Frequently Asked Questions

How will I know if I need to provide accommodations for a student?

            Once a student has completed their registration with DS, they are encouraged to provide their instructors with an accommodation letter within the first two weeks of each semester. The accommodation letter lists the student’s requested academic accommodations for a specific course and provides a detailed description as well as any necessary instructions for each accommodation. Please note that accommodations go into effect once the accommodation letter has been delivered to the instructor. Accommodations are not expected to be applied retroactively.

Please remember that the confidentiality of students with disabilities, as well as any disability-related information a student may share, is essential. At no time should the class be informed that a student has a disability, except in certain cases at the student’s expressed request. DS strongly recommends that students meet with each of their instructors at the beginning of the semester to discuss their accommodation needs. Students are responsible for notifying DS if accommodations are not in place or accommodations are not effective for a specific course. DS encourages instructors to contact us with any questions or concerns regarding students with disabilities and/or students’ accommodations.


What if a student requests accommodations without an accommodation letter?

            If a student requests accommodations for a disability but has not provided their professor with an accommodation letter from DS, please refer the student to DS for further assistance. However, if the disability is visible (e.g. use of a wheelchair) and the accommodation request is reasonable, it is appropriate to provide the accommodation while the student is in the process of registering with DS.


What are the types of academic and classroom accommodations through YSU?


What accommodations do I, as the professor, have to provide?

            CSP Disability Services (DS) is happy to work with the faculty and staff of Youngstown State University, to assist in the accommodating of students with disabilities on campus. We have gathered some information that may assist you in the accommodation process. Please contact our office at (330) 941-1372 with any questions of concerns you may have about a student’s accommodations.


Faculty Awareness

Disability Services provides students and faculty with assistance and information in meeting the requirements of Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Legislative compliance involves providing reasonable accommodations to qualified students with disabilities regarding educational opportunities, programs, and activities.

In order to receive academic accommodations, students must register with Disability Services. Documentation of the student’s disability must be provided to the Disability Services Coordinator. The coordinator, along with the student, will determine which accommodations are appropriate for that student.

Accommodations based upon individual functional limitations may include but are not limited to:

  • Extended times to take exams
  • Taking exams in quiet location by themselves
  • Course substitutions
  • A scribe to write for a student
  • Use of a computer to take an exam
  • Tape-recording of class lectures
  • Usage of other students’ notes
  • Access to faculty member’s lecture notes
  • Extended time to perform lab experiments
  • Usage of adaptive computer equipment
  • Use of sign language interpreters
  • Use of real-time captions
  • Usage of taped texts of syllabi
  • Preferential or special seating
  • Early registration
  • Use of large print on exams and handouts
  • Providing a reader for exams
  • Use of a calculator on math exams


Faculty Legal Responsibilities

Youngstown State University must follow Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 in providing the students with documented disabilities accommodations to “afford them an equal opportunity to participate in, and enjoy the benefits of a service, program, or activity conducted by an entity”. As an employee of the University, you must also follow these laws. It is also important for faculty and staff to respect the confidentiality of students’ disability-related information.

When unclear on how to appropriately accommodate students with disabilities, Disability Services will work with the faculty member to meet the accommodation needs of his/her students. A coordinator at DS can arrange a meeting with the student and a faculty member to discuss accommodations.


What does DS recommend I, the faculty member, do on the first day of class?

It is recommended that on the first day of classes, faculty announce that if any student is in need of disability-related accommodations, he/she should connect the professor during office hours or by phone. The University has an approved disability accommodation statement to be included on each syllabus.

By taking these measures, a student will feel comfortable and are more likely to self-disclose disability issues in a private setting. The faculty member’s willingness to accommodate students with disabilities is also made evident.

For students with visual impairments or mobility impairments, faculty should discuss with the student how emergency evacuations will be handled. If faculty members or students with disabilities are uncomfortable with proposed evacuation plans, Disability Services can assist in formulating an alternative plan.


How will I, as a professor, know if a student needs an accommodation?

            Once a student has completed the DS registration process, the student is encouraged to provide a professor with an accommodation letter as soon as possible at the beginning of the semester. This letter lists the accommodations the student has a right to receive in class. If you have any questions or concerns about an accommodation, please do not address the student, call DS and speak to a coordinator. Our office number is (330) 941- 1372. Please note that accommodations go into effect once the letter has been delivered to the instructor and are not expected to be applied retroactively by the instructor.

