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Disabled Students Programs & Services (DSPS)

Student Resource Guide - Accommodations

What to say to your instructor


It is recommended that students make an appointment to meet with each instructor during office hours to first or second week of classes for every semester. Tell your instructors that you would like to meet with them about your needs and the class.

Many part-time instructors may not have office hours. In this case, you should ask the instructor when might be the best time to talk with him. You might say, "I know it's difficult for you to talk with students when you were just getting to class or ready to leave. However, I need to talk to you about my needs in this class. When might be the best time to do this?"

Here is a model you could use when meeting with instructors and presenting requests. Examples of what you might say are given for each step.
  1. Introduction: Introduce yourself in the class you are in.
    " Hi I'm a student in your English XXX class. "
  2. Disclosure: State that you have a disability and present it in functional terms.
    " I have the (learning) disability that makes it difficult for me to follow the lecture and take tests as quickly as others. "
  3. Solution: Relate success of previous accommodation(s). If this if your first-time using accommodations, relate expected benefits.
    " I've used a tape recorder to back up my notes and extended time on testing to be able to show what I've learned. It has worked well for me in other classes and would help me in your class two. "
    or
    " Several accommodations have been recommended for me to the show you what I've learned in this class -- I'm requesting to use a tape recorder for notes. For tests, it's best for me if I have extended time with the computer and take my tests were there are fewer distractions."
  4. Documentation and resources: Show letter and explain sources for accommodations and what you will do to implement them.
    " This is my letter of eligibility for accommodations. If you have any questions about this, you can call my counselor. The numbers are on the bottom of the form. "
  5. Agreement: Get agreement or find out concerns. Work out any problems or seek facilitation.
    " Will there be any difficulty with these requests? Do you have any questions or concerns? (If yes, and you haven't worked it out: Do you want to call my counselor or should I have her call you ?) "
  6. Summary: Restate your accommodations, your responsibilities, and what the instructor's roll or responsibility will be.
    "Great. Then I'll be sure to give you the form setting up the arrangements for my tests this week. Then I can take it to the DRC so they will be able to make arrangements to proctor the tests on my tests date. "
  7. Closure: Make a positive statement and expression or appreciation.
    " Thanks a lot for your time. I really appreciate being able to talk with you about this. I'm really looking forward to do well in your class. "
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