Faculty/Staff FAQ

How will I know if a student has approved accommodations?

Each semester, Faculty will receive an email alerting them to approved accommodations for students in their courses. Faculty are required to log into the Accommodate portal to view the Accommodation Letter, which will detail the student's name, course number, and approved accommodations. For Assistance with Logging into Accommodate or Viewing Accommodation Letters, Faculty can visit our Faculty Accommodate Tutorials. 

A student’s disability status is confidential and students do not need to disclose their disability to Faculty. Keep in mind, most disabilities are not visible.

Although we recommend that students activate accommodations at the beginning of the semester, they have the right to disclose their need for accommodations at any time during the semester. However, accommodations are not retroactive.

How do I make sure my students receive their accommodations? 

Many accommodations do not require much instructor involvement, such as the ability to audio record lectures, or use of note-taking tools. However, other accommodations, such as testing accommodations, require more professor involvement. If a student is approved for an accommodation such as Attendance Flexibility, or an Individualized Testing Plan, a coordinator at SSD will contact the Instructor of record to start the interactive process to explore accommodations.

How do I manage testing accommodations? 

As with all reasonable accommodations, the purpose of testing accommodations is to ensure a student’s equitable opportunity to demonstrate knowledge of the course material being assessed. Testing accommodations are not a guarantee of improved performance, test completion, or a particular outcome. Rather it is presumed that the use of accommodations will enable the student with a disability to better demonstrate their knowledge or skill on exams and quizzes.

After you receive the Accommodation Letter, you are responsible for ensuring the students receive their testing accommodations. For in-person exams, you may opt to test students yourself or have SSD assist in finding a proctoring site. 

If you are using Canvas for test proctoring please visit  Canvas Accommodations to learn how to add extended time to a student’s profile.

How do I manage Closed Captioning accommodations?

Professors will need to request Closed Captioning through MiVideo. Please follow the instructions and If you have any questions, please reach out via your Captions support ticket or contact [email protected].

SSD will cover the cost of captioning through this process and no other vendors.

There is a student in my class who I think could benefit from accommodations. How can I best support that student? 

Concerned faculty members sometimes consult SSD with questions about a student that they feel may have a disability. While SSD’s goal is to ensure that all students with disabilities receive the accommodations that will afford them equal access, it is the responsibility of the student to initiate contact with the SSD and request accommodations through our process.

Students receive information about the SSD’s services during orientation, and may disclose a disability to the office at any time during their time at the University of Michigan.

Unlike high school, where teachers actively refer students to special education services, most college students are adults, and privacy is a major consideration. As a result, if you have a student that you feel qualifies for services from SSD, your referral to the office should be informational and supportive as opposed to directive or authoritarian.

Remember: “describe, don’t diagnose” in referring students to SSD.

For instance, you could say, “I notice that you are having a hard time interacting with other students in group activities, do you think that you need to participate in class in a different way?” or “I see that you have turned in your last several assignments after the deadline, do you think that you might benefit from some accommodations?” as opposed to “I think you may have X medical/psychological condition and need to go to the Services for Students with Disabilities office.”

We recommend questions such as “Did you know that UMich has an accessibility office?” or comments such as “That is a concern that the folks in the SSD office would be happy to discuss with you. Do you know where that office is located?” Since the student’s privacy is a concern, we recommend that this type of discussion take place in your office or discretely before or after class. Some students may have a disability (particularly a learning disability or a mental health condition) of which they are not aware. Others are aware, but choose not to disclose.

Informing a student of the SSD office is not a violation of privacy, as the individual will make the decision as to whether to follow up. Of course, if a student has asked for a disability-related accommodation, the referral is appropriate and necessary.