How are students certified as having a disability?
The Office of Academic Support and Disability Services (O.A.S.D.S.) meets individually with all students who have disclosed a documented disability. Students with documented disabilities are required to submit a disability identification form, sign a release of information to O.A.S.D.S. and the Disability Support Services Committee*, and to provide a letter of documentation from a licensed medical provider or therapist.
*Disability Support Services Committee members: Dan Stokes, Director of the Office Academic Support and Disability Services; Joan Warren, Vice President of Enrollment Management and Student Development; Jose Garcia-Leon, Dean of Academic Affairs and Assessment; Myung Kang-Huenke, Deputy General Counsel; Mary Anne Richmond, Assistant General Counsel; Beth Techow, Administrative Director of Health and Counseling Services.
How does O.A.S.D.S. determine eligibility for accommodations?
O.A.S.D.S. works in consultation with Health and Counseling Services, as well as taking recommendations from the student’s medical provider into account, to determine appropriate accommodations for individual students on a case-by-case basis. We meet with each student to discuss their individual needs and create an individualized accommodations plan.
How will O.A.S.D.S. notify teachers of a student’s need for accommodations?
Faculty members will receive Reasonable Accommodation Plan Agreement letters for each student, typically at the start of each semester. Faculty members will only receive a Reasonable Accommodation Plan Agreement letter at the student’s request. Faculty members should sign the letter and return it to O.A.S.D.S. as early as possible to comply with the accommodations plan. If any faculty members have questions on how to provide the required accommodations, they should contact O.A.S.D.S.
Am I required to provide accommodations?
Yes, institutions are legally required to provide reasonable accommodations. However, faculty members are only required to provide accommodations that have been approved by O.A.S.D.S. If a student is requesting accommodations, faculty members have the right to confirm their accommodation requests with O.A.S.D.S.
What are the laws that protect students with disabilities?
The laws that provide guidance to O.A.S.D.S. regarding accommodations for students include:
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was established and brought into law in 1990. The law prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in employment, transportation, public accommodation, communications, and governmental activities. The ADA also establishes requirements for telecommunications relay services.
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 is a national law that protects qualified individuals from discrimination based on their disability. The nondiscrimination requirements of the law apply to employers and organizations that receive financial assistance from any Federal department or agency. These organizations and employers include hospitals, nursing homes, mental health centers, institutions of higher education and human service programs. Section 504 forbids organizations and employers from excluding or denying individuals an equal opportunity to receive program benefits and services. It defines the rights of individuals with disabilities to participate in, and have access to, program benefits and services.
Is disability-related information confidential?
All documentation related to a disability is considered confidential. Faculty and staff directly involved with students with disabilities may have access to some of this information on a strict need-to-know basis in order to assist in providing accommodations. Please note that not all disabilities are visible, and you may not ask a student about the nature of their disability. Faculty and staff must not make reference to a student’s disability in front of other students or discuss a student’s disability with anyone not officially designated by O.A.S.D.S. as a legal recipient of information about a student’s disability. All questions or concerns about students with disabilities must first be directed to O.A.S.D.S.
What are faculty members’ rights and responsibilities in regards to students with disabilities?
- Faculty members do not have the right to ask students if they have a disability. Please note that not all disabilities are visible. For those students with documented disabilities, faculty members do not have the right to ask about the nature of the disability. At no time should the class be informed that a student has a disability, unless the student makes a specific request to do so.
- Faculty members have the right to request verification from O.A.S.D.S. of a student’s eligibility to receive accommodations.
- Faculty members have the responsibility to provide reasonable accommodations only to students who are registered with O.A.S.D.S.
- Faculty members have the right to expect the student to initiate accommodation requests. Please note, however, that all Reasonable Accommodation Plan Agreement letters are sent at the student’s request and that faculty members have the responsibility to act immediately upon getting a student’s request for accommodations. Consult with students with disabilities and O.A.S.D.S. in providing appropriate accommodations. Contact O.A.S.D.S. if unsure about the request.
