The DRS office is providing assistance virtually and in person. We have returned to our office, building 37N, for business. Please contact the office by email at DrsFrontDesk@mesacc.edu or phone at 480-461-7447 to schedule an appointment. DRS is also offering real-time assistance via Cranium Cafe.

Faculty Responsibilities

Instructors play a vital role in the accommodations process and are primarily responsible for implementing the determined accommodations listed in the Faculty Notification Letter (FNL) in a timely manner. Other responsibilities include:

  • Educating yourself on applicable laws, regulations and MCCCD policies relating to students with disabilities
  • Ensuring your syllabi includes the mandatory DRS Syllabus Statement
  • Providing only the accommodations listed in the FNL unless it is an accommodation that you are willing to offer all students in the class.
  • Contact DRS if there are questions or concerns about requested adjustments, for assistance in identifying the best method for providing accommodations for students enrolled in classes, or if you have concerns about a student’s academic/personal difficulties.
  • Referring any student to DRS who is requesting adjustments but does not present a FNL
  • Reviewing our FAQ page for additional information and clarification relating to the accommodations process
  • Ensure instructional materials are accessible. DRS can collaborate with faculty to ensure access. This may include: video captioning, transcripts of audio lectures/podcasts, and accessible materials (i.e. course packs, lecture exhibits). Accessible materials are encouraged at all times as part of Universal Design for Learning.

Is my class accessible?

Universal Design or UDL is a set of best practices to help instructors meet the needs of all learners. Please refer to the CTL page on accessible course materials for more information.

This is a basic checklist to achieve online course content accessibility. DRS is happy to provide consultation for more complex situations. The goal is to be able to answer yes to all of the following questions.

Syllabus

Video and Audio

  • Is all video content captioned?
  • Are transcripts available for video-based materials that were not able to be captioned?
  • Are transcripts available for audio-based materials?

Documents

  • Can text be highlighted, copied, and pasted?
  • Were headings used?
  • Were headings used properly so that a heading level was NOT skipped?
    • Good: H1, H2, H2, H3, H3, H3, H2, H2
    • Bad: H1, H3, H3, H2, H5, H4. (for example, H2 was skipped)
  • Is there sufficient color contrast between text and background colors?
  • Do images (which offer important information not contained in the text) include text descriptions?
  • Was the built-in MS Office Accessibility Checker used?
  • View Creating accessible Word documents from Microsoft Office Support for more information.

PowerPoint Presentation Slides

Excel Workbooks

If you cannot answer yes to any of the questions, please reach out to DRS and we will be happy to assist you with the conversion of materials.

Do’s and Don’ts

Access Dos

Access Don'ts

  • Incorporate principles of Universal Design for Learning.
  • Include the DRS statement in your syllabus.
  • Assist students in following the District’s policies. All requests for accommodations should be made through DRS. Individual instructors should avoid making informal accommodation arrangements. This protects students, faculty, and the institution by ensuring consistency and takes much of the burden off individual faculty members, who are often ill-equipped to determine whether an accommodation is appropriate or how to provide it
  • Refuse to provide reasonable accommodations, or the academic adjustments that have been approved by DRS. Eligibility for services and accommodations under the ADA is solely the job of DRS.
  • Make assumptions about a student’s ability to participate in the class or work in a particular field. Concerns that students may not be able to succeed are usually based on assumptions, not facts.
  • Be rude or share negative judgments.

Confidentiality Dos

Confidentiality Don’ts

  • Treat disability information which has been disclosed to you as confidential and respect the privacy of students with disabilities.
  • Communicate with team instructors or coordinators to ensure accommodations are properly implemented.
  • Confer with the student privately about how DRS-approved accommodation(s) will be implemented.
  • Disclose the details of a student’s accommodation or details about a student’s disability to others who do not have a direct educational need to know.
  • Ask a student about their disability or underlying medical condition.Questions should be directed to the DRS Program Advisor listed in the FNL. Confidential information about a student may be shared when required in order for the instructor to facilitate access

Accommodation & Testing Dos

Accommodation & Testing Don’ts

  • Recognize that some students are eligible to record your lectures as an accommodation.
  • Ensure that time adjustments have been made in Canvas on exams and quizzes
  • Refuse to permit students to record lectures as an accommodation, when DRS approved recording as an accommodation. See Accommodations Guidelines: Recording of Class Lectures for more information.
  • Refuse to provide copies of handouts, or orally describe information written on the chalkboard, or face the class when referring to something written on the chalkboard, etc., if these accommodations have been determined to be appropriate for a student.
  • Refuse to provide approved extended time for tests or assignments for students with an approved accommodation on the mistaken assumption that doing so would require that all students be given additional time.