Why must I provide academic accommodations for students with disabilities?

In compliance with federal and state laws and University policy, UCLA is committed to ensuring that students with disabilities have full access to all aspects of the university experience that are available to all students. Academic accommodations are designed to provide that access. The Center for Accessible Education (CAE) has been designated as the campus entity that determines a student's eligibility for accommodations and services on the basis of disability.

How will I know whether a student is registered with the CAE and requires academic accommodations?

Once a student submits a request for accommodations via the Student Portal, instructional staff can view a student’s accommodation letter via the Faculty Portal. Please note that you will only be able view accommodations related to classroom instruction.

If I disagree with an accommodation for a given student, do I have any recourse?

Accommodations are designed to remove disability-related barriers to classroom learning. Ifyou believe the specific academic accommodation fundamentally alters the program of study, contact the CAE.

What do I do if a student requests an accommodation that is not included in the accommodations letter?

Do not provide additional accommodations for which you have not received documentation from the CAE without first speaking with a Disability Specialist.

A student approached me and told me that she has a disability and requires accommodations. Am I obligated to provide the accommodations? I don’t know if she is registered with the CAE.

If a student makes a direct request for accommodations and you have not reviewed the accommodations letter for the student in question, please refer them to the CAE. Faculty members should avoid implementing accommodations for students who are not registered with us. In the event that the student is registered with the CAE, it is okay to request an accommodations letter in order to implement approved accommodations.

Are the rules for student conduct different for students with disabilities?

Students with disabilities are held to the same code of conduct standards as any other student in your course.

If a student who is registered with the CAE misses an exam, what should I do?

Please call 310-825-1501 to consult with a CAE Disability Specialist and refer the student to the CAE.

What should I do if a student discloses having a disability after failing an exam?

The faculty member should refer the student to the CAE. Generally, academic accommodations are not applied retroactively. Accommodations are implemented only when a student chooses to disclose their disability status to the CAE and makes a request for academic adjustments.

Should I automatically extend deadlines on assignments or exams for a student registered with the CAE?

Extensions are handled on a case-by-case basis. Ask the student if the need for an extension is related to their disability. If not, please treat the individual like any other student in your class. If this need is related to their disability, please refer the student back to the CAE Disability Specialist if you have not previously received notification about extensions as an accommodation for this student. In some situations, you may have already talked to the CAE Disability Specialist about such an accommodation and have established expectations around extensions. If the student is asking for an extension that is outside of what was previously discussed, please refer the student to the CAE.

When is a student required to notify faculty of a need for accommodations?

A student can notify a faculty member of the need for accommodations at any time during the quarter by requesting their accommodations via the Student Portal and making the accommodations letter available to the professor. Students are encouraged, however, to notify a faculty member of their need for accommodations as early as possible in the quarter.

Is it acceptable to ask a student who is having obvious difficulties whether they have a disability?

A direct inquiry about a possible disability is not recommended. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) states that a public entity may not make unnecessary inquiries into the existence of a disability. A direct inquiry such as this could be considered intrusive or insensitive. Treat a student-of-concern as any student would be treated. Suggest a conference with the student where concerns about the quality of their work can be privately discussed. If a student discloses having a disability, it is acceptable to ask them if they are registered with the CAE.

Can I ask a student to disclose their disability to me?

Requiring that a student disclose their disability to the instructor should be avoided. Although most instructors are open to listening to students who choose to disclose their disabilities – whether such information is solicited or not – it is important that all instructors communicate respect for a student’s privacy regarding the specific nature of their disability. In this vein, comments such as “What is wrong with you?” or “You look normal to me” are not appropriate and might be interpreted as discriminatory.

Is the information regarding a student’s disability and their need for academic accommodations confidential?

Yes. Instructors must maintain a policy of strict confidentiality about the identity of a student with a disability and the disability-related accommodations the student requires.

A student informed me via email that he will be missing a week of class because he has the flu. Should he register with the CAE?

Conditions that are minor and temporary (such as a cold or the flu) do not qualify as disabilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). However, a short-term illness or other impairment may qualify as a disability if it is severe. Refer the student to the CAE in order to determine eligibility for services.

Do I need to include a statement regarding the provision of reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities in the course syllabus?

We encourage all faculty to consider a suggested syllabus statement, directing students to the CAE to register for disability-based accommodations:

If you are already registered with the Center for Accessible Education (CAE), please request your Letter of Accommodation in the Student Portal. If you are seeking registration with the CAE, please submit your request for accommodations via the CAE website. Students with disabilities requiring academic accommodations should submit their request for accommodations as soon as possible, as it may take up to two weeks to review the request. For more information, please visit the CAE website, visit the CAE at A255 Murphy Hall, or contact us by phone at (310) 825-1501.