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Communication about Academic Adjustments

Instructors- Communicating with your students about their academic adjustments:

Sample Instructor Announcement about academic adjustments and/or post in syllabus:

“RIT is committed to providing academic adjustments to students with disabilities. If you would like to request adjustments such as special seating or testing modifications due to a disability, please contact the Disability Services Office. It is located in the Student Alumni Union, Room 1150; the website is www.rit.edu/dso. After you receive adjustment approval, it is imperative that you see me during office hours so that we can work out whatever arrangement is necessary.”

Although we expect students to self-advocate and take responsibility for their learning and academic ajustments needs, the reality is that for a variety of reasons, some students do not do this. Here are some suggestions for how to communicate your need to know about a student’s plans:

* Announce in class (one more time) that if a student has academic adjustments they should speak to you during office hours to let you know whether or not they require the use of their academic adjustments in your course.

* Announce in class, over email, (and in your future syllabi) that if a student with academic adjustments does not discuss with you their plans for use of their test related adjustments IN ADVANCE of the test it may not be possible to make arrangements for their adjustments for this test. (Clearly define what ‘in advance’ means to you as related to your class.) This may encourage students to make arrangements in advance for future tests.

Students - Communicating about your academic adjustments with your instructors:

Your instructors will receive your Disability Services Agreement (DSA) from the Disability Services Office (DSO) on RIT email. You will be copied on that email. 

Sample DSA (view pdf file) and DSA email (view pdf file) notification are shown in this website. 

Set up a time to meet with your instructors privately to discuss your academic adjustments needs before or on the first day of class so your instructors will have time to make any necessary adjustments in the classroom.

* When you meet with your instructor, bring a copy of your Disability Services Agreement (DSA)

* Let your instructors know if there will be any extra service people as listed on your DSA (like: voice, close vision/tactile interpreters, note takers, or scribes) coming to class to assist you, so they can make sure there are enough seats.

* For students who receive test adjustments:

If you require extended time for tests, decide with your instructors where you will take the test (in the classroom with the instructor or in the test center in the Disability Services Office). If you need to use the test center, make arrangements with your instructor and the test center IN ADVANCE of the test. It is not reasonable to expect arrangements to be made the day of the test. If you need information on how to make arrangements, contact Susan Ackerman at smacst@rit.edu.

* If you feel you no longer require your academic adjustments, contact Susan Ackerman at smacst@rit.edu.

* Continue regular communication with your instructors throughout the course to make sure things are going smoothly.