Rights and Responsibilities



Educational access is the provision of classroom accommodations, auxiliary aids and services to ensure equal educational opportunities for all students regardless of disability. Creating equal educational opportunities is a collaborative effort between the student, the faculty member, and the Abilities Office, the Chicago State University office dedicated to serving students with disabilities. The Abilities Office can be reached at 773-995-2380 or 773-995-3776 (TTY).

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 as amended, protect students with disabilities from discrimination that may occur as a result of misconceptions, attitudinal barriers, structural and communication barriers and/or failure of the institution to provide appropriate accommodations, auxiliary aids, or services. Examples of accommodations and auxiliary aids include, but are not limited to: qualified interpreters, note takers, extra time for exams, and educational materials in alternate format (i.e. Braille, audiotape, electronic format, enlarged print).

Faculty Have the Right to:


  • Request verification of a student’s eligibility for any requested accommodations. Such verification will be in the form of a letter prepared by the Abilities Office Coordinator and delivered by the student directly to you. The Abilities Office is the only office designated to review disability documentation and determine eligibility for appropriate accommodations. Faculty should not view the medical documentation.


  • Expect the student to initiate accommodation requests
  • If the student is taking his or her tests at the Abilities Office, expect the Office to administer exams in a secure and monitored environment.

Faculty Have the Responsibility to:


  • Identify and establish essential functions, abilities, skills, and knowledge of their courses and evaluate students on this basis. Students with disabilities should meet the same course expectations as their peers.
  • Provide accommodations only to students who are registered with the Abilities Office. It is NOT your responsibility to provide accommodations to students who are not registered with the Abilities Office.
  • Use a syllabus statement and class announcements to invite students to disclose their needs.
  • Act immediately upon receiving a student’s letter of accommodations. Contact the Abilities Office if you have questions regarding the accommodation. Direct any unregistered student requesting an accommodation on the basis of a disability to the Abilities Office.
  • If a student needs alternative media, please provide the Abilities Office with syllabi, textbooks, course packets, etc, well before classes begin in order for students with disabilities to use alternative media when all other students have course materials. With such timely consideration, students with disabilities who have alternative media needs for accommodations and instructional access will be best served. Alternative media may be print material in Braille, on audiotapes, or enlarged.
  • Work to ensure that all audio-visual materials used in class are accessible (e.g., that videos shown are captioned for students with hearing impairments and that the VCR /DVD equipment used has captioning capabilities; that for visually impaired students, videos shown will be made with auditory description in some way or that written transcripts will be provided, etc.)


  • Treat and protect all disability-related information as confidential medical information. For example, keep printed items, such as Proctor Sheets or emails regarding student disability-related information in a protected location.


  • For students who test at the Abilities Office, clearly communicate your testing procedures with the student and the office by completing a Proctor Sheet upon request or by providing clear instructions for test administration and return of test.
  • Consult with students with disabilities and the Abilities Office in providing appropriate accommodations.

PLEASE NOTE: Faculty do NOT have the right to ask students if they have a disability. For those students with documented disabilities, faculty do NOT have the right to ask about the nature of the disability. However, if students choose to disclose their disability, this information should be treated confidentially.

This Fact Sheet was adapted from content compiled by the Ohio State University Partnership Grant, "Improving the Quality of Education for Students with Disabilities", funded by the U.S. Department of Education under grant #P333A990046.

This Fact Sheet is available in alternate format upon request. Please call the Abilities Office at (773) 995-2380.