For Faculty

Thank you to all our faculty and staff for assisting DSS to support students with disabilities.  

It's important that students who require accommodations for documented disabilities know they can seek assistance from Disability Support Services.

During the first week of the semester, please inform your students that special accommodations will be addressed through DSS and they should contact us as soon as possible.

A student’s participation in DSS should be considered confidential; therefore, you should not discuss his/ her disability or accommodations with others.  Be mindful that you do not bring up this topic with the student if others are around.

Syllabus statement

You should include the following statement in your syllabus:

California Lutheran University is committed to providing reasonable aids and services to students with disabilities in compliance with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and ADA of 1990 with its Amendments. Students can request needed accommodations for this course, or other settings on campus, by registering with Disability Support Services (DSS). DSS is located in the Academic Services building, and can be contacted at (805) 493-3464 or dss@callutheran.edu.

For some tips on advising students who have disabilities, view this document.

More information

Accommodating students

If a student emails or hands you a Letter of Accommodations (LOA) from DSS, you must read over it, and confirm with the student that you have reviewed the information regarding their services. By confirming with the student, you are acknowledging that you have read and understand the provisions marked on his/ her LOA. If you have questions or concerns about the approved accommodations, contact DSS at ext 3464 immediately so that a reasonable solution can be reached in a timely manner.

Should a student request an accommodation directly from you, without the LOA, indicate that you can discuss with when he/ she has presented you with the LOA. Direct the student to contact DSS to get the process started.

Letter of Accommodations

A student is responsible for activating his/her aids and services each semester/ term.  Even if he/she has had you as a professor in previous semester, the student must activate DSS services for the new course. 

The students are strongly encouraged to activate their DSS services within the first two weeks of the new semester/ term; however, they are able to activate their services later in the semester/term.  While it is always best for students to communicate with you early in the semester, we may not put dates or deadlines on their legal rights.

The student activates DSS services by emailing his or her Letter of Accommodations (LOA) to you while copying DSS. Occasionally, the student may hand you the LOA or you may receive it directly from DSS.

Every accommodation that is marked on the LOA has been assigned for use by the student; however it is possible that the student will not need every accommodation for every class they take.  It is therefore recommended that you and the student discuss with each other any issues or questions that may arise due to the specific nature of your course.

Based on a student’s disability information, recommendations from health care and/or educational specialists, individual needs and other relevant factors, the academic accommodations marked on the LOA have been approved for the student.

The assigned LOA accommodations have been approved under the federal guidelines of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, which prohibit discrimination of students with a disability in post-secondary settings.

Test-taking accommodations

In the event that a DSS student, approved for testing accommodations, wants to take an exam/quiz utilizing their testing related accommodations, there are several steps that the student and you will go through.

  1. The student will contact DSS by submitting an online Testing Accommodation Request for a proctored exam setting. The student will advise DSS of the date, time, length of exam and any allowances (e.g. calculator, reference sheet, etc.).
  2. After the student has scheduled his/her exam , DSS will send you an email notifying you that “Jane Smith” has signed up for her “Math 100” exam and will include the date and the time it is scheduled. It will also request that you verify the exam details submitted by the student. If you do not receive an email from DSS, it is an indication the student plans to take the exam in the normal class setting without accommodations.
  3. After you receive DSS’s email you should reply to the office, via email, informing of any exam details that are necessary in order for the DSS proctor to be able to administer the exam. The DSS email will ask for specific information regarding this.
  4. Hand deliver or email the exam to DSS, which is located in the Academic Services building. It is labeled #40C on the online campus map.  The testing email is DSSTesting@callutheran.edu . The exam will be kept in a locked, secure location until the student comes in to take the exam.
  5. The student takes the exam in a secure, monitored testing room.
  6. The completed exam will be delivered to your departmental office by the end of the following day, unless you specifically request it to be held at DSS until you pick it up.
  7. For exams/ quizzes administered through BlackBoard, you will need to set up the extended time based on the student’s approved accommodations from the LOA. DSS staff does not have the authority to make adjustments for your course within BlackBoard. 
  8. Exceptions to this process may occur for some students who have been previously approved or have discussed with DSS an alternative plan. If you have any concerns regarding testing accommodations, please contact DSS for clarification at dsstesting@callutheran.edu or 805-493-3464.

Please note that DSS only provides proctoring services for DSS registered students with this assigned accommodation.

Notetaking accommodations

In the event that a DSS student, approved for this accommodation, wants to utilize notetaking services, there are two steps that the student and you will go through.

  1. The student will submit an online request for a note taker to DSS.
  2. Should your assistance be needed in locating a note-taker you will receive an email from dssnotes@callutheran.edu. It is possible that DSS may already have a volunteer, and if this is the case it would therefore not be necessary to contact you.
  3. If a volunteer is not found to provide notes, DSS may contact you to provide the student with copies of your PowerPoint, lecture notes, etc. This will allow the student to receive their approved accommodation in a timely manner until an alternative solution can be determined.
Alternative texts

Some students are approved for the books in alternative formats accommodation. Alternative texts and materials can also be referred to as books in alternate formats or accessible texts.

Basically, it means texts and materials that are accessible by being provided in another format such as audio recordings, large print, or Braille. Alternative texts also means being useable with text to speech (TTS) software or screenreaders (which use computer voices to read the text aloud).

Students who can benefit from this accommodation may have visual or print disabilities (learning disabilities and/or ADHD), ESL students, students who have learning differences that may not rise to the level of a disability, anyone who benefits from having both visual (written) and audio access (that would include most of us).

DSS will provide the student with the alternative format of the required book(s) for the course. We are also able to assist in converting print materials or other articles required for the course if we are notified about the need. Obtaining the required text in the necessary alternative format can take several weeks or more. It is therefore critical for faculty to provide the Cal Lutheran Bookstore with the required course textbook(s) as far in advance as possible prior to the start of the new semester/term.

For students who are eligible for alternate text and materials, these must be provided or converted to a format accessible for the student. For our current population, that will generally be provision or conversion to a format accessible by TTS.

Digital accessibility

For some useful tips on creating accessible digital or electronic materials, view the Tips for Accessible Digital Documents.

For some useful tips in creating accessible online course and corresponding course materials, view the Tips for Online Course Accessibility.

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