compatible with a course's learning outcomes.

Step 5 - Provide accessible course materials.

Whenever possible, choose course materials that are accessible from the get-go (e.g. searchable PDFs, captioned videos). When creating your own course documents in Microsoft Office, there’s a handy built-in Accessibility Checker feature (File > Check for Issues > Check Accessibility) which you can use to ensure screen-reader accessibility.

If a student requests material conversions in your course (e.g. digital textbooks, screen-reader accessible documents, captioned videos), our Accessible Media team will reach out to you if coordination is needed. When materials are not inherently accessible, provide the materials to us with enough notice for conversion to an accessible format.

Best Practice Guides

We invite you to use these Best Practice Guides as a resource and training tool for both yourself and your department. 

Introduction to Academic Access

Accommodation-Specific Guidance

Inclusive Teaching Practices

Inclusive Curricula / Disability Studies

Inclusive Student Services

Inclusive Event Planning

Captioning, Interpreting, and Transcribing Services


The university's Digital Accessibility Policy requires all publicly posted videos to be captioned, and all virtual events to be live captioned. Contact your unit's accessibility coordinator for more information.

While captioning is an effective accommodation for students who are d/Deaf or hard of hearing, many students can benefit from captioned videos in the classroom -- for example, ESL students and students with different learning styles. If you’re interested in providing captioned videos in your course or program, and an SLDS registered student has not requested captioning, you can take a DIY approach (click to download guide) or use a vendor (see below).

Vendors for video captioning:

Vendors for live captioning:

Interpreting/Transcribing Services

We provide interpreting and transcribing services for d/Deaf or hard of hearing Ohio State students. Students register with our office to be approved for this accommodation. Our Lead Interpreter/Transcriber, Tiffany Hedges, works with students, their faculty, and other university partners to coordinate services for the student's classes and other academic activities. There is never a charge for interpreting and transcribing services so long as there is a request made from a student with an approved accommodation.

Event Planning

When organizing a university event, always include an accommodations statement in the marketing materials. For example: "If you require an accommodation such as live captioning or interpretation to participate in this event, please [insert directions -- either a person to contact or directions for the registration form]. Requests made one week in advance of the event will generally allow us to provide seamless access, but the university will make every effort to meet requests made after this date."

If you would like to proactively arrange services for a university event in the absence of a student request, please contact the ADA Coordinator’s Office. We recommend the provision of services (at your unit's expense) for any special event on campus that is open to the public and is expected to have 100+ attendees.

Campus Resources