            Please remember that the student’s disability and any disability-related information they share with you is confidential. Please do not share it with the class or anyone else without the student’s consent. DS recommended that the student meet with each of their professor at the beginning of the semester to discuss their accommodation needs for class. The students are responsible for contacting DS if the accommodations are not effective for a specific course. If a student requests an accommodation for a disability and it is not on their accommodation letter, please refer the student to DS for assistance. Professors should contact DS with any questions or concerns about the use of an accommodation in their course.

            If a student requests accommodations for a disability but they do not have a current (dated for the semester) accommodation letter, please refer the student to DS for assistance.

            If you have any questions or concerns, please contact CSP Disability Services at (330) 941- 1372.


How do professors handle exam and quiz accommodations?

            If one of a student’s accommodations includes testing accommodations, a professor may choose to accommodate the student themselves. For example, a distraction reduced testing environment could be in your office. Please keep in mind that taking a test in the classroom with other students is not distraction reduced. It may seem quiet to you, but you may not hear or react to the same things as the student. The professor and student should discuss where the student will take his/her exams when the accommodation letter is discussed.

            If instructors are not able to provide the testing accommodation the student needs for testing, the student may take the exam at the DS office. The DS office will proctor the exam providing the student with their accommodations, while following the professor’s directions to keep the integrity of the exam.

            Any incidents of improper test taking, as defined by the University’s Code of Conduct, will be handled as if the incident occurred in the classroom. If cheating is evident, the proctor will contact the professor with a written explanation of what occurred. It is expected that the instructors hold the student accountable for their actions as they would any other student.

            Due to class schedule and extended time, students may request to take their exams at a different time and/or day. Keeping in mind it is important for a student to attend all classes, it is the professor who is giving the exam’s decision if the student may to change the time and/or day of the exam. Please let DS know immediately if there is a request for a change and you have not approved it.

            Please note the DS office is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. We will proctor exams for night classes. Please be aware that all night exams start at 5:10 p.m. regardless of the time the class starts.

            Please review “Professors Guide to DS Testing” for answers to additional questions about testing.


What are student’s responsibilities?

            If a student requires academic accommodations, the student must schedule an appointment with DS to determine the accommodations that are needed. During the appointment, students provide DS documentation of how the disability affects the learning process. That student and the DS staff person discuss how the disability has been accommodated in the past and how they can be accommodated at the college level. Accommodations may not be provided until proper documentation is provided and the interactive process is complete.

            The student must provide his/her instructor with a copy of the accommodation letter provided by DS if they feel they need accommodations in a course. The instructor is not obligated to provide the student accommodations if he/she has not received an accommodation letter from the student and a discussion has taken place about the accommodations needed in that particular course. As the student becomes familiar with a course, they may feel the need to request an adjustment in the accommodations for the course. DS encourages students to communicate with the instructor of each course to keep the communication of their needs out in the open. If the student feels they need additional accommodations that are not o their current accommodation letter, the student should consult with the coordinator at DS to see if an adjustment needs to be made in their accommodation letter or if a referral to another department needs to be made.


What are some of the responsibilities of the faculty?

            Faculty members of YSU are required by federal law to provide reasonable accommodations to students with disabilities. If you believe an accommodation fundamentally alters your course requirements, please contact DS so we can discuss how the student’s requirements can be met in your course.

            The University requests all professors to include the approved disability accommodation statement in their syllabus. The University also mandates the inclusion of non-discrimination statement.

            If a student approaches you about a disability and the need for accommodations, please refer the student to the DS office. A student may try to give you a copy of their documentation; they may not know the correct process. Please refer them to the DS office.

            Confidentiality of student’s disability is very important. The student should not be identified as having a disability to the class or other students without the student’s permission. It is recommended that all disability related conversations take place in the professor’s office or in a private area away from other students.


Is it fair to other students to provide accommodations to students with disabilities?

Providing a needed accommodation to a student with a disability is not giving the student an unfair advantage. It is providing the student the needed accommodations they need to have the same opportunities as the other students in the course. The University must ensure that a qualified student with a disability is not denied the benefit of the University’s program or that they are not excluded from a program because of the absence of auxiliary aids or services.