What if I suspect that a student has a disability but hasn’t provided me with any documentation from Disability Services? Can I ask them if they have a disability?
We recommend not asking directly about a possible disability. The Americans with Disabilities Act states that a public entity may not make unnecessary inquiries into the existence of a disability. These inquiries usually relate to hiring or pre-admission screening, but when talking with students such inquiries should also be avoided. A direct inquiry such as this could also be considered intrusive or insensitive.
You may simply tell the student that you notice they are having academic difficulty and encourage them to consider looking into support services available on campus (Disability Services would be considered a support service). We also recommend making statements or sharing concerns based on observable behavior (e.g., “I noticed that you are struggling with X topic,” “It’s important to participate more in class and I notice that you’re not participating as much as other students in the course”).
What if a student comes to me at the end of the semester and tells me that they have a disability, but has not provided me with documentation from Disability Services?
If a student discloses that they have a disability, it is appropriate to refer and encourage them to visit, call or e-mail Disability Services for support. Please keep in mind that accommodations are not retroactive. Without an accommodation letter, you are not required to provide any accommodations or academic adjustments even if the student has disclosed to you that they do have a disability.
What if I disagree with an accommodation that is provided by Disability Services?
As part of Maryland University of Integrative Health’s continued commitment to upholding the letter and spirit of the laws that ensure equal treatment of people with disabilities, the university established and maintains Disability Services. Disability Services implements and coordinates reasonable accommodations and disability-related services that afford equal access to university programs and activities. The laws that provide guidance to Disability Services regarding accommodations for students include The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADAA), Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Please call or email Disability Services for assistance, clarification, or questions about accommodations (410.888.9048 ext. 6774 | ). We are here to support, guide, and consult with anything related to student accommodations. For further explanation regarding legal obligations of higher education institutions to provide accommodations for students with documented disabilities, please refer to page 1 of this guide which discusses the ADAA and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
When is a student required to submit their accommodation letter to me?
Students can begin the process and register with Disability Services at any time during their enrollment at Maryland University of Integrative Health. A student may provide you with a Faculty Contact Sheet at any time during your course. There are many different kinds of disabilities that vary significantly for each individual. Some conditions may not be static and the need for special instructional strategies or accommodations may change as the condition changes.
However, please keep in mind that implementing accommodations begins at the time you receive the Faculty Contact Sheet; accommodations are not retroactive.
What if I have provided the accommodations as outlined by Disability Services, but the student is still struggling in my class?
If you are concerned that a student is not succeeding in your class despite the accommodations provided, we encourage you to first talk with the student to discuss these concerns. A specialist from Disability Services can also be available for any questions or concerns that you have. It may be helpful during your conversation with the student to ask if they would like to involve a Disability Services specialist when addressing the issue. Ultimately, all students are expected to meet the same academic requirements and should be assigned grades using the standards set forth in your program/syllabus. While we strive to guarantee equal access for students with disabilities, we cannot guarantee success.
A student who is registered with Disability Services is being extremely disruptive in my class and I’m not sure how to handle the situation. What should I do?
We recommend starting to address this situation as you would with any student—whether they are registered with Disability Services or not. It is appropriate to make statements or share concerns based on observable behavior. If that does not resolve your concerns or if the behavior does not change, it is appropriate to make a referral to the Associate Vice President of Student and Alumni Affairs.
Is my intellectual property at risk if I provide copies of my lecture notes in any form to a student?
Disability Services can provide a Recording/Lecture Notes Agreement, by request, to be reviewed by the student and instructor. The student should then sign the agreement form and a copy should be sent to Disability Services to be kept on file.