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Disability Services

Division of Student Life and Enrollment

Accommodating Students

ETSU is committed to providing an environment where all students can equally participate in the academic experience. The accommodation of students with disabilities who meet admissions requirements is mandated by both federal and state law. ETSU supports these laws by pledging to comply with their requirements.

In many instances, responding to the needs of a student with a disability requires little adjustment to the environment or to teaching style. With some flexibility and a genuine willingness to help, instructors, faculty members and academic departments can find ways to accommodate special needs.

Students with disabilities have the right to an accessible education, as mandated by both state and federal law. In order to obtain an accessible education, students with disabilities may require certain accommodations. It is the responsibility of this University to abide by all applicable state and federal laws, as well as its own policy of nondiscrimination against all individuals, including individuals with disabilities.

Once the student has obtained a Faculty Accommodation Letter from Disability Services, instructors are legally obligated to provide the accommodations specified therein, unless the instructor is able to document that the accommodation constitutes a "direct threat" to the health and safety of others, would be an undue administrative burden, would be financially prohibitive, or would fundamentally alter the nature of the course. These exceptions are RARELY, if ever, granted.

You must protect confidentiality regarding the students disability. The faculty member should not discuss the disability or accommodations during class time, or do anything to single out the student that is not explicitly set forth as a recommended accommodation. (e.g. Do not announce that you want to see any students with disabilities after class, do not say e.g. "Robert, I know you have a hearing problem so why don't you sit up front.") You may not mention the request for accommodations in any way to other students in the class, unless they have been actively recruited to participate in the provision of accommodations, such as taking notes for the student with a disability. Even in this event, the student should not be specifically identified if possible. (E.g. when recruiting note-takers, say "There is a student in the class who has a disability that makes it difficult for the student to take good notes. Would you be willing to take your notes on replicating paper for that student?")

Please be advised that federal law prohibits retaliation in any form against the student for seeking disability accommodations, such as extra work requirements, extra assignments or extra lab work.

Accommodations for each student will be determined on an individualized basis. Students with similar disabilities may not necessarily receive the same accommodations. There is no list of approved accommodations for any specific disability.

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