Faculty, Instructors, & TAs
Accessibility Is a University Responsibility
We are all responsible to ensure our programs, course curriculum, and services are as accessible as reasonably possible. Faculty, instructors, and TAs at UCR can partner with the SDRC to deliver an accessible educational experience to eligible students. This page outlines your role as an educator in this process, as well as the role of the SDRC and the role of the student.
The Role of the Student Disability Resource Center (SDRC)
Disability accommodations are approved by disability specialists, professionals with expertise in the education of students with disabilities in higher education settings. The disability specialists review disability documentation, consult with the student medical team (when needed), meet with the student requesting accommodations, review the environment for which accommodations are being requested, and recommend/approve accommodations for students with disability in compliance with federal mandates. SDRC supports the provision and coordination of approved accommodations (i.e., testing accommodations, alternative media, ASL/CART services, and more), and available to consult with course instructors, TAs, and staff.
The Role of the Faculty, Instructors, and TAs
At UCR, the instructor of record, or an official alternative contact (as entered into Banner for the course by the department registrar), is responsible collaborate with SDRC to ensure that the student enrolled in their classes have access to the SDRC approved classroom accommodations and services outlined in each student's letter of accommodation. A letter of accommodation may be issued at any time during the quarter. It is critical that accessibility is at the forefront of course/program design to promote an inclusive educational experience.
Please review the Frequently Asked Questions on this page to learn more about the role of the faculty in the accommodations process.
The Role of the Student Requesting Disability Accommodations
Because UCR is an adult learning environment, accessing disability-related accommodations is a student-driven process. This means that the student with the disability is expected to follow the established process in applying for accommodations, notifying the faculty of the approved accommodations via the R'Ability portal, and exercising their right to use or not use their approved accommodations. If there is a change in the academic environment or how the student is impacted by their disability, the student is responsible to re-engage in the interactive process with SDRC to identify for any needed updates to the accommodations plan.
Faculty Guide to Student Disability Related Accommodations:
- R'Ability Online Accommodations System
- How to use R'Ability: Using R’Ability Faculty Test Booking
- Self-Service Document Conversion to Accessible Formats
- PDF of Faculty FAQ
- Blackboard Accommodations
Frequently Asked Questions
What happens when a student self-discloses a disability and requests an accommodation(s)?
- Request a letter of accommodation (LOA) from the student. The student can provide it to you in-person or send it to you through R’Ability. If the student does not have one, refer them to SDRC.
- If presented with medical documentation regarding a disability, including chronic health issues, please do not take it. Instead, redirect the student and their documentation to SDRC.
What do I do when I receive an email from SDRC (email@example.com) about viewing a letter of accommodation?
- Go to the R’Ability faculty portal and select your course to find the list of students
- Review the PDF letter for each student and then click acknowledge/submit receipt of letter of accommodation
- Allow approved accommodations to happen in your course (i.e., recording lectures, use of a computer to type notes, etc.)
- Contact SDRC at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions regarding any accommodation
- Refer the student back to SDRC if they are requesting a disability-related accommodation that does not appear in the letter of accommodation
What other email notices might I receive about accommodations and what action do I need to take?
Emails about accommodations for tests, exams and/or finals:
- Nine days prior to exam: Faculty receive an email requesting confirmation of exam details in R’Ability; if confirmation is not received, a reminder email will go out two days later.
- Five days prior to exam: The R’Ability exam confirmation portal closes.
- If exam confirmation is submitted via R'Ability: Faculty receive an email requesting to provide exam materials one day before exam to email@example.com or to the SDRC/SDRC Testing Center at 1213 Student Services Building
- If exam proctoring instructions are not submitted via R'Ability, the exam proctoring appointment with the SDRC Testing Center will be cancelled. The faculty and student will be notified of the SDRC Testing Center exam appointment cancellation, and that the faculty will provide the exam accommodations. SDRC is available to consult by calling (951) 827-3861 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Emails requesting a note taker:
- You will receive an email which contains a sample announcement to request a volunteer note taker. All you have to do is make the announcement to the class, that’s it!
What is the best way to refer student to the Student Disability Resource Center (SDRC)?
- The best way to refer students is via email at email@example.com. An SDRC staff member will follow up with the student directly.
Do you have a sample syllabi statement I could use?
UC Riverside is committed to providing equal access to learning opportunities to students with documented disabilities. To ensure access to this class, and your program, please contact the Student Disability Resource Center (SDRC) to engage in a confidential conversation about the process for requesting accommodations in the classroom. More information can be found on https://sdrc.ucr.edu/contact-us. If you are a student registered with the SDRC, please ensure you request your quarterly accommodations through rability.ucr.edu.
