Faculty FAQ - Letters of Accommodations

What is a Letter of Accommodations (LOA)?

Why am I receiving the Letter of Accommodations (LOA)?

How should I receive the Letter of Accommodations (LOA)?

Who should I contact if I have questions, comments or concerns?

What to know when discussing a student's accommodations?

What are my responsibilities vs. the student’s responsibilities?

What if a student does not have a Letter of Accommodations (LOA)?

 

What is a Letter of Accommodations (LOA)?

A Letter of Accommodations (LOA) is a document provided by the Office of Disability Services that explains to faculty the reasonable accommodations to be provided to a student. The Letter of Accommodations is given to students who have met all of the following criteria:

  • Submitted appropriate documentation to verify their disability.
  • Met with a representative from the Office of Disability Services.
  • Have been approved as an individual who is covered under the Americans with Disabilities Act, Amendments Act (ADAAA) of 2008.
  • Are eligible to receive reasonable accommodations at Rutgers University.

The letter contains course accommodations approved by the Office of Disability Services based on the student's disability.

 

Why am I receiving the Letter of Accommodations (LOA)?

You are receiving this letter as an official document from the University stating the students approved accommodations. This letter serves as a way for the student to make themselves and their approved accommodations known to you. It is your responsibility to work with the student and the Office the Disability Services to ensure their accommodations are met.

 

How should I receive the Letter of Accommodations (LOA)?

Students are encouraged to present Letters of Accommodations (LOA) to their professor as early as possible.  However, it should be understood that under some circumstances (e.g.., student was approved for accommodations later in the semester, student was recently diagnosed) the student may submit their letter later in the semester.  Keep in mind that accommodations are not retroactive and are effective only upon submission of the LOA to the professor.

 Students are asked to present the LOA to their professor in private and not in front of other students.  This approach protects the student's confidentiality regarding their disability and promotes a more healthy exchange between the student and the professor.

 

Who should I contact if I have questions, comments or concerns?

 You're not alone, the Office of Disability Service is here to help answer any questions and/or address any concerns you may have. All Letters of Accommodation (LOA)  are signed by the student’s coordinator, and includes their contact information. They are a great resource to reach out to if you have questions regarding the accommodations. The Office of Disability Services can be reached through our main office number 848-445-6800, or via email at ods@echo.rutgers.edu.

 

What to know when discussing a student's accommodations?

Please remember this should be a private conversation, this approach protects the student's confidentiality regarding their disability and promotes a more healthy exchange between the student and the professor. During this meeting, you should not ask the nature of the student's disability, nor make assumptions regarding the type of disability. Many of our students have invisible disabilities.

The purpose of this meeting is for you and the student to both understand the approved accommodations, and the specific manner in which these accommodations will be implemented in your course (i.e. if a student is approved for exam related accommodations, how will those arrangements be made, through you or through our office). If further assistance is needed, you can contact our office at 848-445-6800, or via email at ods@echo.rutgers.edu.

The Letters of Accommodations (LOA) should also include a Rights and Responsibility Form which serves as a summary of your meeting and an agreement of the arrangements you and the student have made. Both the Professor and the student should sign this form. ODS asks that the student return a copy of this signed form to our office. Please also retain a copy of both the LOA and the Rights and Responsibility Form for your own records.

 

What are my responsibilities vs. the student’s responsibilities?

 First and foremost, it is the student’s responsibility to begin the process. It is the student’s responsibility to request the Letter of Accommodations (LOA) from the Office of Disability Services every semester. It is the student’s responsibility to self-identify and provide you with this letter in a timely manner. It is the student’s responsibility to meet with you to discuss the accommodations listed on the LOA and the manner in which they are implemented in the class.

As a professor, it is your responsibility to meet with the student. The purpose of this meeting is for you and the student to both understand the approved accommodations, and the specific manner in which these accommodations will be implemented in your course (i.e. if a student is approved for exam related accommodations, how will those arrangements be made, through you or through our office).

The LOA should also include a Rights and Responsibility Form which serves as a summary of your meeting and an agreement of the arrangements you and the student have made. It is your responsibility to sign the form. ODS asks that the student return a copy of this signed form to our office. Please also retain a copy of both the LOA and the Rights and Responsibility Form for your own records.

If you have questions, or concerns about the accommodations listed, it is your responsibility to contact our office directly. You can contact our office at 848-445-6800, or via email at ods@echo.rutgers.edu.

 

What if a student does not have a Letter of Accommodations (LOA)?

If a student does not have a Letter of Accommodations (LOA), you are not legally required to provide any accommodations to the student. Please direct the student to contact the Office of Disability services directly.

If a student is asking for assistance due to a temporary condition such as a broken arm, or sudden illness, please refer to the Dean of Students' web page temporaryconditions.rutgers.edu.