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Learning Accessibility Services

For Faculty and Staff

Carthage College is committed to ensuring equal educational opportunity, employment, and access to services, programs, and activities for all Carthage students, faculty, and staff. Employees of the College may contact the Department of Human Resources in Lentz Hall 434, 262-551-6034 regarding issues with accessibility and disability services and rights at Carthage.

Faculty and staff have a responsibility to provide equal educational access to all Carthage students, which includes supporting students with disabilities. Please see below for ways faculty and staff may support students in their classrooms.

Supporting Students with Disabilities in the Classroom

  • Provide students with a detailed course syllabus. Whenever possible make it available prior to the start of classes.
  • Use the College’s course management system to make course materials and grades available to students.
  • Clearly spell out expectations (e.g., grading, assignments, due dates, location of texts).
  • Start each class with an outline of material to be covered that day. At the end of class, briefly summarize key points.
  • Offer a variety of assessments, including tests and quizzes, class participation, projects, and papers.
  • Support students who are entitled to accommodations by respecting their privacy and following through on your end of the alternative test taking process.
  • Whenever possible, select text materials that are readily available in electronic or audio format.
  • Create accessible audio, visual, and print course materials (see below).
  • Encourage students to use academic support resources such as the Library, the Writing Center, and Tutoring and Supplemental Instruction.
  • Familiarize yourself with services available to students through the Learning Accessibility Services Office.

Learning Accessibility Services for Faculty/Staff

Learning Accessibility Services can provide services to faculty and staff, aiding them in supporting their students. Please consult Learning Accessibility Services if you need information about the following:

  • Verifying student’s special needs
  • Identifying appropriate classroom accommodations
  • Providing information about disabilities
  • Clarifying roles and responsibilities of faculty and students

Syllabus Statement

Please use one of these statements in your syllabus to encourage students with disabilities to notify you of their academic accommodations in a timely manner.

Purpose

  • To show you welcome students with disabilities into your class and are fulfilling your legal responsibility to provide necessary accommodations in your classroom
  • To facilitate your relationships with students with disabilities.
  • To inform students of the appropriate process and contact person for their disability support needs.

 Sample statement 1

If you have a documented disability and anticipate needing accommodations in this class, please make arrangements to meet with me soon. Also, please contact Diane Schowalter, Director of Learning Accessibility Services in Hedberg Library room 214 (dschowalter1@carthage.edu) and provide a letter verifying your disability and specific accommodations you may need. If you have any trouble accessing any course content or resources please contact me and Learning Accessibility Services and we will work with you to resolve any difficulties.

sample statement 2

Please address any special needs or special accommodations with me at the beginning of the semester. Those seeking accommodations should also meet with Diane Schowalter, Director of Learning Accessibility Services in Hedberg Library room 214 (dschowalter1@carthage.edu) and provide a letter verifying the disability and specific accommodation needs. If you have any trouble accessing any course content or resources please contact me and Learning Accessibility Services and we will work with you to resolve any difficulties.

Testing Accommodations

Accommodations frequently include extended time and a separate room for testing. Having extended time is important for students who read or process information more slowly than their peers or have focus and anxiety issues. Some students need to test outside of the classroom. Students are welcome to take tests and quizzes in the Testing Center in Hedberg Library room 216. The Testing Center is staffed by graduate students and there are many hours available each weekday. It is the student’s responsibility to schedule at the Testing Center and to remind you to email the test to the Testing Center (testingcenter@carthage.edu) or deliver it to room 216 in Hedberg Library.

instructor responsibility for testing accommodations

Please email (testingcenter@carthage.edu) or drop off your test or quiz to the Testing Center in Hedberg Library room 216 at least one day in advance of the student’s testing appointment. Be specific about any instructions for administering the test and any materials the student is permitted to use (notes, textbooks, internet, calculator, etc.). The proctor will scan and email the completed test or quiz to you unless you specify otherwise. hard copies of completed tests and quizzes are available in the Testing Center for approximately 30 days.

Creating Accessible Course Materials

Faculty and staff creating content for courses must use technology in a manner that can be accessed by all users. Please keep in mind that students interact with electronic documents, websites, software, hardware, video, and audio technologies during the course of their college careers. Also be cognizant that some students may be unable to use the content you create in the same manner as others.

When Faculty Are TOO Accommodating!

Jane E. Jarrow, Ph.D.

Most faculty members in higher education today understand the legal and educational imperatives that mandate equal access to students with disabilities through academic accommodation. Sometimes, though, problems arise from faculty who are readily prepared to provide appropriate accommodation — it is their accommodating nature that can get them, the institution, and (sometimes) the student into trouble!

