The Office of Accessibility, a part of the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs, was created to assist the University in fulfilling its obligation and commitment to educate and serve qualified students with disabilities. The mission of the Office of Accessibility is to provide qualified students equal access opportunities to their educational experiences. The Office of Accessibility provides academic accommodations, auxiliary aids and services to students and consults with the university community regarding disability access issues.
While creating equal educational opportunities for students with disabilities is a collaborative effort between the student, the faculty member, and the Office of Accessibility, faculty are chiefly responsible for providing many of the academic accommodations to students with disabilities in their classes. Instructors are never asked to lower academic standards or to provide adjustments that will alter the essential functions of the course, but they are asked to make reasonable accommodations. The staff of the Office of Accessibility is eager to provide assistance, information and consultation regarding how approved accommodations can be carried out in the classroom.
Academic accommodations may simply entail allowing students to tape record lectures, or other requests such as changing the format (Braille, enlarged print) of a test or modifying the manner in which a course is taught by taking into consideration the nature of the impairment. The accommodations needed will vary according to the students' individual needs. Please refer to the next section on Rights and Responsibilities for more specific guidelines on providing accommodations to students with disabilities.