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University Disability Support Services|Student Educational Opportunity

Advocacy With Faculty & Staff

Since students must interact with a multitude of people in the campus community, there may be the challenge when you need to speak to someone regarding disability-related issues that affect you academically, such as using test accommodations. Each person comes to the University community with a unique personality, unique outlooks toward their disability and unique experiences from past efforts to cope with their disability. UDSS is here to help facilitate interaction with faculty and staff, to intercede at times when you don't feel comfortable, or to help if problems arise.

UDSS can be the "middle man," who, with permission, can share with your instructors and other university staff that you have a disability, and what the appropriate accommodations are for you. UDSS staff does not reveal the nature of a student's disability unless permission has been given to do so, or unless there is an educational need to know. If you feel sharing more information about your disability would help your instructor understand more about what you need to have equal access, you may share this information.

Extended Time for Assignments and Projects

Students qualifying for UDSS services who have chronic conditions or conditions that flare up unexpectedly may need advocacy services to arrange extended time for assignments and/or projects.  While open-ended deadline extensions may be a fundamental alteration of course objectives, extended deadlines on specific assignments or projects may be a reasonable adjustment to course policies.  UDSS will assist qualified students with disabilities to facilitate these adjustments, when appropriate.

Accommodations and services are determined on an individual student, course-by-course basis.  UDSS students are encouraged to meet with their coordinator each semester to determine what accommodations will be needed in each course.  Students who anticipate their conditions may flare up or cause other difficulties, creating uncertainty about their ability to consistently meet course deadlines throughout the semester, should make those concerns known to their UDSS coordinator as early in the semester as possible, or as soon as they become aware of the risk of missing a deadline due to the effects of their disability. 

If a student has or has not previously disclosed the possibility of their disability affecting their ability to complete assignments/projects on time, and then requests accommodations at the "last minute" before a due date, UDSS coordinator(s) will attempt to assist, but it may not be possible to negotiate an effective accommodation for that particular assignment/project.  Advice will be offered to help the student prevent, as much as possible, future "last minute" requests.  Assistance with upcoming, timely requests will, however, proceed according to the established procedure.

Assignment/Project Deadline Accommodation Procedure:

If the UDSS Coordinator agrees an extension of specific deadlines is a reasonable adjustment, the student and UDSS Coordinator will thoroughly review syllabi, provided by the student, for affected courses to become familiar with assignment and project deadlines, make-up options, course policies, etc.

The Coordinator will then send a letter or email to the course instructor(s) with a copy to the student, which:

  • Introduces the student;
  • Notes the student has a qualifying 504/ADA disability;
  • Indicates the student may need assignment or project deadline extensions at times during the semester; and
  • Encourages communication between the student, UDSS, and the instructor upon receipt of the letter to plan ahead and anticipate possibilities (e.g. identify ways to break major projects into more manageable steps, explore student beginning certain projects earlier than the class to prevent delays in completing the course on time, etc.)

The letter will also indicate that when the student becomes aware he/she is at risk of missing an assignment or project deadline, the following steps will be taken:

  • The student is to notify their UDSS coordinator as soon as they become aware of the risk of missing a deadline due to unanticipated effects of their disability.
  • The UDSS coordinator and student will discuss what may be a reasonable extension for the assignment or project in question.
  • The UDSS coordinator will contact the instructor to discuss the specific situation and negotiate the extended deadline, taking into consideration the objectives of the course and instructor's input regarding the request.

While it is anticipated all parties will agree on the need for and length of a deadline extension, there may be occasions when there is disagreement.  In those cases, the UDSS Coordinator, after consulting with the UDSS Director (Associate Director, SEO) will determine whether a deadline extension should be given and the length of the extension.

If the instructor disagrees with the decision, he/she may appeal the decision to the Vice President for Student Affairs. 

If the student disagrees with the decision, he/she may pursue various appeals processes, including consulting with the Director, Student Educational Opportunity or the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs, utilizing the University's discrimination appeals process through UW Regulation 5, or pursuing other opportunities through the Office for Civil Rights.

Questions about advocacy with faculty and staff? Just ask!  Feel free to call 766-6189 (TTY 766-3073), or stop by Room 109, Knight Hall.  You may also send us an email: udss@uwyo.edu.

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