Students with documented disabilities are accommodated at Grinnell College. Not only is this required by law, but it is fair practice for those students who need it.
All students seeking academic accommodations for a disability must meet with Joyce Stern, Dean for Student Success and Academic Advising (located on the 3rd floor of the Joe Rosenfield Center, x3702) so that she may review their documentation, meet with them, and make decisions about appropriate accommodations. This is the procedure the College has adopted to allow for thorough review of a student's request and determination of appropriate accommodations(s) for that student. If faculty make accommodations independently (directly with the student) without consulting this office, equity of treatment across courses and across individuals can come into question, or we may inadvertently over- or under-accommodate a student.
PROCEDURE FOR RECEIVING ACCOMMODATIONS
- Student discusses the disability and requested accommodations with Joyce Stern and presents relevant documentation.
- Student, Joyce and the student's adviser meet briefly to discuss appropriate accommodations.
- Joyce completes Academic Accommodations Form indicating reasonable accommodations, as determined by the conversations and documentation. This official paperwork is signed by the student, by the student's adviser, and by Joyce.
- Student receives a copy of the official paperwork for each of his/her professors. It is up to the student to deliver the copies to his/her instructors. At the time of the delivery, or soon after, the student should discuss the logistics of making accommodations possible in the classroom setting. We encourage a student to do this as soon as possible at the beginning of each semester. According to our policy, arrangements for testing accommodations must be made at least one week in advance of an exam.
TYPICAL KINDS OF ACCOMMODATIONS
Our students with disabilities have a range of challenges that need accommodation in order to allow equal access to their education. Typical kinds of accommodations include, but are not limited to, a seat at the front of the class, books/texts in an alternate format, a computer to type exams, or extra time on exams. Accommodations specific to the individual student will be delineated on the Academic Accommodations form. You will need to implement some of the accommodations, others will be coordinated by the Academic Advising Office, others are a partnership.
You will be presented with information on a need-to-know basis. Thus, you are being brought into a very small circle of people who are aware of the student's disability. Please maintain the student's confidentiality and make every effort not to disclose this information to other students or faculty. For example, this can happen inadvertently in the process of providing an accommodation on an exam.
If, after receiving official paperwork from the Academic Advising Office, you have concerns about the student, the accommodation process, or you question the validity of a student's request, please contact Joyce Stern directly.
Welcoming Statements for Your Syllabi
By law and ethical commitment, the College makes accommodations for students with disabilities. Legally, we must also inform students with disabilites that the College provides them with reasonable accommodations and how to access those accommodations. We do this by mail in the summer prior to their arrival to Grinnell and in the Student Handbook. However, a statement on your syllabus is an additional location where students can find that information; therefore, doing this helps the College fulfill our obligation under the law.
There are other good reasons to have a disability statement on your course syllabi. First, students seeking accommodation for a disability can find approaching their instructors one of the most difficult things they must do, as they fear being stigmatized, especially if this is their first one-on-one encounter with the professor. Further, this practice may take some pressure off of you to make all of the decisions about what accommodations are reasonable - the statement will indicate to students whom to go to for review and approval of specific individualized accommodations (i.e., Academic Advising Office).
The following are some examples of welcoming statements which you may add to your course syllabi to indicate your willingness to work with students.
If you have specific physical, psychiatric or learning disabilities and require accommodations, please let me know early in the semester so that your learning needs may be appropriately met. You will need to provide documentation of your disability to the Dean for Student Success and Academic Advising, Joyce Stern, located on the 3rd floor of the Joe Rosenfield Center (x3702).
I encourage students with documented disabilities, including invisible disabilites such as chronic illness, learning disabilities, and psychiatric disabilities, to discuss appropriate accommodations with me. You will also need to have a conversation about and provide documentation of your disability to the Dean for Student Success and Academic Advising, Joyce Stern, located on the 3rd floor of the Joe Rosenfield Center (x3702).
Grinnell College makes reasonable accommodations for students with documented disabilities. Students need to provide documentation to the Dean for Student Success and Academic Advising, Joyce Stern, located on the 3rd floor of the Joe Rosenfield Center (x3702). Students should then notify me within the first few days of classes so that we can discuss ways to ensure your full participation in the course and coordinate your accommodations.
I strive to create a fully inclusive classroom, thus I welcome individual students to approach me about distinctive learning needs. In particular, I encourage students with disabilities to have a conversation with me and disclose how our classroom or course activities could impact the disability and what accommodations would be essential to you. You will also need to have a conversation about and provide documentation of your disability to the Dean for Student Success and Academic Advising, Joyce Stern, located on the 3rd floor of the Joe Rosenfield Center (x3702).
We encourage you to make the statement on your syllabus a reflection of your personal style and your commitment to honoring the diverse learners in your classroom.
Links to Additional Resources for Teaching:
(DO-IT)Tools for Universal Design in Instruction - a project at the University of Connecticut hosts this webiste to provide faculty with a broad range of information and tools to enhance the design and delivery of instruction for diverse college students.
Links to Teaching Science and Math:
Additional Information on Specific Disabilities: