What can I do to help prevent problems related to students with disabilities in my classes?

Your responsibilities are to: 1) assure equal opportunity in your classes for all students, including those with disabilities who are qualified to be in your classes; and to 2) protect DSP students' confidentiality. You can also make sure all course-related websites are accessible to users with various disabilities, in particular those with print disabilities. See the Web Accessibility website.

Per Dr. Catherine Koshland, Vice Chancellor of Undergraduate Education, February 18, 2015 e-mail to Faculty, she notes: 

"Each faculty has the responsibility* to identify instructional materials for his or her courses far enough in advance of the semester that the Disabled Students Program has adequate time to convert them into an accessible format, e.g., Braille, large print, digital/electronic. Timely submission of textbook adoptions enables the University to meet its legal requirement to provide students with disabilities an equal educational opportunity to learn course subject matter, to participate actively in classroom discussions, and to meet assignment deadlines." 

Dr Koshland further noted suggestions to increase accessibility:

  • Work with the Disabled Students Program to provide students with print disabilities a copy of the course textbook/reader in an accessible format (note: for conversion purposes, it is important that course-reader text be clean and legible);
  • Meet textbook/reader identification deadlines to allow timely conversion and thus equal educational opportunity for students with print disabilities.
  • For more tips, please visit http://teaching.berkeley.edu/textbook-affordability-accessibility

August 10, 2015, Dr. Claude Steele sent out an e-mail regarding various accommodations, including accommodations for students with disabilities:

Instructors are reminded of their responsibilities for accommodating disabilities in the classroom in the following areas:

  • Confidentiality:  Information about a student’s disability is confidential, and may not be shared with other students.
  •  Role of Instructor: Course instructors play a critical role in enabling the University to meet its obligation to appropriately accommodate students with disabilities who are registered with the Disabled Students Program (DSP) and who have been issues a Letter of Accommodation.
  • Reading Assignments in Advance:
  1. Because students with print disabilities usually need assistance from the DSP Alternative Media Center, reading materials should be provided well in advance (two or more weeks) before the reading assignment due date
  2. Required or Recommended: Always indicate which course readings (including bCourse postings) are either “required” readings, or “recommended.” 
  3. Accessible Format: Reading materials (especially bCourse postings) should be provided in an “accessible format,” e.g., clearly legible, “clean” (without stray marks, highlighting, or mark-ups), and whenever possible, in a Word Document or word-searchable PDF.

For more information about accommodations for students with disabilities, please contact the Disabled Students Program at 510-642-0518 .