Guidance for Instructors

Disability Access & Inclusion Student Services (DAISS)

Overview of Instructors’ Responsibilities 

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 

  • Maintaining confidentiality 

  • 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 encourage you to use the following resources to fulfill your responsibilities as a UAlbany instructor. If you have questions or concerns, please contact DAISS at [email protected] or 518-442-5501.

Recommended Syllabus Statement

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

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. 

Academic Accommodation Letters

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.  

If you have any questions or concerns about an accommodation, please contact DAISS at [email protected] or 518-442-5501

Student Privacy

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.

Workshops, Training & Presentations

DAISS is happy to meet with instructors, faculty groups and/or departments to discuss disability-related issues, ranging from general course access and accessible technology to specific course and student needs.  

Contact DAISS at [email protected] or 518-442-5501 to get started.

Alternative Testing Services 

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. 

How to Provide Test Accommodations as an Instructor

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.  

How to Use DAISS Testing Services 

If you decide to use our alternative testing services, please follow these instructions: 

Step 1: Plan for Scheduling Needs

If you have a student with testing-related accommodations, and you have decided to use our alternative testing services, you should communicate that plan to them at the start of the semester. 

You should also post the dates of all exams, including finals, in your syllabus because students are responsible for scheduling their exams with DAISS before the exam date. Note: Instructors are responsible for scheduling pop quizzes. 

Students who arrive up to 15 minutes late will be allowed to sit for the exam, but the end time will not be changed.  

Students who arrive more than 15 minutes late or who miss the exam are expected to speak with their instructor and follow the make-up procedure stated in the syllabus.  

If you need to cancel or reschedule a test, please contact DAISS at [email protected] or 518-442-5501

Step 2: Send Exam & Required Information to DAISS

The instructor is responsible for providing DAISS with a copy of the exam.  

Please email the following information to [email protected] at least two business days before the scheduled exam: 

  • The exam in an electronic format — Word Documents are preferred, and Google Drive files are not accepted. If necessary, paper copies may be dropped off at our office (Campus Center 130) during business hours. 

  • Other exam files — such as audio files (MP3 and WAV only) for listening sections or images (PowerPoint or PDF only) — and instructions for their use. Students taking exams with audio and/or visual components will be provided with a non-networked computer. Our proctors cannot control playback but will give the student any instructions you provide. 

  • The length of time you’ll be giving the class to complete the exam 

  • A list of items students are permitted to have and use during the exam (such as a calculator, note card, textbook, etc.) 

  • Permission for us to email you the completed exam, or the date and time an instructor, teaching assistant or department staff member plans to come to our office (Campus Center 130) to pick it up 

  • Contact information (including a full name, title and phone number) the proctor can use if the student has a question during the exam  

  • Whether your proctored exam will be given in person or online, so we can mirror your testing conditions 

You and/or your teaching assistants are allowed to check on students during the exam. 

Students are required to secure their laptops, tablets, phones and other devices before starting their exam — unless the student has an approved accommodation or instructor approval to use a device (such as glucose-monitoring software). Instructors will be notified if a student required a device during exams. 

Step 3: Provide Written Permission for Alternative Timing (if necessary)

Students who test at DAISS are expected to take exams at the same time as their classmates, unless they have written permission from the instructor to take it at an alternative time.   

Written permission is critical for evening exams because our testing services are only available during these hours: 

  • Academic Year: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday  

  • Finals Week: 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Monday through Friday 

If an exam falls outside our normal hours of operation, you must either send written permission for the student to take the exam at an alternative time at DAISS or provide the accommodation(s) yourself.  

Although you may deny a specific date or time for academic integrity reasons, you may not ask that we extend our hours, that the student miss other academic commitments, or that they waive their accommodations.