Faculty Rights and Responsibilites

  • Faculty have the right to the following:

    • Faculty have the right to deny accommodation requests from students who have not provided verification of OAE approved accommodations. If a student makes a request for accommodations to a faculty member, stating a disability related need, and does not provide an accommodation letter , refer the student to OAE.  Students are expected to engage in the interactive accommodation process with OAE, prior to receiving accommodations. Faculty should not to grant accommodations without formal notice from OAE.
    • Faculty should expect to receive verification of accommodations approved by OAE. OAE works with students to identify appropriate academic adjustments which are identified and enumerated in an accommodation letter which is sent to faculty via the Accommodate system portal. Upon receipt of the letter, faculty are asked to provide confirmation of their review of the content. 
    • Faculty should establish course design, curriculum, materials and assignments.  Accommodations through OAE are not intended to fundamentally alter essential requirements of a course.  Faculty should consult with OAE if a student makes a request that would lead to a fundamental alteration or if they believe that an approved accommodation through OAE would fundamentally alter the nature of the program or course.
    • Faculty should receive timely notice of an accommodation request. OAE encourages Williams College students to submit accommodation requests early in the semester.  Accommodation requests can be made however at any point in the semester.  OAE reviews accommodation requests when they are made and will not deny access to accommodations or the interactive process because an accommodation request was made later in the semester.  If an accommodation request is made at the last minute and does not provide the appropriate time to effectively administer the accommodation, an instructor may determine that they are not able to provide the requested accommodation.  Faculty need only to accommodate from the time of notice, and are not required to retroactively implement an accommodation.

    Photo Credit: Student Photo, 2003

  • The following are responsibilities faculty have:

    • Provide accommodations for students who have submitted accommodation letters in a timely manner.  In the event that an accommodation requires a higher level of coordination, OAE will consult with the faculty member. 
    • Faculty should ensure that all instructional materials are accessible to all students. Support is available through OAE to work with faculty to ensure equal access to course content. Supports may include captioning of videos, alternate rooms for exams, course lecture notes and document conversion.
    • Faculty are expected to maintain confidentiality regarding a student’s disability status.  A student’s use of accommodations should not be disclosed or shared with other students by a faculty member.  Faculty members should limit discussions regarding accommodations or accommodation implementation to OAE staff and faculty who are directly involved in the implementation of the approved accommodation. 
    •  When Faculty are arranging exam accommodations through OAE they will want to ensure that students have the ability to direct questions to the faculty member should a question arise. 
    • When the faculty member is providing the exam environment it is they are responsible for ensuring that the testing environment is equitable (i.e. no disruptions,, identical instructions and materials, etc.).  The faculty member should also ensure that the  student has access to all clarifications and details provided during the exam given to the entire class.
    • Faculty are not responsible for determining whether or what accommodations are appropriate for a student with a disability.  In order to ensure equity in the accommodation process, faculty should require students making disability or health related requests to participate in the College’s accommodation request process rather than authorizing academic adjustments on an ad hoc basis.

    Photo Credit: Nina Horowitz, 2014