Disability Services policies and procedures
UAF students are subject to the Student Code of Conduct. In accordance with board of regents' policy 09.02.01, UAF will maintain an academic environment in which freedom to teach, conduct research, learn and administer the university is protected. Learn more about UAF Student Code of Conduct.
Student behavioral standards
Education at the university is conceived as training for citizenship as well as for personal self-improvement and development. Generally, UAF behavioral regulations are designed to help you work efficiently in courses and live responsibly in the campus environment. They are not designed to ignore your individuality but rather to encourage you to exercise self-discipline and accept your social responsibility. These regulations, in most instances, were developed jointly by staff and students. You should become familiar with campus policies and regulations as published in the student handbook.
UAF establishes attendance policies as follows:
“You are expected to regularly attend classes. Unexcused absences may result in a failing grade. You are responsible for conferring with your instructor concerning absences and the possibility of arranging to make-up missed work.
In some cases attendance is fundamental to course objectives. In other instances faculty may determine that a student can master a course despite some or many absences.
If a student is seeking alterations in the attendance policy due to a disability the student should:
- Examine the syllabus for the attendance policy for the class. Be aware that an accommodation cannot significantly alter the basic requirements or standards of the class.
- Students seeking to remedy a situation of multiple missed classes , or exams following missed classes will not be granted an accommodation that corrects the past.
- Accommodations are forward actions. Retroactive accommodations are NOT POSSIBLE.
- In a medical or emergency situation a doctor or hospital can provide records the student can present to a faculty member.
If attending live classes is not possible for you, UAF offers a tremendous variety of options. There are multiple ways to take courses, including traditional live classes in set locations, web and paper based classes that can be attended remotely, Elluminate Live! lectures, field research and year-long distance delivered classes.
General policy statement
Disability Services (DS) offers course materials in alternative formats to University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) students eligible to receive services. Services are provided in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.Following one year of enrollment UAF students will be expected to learn how to acquire texts independently through publishers and resources such as Resources for the Blind and Dyslexic (RFB&D). Disability Services will provide instruction, training and assistance as needed.
To receive converted documents
- The student must be registered for classes. Document conversion must be approved as an appropriate academic accommodation by the DS director. The conversion format will be agreed upon through discussion of the disability with the DS director and supported by the documentation provided by the student.
- Students are responsible for delivering books and materials (see note regarding Copyright law below) to be converted to Disability Services at least three weeks in advance of the anticipated time that materials are needed. The student copy of course books will in most cases be unbound for conversion purposes. Following completion of the converted format student books will be rebound with a comb binding and returned to the student. DS will make every effort to produce materials within the three week time frame. Since format conversion is time-consuming, students are not likely to be able to be able to get materials converted "on demand" and are strongly urged to register early for classes.
- If a student does not have a computer, converted documents can be accessed through a variety of computer labs throughout campus.
- Materials provided by DS (e.g. equipment, tape recordings, CDs, etc.) must be returned to the DS office immediately after the semester in which the material was provided. If materials are not returned a "hold" may be placed on the student's records until materials are returned. DS provides converted materials only for the semester that the student is enrolled in the class.
Note: DS will not convert existing texts to a new format if the text is already available in an accessible format. For example, print material available on digital CD will not be converted to electronic text.
Copyright law requires students to own a physical copy of the textbook being requested for conversion to an alternative format. (Copyright Revisions Act of 1976, as amended 17 U.S.C., Sec. 101 et seq.) This law also requires that accessible formats not be duplicated or shared. Students acquiring alternative formats through Disability Services must comply with these restrictions.
- Disability Services (DS) Director determines the accommodation of note taking.
- DS Director provides student with a note taking packet that is dated and signed by the Director.
- Student provides instructor with a letter of accommodation and the note taking packet.
- Instructor requests a note taker from within the class at the beginning of the semester.
- The instructor introduces the note taker and the student receiving the accommodation to each other.
- The instructor provides the note taking packet to the note taker.
- The note taker returns the note taking packet to DS and picks up the carbon copy paper (unless other arrangements have been made to provide the notes in a different format).
- If a note taker is not identified the instructor and the student must to notify DS as soon as possible so that other arrangements can be made.
*Note takers do not provide any other service to the student except for taking notes nor do they provide personal information regarding themselves.
University of Alaska Fairbanks students who use note taking services through Disability Services (DS) have a responsibility to:
- Provide the note taking packet to instructors at the beginning of the semester.
- Attend classes as scheduled in the course syllabi for each course where a note taker is requested.
- Discuss any dissatisfaction with the notes with the note taker and if problems persist contact DS for assistance.
- Contact DS for assistance if the note taker is absent.
- Understand that notes will not be provided for the days that the student is absent from class.
- Understand that a note taker is not required to provide any personal information or other service other than taking notes.
If the note taker is not a volunteer from the class the following rules apply:
- DS will be notified of any planned absences at least two working days prior to the planned absence.
- DS will be notified of an emergency absence. Less than 24 hours is considered a “LATE CANCELLATION.”
- An absence without contacting DS will be considered a “NO SHOW.”
- The note taker will leave 15 minutes into the class if the student has not arrived. They will then inform DS of the no show.
- After three no shows or late cancellations note taking services will be suspended until the student meets with the DS Director to develop a plan to prevent further no-shows or late cancellations.
- Upon receiving a note taking packet accompanied by a letter of accommodation solicit the class for a note taking volunteer as soon as possible.
- When a volunteer is found introduce the student with a disability to the volunteer.
- Give the note taking packet to the volunteer.
- If no volunteer is found after one week of solicitation, discuss this with the student with a disability and contact DS for guidance.
- Ask a particular student in the class to volunteer if that student is known to be reliable.
Note taker responsibilities
Once a student volunteers to be a note taker for a student with a disability they have a responsibility to:
- Turn in a completed note taker packet to Disability Services at the beginning of the semester.
- Attend class regularly. If this is a concern please return the note taking packet to the instructor so that another student can be recruited.
- Maintain the confidentiality of the student with the disability.
- Give notes to the student working with DS immediately after class unless both students decide on other arrangements for providing notes.
- Notes are to be provided only when the student working with DS attends class.
- Notify DS immediately if your employment status changes. This ensures timely payment of the stipend at the end of the semester.
- Contact DS with any questions or concerns regarding the note taking process.
For more questions, contact UAF Disability Services at (907)474-5655 or by e-mail at: email@example.com
All Disability Services interpreters and transcribers are interviewed by the director and have skills, training and experience working in a post-secondary educational setting. Though certification is encouraged UAF hires both certified and non-certified services. Family members cannot be hired or serve as interpreters or transcribers for other family members.
Disability Services provides interpreters and real time transcription services to Deaf and hard of hearing students for classes, meetings and co-curricular functions related to academic courses required on the syllabus. When local providers are not available remote services may be used. For more information on technology used for transcription/translation, visit assistive technology software.
Disability Services does not provide services for activities of a personal nature such as tutoring or attending campus events. Services for general activities are provided by the entity sponsoring the event or occasion.
Attendance and notification policies
- Students using interpreting services or transcription services will be expected to attend scheduled classes.
- Notification 48 hours in advance is required for planned absences or class cancellations.
- For unplanned absences students using services must contact the Disability Services office immediately. This can be accomplished through email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Two consecutive or three total no-shows without notification will result in suspension of interpreting services.
- To reinstate services the student must meet with the Disability Services Director and develop a plan of action to avoid further absences and continuous failure to notify the office.
Whenever possible instructors or departments will administer tests with appropriate accommodations in a location nearest to the other students. If this is not possible Disability Services will administer exams.
Disability Services has a testing room that is monitored via a closed-circuit video monitoring system. When a test is to be taken at Disability Services the following policies will be followed:
NOTE: TESTS TAKE PLACE AT THE SAME TIME AND DAY AS ALL OTHER STUDENTS IN THE CLASS TAKING THE EXAM. EXCEPTIONS ARE ONLY MADE WITH PERMISSION OF INSTRUCTOR AND UNDER EXTENUATING CIRCUMSTANCES.
- Instructors must approve any changes in time or date of test administration.
- The following items are not allowed in the exam room: backpacks, purses, food, beverages, cell phones, computers, listening devices, caps, hats, coats.
- All personal items must be left in the Disability Services office prior to entering the exam room.
- No changes will be made to instructions given by instructors. If an instructor has not indicated use of calculator, notes or books those items will not be allowed.
- Students are responsible for contacting Disability Services at least three business days in advance of the test date. A syllabus can also be dropped off in the Disability Services Office so that we can put exam dates on the schedule.
- Behaviors indicative of cheating will be reported to the instructor. See the UAF honor code in the course catalog.
- All tests will stop on time in accordance with the student’s current letter of accommodation and instructors instructions.
- Assistants serving as readers, scribes or proctors must be treated respectfully or services will be discontinued.
Lateness, illness, no show, cancellation and rescheduling policies
- Students must be on time. Additional study time is not allowed. If a student is late, the exam end time remains the same.
- There is no guarantee that an instructor will permit a make-up exam
- If you are unable to take an exam due to illness or emergency contact your instructor immediately.
- You are responsible for coordinating the make-up of any missed exam or quiz with your instructor and you are responsible for rescheduling to take the exam at Disability Services should the instructor choose to allow you a make-up exam.
Use of readers and scribes for exams
- Readers can be asked to repeat information, do not hesitate to ask.
- Readers will only read what is on the printed page and cannot be asked to define, explain, interpret or reword a question.
- Scribes will write down verbatim what you have dictated. The scribe is not responsible for organizing or paraphrasing your thoughts into a final draft.
- Scribes are responsible for general spelling and sentence ending punctuation but you are responsible for directing the scribe for any spelling of specific class related terminology or punctuation within sentences.
- At any time you will have opportunity to review what the scribe has written by reading it or having it read to you.
Disability Services has a number of items that can be loaned to UAF students. These include laptop computers, assistive technology software, assistive listening devices, recorders, magnifiers, foot rests and other items.
- A student must be eligible to check out equipment. Eligibility is based upon the current accommodation that the student receives through the Disability Services office. All equipment is loaned for academic and course related purposes only.
- Equipment and software are loaned at the beginning of each semester and is due at the end of the semester.
- If returned in good working order there is no charge. When equipment is returned damaged through accident, neglect or misuse the student will be charged for repairs.
- If UAF Disability Services equipment is not returned at the end of the semester, the DS office makes three attempts to contact the borrower via phone, email, and postal mail.
- If the equipment is not returned a hold is put on the student’s account which prevents the student from registering for further classes until either the equipment is returned or the student renders payment for the cost of the equipment.
Deviations from academic requirements and regulations for undergraduate students at UAF must be approved by academic petition. If the petition is submitted on the basis of a disability, the director of UAF Disability Services will be consulted.
Petition forms are available from the Office of the Registrar. There are three types of petitions.
Core curriculum petitions
If a petition deals with baccalaureate core requirements the advisor and the head of the department of the academic area involved must approve it. After the completed petition is turned in to the Registrar’s Office, it will be forwarded to the chair of the Core Review Committee for final approval.
Major or minor degree requirement petitions
If waiving or substituting courses in a major or minor, the signatures of your academic advisor and of the department or program head of the major or minor area are required before turning in the completed petition at the Registrar’s Office.
Petitions for other requirements
If a petition deals with general UAF and or specific requirements for a degree or other academic policies approval must be obtained from the academic advisor and the dean or director of the college or school in which the major is located.
All materials pertaining to a student’s disability are considered confidential by UAF Disability Services as mandated by federal regulations regarding the confidential treatment of personal information.
Students are responsible for obtaining their own documentation. Disability Services is required by law to have written approval by the student before obtaining or releasing information. Disability Services can only release information generated by the Disability Services office. Information obtained from other sources will not be released by Disability Services.
The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 (FERPA) does not allow faculty or others to access disability related information.
UAF Disability Services retains information for seven (7) years from the last date of contact with the student. Each student has a separate file located in a secure filing cabinet. Only UAF Disability staff have access to these files.
You will need Adobe Reader installed to view the forms listed below.
- Release of protected health information
- Request for disability records or other protected disability related information
A student who feels he or she has a complaint regarding accommodations (either that appropriate accommodations were not granted by Disability Services OR that approved accommodations are not being provided by a faculty member), eligibility or services through Disability Services should first speak to the Director of Disability Services. The Director is available at 907-474-5655 or by email at email@example.com. If after speaking with the director, a reasonable resolution has not been met, the student should speak to the Associate Vice Chancellor of Student Services within two weeks of the incident. The Associate Vice Chancellor is available at 907-474-2600 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
After the above informal process has been exhausted, a formal complaint may be filed. As per University Regulation, R09.06.05, which can be found at UAF Complaint Procedures page , the formal complaint is submitted to the Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs. The Vice Chancellor can be contacted at 907-474-2600 or email@example.com. Formal complaints must include:
- the name, address and phone number of the person submitting the complaint;
- the name and title of the individual(s) toward whom the complaint is directed;
- a clear and concise description of the event(s) leading to the complaint and of the complaint, itself;
- an explanation of the impact upon the complainant attributed to the substance of the complaint;
- a summary of attempts taken to resolve the complaint informally;
- any other supporting documentation deemed relevant and appropriate;
- the remedy requested; and
- the complainant’s signature and the date.
The Vice Chancellor will assign one or more individuals knowledgeable in the area of ADA/Section 504 compliance or disability discrimination to review the complaint. The reviewer(s) will determine within a reasonable period of time whether state or federal law, Regents’ Policy, University Regulation, or University rules and procedures have been violated. If so, the reviewer(s) will recommend to the Vice Chancellor appropriate solutions, including academic adjustments and other programmatic accommodations. The Vice Chancellor's decision on the matter will be made after consultation with the chancellor or designee and such other persons as the chancellor deems appropriate. The Vice Chancellor's decision is final within the university.
If you feel as though you have been discriminated against, you are encouraged to submit a report with the Department of Equity and Compliance at https://www.uaf.edu/oeo/report/discrimination.