Faculty Frequently Asked Questions
Who is the ADA contact?
For the main campus in St. Louis, please contact:
Shelley Wolfmeyer, Academic ADA Coordinator
At extended campuses, please contact the Site Director or staff designee regarding ADA concerns.
If a student self-discloses a disability to me, what should I do?
Direct the student to the Academic ADA Coordinator in the Academic Resource Center. The Academic ADA Coordinator will request the required documentation from the student and work with the student to determine the appropriate accommodations for all classes.
What is a reasonable accommodation?
Accommodations are granted on a case-by-case basis. Accommodations do not compromise the essential elements of a course or curriculum, nor do they weaken the academic standards or integrity of a course. Accommodations provide an alternative way to accomplish the course requirements by eliminating or reducing disability-related barriers. They provide a level playing field, not an unfair advantage.
Can I challenge an accommodation?
Faculty members are welcome to discuss accommodations with the ADA Coordinator. The accommodation process is interactive, and there is often more than one way provide equal access for a student. Input from faculty members is appreciated. However, federal law requires the University to provide accommodations, and the decision as to what is appropriate rests with the Academic ADA Coordinator.
What is the procedure for receiving accommodations?
Webster's accommodation process involves four steps, and it is often interactive because faculty members play an important part in the accommodation process:
Step 1: Application and Documentation
To receive support services, the students provide the Academic ADA Coordinator with documentation of their disabilities. Documentation must submitted from a qualified professional.
Step 2: Eligibility Evaluation
Decisions regarding accommodations are the result a discussion between students and the Academic ADA Coordinator. Accommodations are based on the students’ experiences, barriers, prior accommodation histories, documented suggestions, recommendations from prior instructors, and best practices.
Step 3: Faculty Notification Letters
A copy of the accommodation letter is sent to instructors prior to the beginning of each term or semester via email. Letters are sent from firstname.lastname@example.org.
Step 4: Accommodation Effectiveness Evaluation
Throughout a student’s career at Webster University, information from instructors, advisors and the student is used to assess the effectiveness of current accommodations.
If I receive a letter of accommodation for a student, do I have to implement the accommodations immediately?
Please implement the accommodations as soon as you are able to do so. Students are informed to speak with their instructors regarding the accommodations needed in each class; however, it is helpful when an instructor is proactive and (discretely) speaks with the students about their needs. Instructors should also include a statement in their syllabi regarding accommodations and disability services. A copy of a syllabus statement can be found on the Academic Resource Center’s website.
Will I receive a copy of the student’s medical or disability documentation?
No. Documentation and the specific diagnosis are confidential, and the information will be kept with the Academic ADA Coordinator. The Academic ADA Coordinator may share information with you only upon the consent of the student. Otherwise, it is up to the student to choose to share that information with faculty members.
Can I talk to the students and ask them questions about their disabilities?
Students are encouraged to discuss their disabilities with faculty members. However, it is up to the students to share as much or as little as the students are comfortable with. You should not ask questions unless you are invited to do so by the students. If there is something that you think you need to know to be more effective in teaching the students, please discuss it with the Academic ADA Coordinator. If you observe students struggling and suspect they need accommodations, you can refer them to the Academic ADA Coordinator in the Academic Resource Center.
Who should I contact if I have questions about supporting students with accommodations?
The Academic ADA Coordinator is available to answer questions about supporting students with accommodations. Although the students’ medical information or diagnosis cannot be shared, the Academic ADA Coordinator can work with faculty members on how best to implement accommodations or create strategies that will work best for students in their courses.
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