Through the integration of teaching, research, and service, it is the mission of the University of Connecticut to provide an outstanding educational experience for each student. The mission of the Center for Students with Disabilities (CSD) is to enhance this experience for students with disabilities. Our goal is to ensure a comprehensively accessible University experience where individuals with disabilities have the same access to programs, opportunities and activities as all others. The Center is also committed to promoting access and awareness as a resource to all members of the community.
According to a May 19, 2015 report from the National Council on Disability, “approximately 11 percent of undergraduates [in the United States] have a disability – 2 million students”
NCD.gov Briefing Paper: Reauthorization of the Higher Education Act (HEA): The Implications for Increasing the Employment of People with Disabilities. N.p., n.d. Web. 26 Oct. 2016.
UConn’s Center for Students with Disabilities (CSD) has compiled the following important information regarding students with disabilities:
- Any student with a documented disability may be eligible to receive accommodations & services from the CSD;
- In order to access accommodations, students must disclose their disability to the CSD and state their requested accommodations;
- The purpose of accommodations and modifications is to reduce or eliminate any disadvantages that may exist because of an individual’s disability;
- Accommodations are not a guarantee for success, but rather seek to promote non-discrimination and equal access opportunities;
- Accommodations are not student preferences; they are determined through an established review process based on documentation received regarding the student’s disability;
- The law does not require institutions to waive specific courses or academic requirements considered essential to a particular program or degree. Rather, they are mandated to modify existing requirements on a case-by-case basis in order to ensure that individuals are not discriminated against on the basis of their disability.
What can you as a faculty member do to meet the needs of students with disabilities?
Know Your Responsibilities:
- UConn’s Center for Students with Disabilities provides a comprehensive list of steps faculty should take when addressing the needs of students with disabilities.
- The American Psychological Association provides access to the DisABILITY Resources Toolbox (DART) “as a central location replete with information and tools psychology training directors and faculty can use to better support students with disabilities.”
- The U.S. Department of Education’s article Students with Disabilities Preparing for Postsecondary Education: Know Your Rights and Responsibilities “explains the rights and responsibilities of students with disabilities who are preparing to attend postsecondary schools…[and] the obligations of a postsecondary school to provide academic adjustments...to ensure the school does not discriminate on the basis of disability.”
- University policy and resources People with Disabilities, Policy Statement
- Department of Human Resources: Americans with Disabilities Act Compliance and Accommodations
- Policy on Providing Information in Alternative Formats
Create Materials in an Accessible Manner:
- Create Accessible Documents
- PDF documents: See the Adobe Creating Accessible PDFs page for information and instructions.
- MS PowerPoint: See Make your PowerPoint presentation accessible.
- MS Word: See Make your Word documents accessible.
- Prezi - please note that Prezi is not accessible to screen readers. You will need to provide an alternative text document.
- Create Accessible Audio, Video & Images
- For YouTube videos, locate and test all video CC buttons as they may not be available or activated.
- Make sure video files contain synchronized captions. If creating videos using YouTube, automatic captioning will not be accurate and will require editing.
- Provide text transcripts for all audio files.
- Provide alternative descriptions for all images used in documents and online. This allows screen readers to describe the image and provide context for its use.
Seeking additional information? UConn Office for Institutional Equity maintains an informative website to assist faculty understand captioning, creating accessible documents, accommodations, instructional strategies, assistive technology, room relocation, syllabus statements, and website development. Learn more on the Office of Institutional Equity's website.
For more information visit UConn’s Center for Students with Disabilities (CSD) Website.