Our goal in Disability Services is to create learning environments that are usable, equitable, inclusive, and welcoming for students experiencing barriers to their academic experience. Faculty or staff members are often the first people who students share health conditions and/or struggles related to disabilities in interactions. If a student discloses this information to you, or you notice that there may be a barrier to the student’s learning, please refer the student to Disability Services. The Assistant Director of Student Engagement & Coordinator of Disabilities works with students who have disabilities and/or health conditions that affect a wide range of major life activities. Disability Services works with students who have issues pertaining to, but not limited to:
While this is not an exhaustive list, it does represent common reasons that students request accommodations from Disability Services. It is common for students to be unaware of Disability Services as many students did not engage with these resources in K-12. Below are some resources on how to refer a student to Disability Services to see if we can be a resource for them.
If you have questions about whether Disability Services is an appropriate resource please contact Crystal Wilson – firstname.lastname@example.org.
Remember that our students are adults; they may respond best to private conversations in which you use an inquiring and supportive approach and share information about the existence and resources of Disability Services. Only the student can decide to disclose their disability, or to pursue information about services available through Disability Services. Therefore, it is essential that disability information be kept confidential as it falls under FERPA. Again, making the direct referral to Disability Services is not a violation of the student’s confidentiality but at no time should the class or other students be informed that a student has a disability, except at the student’s request. All information that a student shares with a faculty member is to be used specifically for arranging reasonable accommodations for the course of study.
Reasonable accommodations ensure equal access to School employment, educational programs, services, and activities. Upon receiving a request, Disability Services determines reasonable accommodation through an interactive process of examining a particular experience and consulting with the disabled individual and his/her/their faculty.
As disabled students should be held to the same standards as their non-disabled peers, an accommodation cannot constitute a fundamental alteration or compromise academic integrity. Reasonable accommodations do not guarantee success, but do ensure access.
If a student is affiliated with Disability Services and has requested course accommodations (i.e., attendance flexibility, deadline leniency, exam modifications), the Assistant Director of Student Engagement and Coordinator of Disability Services will contact instructors as needed/appropriate to discuss the reasonableness of the request.
Instructors should not request medical documentation from students. Disability-related documentation, if necessary, should only be reviewed and maintained by Disability Services.
A Disability Notification email will be sent to you with the student’s name and request for accommodations. This notification will contain the student’s accommodations as determined by Disability Services, but may not contain information pertaining to the student’s specific disability. The student is advised to request a meeting with you to discuss the application of these accommodations in your class. If you have received the email and the student has not contacted you to talk about accommodations, Disability Services suggests that the faculty member contact the student to set up a meeting. Reasonable accommodations must be provided once the Disability Notification has been sent. Please read below for more information on what you can and cannot discuss with a student who has a disability.
Disability Services takes care to ensure that accommodations do not fundamentally alter the essential program or course requirements. Students with disabilities must meet the same learning outcomes as those without disabilities. We may collaborate with faculty to ensure these criteria are met. If you have concerns, please contact us (email@example.com).
Students are required to reach out to Disability Services or their faculty when they want to use their exam accommodations. Students must fill out the Testing Accommodation Form and return it to Disability Services, who will then forward it on to the professor. The professor must fill out the Professor Section of the form and return it to Disability Services. Disability Services handles the scheduling of the room based on the information from the form. Disability Services also arranges for a proctor to be present during the exam. Both the student and professor will be notified by email once arrangements have been made.
The Assistant Director of Student Engagement & Coordinator of Disability Services can provide accommodations for temporary injuries or illnesses, including, but not limited to, broken bones, on-going illness, voice injuries, and concussions. Students with short-term illnesses, such as cold or flu, are not covered by the ADA, and should work directly with instructors to arrange informal modifications.
You may discuss the student’s learning style and learning needs, and how you can work together to meet those needs. Supporting a student does not necessarily require knowing what the disability is. If a student voluntarily discloses his or her disability, you are welcome to ask more questions. However, it is not appropriate to ask, “What is your disability?”
Disability Services serves as a resource for students with disabilities, by helping to remove barriers and providing access to an equitable academic experience. There are several ways to connect with Disability Services. One method is to peruse the Making a Referral to Disability Services option. Another is to visit during our office hours, Monday-Friday, 10am-6pm in room 120, or you can call or email Crystal Wilson at firstname.lastname@example.org / 917-493-4180.
While each student is unique, start from a “people-first” perspective. Below is a link to some general themes of how to engage with students.
Tip: Check out a website on tips for working with different disabilities. (University of Washington)
Relevant academic faculty and staff will be asked to implement approved accommodations and maintain student’s confidentiality. Disability Services will send you the Disability Notification email for more information about an individual student. Contact Disability Services if you are not sure what you need to do.
All disability-related information including accommodation letters, correspondence, and consultations are considered confidential and must be managed in line with The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) regulations. This includes electronic, paper, verbal, and any other types of communication.
In addition to fulfilling legal obligations, maintaining a high standard of confidentiality also serves to maintain an environment in which students with disabilities feel respected, safe, supported, and protected.
Breaches of confidentiality are taken very seriously by MSM. Unauthorized disclosures of student information must be documented and can result in the School being in non-compliance with federal regulations. Such disclosures may violate state privacy laws and may subject the School and the individual to liability.
We recognize that disclosures of information are generally inadvertent. For this reason, a high level of vigilance to avoid unintentional but inappropriate disclosure of disability information must be maintained. Please contact Disability Services if there are any questions, issues, or concerns regarding maintaining confidentiality of information.
Disability Services offers the following guidelines for faculty, staff, and administrators to ensure that confidential student information is kept secure:
Disability Services and Academic Accommodations:
Manhattan School of Music strives to provide all students with the educational auxiliary aids and other reasonable accommodations which are necessary to permit a student with disabilities the opportunity to succeed. The Assistant Director of Student Engagement & Coordinator of Disabilities, Crystal Wilson, coordinates academic accommodations for students with disabilities, as well as any other student needs occasioned by disability status. Appropriate accommodations and/or academic adjustments will be provided on a case-by-case basis for students who register a disability with the Assistant Director of Student Engagement & Coordinator of Disability Services. Please refer to the Disability Services and Academic Accommodations.
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