Guidelines for Faculty Teaching Students with Disabilities

The Disability Services Office works with students who are registered with documented disabilities as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504. Academic accommodations are unique to each student. Upon receipt of an email indicating that an accommodation letter has been created for a student, Instructors are required to log into Accommodate to review the details of this student’s academic accommodations and acknowledge receipt by completing the electronic signature. For instructions, please use this website for video, text, and PDF walkthroughs.

The Purpose of this Accommodation Letter: UMass Lowell is committed to ensuring equal access to students with disabilities in the participation of the full educational experience. Disability Services collaborates with students, faculty, and staff to ensure that students with disabilities have the same opportunity as other students to learn on an equal basis and to fully participate in all the opportunities offered by the University.

Why Accommodations: Accommodations provide access to individuals with disabilities and are mandated under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 as Amended and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.

Some of the listed accommodations may not be applicable to the course or the student may choose to not utilize a specific accommodation. Students and instructors should discuss the logistics and needs for this course. Instructors may not deny approved accommodation(s) without engaging in an interactive process with Disability Services.

Further guidance is provided below:

  • Faculty are strongly advised to provide academic accommodations only if they have received a Letter of Accommodations through the Accommodate System.
  • Please note that academic accommodations are not retroactive.
  • Faculty is not obliged to interact directly with outside agencies such as psychologists, medical practitioners, parents and/or other educational institutions.
  • Get help on How to use Accommodate via the Access to Accommodate webpage.
  • Students will use Accommodate to book appointments for the Testing Center both with testing accommodations and without as arranged by faculty. Information can be found on the Testing Center website.
  • If you are using Blackboard to administer exams, please follow the guidance on how to change exam times in Blackboard.

Faculty are expected to include information about our office in their syllabi. This may encourage students to register with our office and remind students to speak to you about their academic accommodations. The recommended syllabus template can be found below.

Syllabi Language

Disability Services Academic Accommodations
If you are registered with Disability Services and will require academic accommodations, please notify me via the Accommodate semester request process as soon as possible so that we might make appropriate arrangements. It is important that we connect to discuss the logistics of your academic accommodations; please speak to me during office hours or privately after class as we respect and want to protect your privacy. If you need further information or need to register for academic accommodations, please visit the Disability Services Website.

Confidentiality Tips

  • Don't open your email with student names in subject lines where it can be visible to others.
  • Don't use student names in subject lines.
  • Be mindful that every student who has accommodations is confidential, so all interactions should be on a 1:1 basis in a private space.
  • Group emails should be bcc'd (blind copied).

Disability Services is committed to function as a resource for faculty. We can assist students and faculty in determining appropriate academic accommodations and creating universal design in the classroom to maximize a student's potential. We are committed to assisting faculty in its legal obligation to fulfill academic accommodations.


Do you have questions? Please contact us.

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