Middlebury is required by law to prevent discrimination against and provide reasonable accommodations for faculty, staff, and students who are qualified individuals with disabilities.
The ADA requires that faculty agree and adhere to the following guidelines:
- All otherwise qualified students are provided with equal access to the essential course content.
- The impact of the disability on the student’s learning and/or academic performance is mitigated without compromising course or program integrity.
Accommodations may involve modifications of the ways in which material is presented or learning is evaluated; however, accommodations that compromise the essential integrity of a course shall not be required of faculty of Middlebury.
Faculty are encouraged to communicate with the DRC concerning any accommodation request made by students. The DRC shall communicate with faculty within the limitations of privacy laws. The fact, nature, and/or extent of a disability which has been certified by the DRC is not subject to challenge by faculty, nor may faculty review the underlying documentation of a disability without written consent of the student. The staff of the DRC may provide faculty with information about the disability where necessary to implement the recommended accommodations.
Accommodations normally should be implemented as soon as reasonably possible after the faculty member has received the accommodation recommendation in writing from the DRC. If no further consultation occurs between a faculty member and the DRC, the DRC assumes that accommodations will be provided as delineated. Undue delays in the implementation of accommodations may be construed as a form of discrimination.
If a student approaches a faculty member directly to request an accommodation related to a physical or mental impairment, the faculty member must explain Middlebury’s certification/accommodation process and direct the student to the DRC. A faculty member is not individually authorized to agree to provide a student with a requested accommodation.
Faculty also have the right to receive a status report of a student accommodation request and clarification of recommended accommodations. Also, they may suggest alternative accommodations they think more appropriate in light of the nature of the course or program. Alternative accommodations must be as appropriate and as effective in mitigating the effects of a disability as those initially recommended by the DRC.
Faculty are, in turn, encouraged in appropriate situations to share with the DRC information about the course and/or program, so that the DRC is better able to make appropriate accommodation recommendations. A cooperative effort should meet the needs of the student to the extent appropriate, maintaining the integrity of the academic course and/or program and keeping Middlebury in compliance with the law.
Faculty may also request the involvement of the vice president for academic affairs/dean of faculty (or designee) in discussions with the DRC.
Inclusive Design for teaching and learning encourages educators to provide multiple methods of presentation, expression, engagement, and assessment. Its goal is to create learning opportunities for all students while maintaining high expectations for performance. In inclusive design, rather than tailoring to meet the needs of select populations or narrow uses, inclusive designs are robustly usable to widely diverse kinds of learners. Guided by a belief that designs reflect community values, inclusive design offers a sustaining way to live our commitment to a welcoming, engaged, and inclusive Middlebury community. The use of inclusive design makes courses more accessible for all learners and reduces the need for accommodations.
Inclusive Design for Learning Award
The Center for Teaching, Learning, and Research (CTLR) and the Advisory Group on Disability Access and Inclusion (AGDAI) invite nominations for the Inclusive Design for Learning Award.
Inclusive Design for Learning principles help increase accessibility in curricular design and teaching, fostering more inclusive and dynamic learning. Unlike other awards that celebrate good teaching at Middlebury, this award specifically highlights an instructor’s embrace of Inclusive Design and the role of Inclusive Design in high quality instruction.
The award recipient will receive $1,000. Winners will have the opportunity to share their work in inclusive design for learning with the broader Middlebury community.
Disability Resource Center
Middlebury, VT 05753