Guidance for Instructors
Disability Access & Inclusion Student Services (DAISS)
Disability Access & Inclusion Student Services (DAISS)
UAlbany faculty and staff members have a legal and ethical responsibility to provide approved accommodations to ensure students with disabilities have equal access to and participation in University programs, activities and services.
Instructors' responsibilities include:
Implementing reasonable accommodations in a timely manner
Considering alternate instructional and/or evaluation formats if a tool is not accessible
Maintaining the rigor and fundamental nature of course content
Determining the equivalent substitutions for course components when barriers occur
Including a statement on disability accommodations in the course syllabus
Instructors may not:
Deny an approved accommodation
Share information about a student’s disability or accommodations with other students
Ask a student to identify their disability
Please refer to UAlbany’s Statement on Reasonable Accommodations for Students for additional information.
We strongly urge instructors to include the following statement in their course syllabi:
Reasonable accommodations will be provided for students with documented physical, sensory, systemic, medical, cognitive, learning and/or mental health (psychiatric) disabilities.
If you believe you have a disability and require accommodation in this class, please register with Disability Access and Inclusion Student Services (DAISS). You can contact DAISS at [email protected], 518-442-5501 or albany.edu/dean-students/disability.
Once you have registered with DAISS, they will provide you with an accommodation letter that you can send to your instructors to receive your approved accommodation.
To obtain reasonable accommodations, students must first register with DAISS. Once they are registered, students receive an accommodation letter.
Students are responsible for sharing their academic accommodation letter with their instructors, per the guidelines for notification stated in each instructor’s syllabus. Students will send this letter to you in the body of the email or as an email attachment, or they will give you a paper copy.
Please do not insist that you can only accept letters from DAISS directly. We are happy to confirm the authenticity of accommodation letters you receive. Contact us at [email protected] or 518-442-5501.
We ask that you give students some flexibility with notifying you of their accommodations. Some students do not register with DAISS until later in the semester/term and therefore are not able to provide their letter at the start of the semester/term.
Instructors are legally responsible for providing academic accommodation once they have been notified.
When a student gives you an academic accommodation letter, please discuss the letter with the student so you can decide how the accommodation(s) will be provided and/or if they need to be modified to support the course’s academic standards.
The academic accommodation(s) listed in a student’s letter are based on what is typically done to support the limitations of a particular disability. All modifications must be discussed so reasonable accommodation(s) can be officially determined based on the course standards and the limitations of the disability.
A student’s disability status is considered privileged information and, even after receiving an accommodation letter, is protected by FERPA. Therefore, you may not identify a student as having a disability to their classmates or other University employees (faculty and staff).
If you need to contact multiple students with disabilities at once, please use a method that does not allow the students to identify each other — such as putting their email addresses in the BCC (blind carbon copy) field.
Although students are required to disclose their disability status to you (meaning they must tell you that they have a disability) to obtain accommodation, students are never required to disclose their specific disability to you. This information is confidential and shared only with DAISS.
Students are free to reveal information about their disability to you if they feel comfortable doing so but please do not ask students or DAISS for details or a diagnosis.
Our office offers alternative testing services — such as a less distracting space, assistive devices, extended time and/or proctors — for students with approved accommodations.
Instructors are responsible for determining whether they will provide testing accommodations or use DAISS’ alternative testing services.
Additionally, we’re always looking for faculty and staff members to volunteer as exam proctors — especially during finals week. Contact us at [email protected] to volunteer.
If you decide to provide testing accommodations yourself, you must provide all of the student’s approved accommodations. Feel free to contact DAISS at [email protected] to discuss implementation.
Please be aware of the following:
The University’s standard for extended time is double the amount of time the class is given. We do not recommend that you provide any more or less than double the time.
Do not preemptively extend the allotted exam time for all your students to compensate students who have a testing accommodation of extended time. Students with this accommodation will still need to have their time extended and you will be left with a six-hour exam.
If an exam is not administered under proctored conditions (for example, a remote exam), you may not insist that only students with testing accommodations take the exam under proctored conditions.
If you decide to use our alternative testing services, please follow these instructions: