Instructor Center

Welcome to the Instructor Center! This page serves as a central hub designed to provide faculty and instructors at OTC with essential information about the Disability Support accommodation process. The easiest way to ensure equal access for all students is for instructors to design courses with accessibility in mind.

Spring 2017 First Day of Class Springfield Campus

Tools For You

Below you’ll find information, tools, and strategies to aid you when developing accessible course content. In the FAQs section we answer many questions you may have and address topics in the DSS Testing process.

Instructors as Partners

Not only is DSS committed to serving students, we are also committed to faculty and staff. Instructors are an integral part of the support team in fostering student success and retention.

Because instructors hold intimate knowledge of their subject and courses, DSS relies on their expertise when identifying essential functions of a course or program in order to determine appropriate accommodations.

DSS can provide additional support to faculty and staff by providing resources, facilitating trainings, and offering ideas on creating a more accessible class.

Information for Instructors

Exam Request Form - Instructor Portion

Students will complete their exam request which generates an email with the link for you to complete your portion. The form should look familiar since it is based on the Faculty Make-up Exam form utilized by Testing Services.

Your student’s name and course information will auto populate from the student’s exam request. Please complete your sections and hit submit. It is very important that you include the quantity of time allowed for the exam and be specific on any resources you want your student to utilize on the exam.

You will notice there are two options for your exam’s return: email or pickup. This is consistent with Testing Services. We will no longer be delivering exams to instructor mailboxes.

If you know you have a student who needs to fill out an exam request form but hasn’t yet, you may go ahead and submit your instructor portion using the button located above on this page.

More information about testing with accommodations and the exam request process, visit our Testing FAQ page.

DSS Accommodation Process

Steps beginning with application through execution of accommodations:

  1. Student applies for services through DSS
  2. Student secures documentation
  3. Student meets with Accessibility Coordinator to discuss potential accommodations
  4. Student signs Accommodation Plan and Release/Rights/Responsibilities documents
  5. Student receives Accommodation Letter that they may choose to forward to their instructors. Failure to forward means there are no accommodations (and no DSS communication).
  6. Student works with instructor and/or proctor so accommodations may be used

To see the whole student process please visit our Apply page.

Please review the student’s Release, Rights & Responsibilities

What is My Role?

Instructor’s Role in the Accommodation Process:

Are you expected to become an expert on disabilities? No. Disability Support Services has staff who have expertise in verifying disabilities and determining academic accommodations. However, below is a list of your role in making OTC welcoming and inclusive:

  • Syllabus Statement: You should have a statement in your syllabus directing students who may need accommodations to Disability Support Services.
  • Accommodation Letter: Upon receiving an Accommodation Letter, you take an active role in implementing the accommodations. It is best practice to discuss each accommodation with the student so that you both have a clear understanding about how the accommodation will be implemented. If you need help implementing an accommodation, let DSS know. We are here to offer support to you, too! If an accommodation is not appropriate for the class (fundamentally alters the course, is not logistically possible, accommodation poses a threat to others, or other concern) please contact DSS immediately to discuss possible alternatives. It is not always possible to anticipate how each student’s disability will impact them in the classroom. As a result, it may be necessary to amend the approved accommodations. This will be done with a team approach; you, a DSS Accessibility Coordinator, and the student.
  • Accessible Materials: If you are able to choose your course textbook and materials, please do so with accessibility in mind! Choose vendors who include accessibility features that are vetted. Consider Universal Design principles when adding and creating content, lecturing/presenting, and creating assessments and assignments.
  • Make Referrals: Students sometimes disclose their disability to their instructors. Some feel reluctant to do so. In either case, if you think that a student would benefit from accommodation services because of a disability, please kindly and discreetly refer them to our office. Direct them to the DSS website/application or even walk with them to our office for a warm handoff.


Legislation: Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with disabilities Act of 1990 and its 2008 Amendments prohibit discrimination against individuals with disabilities. According to federal law, no otherwise qualified individual with a disability shall, solely by reason of his or her disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity of a public entity.

Accommodation Plan is a plan created to outline a student’s accommodations. Accommodations are determined based on eligibility, documentation, and student needs. This is an interactive process.

Accommodation Letter is a memo to instructors outlining student accommodations. This is different than the accommodation plan because it includes less FERPA protected information and often includes additional information specific to instructors (how to implement accommodations and DSS contact information).

Disability Support Services (DSS) is the office at OTC that assists students with a disability with their accommodation needs.

Information about Service Animals/Emotional Support Animals

Service animals and Emotional support Animals are increasingly common on today’s college campuses. Service animals and ESA’s are allowed on all OTC campuses and in all OTC education centers. Exceptions to campus access may include sterile environments and/or those requiring personal protective equipment. Determinations for access will be made on an individual basis. Please see this  Additional Information.

Resources for Instructors

Resource Spotlight with
Ed Derr LPC, NCC
DSS Resource Counselor

Coming Soon!

Student Perspectives for Faculty Video