Services for Students with Disabilities

A Guide: 10 Instructional Accessibility Tips

We appreciate that faculty members at U-M wish to accommodate students with disabilities so that their classes may be as inclusive of diversity as possible. However, the best practices for providing accommodations may not always be obvious. We have assembled the following list of tips and resources to provide a starting point. 

Reach out to instructors to make captioning a priority

Mary Reilly, a captioned media specialist for the University of Michigan, works with instructors to ensure students who are deaf or hard of hearing have access to captioned videos. She has presented in the past about how institutions can provide captioning easily and inexpensively.

Attendance Flexibility

Faculty teaching at most colleges and universities consider attendance and participation mandatory. While the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) clearly stipulates academic accommodations and adjustments must not alter essential features or requirements of courses, it also protects students with disabilities from discrimination. 

Did You Know? The Americans with Disabilities Act...

According to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a person with a disability is one who:

  • Has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activity  
  • Has a record of such an impairment
  • Is regarded as having such an impairment “Major Life Activities” include, but are not limited to: caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, seeing, hearing, eating, sleeping, walking, standing, lifting, bending, speaking, breathing, learning, reading, concentrating, thinking, communicating, and working.