Most institutions have established a clearly articulated policy as to who holds the documentation of disability, what steps a student must take to declare their need for disability-related accommodations, and how that information is communicated to faculty. But what of the student who says, “I don’t want to go through the disability services office. I want to advocate for myself and work directly with faculty and negotiate my own accommodations.” Regardless of why students choose to go this independent route (and there are both good and bad reasons for taking such a stance), the faculty member who agrees to disregard institutional policy and honor accommodation requests directly from the student may not be doing anyone a favor!

Personal Jeopardy

Faculty members who work directly with students, discuss the disability, (possibly) look over the documentation, and agree to accommodation may be establishing themselves as the “gatekeepers” without meaning to do so. If the faculty member agrees to provide accommodation “x” and not accommodation “y” and later the student maintains that he/she was not appropriately accommodated, it is the faculty member’s decision that is subject to question and the faculty member who could conceivably be held responsible for violating this student’s civil rights. The faculty member who agrees to provide accommodations without institutional authorization for a student with one disability (for example, LD) but is less familiar and comfortable with another disability (for example, ADD) and sends that student back through channels for official documentation could be opening himself/herself up for charges of discrimination, intimidation, or harassment. Faculty members who conscientiously try to make life easier for the student by allowing the student to bring the documentation directly to them may gain access to confidential information to which they should not be privy. For all these reasons, it would be best for faculty not to be drawn into the collection of disability documentation or the decision-making regarding accommodation.

Institutional Jeopardy

The student who provides documentation to a single faculty member (who accepts and acts on that documentation) may be able to make a legitimate case for saying the he/she informed the institution of the disability and the need for accommodation. The faculty member should not be discussing the information that has been shared (because of issues of privacy and confidentiality), and yet the student may be expecting to receive similar consideration and accommodation from other faculty on the basis of having provided the documentation to someone in authority at the institution. If it is not made clear that the institution has not been “notified” until the documentation is provided and requests are made from such-and-such an office, the institution may not be in a position to defend itself from charges of discrimination by neglect for a student who does not receive accommodation by others within the institution. Or consider this scenario — Professor A accepts the documentation and provides accommodation without going through channels, as do Professors B and C, and then Professor D says, “I will provide accommodations when I receive proper notification from the disability services office that this is appropriate.” Professor D looks like the villain for following the rules! More distressing, however, is the possibility that the institution may be facing some very real difficulties if the disability services office determines that some of the accommodations that Professors A, B, and C provided were not warranted by the documentation and does not prescribe those same accommodations for Professor D to provide.

Student Jeopardy

Students with disabilities will still have those disabilities after they leave the postsecondary environment. Whether they choose to go on to graduate or professional school or seek a place in the world of work, chances are that if they needed accommodations to successfully function in higher education, they may need accommodation in their future endeavors as well. More and more often, those settings beyond the postsecondary experience are ready and willing to provide accommodations on the basis of verification from the higher education institution that those same accommodations have been provided during the student’s postsecondary career. If the student has no record of having been served by the institution — if the student was never on file in the disability services office and received all of his/her accommodations through individual discussion with faculty — that student will have no official history of being regarded or served as a person with a disability and may have a much more difficult time establishing the claim to accommodations in the future.

Bottom line: The policies and procedures were established for everyone’s protection. Everyone needs to play by the rules!

****************************

Excerpted from the DAIS Newsletter, February, 1997 (Volume I, No. 2).
Reprinted with permission

  • Quick Facts

    • Carthage is named a Best Midwestern College by The Princeton Review (2017), a designation given to only 25 percent of four-year schools.

    • Scheduled to open in fall 2018, a new residential tower will offer suite-style housing and two floors of shared campus spaces for gaming, cooking, group meetings, or quiet studying. Learn more about The Tower

    • You’re going to need brain fuel. Grab a morning coffee and a snack and Starbucks or Einstein Bros. Bagels. Later, meet friends at “The Caf,” where the specials change daily but the staples are constant, or swing through “The Stu” for wins, a burrito, or a sub. A new option, Carthage Cash, even covers some off-campus meals.

    • 96% of Carthage alumni report that they have secured a job or are continuing their studies six months after graduation. Visit Career Services.

    • 91% of employers say critical thinking, communication, and problem-solving skills matter more than your major when it comes to career success. Learn more about how the liberal arts prepare you for a successful career.

