Rights and Responsibilities | Student Accessibility Services (SAS) | Kent State University

Rights and Responsibilities

Rights and responsibilities - SAS, Faculty, and Students

It is best to approach accommodating students with disabilities as a team. You, the students, and SAS all have the same goal—to enable students to participate and compete equally in the classroom. 

Responsibilities of SAS

  • Student Accessibility Services staff gladly serve as resources to faculty.  If you have questions or concerns that cannot be resolved through discussion with the student, please contact us. 
  • Determine eligibility and reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities utilizing an interactive, case-by-case approach.  
  • In regard to a few specific services and/or accommodations we provide, SAS hires and schedules interpreters and transcribers for students who are deaf or hard of hearing.  We are also responsible for providing textbooks and other course materials in alternate formats, such as Braille or digital format for students with vision impairments or specific learning disabilities. SAS also can provide individuals to assist students, particularly those with mobility impairments, in labs and classes. We are also available to assist students with issues relative to course registration, counseling, and other support services. 
  • We periodically conduct campus-wide faculty and staff training. If you have any special requests or an immediate need for training or consultation in your department, don't hesitate to call us to discuss arrangements.

Responsibilities of the Student

  • If the student requires access to academic accommodations, the student must contact SAS to schedule an intake appointment. SAS and the student will engage in an interactive process to determine if the student is eligible for accommodations and, if so, the accommodations SAS will provide to address the student's individual disability-related needs. SAS may consult with appropriate faculty and other program personnel. During the interactive process, the student typically provides the SAS office with supporting documentation as to the existence of a disability and the need for accommodations. Students are responsible for obtaining the necessary documentation and evaluations at their own expense. Accommodations may not be able to be provided until SAS has received the appropriate documentation and the interactive process has been completed.
  • Students with disabilities must provide his/her instructor with an accommodation letter/e-mail if the student wishes to utilize their SAS supported accommodations.  Accommodation letters are emailed directly to the faculty member’s Kent State email address.  Faculty are not obligated to provide students with classroom accommodations if he/she has not received a student’s accommodation letter. However, an appropriate exception is when a student’s disability and the need for a specific accommodation are very obvious based on your observations.
  • Since course requirements, lecture styles, and exams will vary, the student will likely be engaged in finding out what your course requires, what activities are planned, and any other information that may be relevant. This is not necessarily resolved in the first class, or in one conversation. A student's needs may vary over time, the student may be learning what his or her needs are through a process of trial and error, or the nature of the assignments/exams may require that adjustments be made throughout the semester. We encourage students to continue communicating with their professors throughout the semester to give and receive feedback.

Responsibilities of Faculty

  • Faculty, as members of the university, are required by federal law to provide reasonable accommodations to students with disabilities. "Reasonable" may seem like a fairly vague term, and if you are unsure whether something a student is requesting is reasonable, please contact SAS for consultation.  Anything that is requested through an SAS accommodation letter indicates that we have reviewed the student's documentation and consider these accommodations reasonable.
  • While it is typically both policy and practice for students to receive accommodations through the registration process at SAS, some students may approach you directly and request accommodations. Students may give you copies of their documentation or request accommodations without providing an accommodation letter/e-mail.  We strongly suggest that you refer these students to SAS. It helps the University in meeting its legal obligations if our approach is consistent; and when one instructor provides an accommodation that another instructor does not, it often sets the student up for unattainable expectations. The exception to this, however, is when you can clearly see that a student needs an accommodation even in the absence of an accommodation letter or a request from the student. For example, if a student clearly takes longer to write because of a visible physical disability, it might be helpful to approach the student before the day of the exam and ask if he or she will need extra time, and then make those exam arrangements if necessary. Again, we ask you to refer these students to SAS, but when the disability and need for a specific accommodation is very obvious, don’t withhold the accommodation in the meantime.
  • Maintaining confidentiality of students with disabilities is essential. At no time should the class be informed of a student’s disability status. It is best to conduct disability-related meetings in a private location, such as during your office hours. 
  • Work with SAS to provide student accommodations in a timely manner.  In order to provide students with their classroom materials in a timely fashion, it is imperative that you inform SAS about any videos or movie clips you plan to show during class, your textbook information, handouts you plan to provide to students, etc. as soon as you are requested to do so by SAS.  
  • Contact SAS with any questions or concerns at 330-672-3391 or sas@kent.edu.