Instructors Working with Students with Disabilities


Students with Disabilities

Some faculty may or may not have experience in teaching students with disabilities, and may be uncertain about disability particulars, how much to ask, and how to arrange for accommodations. Discretion is recommended when discussing disabilities and/or accommodations. Guard the confidentiality of personal information the student may choose to share. Create a welcoming atmosphere that enables the student to “fit in” rather than “stand out.”

Academic expectations need to be the same for all students, though accommodations may change the manner in which a student participates in class or gains access to information. For example, the student may use special equipment or resources such as a sign language interpreter, a large screen monitor, or perhaps extra time on written tasks. Again, accommodations should neither give an extra advantage nor alter academic expectations.

Informing Students

Faculty members are encouraged to include a statement on their syllabi with information about how to receive disability accommodations.

ADA Statement for Faculty

ADA statement for faculty to use on syllabi

If an instructor receives an accommodation request, he/she should ask if the student has registered with DRC. If the student is not registered with DRC, please refer the student to DRC to do so. If already registered, ask for an accommodations letter from the student. This letter is provided by DRC, gives information about how the disability impacts the student, and outlines recommended accommodations.

Teaching Resources

For information about a specific disability, the director of DRC is the on-campus resource to contact. Effective teaching techniques and/or adaptive equipment/technology that might benefit a student with a disability are just two examples of information the director can provide.

For online information about working with students who have disabilities:


As representatives of Rice University, instructors are responsible for responding to requests for disability accommodations. This usually involves directing the student to DRC, engaging in dialogue about appropriate accommodations, and working with DRC and the student to resolve any issues. Ideally, faculty can work from the accommodation letter and discuss with the student how the accommodations will be implemented. If the instructor thinks an accommodation is incompatible with the structure of his/her class, the director of DRC should be contacted immediately.

Faculty members are cautioned against providing any academic accommodations that would be considered disability-related before verifying the student’s disability status with DRC. If there is any doubt, contact the director of DRC to verify or for more information.

Disability Resource Center
Allen Center, Room 111
Phone: (main) 713-348-5841
Fax: 713-348-5888

Mailing Address:
Disability Resource Center, Rice University, MS 802
6100 Main Street
Houston, TX 77005

Adaptive Technology Lab
Limited access, key available 1st floor at Circulation & Reserve desk.
Location: Fondren Library, Room 108
For inquires contact 713-348-5841 or e-mail
TTY: dial 711 or 800-735-2988 to be connected through a relay operator.