    • Lots of schools wear the four-year label. Carthage stands behind it. 95% of Carthage graduates earn their degrees in four years. Learn more

    • Oscars. Emmys. Tonys. Golden Globes. The playwrights we’ve brought in have them. Each year, the Carthage Theatre Department commissions an original script by a renowned playwright for its New Play Initiative. Carthage students then work with the writer to stage it. 

    • As a freshman in the highly selective Honors Program, learn how to gain expertise in anything from music to forest ecology. After that, tackle a contemporary social, economic, or political problem. If you like, you can live on an Honors-only floor of a Carthage residence hall. 

    • In 2016 and 2017, Carthage was named a top producer of Fulbright Scholars by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs.

    • Things look new at Carthage because they are. Our athletic and recreation center, student union, computer labs, audiovisual production suite, and numerous residence halls have all been constructed or newly renovated in the last 10 years. Our new science center caps it off.

    • Carthage offers majors, minors and concentrations in more than 50 areas of study, from archaeology to athletic training, neuroscience to music theatre.

    • Our Summer Undergraduate Research Experience offers select students a research budget, one-on-one mentoring with a professor, and 10 weeks of analyzing, deciphering — and getting paid.

    • So the lake is kind of a focal point, but there’s a lot more to love about our campus — like the fact that our 80-acre campus is also an arboretum and wildlife sanctuary. Focused on keeping campus lush forever, we plant between 50 and 75 new trees every year from a variety of species.

    • Carthage was founded in 1847. That’s more than 170 years of leaders, makers, and go-getters going out and going forth. Read more about Carthage’s rich history.

    • More than 90 percent of our students receive financial aid, a hefty chunk of which is scholarships and grants — including $1.25 million annually from the Presidential Scholarship Competition and numerous Merit Scholarships. Learn what’s available.

    • Abraham Lincoln was an early Trustee of the College, and U.S. Secretary of State John Hay was a Carthage alum. The two still have a proud place on our campus. Spend some time with them in our Sesquicentennial Plaza. On warm days you’ll find professors leading their classes here.

    • Come to Carthage; hear yourself think — think … think …
      Legend has it that Sesquicentennial Plaza holds a perfect echo. Just stand with both your feet on the “1847,” face Straz, and start talking. “You’re the only one who can hear you, but you’ll be crystal clear,” promises English and theatre alumna Mikaley Osley.

    • Our Great Lake provides Carthage students with some amazing views. Think classes on the beach, lake views from the lab, and sunrises from your dorm room. “I love waking up in the morning with the sun shining off the lake. Nothing compares to the view in the morning,” says biology and neuroscience major Ann O’Leary.

    • Carthage awards up to 30 Presidential Scholarships each year, which range from 75% tuition up to full tuition, room, and board. Learn more.

    • For a full decade, NASA has selected Carthage students to conduct research aboard its zero-gravity aircraft. Lately, the stakes have risen. A team of underclassmen is grinding to prepare a tiny but powerful Earth-imaging satellite for launch to the International Space Station. Learn more about the space sciences at Carthage

    • Carthage is the only college or university in the Midwest where every freshman takes a full-year sequence of foundational texts of the Western intellectual tradition. Learn about the Carthage core.

    • With a student-faculty ratio of 12:1, your professors will know who you are. They will also know who you want to be — and how to get you there. Meet our faculty.

    • There are more than 120 student organizations on campus, from Amnesty International to Chemistry Club, to Frisbee and Latin Belly Dancing. See how easy it is to get involved.

    • True story: There are more than 27 art galleries, a dozen museums, and nine theatres within 25 miles of Carthage. Some highlights: The nationally recognized Racine Art Museum, the world-renowned Art Institute of Chicago, and the Milwaukee Art Museum. Learn more about our location.

    • What’s better than one professor? Two professors. What’s better than two professors? Two professors from totally different fields teaching a single class. There’s debate. Discussion. Differing perspectives. This is where the magic happens. That’s why every student takes a Carthage Symposium.

    • Imagine presenting your original research at an international conference — as an undergraduate. Carthage is dedicated to undergraduate research. Learn more about current opportunities.

    • You can’t hide here — not with only 17 other students in the classroom with you. That’s going to be rough some mornings. But later, when you’re able to argue your point of view thoughtfully, express your opinions succinctly, and meet challenges head-on, without fear … Yep, you’ll thank us.

    • Carthage is ranked No. 11 in the country for student participation in short-term study abroad. Every J-Term, hundreds of students travel all over the world on faculty-led study tours. Imagine a month in Sweden, Rome, Cuba, Senegal, India, Japan …

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