Faculty Resources Regarding Student Disability Services

Students who have formally disclosed a disability represent approximately 15% of the Dickinson student population, about 10% of whom receive academic accommodations. Disability Services facilitates these and other accommodations and serves as a support and resource for faculty and administrators working with students with disabilities. Dickinson's accommodations policies are in compliance with the ADAAA and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

This page includes the following subsections:

  • Accommodating Students with Disabilities
  • Syllabus Statement
  • Advising Students with Disabilities
  • Meeting with Students and Completing the Confirmation of Accommodations Discussion Form
  • Note-Takers
  • Disabilities, Disorders, and Medical Conditions Represented by Dickinson College Students
  • Video Explanations of the Most Common Cognitive and Learning Disabilities
  • FAQs

Accommodating Students with Disabilities

All faculty are responsible for knowing and adhering to Dickinson's policies for accommodating students with disabilities as required by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act. To ensure that you are aware of Dickinson's academic accommodations policies, please familiarize yourself with the answers to the Frequently Asked Questions found at the bottom of this page. (You may also wish to download a printable pdf of these Faculty FAQs.)

Accommodations are determined following thorough documentation review by Director Marni Jones. The daily facilitation of scheduling, forms management, note-taking support, and more is handled by Stephanie Anderberg, the Program  Coordinator. Proctoring is facilitated by Susan Frommer, our Proctoring Coordinator.

Marni Jones is also the Director of Learning Skills, providing workshops and study skills development for all Dickinson students. Marni trains Peer Advisors to support students through 1:1 sessions on time management and study strategies. Referrals by professors are welcome.  Learning Skills and Disability Services are a part of the Office of Academic Advising.

Syllabus Statement

This is the sample syllabus statement regarding accommodations for students with disabilities that Dickinson College recommends professors incorporate into their syllabi:

Dickinson College makes reasonable academic accommodations for students with documented disabilities according to equal access laws. I am available to discuss the implementation of those accommodations.  Students requesting accommodations must first register with Disability Services to verify their eligibility. After documentation review, Marni Jones, Director of Learning Skills and Disability Services, will provide eligible students with accommodation letters for their professors. Students must obtain a new letter every semester and meet with each relevant professor prior to any accommodations being implemented.  These meetings should occur during the first three weeks of the semester (except for unusual circumstances), and at least one week before any testing accommodations. Disability Services is located in Biddle House. Address inquiries to Stephanie Anderberg at 717-245-1734 or email disabilityservices@dickinson.edu. For more information, see the Disability Services website.

Advising Students with Disabilities

This link takes you to the corresponding section of the Advising Handbook. For much more guidance, see the FAQs for Faculty.

Meeting with Students and Completing the Confirmation of Accommodations Discussion Form 
(which also sets up any test proctoring needed for the semester)

As outlined in the syllabus statement, any student with disabilities seeking academic accommodations must sit down with his or her professor to present a current Accommodation Letter (signed by Marni Jones), and to complete together a Confirmation of Accommodations Discussion Form based on what accommodations will be relevant to that course and how they will be implemented.

While students are encouraged to have this meeting within the first 3 weeks of the semester, this is not mandatory, as what the ADA requires is that a student give "reasonable notice" when requesting an accommodation. Remember that some students may have mid-semester diagnoses, or may have believed that previously granted accommodations would no longer be necessary. We have determined "reasonable notification" to be approximately one week, but circumstances may necessitate either more or less advanced notice. When in doubt, please call Marni at 245-1734.

Because some accommodations may be implemented differently in different classes, and others may not be requested at all, it is critical that professors and students review and complete the Confirmation of Accommodations Discussion Form together. Faculty should not sign the form until it has been completed and all relevant fields (especially test dates, if proctoring is needed) have been filled in.

Thank you very much for working with each student to document the accommodations that will be implemented in your class. Don't forget to:

  • ensure all relevant sections of the form are completed prior to signing
  • make a copy for you and the student
  • encourage your student(s) to return this form to Disability Services as soon as possible

It is essential that we have sufficient time to plan for all exam proctoring, and this will save us all a good deal of effort and paperwork down the road. As soon as we receive student forms that indicate the need for a test proctor (even if that need may be tentative), Susan Frommer, Proctorig Coordinator,  will place that exam on the Proctoring calendar. If you do not receive a confirmation of our intention to proctor by three days prior to your exam, please contact Susan Frommer at Proctoring@dickinson.edu

Likewise, if  a student indicates to you that s/he will no longer be in need of a proctor that was previously requested please notify us.

Note-Takers

Some students in your classes may be in need of a class note-taker, and those students should be bringing you a Memo to Faculty about how to obtain a note-taker.  To expedite the process of getting the notes to the recipient as soon as possible, the memo includes a script that you can read to your class to elicit volunteers. Please ask all volunteers to complete a Note-taker Application Form, and to show you their notes to that you can determine how accurately each student's notes reflect the lecture that you've given.  

If no one volunteers to be a note-taker after your verbal announcement, please try sending an email to your class. Here is a template note-taker seeking email that you can cut and paste into message (and edit as you see fit).   

Thank you for remembering to keep the identity of the recipient of the notes confidential unless informed otherwise.  

Once you’ve chosen a note-taker for the class (or possibly two), please send the following information to   disabilityservices@dickinson.edu:

  • Full and abbreviated class name and section
  • The name of the note-taker(s)
  • Whether the note-taker will be taking notes by hand or computer
  • The intended recipient

Disabilities, Disorders and Medical Conditions represented by Dickinson Students

There are times when a student may share with you his or her diagnosis in hopes that you will have a greater understanding of the impact such a diagnosis may have on his or her participation in the classroom.  Here is a list of links to websites offering information on specific disabilities, disorders, illnesses, and medical conditions.  Also,  please click on this link to view a specific document on ADHD.

Want to Better Understand a Specific Disability?

These brief video clips created by the National Center of Learning Disabilities are a part of their excellent "Ask the Expert" series and will provide viewers with an insightful snapshot to help you to better understand the most prevalent cognitive and learning disabilities.

Learning Disabilities: