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Faculty and Staff Resources

Successful implementation of accommodations is the result of combined efforts by faculty, students and staff. Disability Services ensures that students have equal access and opportunity in all coursework. Close collaboration with course instructors is essential to meet this goal.

Saint Louis University’s Office of Disability Services facilitates academic accommodations for students. Faculty or staff members who need workplace accommodations should contact Human Resources.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 guarantee protection from discrimination and equal access to opportunity for people with disabilities. Faculty members have the responsibility to:

  • Provide accommodations to students who have approved need.
  • Maintain the privacy of students with disabilities.
  • Give accommodations consistently and in a timely fashion.

Disability law does not change your right as a faculty member to:

  • Set curriculum and assignments for course.
  • Evaluate all students using the same standards.
  • Expect a student to adhere to the policies in the Student Handbook.
  • Question accommodations that might lessen academic standards or the course's integrity.
  • Be informed of accommodations in a timely manner.

Faculty can review approved student accommodations through Banner in their course roster.

Syllabus Statement

Disability Services advises faculty to include the following in each syllabus:

Student Support Services

In recognition that people learn in a variety of ways and that learning is influenced by multiple factors, resources to support student success are available on campus. The Student Success Center, which assists students with academic and career related services, is located in the Busch Student Center suite 331 and the Trudy Busch Valentine School of Nursing, suite 114. Students who think they might benefit from these resources can find out more about:

  • Course-level support by asking your course instructor or department head.
  • University-level support, such as tutoring, writing consultation, disability services, academic coaching, career services and curriculum planning, by visiting the Student Success Center or by going to

Disability Services Academic Accommodation

Students with a documented disability who wish to request academic accommodations are encouraged to contact Disability Services to discuss accommodation requests and eligibility requirements. Please contact Disability Services, located within the Student Success Center, at or 314-977-3484 to schedule an appointment. Confidentiality will be observed in all inquiries. Once approved, information about academic accommodations will be shared with course instructors via email from Disability Services and viewed within Banner via the instructor's course roster.

If you have questions about accommodations for a specific student, please email the Office of Disability Services at

Implementing Academic Accommodations

If a student brings medical documentation to you but does not have approved accommodations in Internet Native Banner, encourage them to contact Disability Services.​

May Have Medical Absences Accommodation

This accommodation can be challenging because it is intentionally vague due to the wide variety of classroom policies and procedures. Though some students with medical absences have symptoms that are present every day, most have disabilities that have related flare-ups (ex. fibromyalgia or lupus). In some cases, these students may be physically unable to attend class for several days due to severe pain, illness or other medical issues.

Students with this accommodation have documentation on file within our office and should not be asked for a doctor's note for every absence.

If a student has this accommodation, we encourage them to contact instructors immediately to discuss options related to the attendance policy. The accommodation indicates only that their faculty must consider an alternative.

The Office of Civil Rights within the Department of Education provides the following questions to consider when determining whether attendance is an essential part of the course:

  1. Does classroom interaction occur between the instructor and students and among students?
  2. Do student contributions constitute a significant component of the learning process?
  3. Does the fundamental nature of the course rely upon student participation as an essential method for learning?
  4. To what degree does a student's failure to attend constitute a significant loss to the educational experience of other students in the class?
  5. What do the course description and syllabus say?
  6. What method is used to calculate the final grade?
  7. What are the classroom practices and policies regarding attendance?

Additionally, we suggest considering how attendance might be addressed for students with other situations, such as a car accident, a death in the family or an athletic event.

Students who are absent are still responsible for the work from that class. The student is not excused from any pop quizzes, tests, participation or important due dates. Neither extensions of deadlines nor making up in-class tests and work are included under this accommodation. Those are up to the instructor's discretion. We encourage you to work out a plan with the student during your first discussion, rather than waiting for a situation to arise.

If you would like some guidelines for a structured conversation, please see the attendance accommodation form.

Mid-Semester Accommodations

Instructors should be aware that students may request accommodations at any point in the semester. If a student contacts you mid-semester, follow the same process for accommodations that is used at any other time. Accommodations are necessary as soon as the student discusses the desire to use them.

Some students attempt to meet the standards of the class without accommodations. If the student decides accommodations are necessary, he or she will then approach faculty members. Additionally, some students may be diagnosed or otherwise not report their disability to Disability Services until midway through the semester.

Accommodations are not retroactive. The student may not redo past exams or assignments.

Permission to Leave Class
Students with permission to leave class typically have a disability that impacts their ability to remain seated for long periods. They may need to use the restroom, get a drink, remove themselves from a large group or otherwise leave for medical reasons. Please understand that the student does not intend disrespect.
Providing Additional Services

Disability Services strongly recommends that instructors give students only the academic accommodations for which they are approved through this office. If a student seems like he or she would benefit from an additional service, but it is unclear whether it is appropriate, please email

We recognize that faculty work directly with students and come to know their academic work well. Any additional services should not compromise the essential functions of the course. Consider how any accommodation offered might affect instruction or make other students in the class feel. If you decide to offer additional services, the student should understand that it will apply only in your class.

Receiving Student Medical Documentation

If a student brings medical documentation to you but does not have approved accommodations in Internet Native Banner, encourage them to contact Disability Services.

The student should be informed that faculty are willing to work with any academic accommodations that are approved by Disability Services, however you do not determine eligibility for accommodations. Please do not accept medical documentation. 

Rescheduled Exams

The north campus testing center in 105 Des Peres Hall offers individualized rescheduled exam proctoring services to instructors when unusual circumstances, such as illness, scheduling conflicts, or athletic events, prevent a student from taking an exam in the classroom.

Scribes and Readers

If a student is eligible to use a scribe or reader for an exam, the person either writes exactly what the student asks or reads exactly what is written. Neither scribes nor readers supply help during the exam.

Student Disclosure of Disabilities

Students are not required to tell faculty the nature of their disability.

Students have the right to keep this information private. If a student is asked about his or her disability in an inappropriate manner, it may be considered discriminatory. We suggest asking the student how he or she best learns and if there is anything you can reasonably do to support the student. If they choose, the student may be able to provide information on the functional impact of their disability. The answers should help support work with the student.

Instructors are only required to be informed that a student is registered through Disability Services and is approved for the accommodations outlined in Banner. If you need more information about the student's approved accommodations, are unsure whether or not a question is appropriate to ask, or believe a complicated situation requires more information, contact Disability Services.

Students Who Have Not Discussed Accommodations

Faculty are not obligated to arrange accommodations until a student specifically requests it.

Because eligible students may choose to use accommodations in some, but not all of their classes, or may initially attempt to navigate a class without accommodations, it is necessary that they speak with each instructor individually. 

Testing Accommodations

If a student approved for testing accommodations wishes to implement those accommodations, we ask that they begin conversations with their instructors at least one week prior to their anticipated exams. Instructors may implement accommodations for students if they so desire, which may allow for more flexibility.  

If an instructor would prefer that students take their exams within one of our testing centers, we are happy to assist with this process. In order to appropriately plan for space, proctors and any additional accommodation needs, we request that students, in collaboration with their faculty members, complete and submit the out-of-class testing form seven days prior to their upcoming exam.

The "test outside of the classroom" accommodation indicates that the student should test in a different classroom, some other space nearby, or at a testing center. No more than six-to-eight students should test in the alternate location at once. This facilitates a distraction reduced environment for the exam.

The "take test alone" accommodation specifies that the student should test in a room without the presence of other students.

Students who request extended time on exams (without separate room testing) may test:

  • In the classroom
  • In an area near the classroom
  • In an office

If a student first approaches you to request accommodations less than two days before the exam, you have the right to explain that the implementation requires time and to apply the accommodation on the next exam. Disability Services will support instructors in most cases if it is clear that the student did not fulfill required time responsibilities.

Testing Accommodations for Pop Quizzes and Labs
Although a majority of students use testing accommodations for course exams, accommodations may still apply to pop quizzes, and in some circumstances, lab work. If you anticipate a need for accommodations for pop quizzes or labs, you will need to make arrangements with your instructor ahead of time.

Some accommodation options for pop quizzes may be to offer extended time to the whole class, to give the quiz at the end of class and allow students with extended time to stay after or to give the student access to a computer to compose answers to essay questions. 
Using the Testing Center

Please be sure to provide all the necessary exam materials at least 24 hours prior to the exam.

If you notice any errors or omissions on the test during the student's testing time, please contact the appropriate campus testing center immediately.

Exams and materials will be returned within 24 hours. Typically, testing center staff prefer to leave the materials with an administrative assistant in the instructor's department rather than placing them in an instructor's mailbox.

Viewing Approved Accommodations
Approved accommodations for students are visible via Internet Native Banner (INB) and Banner Self Service within an instructor's course roster. To access INB or Banner Self Service, go to MySLU and select the “Tools” tab.
  1. Click "Internet Native Banner."
  2. To sign in, use the same username and password that are used for MySLU. Typically, the "database" field is left blank.
  3. Within INB, open the class roster. Any student with an approved academic accommodation will have an asterisk next to his or her name.
  4. Click the student's name to see a column that lists any accommodations.

Within Banner Self-Service:

  1. Click the “Faculty Services” tab.
  2. Select “Class List: Summary” to view each roster. The far column indicates whether a student receives accommodations; click to review the accommodations.

If you have questions about accommodations for a specific student, please email Disability Services.

Volunteer Note-Takers
If a student requests the aid of a volunteer note-taker, ask if they prefer anonymity or to meet with the person who will assist them.

In announcing the need to the class, we suggest the following phrasing:

"A student in this class has requested the use of a volunteer note-taker. If anyone is willing to share a copy of their notes, please speak with me after class."

Instructors normally do not have trouble getting a volunteer but please let Disability Services know if no one has come forward after several requests.

If the student would prefer to remain anonymous, he or she will obtain the notes from the note-taker through you, the instructor.

If the student would prefer to remain anonymous, he or she will obtain the notes from the note-taker through you, the instructor.

If the student agreed to meet with the note-taker during the accommodations discussion, it may be helpful for you to facilitate the first meeting. You can also look over the notes at least once to ensure quality. After that, it is the student's responsibility to obtain copies of the notes and to come to Disability Services with any questions about the accommodation.