DSS Faculty Toolkit
DSS informs faculty members through an introductory letter that a student with a disability will be in their class. The student delivers the letter to his or her instructor(s) at the beginning of the semester. For online classes, DSS emails the faculty member the letter to their Seminole State account.
Such intervention is conducted only upon a student's request.
The responsibility for determining a student's eligibility for appropriate academic adjustments rests with the DSS staff. Confidentiality of records is maintained within DSS. Upon the student's written release, DSS can verify the disability and make recommendations for necessary academic adjustments. Without such a release, DSS is unable by law to discuss the specific nature of a student's disability.
Faculty members are encouraged to inform their classes about support services available through DSS. One way to inform students and encourage them to discuss appropriate academic adjustments is to include the following statement on the course syllabus and to repeat it during the first class meeting:
Any student who has a disability and is in need of special services should contact Disability Support Services (room A-101, phone 407.708.2505).
Helpful tips for professors when working with students who are deaf or hard of hearing.
- Speak directly to the deaf person, not to the interpreter. A common misconception is to say, "Could you tell her . . ." or "Ask him . . . ." Be aware that the interpreter will interpret everything you say. Instead, speak directly to the deaf student. The interpreter will also, when necessary, voice what the deaf student replies to you. Expect lag time.
- Interpreters have an ethical responsibility to remain neutral. Interpreters cannot answer personal questions about the student, interject personal opinions, or assist a student with schoolwork. They are there to facilitate communication. Address questions or comments regarding the student, directly to the student. They are held by a Code of Professional Conduct by the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID).
- Check lighting. If you are darkening a room for a program, make sure you leave some light on for the interpreter.
- Give materials to students and interpreters in advance whenever possible. Advanced copies of lecture notes, hand-outs, etc., will help familiarize the student with the material and allow the interpreter to better prepare to interpret the class content.
- Optimum use of visual cues, such as lip reading and viewing the interpreter, will usually require seating at the front of the classroom. Remember gum chewing, hand placement, and a turned back can all interfere with the student's ability to read your lips/facial expressions.
- Give the student time to work on class assignments. If you give an assignment during class time, you may want to consider not talking during that time. She/he cannot both look down to do the assignment, and watch the interpreter simultaneously.
- Emphasize important information such as assignment or schedule changes by writing details on a white board and/or providing written handouts.
- If you are showing a video, please make sure it is captioned. It is now required that all video material be closed captioned. Anything you are showing in class, via Sakai, internet, or any other source needs to be captioned to allow equal access. This includes YouTube clips as well; many of them are captioned now too.
This is by no means an all-inclusive list, but it’s a great start. When all else fails, please contact us! We are here to help.
You can extend the amount of time permitted to complete an assignment in Canvas by:
For more information, please consult the DSS Faculty Handbook.
Please use the following resources to learn more about particular types of disability.
- Math Disabilities
- Reading Disabilities
- Top 5 Emotional Difficulties of People with Learning Disabilities
Faculty "How To's":
- How to check accessibility in a PDF
- How to add alternate text to an image in a PDF
- How to make a PDF form fillable
Creating Math problems: A tutorial on MathType