Implementing Accommodations: Faculty/Instructor and DRC Relationships

Purdue recognizes inclusion and access as a University-wide responsibility. As such, active participation by faculty, students and DRC staff is key to creating accessible experiences. 

How does the DRC's process work?

The DRC follows best practices outlined by AHEAD (Association on Higher Education and Disability). Accommodations are never intended to: 

  • reduce academic rigor
  • pose a fundamental alteration to course design
  • be unreasonable 

DRC staff determine reasonable accommodations based on a traditional course design model. DRC staff also work with students to develop a Letter of Accommodation (LOA). Students provide the LOA to their instructors after they’ve registered with DRC staff.

What if the accommodation seems unreasonable?

Faculty who believe an accommodation fundamentally alters their class should contact the DRC. "Reasonableness" and "fundamental alteration" are concepts determined by DRC staff in conjunction with faculty and instructors. Considerations include a course's design, delivery and its intersection with students. 

DRC staff are not able to know the instructional complexity of all courses at Purdue. Likewise, faculty may not know the complexities of a student's disability. This is why faculty who have questions should contact DRC staff for mutual-guidance and discussion. 

Students' LOA forms always list the DRC staff member they're working with. Faculty and instructors may call or email the DRC staff member with any questions. 

The DRC aims to collaborate with students and instructors on implementing accommodations. Conversations between DRC staff and instructors may include the following: 

  • review of the syllabus and course design
  • discussion of any concerns faculty/instructors have about accommodation
  • guidance on how to implement an accommodation

Please note: disability is different from illness. Instructors should not request medical documentation from students, other than documentation related to conditions that are not considered disabilities such as colds or influenza, as outlined on their syllabuses or otherwise. 

Many health conditions may qualify as disabilities; thus, Purdue advises faculty against requesting medical documentation. If necessary, the DRC and Campus Health may review and maintain such forms.

Other resources:

Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD)

Information and Technical Assistance on the Americans with Disabilities Act

Contact us: 

Phone: (765) 494-1247
Location: YONG Room 830
155 South Grant St.
West Lafayette, IN 47907

Student Success at Purdue, KRCH 4th Floor, 1198 Third Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907, (765) 494-9328

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