There are several reasons why a syllabus statement is critical. A syllabus statement normalizes the accommodation process, while helping to create a positive and welcoming environment for students with disabilities. The statement invites the instructor, student, and Disability & Accessibility Services to work together in an interactive and collaborative process when providing legally mandated accommodations. It also serves as a reminder to students who request accommodations that these arrangements need to be made each term.
DAS would like to encourage syllabi statements that focus more on the barriers in the environment and less on the disability. Disability labels can be stigmatizing and perpetuate false stereotypes. When the focus is on barriers in the environment, the problem is redefined and students with disabilities are seen as equally capable as their peers.
Sample Course Accessibility Statements
Berea College values diversity and inclusion and seeks to create a climate of mutual respect and full participation. The goal is to create learning environments that are accessible, equitable, and inclusive. If you encounter barriers based on the impact of a disability or health condition, please let your instructor know immediately so that it can be determined if there is a design adjustment that can be made to the course or if accommodations might be needed to overcome the barriers. You also should contact Lisa Ladanyi (Director of Disability & Accessibility Services [DAS], 111 Lincoln Hall, 859-985-3237, firstname.lastname@example.org) to explore all your options or to establish accommodations for this course.
Feel free to replace “your instructor” with “me” to personalize the statement.
I am committed to supporting the learning of all students in my class. If the design or the instruction of this course result in any barriers to your full participation in this course, please meet with me. I would like for us to discuss ways to ensure your full participation. Together with DAS (Disability & Accessibility Services, 111 Lincoln Hall, 859-985-3237, email@example.com) we can determine how to best achieve this goal. I am open to consider creative solutions as long as they do not compromise the integrity of the course.
A Sample Traditional Course Disability Statement
Berea College will provide reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities to make all learning experiences accessible. If you feel you may need accommodations based on the impact of a disability or health condition, please contact Lisa Ladanyi (DAS – Disability & Accessibility Services, 111 Lincoln Hall, 859-985-3237, firstname.lastname@example.org) to initiate a conversation about your options. Please know that accommodations are not retroactive, so avoid any delays.
An Enhanced Sample Course ADA Statement
Berea College (or I, the instructor) will provide reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities to make all learning experiences accessible. Students are welcome to discuss sensitive topics, including disability-related concerns, with me, which will be kept confidential. However, you must go through DAS procedures to obtain accommodations. Please contact Lisa Ladanyi (DAS – Disability & Accessibility Services, 111 Lincoln Hall, 859-985-3237, email@example.com) to initiate a conversation about your options. Accommodations are not retroactive, so please make the appointment today.