Students with disabilities have the right to equal access to courses, programs, activities, services, and facilities offered at Midwestern State University. Students are also entitled to reasonable accommodations. All information about the student’s disability is to be kept confidential. Students have the responsibility to provide acceptable documentation of disabilities and to register with for Disability Support Services (DSS) if they would like to receive accommodations. If students deem it necessary to receive accommodations and for a particular class, students have the responsibility to inform the instructor.
An instructor has the right to confirm a student’s request for accommodations and to ask for clarification about a specific accommodation with DSS. Instructors do not have the right to refuse to provide an accommodation or to review a student’s documentation including diagnostic data. Instructors have a responsibility to work with DSS in providing reasonable accommodations, keep all records and communications with students confidential, and to refer a student to DSS who requests accommodations but is not currently registered. Instructors do not have to provide accommodations for students not registered with DSS.
An instructor has the responsibility to make reasonable accommodations because accommodations make it possible for a student with a disability to overcome barriers enabling the student to communicate what he or she knows in the same way that glasses do not strengthen vision but help a person to see. The instructor also has a legal responsibility to provide appropriate accommodations. For more information go to the Americans With Disabilities Act website www.ada.gov.
To determine appropriate accommodations for a student, the student must submit acceptable documentation to DSS. The Director reviews the information and determines appropriate accommodations based upon the substantial limitations of the student and the essential elements of the course.
If an instructor feels that a particular student may have a substantially limiting disability, he or she should refer the student to DSS.
A student with a disability who is disruptive in class should be treated as an instructor would treat any student who is disruptive in class. If an instructor feels that there is a medical reason for the student’s behavior, the instructor can discuss this with the student’s Accommodations Counselor in DSS to determine if there is a solution to the problem.
It is important for instructors to remember that providing reasonable accommodations to a student with a disability does not guarantee success in the course. Students with disabilities may not master the course material, just like any other student. Students with disabilities have the same right as other students to fail as part of their educational experience.
Yes, it is possible to flunk a student with a disability. The secret centers on compliance with the civil rights laws which prohibit discrimination. These laws mandate access to education, not guaranteed academic success. When a faculty member has done all that is required, then flunking the under-qualified student is proper and lawful. Here's a compliance checklist:
And there you have it. If compliance checks out, flunk the student who isn't otherwise qualified. Although it is possible for any student to complain, it is another matter entirely to show discrimination when faculty have complied with the law. For more information, give the folks at DSS a call at (940) 397-4140 or email DSS Director Debra Higginbotham at firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit the DSS Forms page (http://www.mwsu.edu/student-life/disability/index) for downloadable copies of the Faculty Guide & Testing Condition Checklist.