Faculty cannot ask if a student has a disability.
What can they do?

  • Students can be referred to the Disability Services Office, but it takes care and tact.
  • It is always a good idea for a faculty member to call the office and speak with the Director, Lisa Morrison-Fronckowiak, about the needs of a student. Even if the student does not have a disability, experiences working with hundreds of students and referring them for other services may be help enough for the faculty member to be supportive.
  • Including the disability statement in the syllabus may welcome students to disclose the need for support.
  • Including a list of resources open to all students on campus, such as tutoring centers, workshops in the counseling center, course-specific and departmental assistance, as well as software and resources in the library as well as listing the disability services may also be a good option.
  • There are new library services and computer assistance in E.H. Butler Library, as well as the assistive technology that is a duplicate of that in the Disability Services Office. Amy Rockwell, is the librarian for support of those who need additional access.
  • If students have a disability, they may not be aware of how helpful it can be to receive support. Sharing information is not threatening; it may be the chance they need to have help for the first time in their lives. Often there may be significant financial support available for them.
  • Many students are not diagnosed with a disability until they are adults. In their previous educational experiences, they may never have realized their real potential.
  • Having a learning disability, attention deficit disorder, or a speech/language processing disorder does not mean the student cannot learn or that intellectually they are below average in IQ. Many students with these diagnoses are above average in intelligence; all are at least average, by definition.