Image banner

Frequently Asked Questions
for Instructors


What should I do when a student hands to me directly his or her documentation of a disability?

The student should be directed to take his or her documentation to Student Disability Services, 3015 Burge Hall, (319) 335-1462. Staff will review the documentation to determine eligibility for accommodations. The SDS staff and student will discuss appropriate accommodations for each class and assist the student in communicating with the faculty about his or her accommodations.

Are students required to identify their disability or provide copies of disability documentations to faculty and staff?

No. Students are not required nor should they be asked to disclose the nature of their disability.  Additionally, students should not be asked to provide faculty and staff with copies of their disability documentation. Students requesting accommodations are only required to provide a SAAR (Student Academic Accommodation Request Form) from their SDS staff stating that they have a documented disability on file at SDS.

When students identify themselves as having a disability, what should faculty and staff do?

Interaction with students with disabilities is the same as with any other student.  Listen to what they have to say. Ask questions only about how and if the disability will impact them in the class as well as about the accommodations they may be requesting.  To have their requests for disability accommodations verified, students must be registered with SDS. Ask students who are self-identifying with a disability about their SDS registration status. Students who are registered will have been assigned to professional staff at SDS who can facilitate the accommodation process. Accommodations should not be granted unless the student presents a signed accommodation form.

I suspect that a student has a disability. How do I talk to the student about my concern?

You can tell the student that you have noticed he/she is struggling and ask if you could make some suggestions for campus resources that may be helpful, listing Student Disability Services and University Counseling Services among the resources. University Counseling Services provides screenings for students who suspect they may have learning disabilities. The student can call (319) 335-7294 to schedule an appointment at University Counseling Services.

What accommodations are required if a student discloses a disability after the fact (e.g., after failing an exam or assignment)?

None.   Accommodation requests are not retroactive.

Should I extend deadlines or grade students with disabilities differently?

No. Students with disabilities are expected to meet the same course requirements as other students.

What do I do about a student with a disability who is misbehaving, threatening, or rude?

All students are expected to abide by the University Code of Conduct. Poor behavior is not excused on the basis of disability.  Respond to the behavior as you would with any other student.

Do faculty and teaching staff have a legal responsibility to accommodate qualified students with disabilities?

Yes. Accessibility is essential and should be in the forefront of course planning.  If you are concerned about accommodations for a class, please contact SDS immediately at (319) 335-1462.  The Department of Education, Office of Civil Rights (OCR), and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) mandate students' rights to  accommodations and their right to file complaints (OCR) and/or lawsuits (ADA) against the University if these accommodations are not provided.

For more information, please contact