Can faculty proctor exams with accommodations?
Yes. Faculty may proctor exams with accommodations, as long as the accommodation is being provided as intended. Faculty are encouraged to consult with SDRC if they have questions about exam proctoring.
How are accommodations approved?
Accommodations are determined after critical analysis of a student's disability-related needs, the university's programs and curricula, and the university's legal obligations under the Americans with Disabilities Act, as amended (ADA AA), and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act.
Students meet with a disability specialist who is trained in interpreting medical information, and they will identify reasonable accommodations aimed at providing the student access to the academic material and access to demonstrate what they know.
What are my responsibilities to ensure student privacy?
It is essential to maintain the privacy of students with disabilities (SWD); please do not disclose information about a student's disability, accommodations, or similar information to third parties without written permission from the student.
Accommodation provision information may be shared when necessary for the coordination or provision of accommodations.
- Can I share with the TA that a student receives accommodations?
Who can request accommodations for a student?
Accommodations are a student-driven process, so any request must be initiated by the student through the established SDRC process.
- How do I increase accessibility in an online course?
What resources are available for students with regards to online classes?
Students with disabilities may request disability related accommodations at Student Disability Resource Center. If the student is approved for accommodations, a letter of accommodation may be provided to the faculty (if the student is wishing to have access to accommodations in that course). If you have questions about a letter of accommodation and how the accommodations apply to your online course, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can I convert my own documents into accessible media?
Yes! Currently, UCR is licensed to use SensusAccess for this feature. All you need is a ucr.edu email address to use this program. More information is available at SDRC SensusAccess.
What is accessible technology?
Accessible technology is a technology designed with the needs of the largest amount of users in mind, also known as universal design. It is technology with built-in customization features so that users can really individualize their experience to meet their needs.
Assistive technology is specifically designed to help a person with a disability to perform a task. Assistive technology alone will never guarantee access for people with disabilities. Accessing information in any form is only possible when that information is born accessible, designed with accessibility in mind.
Some technologies used by students at UC Riverside include, but are not limited to:
Most Common Accommodations and Definitions
Computer Use for Note Taking/Assignments
- Student may use their personal device for note taking
- Student may use their personal device (laptop) for in-class written assignments
Audio Record Lectures for Personal Use
- Student may use their own device to record lectures/discussions for personal use ONLY
- Recordings are not a substitute for attendance
- A note-sharing announcement will be emailed to the course instructor with information on recruiting a note taker
- Faculty will receive one (1) note taker announcement per student in the course requesting a note taker
- Note sharing is not a substitute for attendance
- If you believe that this accommodations does not apply to your course, please contact email@example.com for guidance
Peer Note Sharing and ONLINE Courses
- Video/audio recorded and captioned lectures decrease the need for a peer note taker
- Having the ability to pause, re-play, adjust volume, and/or read the lecture material improves accessibility and learning for all
- Some students may still need access to a note taker due to functional limitations in the areas of writing/typing
- Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for guidance if you believe a note taker is not necessary in your online course
E-Text/Alternate Format for Course Materials
- Electronic version of textbooks and other course materials for accessibility
- When selecting your course text, please select text with alternative formats, and provide your text list to the bookstore as early as possible
- When an e-version is not available, SDRC can assist in identifying alternatives, which can take up to three weeks from the time the student makes the request for alternate media
- Please provide accessible, electronic versions of course readers and course materials
Student makes the request with SDRC and furniture is place in the classroom
The FM system consists of a transmitter microphone used by the speaker (such as the course instructor) and the receiver is used by the SWD
- Medical Disability Related Absence Agreement
Exam Accommodations: In-Class Timed Assessment
Reduced Distraction: Typically a small group testing environment, away from the typical classroom disruptions. Reduced distraction may be in a separate testing environment, away from the classroom, such as the SDRC testing rooms. Reduced distraction may also be achieved within the classroom (with the right environmental modifications).
Extended Testing Time: The amount of extended time for the student with the disability (SWD) is calculated from the time allotted to the class. If the class gets 50 minutes and the SWD is approved for 1.5x extended time, the SWD is allotted 75 minutes for the exam.
Exams in Alternate Format: Exams are converted from their original form to the specified form needed by the SWD. Alternate format exams my include, but are not limited to, electronic text to be used with various adaptive software, Braille, Tactile Graphics/Raised Lined Drawings, screen readers, screen magnifiers, large print, etc. Faculty can help SDRC in the creation of alternate format exams by submitting electronic versions of exams early. Some exam conversions can take a few days to complete.