FAQ Faculty General

A student in my class is requesting an extension on their homework assignment, but their accommodation letter doesn’t say how many additional days I should allow them. How do I know how much additional time to provide?

Guidance on implementing assignment extension accommodations

Allowance for extensions on take-home assignments may be needed to address the impact of some student's disabilities. Students who may need this accommodation include students who take longer to produce assignments because they use assistive technology (for example, speech to text) or students who have periodic flares of illness that may sometimes interfere with meeting deadlines.

Students with an assignment extension accommodation must communicate the need for an extension on each assignment unless otherwise...

What if I object to a recommendation in DSP's letter of accommodation?

Please contact the Disability Specialist who sent the accommodation letter to resolve any logistical or other concerns you may have. The Disability Specialists know that their recommendations can occasionally inadvertently compromise the purposes or standards of a class, and they are ready to discuss such concerns with you. You are not obligated to fundamentally alter the objectives of your course.

When DSP and an instructor disagree regarding the appropriateness of an accommodation for a particular course, the...

How far in advance must students with disabilities inform an instructor about needed accommodations?

Students who work with DSP are strongly urged to request and send letters of accommodation as soon as they register for a course or become eligible for accommodations. However, the University must make every effort to accommodate students, regardless of the timing of the notice of a student's need for accommodations. DSP may be able to assist with late requests. Please contact the Disability Specialist who sent the student’s accommodation letter if you need assistance.

A student with a disability is enrolled in my class. What adjustments or other accommodations must I make?

If the student is being served by DSP, you will receive a letter of accommodation that specifically describes the accommodations to which a student is entitled to ensure their equal access to your course. If a student requests accommodations on the basis of disability and you have not yet received an accommodation letter, then you should ask the student to log in to their DSP account via the DSP website to request that a letter of accommodation from DSP is sent to you. Once you have been sent the electronic copy of the accommodation letter, you are then required to provide...

As I’m planning my class, is there anything I can do to make my class more accessible so students require fewer accommodations to participate in my class?

We’re so glad you asked! The more accessible your class is for students with disabilities, the fewer accommodations students will require to participate in your class. As an additional benefit, when your class is more accessible for students with disabilities, it will be more accessible for students without disabilities, too!

The paradigm of Universal Design recognizes that disability is just one facet of an individual’s identity and that disability is neither negative nor an inherent barrier to access. Universal Design asks us to consider for...

The location of my classroom was changed to accommodate a student with a disability. How could a change of classroom location serve as a disability accommodation?

Sometimes a student with disabilities may need to have a classroom location changed in order to have full access to your course. Most frequently, this is because a classroom was not fully accessible for a student who is using a wheelchair for mobility, because the building is in a campus location that the student has significant difficulty physically travelling to and from because of the impact of their disability, or because the classroom lacks the technology needed for real-time captioning. If you have any concerns about the change, please contact a DSP Disability Specialist...

Are there ways for students to receive approval of or support for academic accommodations other than through DSP?

Yes. Students may request accommodations through other processes and offices, including the Title IX office, Path to Care, and the Center for Support and Intervention. For questions about accommodations for reasons other than disability (for example, Title IX accommodations), please reach out to the referring office with questions. More information is available at Academic Accommodations Hub

How is the decision made that a student needs accommodations? How does a student become eligible for DSP services?

Not every student with a disability attending UC Berkeley is utilizing DSP services. The decision to connect with DSP is an individual choice for students with disabilities. If a student believes that they will require accommodations to have equal access to participate in their program at Berkeley, they need to take the formal step of applying for accommodations.

Students first apply online to create an account with DSP that will allow our office to keep students’ disability records separate from their academic and other campus records....

A DSP student has an accommodation to use a laptop, and I do not allow laptops in my classroom.

Some students use assistive technology on a laptop to assist them with note taking. If a DSP student has an accommodation for the use of a laptop for disability-related reasons, please allow the DSP student to use their laptop. It is also important to allow the student to sit where they choose as the student may need to sit near the front as an accommodation for their disability as well.

In your syllabus, please state that students who need a laptop should contact the instructor to request an exception. In...

Can I, instead of offering a make-up exam, require the student to roll the points for the missed exam into future exams?

Faculty may offer this as an option to students. However, if the student has a documented disability-related need for a make-up exam as verified by the Disability Specialist, then the student has a right to take a make-up exam. The exam may be an alternate exam of the same format and difficulty as the original exam. The faculty member may also choose to administer the same exam and have the student sign an academic honesty agreement.