- Faculty members have the responsibility to clearly communicate course expectations and testing procedures with the student.
- Please note that the Student Code of Conduct regarding disruptive behavior applies to all students. Clearly state behavioral expectations for all students; discuss them openly in your classroom, on your syllabus, and with individual students as needed.
How can I let students know about the School’s disability services and policies?
The easiest way to do make students aware of the School’s policies for students with disabilities is to include a statement on your syllabus, to be distributed to the entire class at the start of the term. Our suggested syllabus statement is as follows:
The Juilliard School will make reasonable accommodations for students with documented disabilities. Please contact the Office of Academic Support and Disability Services at (212) 799-5000, ext. 320 or email o[email protected] for more information. Services are available only to students who are certified through the Office of Academic Support and Disability Services and submit appropriate documentation.
I want to help students with disabilities do well in my classroom. What are some ways I can structure my curriculum to ensure better access for all students?
Universal Design is a concept that is the current standard for educational access for all students. Universal Design refers to inclusive design and environments that are usable by all people to the greatest extent possible. The defining principles of Universal Design in the classroom are:
Multiple Means of Representation. Provide students with options for different ways of perception, different language and/or symbols, and comprehension.
Multiple Means of Action and Expression. Vary the tasks and assignments in the classroom. Provide options for physical action and expression and communication. Provide clear goals for organization and time management.
Multiple Means of Engagement. Provide options to maintain interest, sustain effort, and encourage self-regulation.
Ideas for incorporating Universal Design in your classroom include:
- Begin class with a review of the previous lecture and an overview of topics to be covered that day. At the conclusion of the lecture, summarize key points.
- Highlight major concepts and terminology both orally and visually. Be alert for opportunities to provide information in more than one sensory mode.
- Speak directly to students; use gestures and natural expressions to convey further meaning. Use clear language and avoid jargon.
- Make use of CANVAS, Juilliard’s online learning management system for posting assignments and hand-outs.
- Think about online document accessibility for your class materials: word documents and text-based PDFs are most accessible to all users.
- Give assignments both orally and in written form; be available for clarification.
- Provide adequate opportunities for participation, questions and/or discussion.
- Use sequential steps for long-range assignments; for example, for a lengthy paper:
- select a topic
- write an outline
- submit a rough draft
- make necessary corrections with approval
- turn in a final draft
- Give feedback on early drafts of papers so there is adequate time for clarification, rewrites, and refinements.
- Provide study questions and review sessions to aid in mastering material and preparing for exams.
- Give sample test questions; explain what constitutes a good answer and why.
- To test knowledge of material rather than test-taking savvy, phrase test items clearly. Be concise and avoid double negatives.
- Facilitate the formation of study groups for students who wish to participate.
- Encourage students to seek assistance during your office hours and to use their accommodations.
There is a student who is struggling in my class. Whom should I contact?
Contact the Office of Academic Support and Disability Services if there is a student who is struggling in class who could benefit from academic support and tutoring. If you have a student with a documented disability who is struggling in class, the Office of Academic Support and Disability Services can follow up with the student about their accommodations plan. Please note, however, that while accommodation requests are frequently precipitated by academic or performance problems, such problems do not necessarily mean an individual with a disability needs an accommodation. Do not assume that such problems are because of an individual's disability. Instead of a disability, the problems may be due to myriad other reasons, including relationship concerns, financial difficulties, or stress.
Office of Academic Support and Disability Services
When there are serious concerns about a student’s lack of progress, or about the student’s behavior or well-being, faculty should be in touch with the Juilliard Assessment and Care Team (A.C.T.). Contact the Dean of Student Development at ext. 7315 for more information.
The Faculty Room is a comprehensive online resource for faculty and administrators in post-secondary institutions nationwide where you can learn more about:
- Academic accommodations for students with disabilities
- Universal design of instruction
- Computer technology and web accessibility
- Rights and responsibilities of students with disabilities and faculty
- Resources, and much more.
It is part of DO-IT (Disabilities Opportunities Internetworking Technology) from the University of Washington.