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Responding to Student Requests

Now, let's practice thinking through some case scenarios of situations or accommodation requests you might receive from students at Fordham.

Scenario #1

A student named John contacts you during office hours to talk about how he is struggling with completing his coursework in your class. John says that he doesn't understand why he failed his midterm, and that he has ADHD. John mentions that he found extra time and a distraction free setting useful in high school, but he doesn't want to be "classified" again at the college level. How might you respond to him?

  1. Agree with him that it's not necessary that he sign up for services even though he is not performing as well as he could.

  2. Tell him it's mandatory that he sign up for services with ODS, and that you'll allow him to retake his midterm if he does so.

  3. Encourage him to go talk to the staff at ODS to find out how accommodations are handled differently in college as opposed to high school. Inform him that ODS is not able to tell faculty members what the student's diagnosis is, but only share information about what accommodations a student is eligible for. Let him know that ODS provides services for hundreds of students each year at Fordham, so they are an office that is utilized by many students who have similar concerns.

  4. Encourage him to just study harder next time for his final exam.

Answer to Scenario #1

The most helpful response to this scenario is:

  1. Encourage him to go talk to the staff at ODS to find out how accommodations are handled differently in college as opposed to high school. Inform him that ODS is not able to tell faculty members what the student's diagnosis is, but only share information about what accommodations a student is eligible for. Let him know that ODS provides services for hundreds of students each year at Fordham, so they are an office that is utilized by many students who have similar concerns.

Scenario #2

You suspect that a student named Elizabeth in your class has a learning disability because you notice many errors in her spelling and grammar on an exam, i.e. mistaking "their" for "there", that might suggest that the student has dyslexia. You are unsure what is required of you to assist her. What do you do?

  1. Tell the student that she must go to Disability Services immediately to talk to them because she has a learning disability.

  2. Ask the student in front of the class if she has a disability, and why she didn't give you an accommodation letter yet.

  3. Invite the student to talk to you during office hours. Mention that you noticed a few items in her exam that concerned you. Ask her if she had any supports in school to assist her, such as extended time. If so, you can inform her that there's an office on campus to help her and refer her to ODS. If not, you can let her know that there is a writing center on campus that can assist her with honing her writing skills.

  4. Tell her she needs to go to the writing center to learn how to write properly.

Answer to Scenario #2

The most helpful response to this scenario is:

  1. Invite the student to talk to you during office hours. Mention that you noticed a few items in her exam that concerned you. Ask her if she had any supports in school to assist her, such as extended time. If so, you can inform her that there's an office on campus to help her and refer her to ODS. If not, you can let her know that there is a writing center on campus that can assist her with honing her writing skills.

Scenario #3

The most helpful response to this scenario is:

  1. Invite the student to talk to you during office hours. Mention that you noticed a few items in her exam that concerned you. Ask her if she had any supports in school to assist her, such as extended time. If so, you can inform her that there's an office on campus to help her and refer her to ODS. If not, you can let her know that there is a writing center on campus that can assist her with honing her writing skills.

Answer to Scenario #3

The most helpful responses to this scenario are:

  1. Call ODS and ask if William can also take the test in the office.

and/or

  1. Ask William if you can talk briefly after class. In private, ask him if he would like to use his extended time on the test next week. If so, refer him to fill out his testing request online and/or call ODS to make arrangements for the test.

Scenario #4

Your student, Bobby, arrives a few minutes early to your 7 p.m. evening class; a test is scheduled to begin shortly. He informs you that he is entitled to 1.5x the normal time allotted for the exam. You, however, have not received an ODS letter via email nor a hand delivered one from Bobby. Additionally, the test is scheduled to take the whole 2 hours worth of class time, and you must catch the 9:15 p.m. train home, or be forced to wait until the 10:15 train p.m. What should you do?

  1. Send Bobby to ODS to see if he can take the test there to receive his extra time.

  2. Tell Bobby that he must not be telling the truth because no students you know who are registered with the office would forget to make their arrangements for a test ahead of time. Refuse to give him the extra time.

  3. Explain to Bobby that there is nothing that can be done, at this point, due to the last minute request. Tell him to contact ODS first thing in the morning, so that moving forward in the class, he will be able to receive all of his accommodations, and this won't happen again.

  4. Inform Bobby that you would be willing to allow him to take a make-up exam within 1-2 days if ODS can accommodate his make-up test, and if you receive an accommodation letter from ODS the following day. Inform Bobby if he wants to choose this option that he must go to speak to ODS the following day before 1 p.m. to ensure that an accommodation letter can be sent to you tomorrow.

Answer to Scenario #4

The most helpful responses to this scenario are:

  1. Explain to Bobby that there is nothing that can be done, at this point, due to the last minute request. Tell him to contact ODS first thing in the morning, so that moving forward in the class, he will be able to receive all of his accommodations, and this won't happen again.

and/or

  1. Inform Bobby that you would be willing to allow him to take a make-up exam within 1-2 days if ODS can accommodate his make-up test, and if you receive an accommodation letter from ODS the following day. Inform Bobby if he wants to choose this option that he must go to speak to ODS the following day before 1 p.m. to ensure that an accommodation letter can be sent to you tomorrow.

*It is up to your discretion whether you would feel comfortable allowing the student the ability to take a make-up exam with accommodations. Since the student had not identified the need for an accommodation prior to the exam date you are not required to provide accommodations in this scenario if you do not wish to do so.

Certificate of Completion

ODS Certificate of Completion

Questions?

If you have any follow-up questions as you are accommodating students, please do not hesitate to contact us so we can help you!

Please email us at disabilityservices@forham.edu to let us know that you have completed this program, so we can add you to our list of trained faculty. Our goal is that we have 100% of all tenured and adjunct faculty members complete this program!

Thank you for participating in the ODS Faculty Training Program!