Hartley lab CAS

Accommodating Students with Disabilities


Student Disability Services provides accommodation for students with physical, psychiatric, medical, neurological, Autism spectrum disorders, AD(H)D and learning disabilities, including dyslexia. Students must self-disclose their need for accommodations and, depending on the area(s) of disability, different documentation may be required to support the need for requested accommodations. More information can be found on the SDS website www.MiamiOH.edu/sds.

SDS staff provides pre-term consultation for all students who have a visual or hearing disability for which assistive technologies or the provision of curricular materials in alternate formats is necessary.  Other students with disabilities requiring assistive technologies or the provision of curricular materials in alternate formats may request a pre-term consultation as well.  If you have such a student enrolled in your class for the upcoming semester you will be contacted by SDS at the close of advanced registration to schedule a pre-term consultation. Please reply to consultation requests in a prompt manner, to allow time for planning.  


Once approved for services, students with disabilities are eligible for a Faculty Notification Letter (FNL) to be shared with instructors that outlines accommodation strategies for the semester or term. Letters must be requested through SAM (Students Accessing Miami) by the student each semester or term.

Letters will be emailed to the instructors, and it is expected that students will meet with their professors to discuss accommodations. However, if you receive a letter but the student does not approach you, faculty members should reach out to the student. Both the student and the faculty share a responsibility to engage in necessary accommodation discussions, through the assistance of the SDS office, and to cooperate for development of a positive and reasonable accommodation experience.


After the initial meeting with the student, some faculty members have chosen to draft a "Memo of Understanding" (in partnership with SDS and aligned with the letter of accommodation) that outlines accommodations for the semester. Such a document goes a long way in outlining expectations for all parties.

Accommodations include, but are not limited to, extended-time on exams, distraction-reduced testing, priority registration, housing accommodations, sign language interpreters and CART Services, note-taking resources, learning software, adaptive technology and print materials in alternative formats to name a few.

Students may also access technological resources. Currently available hardware includes LiveScribe pens, large monitors, scanners, CCTV, tactile image enhancer, audio/cassette player, speech calculator, and Braille printer. Currently available software includes Dragon Naturally Speaking, Duxbury Braille, JAWS, ZoomText, Read & Write Gold, and Kurzweil.

Miami will provide students with disabilities equally effective communication of curricular materials (e.g., textbooks, workbooks, articles, compilations, presentations, collaborative assignments, videos, and images or graphical materials) converted to alternate formats, provided that such student registers with Student Disability Services, requests accommodations, and participates in dialogue with Student Disability Services in identifying what will be equally effective communication.  Resources are available at the university to assist faculty in providing accommodations, and faculty may contact the SDS office for more information or to make sure that the classroom, lab or other context in which the accommodation is to be provided is understood.

In general, faculty are not required to fundamentally alter a course by eliminating essential requirements of a course, i.e., those outcomes (including skills, knowledge, and attitudes) all students must demonstrate with or without using accommodations. Substitutions to certain requirements may be reasonable, e.g., students who are deaf may not be able to complete the foreign language requirement, but such recommendations should come from the SDS Director or specialist for consistency. It may be appropriate at times for the instructor, student and SDS support staff to have an interactive dialogue about accommodations if the instructor feels that the accommodations being recommended are a fundamental alteration of the course.