Accessibility Services - Faculty

Faculty members are an integral part of the success of any student with a disability. Most students will share the information of their disabilities readily with instructors; some, however, decide not to share such information and never seek accommodations. If a student has been granted a letter of accommodation from the Accessibility Services Coordinator, it is their responsibility to share the letter of accommodation with you. They may choose to seek accommodations in some classes but not all. When a student brings you a letter of accommodation, please have a private conversation with the student about their needs and how the accommodations will be implemented. A great conversation starter might be: "How can I help you learn?" If you are concerned that a student has a disability which has not been disclosed to you or not diagnosed, you may diplomatically discuss that matter with the student or raise your concern with the Accessibility Services Coordinator. It is the student's right, however, to keep the nature of their disability private. It is best practice for instructors to grant only the accommodations that are included in the student's letter of accommodation, and to not grant students without letters accommodations. If students are given accommodations without having a letter or being registered with Accessibility Services, those same accommodations must be available to all students in the course. For example, if an instructor wants to grant a student with no letter of accommodation extra time on a test then every student in the class should be allowed that privilege.

To apply for academic accommodations, students must submit an application to Accessibility Services. After an application is submitted, the Accessibility Coordinator will meet with students to go over the application and help them find the accommodations that are right for them. Students who are approved for accommodations receive a letter to their email from “Maxient” (a program the school uses). This letter will be forwarded to the instructors of the classes that students are seeking accommodations for. Accommodations letters are only good for one semester at a time, so students are required to renew their accommodations every semester.

For a student to receive academic accommodations at Helena College, a student must be registered with accessibility services and be approved for specific accommodations. Each student is given an “accommodation letter” that will explain their accommodation needs. Accommodated students are required to either email or give this accommodations letter to the instructor and have a conversation with the instructor on how best to implement their accommodations for the course. To receive accommodations, a student must send a letter to their instructor. Accommodation letter are only good for one semester at a time, and cover a student’s full class list. Some accommodations may be used only for classes by other instructors, or accommodations may never be used by the student for any of their classes. Accommodations cannot be retroactive, so a student must only use accommodations for current and future assignments. If you have questions about implementing accommodations or the accommodations process, ask Accessibility Services Staff.

Students with testing accommodations are responsible for scheduling accommodated tests through the Helena College Testing Center. If a scribe or test reader is required, those arrangements should also be made at that time, as well as interpreter services if necessary. Faculty must submit student tests to the Testing Center following the guidelines found on the Testing Center web page. Please work with the Office of Accessibility Services to make arrangements for accommodated lab exams and quizzes.

A variety of resources are available to students with disabilities at Helena College. These resources include alternative testing, adaptive and assistive equipment, electronic textbooks, physical modifications (such as more comfortable chairs), note taking and scribing, supplemental academic advising, and other services by request. The services offered to each student are determined by the student's needs and documentation. If materials are needed in an alternative format, the student should request those as soon as possible so that they can be ordered.

In addition, if a student needs an interpreter, that request should be made as early as possible so that the most appropriate services can be put into place for the student.

The first step is to schedule a meeting with Accessibility Services and to go over any potential solutions for the accommodation request and to talk about the fundamental instructions of the course and what is or is not a reasonable accommodation. Accommodations are not considered reasonable if they pose a direct threat to the health or safety of others; if they change the essential elements of the curriculum; or if they pose an undue financial or administrative burden.

Contact Accessibility Services Staff:

Phone: (406) 447-6911
Office location: Donaldson Campus Room 119
Schedule an appointment today!
Helena College Chat