For Faculty & Staff

Greetings,

Faculty play an integral role in providing accommodations for students in their courses. The Office of Disability Services works in partnership with faculty to fulfill the required accommodation needs of our students while balancing curriculum expectations. Our webpage provides resources to assist with this balancing act. Faculty are encouraged to seek assistance with any questions or concerns by contacting the ODS at 731.881.7195 or email us at disabilityservices@utm.edu.  We look forward to working with you.

 

Thank you,

Heather Kingery

Manager of Disability Services and Testing Center

General Questions

What is AIM?

ODS has launched a new Accessible Information Management system (AIM). AIM is an online accommodation management portal that facilitates interaction with the ODS, faculty, staff and students. Students will independently coordinate their accommodations. The system protects confidential information about the students and allows for streamlined communication between students, faculty and staff. To access the AIM instructor portal, please click on this link:  AIM instructor portal For help, please contact the ODS office. 

How do I know if a student is registered with ODS?

Students registered with the ODS should send you their accommodation request through AIM. AIM will then email you the request. You will then need to sign into the AIM portal to access your students' accommodation request. Your students' accommodations will be clearly stated in AIM.

 

Students are asked to follow-up with you regarding their accommodation request.

 

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact our office.

When is a student required to give me accommodation letters?

The ODS encourages but does not require students to meet with you at the beginning of the semester to discuss their Accommodation Letter. However, a student can register, receive, and present letters at any time during the semester. Accommodations are not retroactive, and you are under no obligation to allow a student to re-do exams or work for which they did not request accommodations in advance.

Am I allowed to request documentation from a student?

If a student requests an accommodation, you are only allowed to ask them for the Accommodation Letter from the ODS. Documentation describing and supporting a students' diagnosis is considered confidential information. Faculty should not receive, evaluate, or maintain documentation of a disability. When you receive an Accommodation Letter from the ODS, the student's accommodation request has been completed and appropriately documented.

Aren't accommodations just a way to give a student an advantage over other students in the class? Are we enabling students with disabilities by giving them accommodations does these lower standards?

No. Providing accommodations "levels the playing field" for students with disabilities by reducing or removing barriers to learning. Accommodations allow students with disabilities the same opportunities as their peers to learn and demonstrate mastery.

 

You will not be asked to lower standards or alter core academic requirements of your classes. Students with disabilities are expected to meet all course requirements.

A student has informed me that they have a disability in would like accommodations, but they do not have an accommodation letter and my required to provide accommodations?

No. You are not required to provide accommodations without the Accommodation Letter from the ODS. Please refer the student to the ODS for assistance with their request.

What are Test Accommodations?

Test accommodations level the playing field and mitigate barriers, allowing students with disabilities to demonstrate their knowledge of the course content. Accommodations may relate to the testing time limit but may also include changes in format or administration.

Why do students receive test accommodations?

Testing accommodations are a common request and assist a variety or students with differing abilities. Requests for assistive technologies, additional testing time and utilization of a distraction-reduced testing environment are all common accommodation requests provided by the ODS.  However, we discuss each accommodation request with our students to ensure their requests for reasonable accommodations are provided.

Can I administer my test for a student with testing accommodations?

Ultimately, you as faculty are responsible for all student testing for your class, including accommodated testing. You may work with the student to administer the test with the student's accommodations. However, the ODS is available to proctor tests with accommodations for students. ODS Exam Hub does offer complimentary testing proctoring. However, it is important to note that we have a limited amount of space to accommodate testers and serve almost 300 students. Students are required to submit all exam requests with 5 day notice. This also applies to make up exams. If our testing center is booked or exams are requested later than the mandatory 5 days then students will need to work with you to make alternate arrangements. This is not a required service for our office but to provide but we try to accommodate all exam requests that are made following the policy and procedures that all students agree to. Please see this hyperlink for that information: https://www.utm.edu/departments/disabilities/testing.php.

What happens when a student has a make up exam that needs to be proctored?

You as faculty are responsible for all student testing for your class, including accommodated make up testing. You may work with the student to administer the test with the student's accommodations. However, the ODS is available to proctor tests with accommodations for students. ODS Exam Hub does offer complimentary testing proctoring. However, it is important to note that we have a limited amount of space to accommodate testers and serve almost 300 students. Students are required to submit all exam requests with 5 day notice. This also applies to make up exams. If our testing center is booked or exams are requested later than the mandatory 5 days then students will need to work with you to make alternate arrangements. This is not a required service for our office but to provide but we try to accommodate all exam requests that are made following the policy and procedures that all students agree to. Please see this hyperlink for that information: https://www.utm.edu/departments/disabilities/testing.php.

ODS Exam Proctoring is complimentary, why is that?

