Accessibility statements, or embedding accessibility in your inclusive statement, on your syllabus can help to:
Signal to all students in a course (not just those with disabilities) that you welcome discussion about individual differences in learning, encountered barriers, and ways to maximize access.
Send a message that you value diversity and an inclusive learning environment.
Open the door to communication and help students feel more comfortable approaching you.
Normalize the accommodations process as just another part of the course.
Inform students about college procedures and available resources.
An inclusive “accessibility” statement:
- Recognizes disability as an aspect of diversity and equity.
- Places emphasis on inclusive course design.
- Empowers the student and faculty member to work together to find solutions, involving the Accessible Education office when needed or desired.
Virginia Tech welcomes students with disabilities into the University’s educational programs. The University promotes efforts to provide equal access and a culture of inclusion without altering the essential elements of coursework. If you anticipate or experience academic barriers that may be due to disability, including but not limited to, chronic medical conditions, Deaf or hard of hearing, learning disability, mental health, or vision impairment, please contact the Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) (540-231-3788, firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit www.ssd.vt.edu). If you have an SSD accommodation letter, please meet with me privately during office hours as early in the semester as possible to discuss implementing your accommodations. You must give me reasonable notice to implement your accommodations, which is generally 5 business days and 10 business days for final exams.
Make an Announcement in Class
Please consider reading this statement or discussing it in class at the beginning of each semester. This can further normalize the accommodations process and encourage students to feel comfortable approaching you.