Office of Student Life

Disability Services

Best Practices and Resources for Faculty/Staff

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5 Steps for Facilitating Access in Your Course

Step 1 - Use the following accessibility syllabus statement (updated AU20):

The university strives to make all learning experiences as accessible as possible. In light of the current pandemic, students seeking to request COVID-related accommodations may do so through the university’s request process, managed by Student Life Disability Services.  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. SLDS contact information: slds@osu.edu; 614-292-3307; slds.osu.edu; 098 Baker Hall, 113 W. 12th Avenue.

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. 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. exam proctor sheets, attendance/deadline modification 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 Pratice Guides as a resource and training tool for both yourself  and your department. 

Introduction to Academic Access

Accommodation-Specific Guidance

Inclusive Teaching Practices

Inclusive Student Services

Disability Programming


Campus Resources