Our office is responsible for the processing of all student applications that self identify with our office and determine if they are eligible for accommodations. Our role requires us to process those in a timely manner and then send out accommodation letters to instructors for the classes that they choose to self identify and request those accommodations. We must send those letters within 72 hours of request. We offer test exam proctoring as a complimentary service and have a small testing room. This room holds no more than 8 students and is booked on a first exam request submission basis. Serving over 300 students means there may be times we cannot approve a test request, especially when late. Therefore, as the faculty member you will be required to accommodate the legally approved accommodations.

How can I be sure that my students who are receiving testing accommodations at the ODS office are not cheating?

The ODS office makes every effort to maintain the integrity of exams. Students are required to leave all belongings and unapproved materials in our office during testing. All testing sessions are monitored. Exams are secured in a locked file until administered and completed exams are shredded once we receive faculty acknowledgement of receipt via AIM exam retrieval.

 

Any violation of the Academic Integrity Policy will result in the termination of the testing session and our office will contact the faculty member regarding the incident.

How will I know when a student has completed the test in the ODS Test Proctoring Center?

Once a student has completed the test, an ODS staff member will send you an email notification through AIM to confirm test completion.

 

Paper test will be scanned and returned via email and uploaded into the AIM portal for verification.  Scantron answer sheets will be delivered within 48 hours of exam.

What are the responsibilities for UTM Faculty?

Faculty and staff should be aware of the rules and procedures for accommodating students with disabilities. Disability Services has provided a brief outline of useful information and tips to facilitate faculty and staff in providing these accommodations.

Faculty and Staff Responsibilities Include

  • Integrate accessibility into the planning process for departmental facilities, programs, activities, and services.
  • Provide access for persons with disabilities to programs, services, activities, and facilities of respective department.
  • Seek guidance from Disability Services to identify resources available to provide access.
  • Provide printed material for classroom instruction in alternate format, if requested; non-academic departments should indicate in program publications, brochures, etc. that alternate format is available upon request.
  • Utilize, and be responsive to the use of, assistive equipment/technology or modifications that will facilitate effective communication for persons with disabilities.
  • Minimally, include a statement on each course syllabus regarding accommodation requests.
  • Discuss with the student how accommodations will be provided throughout the semester.
  • Refer students to Disability Services if they are experiencing academic difficulty or need access, should circumstances indicate a referral would be appropriate.
  • If the disability is clear and you are awaiting official notification of needed accommodations, provide assistance as appears appropriate during the interim.
  • Contact Disability Services for clarification when questions arise regarding accommodations.

Student Responsibilities Include

  • Self-identify as a qualified student with a disability.
  • Make specific request for reasonable accommodations in a timely manner.
  • Provide documentation as specified in UTM ODS guidelines.
  • Participate in the accommodation process and understand that the process is intended to be interactive and collaborative.
  • Meet with a Disability Services Specialist prior to initial semester in which accommodations will be requested whenever possible.
  • Initiate appointment and re-apply in Disability Services each semester in which accommodations are requested.
  • Initiate conference with each professor who receives a Special Accommodation Request to ensure mutual understanding of how accommodations will be provided.
  • Contact Disability Services if questions or difficulties related to the provision of accommodations arise that cannot be resolved between the student and faculty/staff.
  • Abide by the Code of Conduct and other regulations applicable to all students enrolled at UTM.

Disability Services Responsibilities Include

  • Facilitate and coordinate the provision of special accommodations for students with disabilities.
  • Develop policies and procedures to guide the provision of support services and institutional compliance with legislative mandates regarding persons with disabilities.
  • Communicate departmental procedures to students, faculty, and staff.
  • Facilitate assessment of documentation and applications for academic and housing accommodations.
  • Communicate to student applicant results of assessment, including requests for additional documentation, recommendations for transitional support services and/or accommodations.
  • Maintain pool of service providers and coordinate provider assignments.
  • Maintain confidential records, including documentation.
  • Provide guidance and resource referrals for students, faculty and staff who receive and/or provide access to facilities, programs, activities, and services for persons with disabilities.
  • Contact faculty and staff on behalf of student/clients when appropriate to facilitate the provision of accommodations and/or access to services.

Shared Responsibilities

Students with disabilities have the primary responsibility to self-identify and request accommodations in a timely manner as neither faculty nor staff are required to anticipate individual student needs. University personnel, including both faculty and staff, should integrate accessibility into the routine planning process for delivery of programs and services of their departments. Accessibility should be considered in arranging field trips and special events, designing computer labs, purchasing videos, computers and software, and creating web sites.

 

When a student discloses a disability, faculty and staff members should be receptive to ways they can facilitate learning or promote access. It may be as simple as allowing a student to sit in front of the classroom or making an enlargement on the copy machine. Students with disabilities should not be discouraged from specific fields of study if they meet the admission requirements and maintain the appropriate grades and are otherwise qualified. If the student waits until late in the semester to request an accommodation (such as extended test time), the professor is only required to provide accommodations from the time the Special Accommodation Request is received and does not need to offer make up exams, etc.