UMass Boston

Rights and Responsibilities

As a faculty member, you have the right to:

  •     Determine course content and general methods of teaching.
  •     Ensure that the standards in your course(s) are not lowered or compromised
  •     Ensure that a student has demonstrated mastery of the essential requirements of a course in order to obtain an appropriate grade
  •     Fail any student if he/she does not demonstrate mastery of essential course requirements
  •     Question a specific accommodation request if it is either inappropriate for their course, or if the nature of the request would alter the essential requirements of a course.          However, if you believe that the essential course elements and the accommodations appear to conflict, you should be consider the following questions:
    • What is the fundamental nature of the course (e.g., lecture, lab, independent study)?
    • What are the learning objectives and activities (individual/group projects, field trips, presentation) of the course? Are they clearly stated? Where?
    • What do the course description and syllabus state about the learning process, instructional methods, and student participation?
    • Does the fundamental nature of the course rely upon student participation as an essential method for learning? How?
    • To what degree does a student's failure to participate constitute a significant loss to the educational experience of other students in the class?
    • Do student contributions (e.g., presentations) during the class constitute a significant component of the learning process?
    • Is there classroom interaction between the instructor and students? Between/among students?
    • How are student achievement and mastery of the course objectives demonstrated? How are they measured? Are there alternative measures that would be acceptable to you?
    • How is the final course grade calculated?  Are there alternative methods of calculating the final grade that would be acceptable to you?
    • Is this course a prerequisite for other courses?  Is this course based on prerequisite courses? Are there alternative courses that would meet the student's course of study requirements?
  •     Consult with the Ross Center on the most appropriate ways to adapt your course to the needs of a particular student without violating the confidentiality of a specific student.
  •     Be treated respectfully by all students in their class

As a faculty member, you are responsible for:

  •      Acknowledging that students who are registered with the Ross Center have provided adequate and appropriate documentation of their disability from a registered health care professional; accommodations are based on this documentation.
  •      Respecting confidentiality with regards to the specifics of a student's disability and/or accommodation(s).
  •      Providing course syllabus and all other relevant course material at least a month in advance upon request of registered Ross Center students who may need information in an alternative format.
  •      Learning about Ross Center policies and procedures, and cooperating in the coordination of services
  •     Understanding that some students with disabilities have academic or behavior problems that are not related to their disabilities. Faculty members are not obligated to treat such problems differently then they would for a non-disabled student
  •     Enforce the Code of Student Conduct equally for all students

A student with a disability has the right to:

  •      Appropriate confidentiality of all information related to his/her disability
  •      Equal access to courses, programs, services, jobs, activities, and facilities available through the University
  •      Receive reasonable accommodations according to his/her disability, which may include academic adjustment, and/or auxiliary aids determined on an individualized basis using required documentation

A student with a disability is responsible to:

  •     Disclose their disability and provide documentation regarding their disability from an appropriate health care professional to the Ross Center
  •     Complete the Semester Accommodations Form and meet with RCDS staff each semester to review course requirements and obtain a Confidential Faculty Letter for each instructor
  •     Meet with faculty to discuss disability-related needs and accommodations
  •     Request all services in a timely manner
  •     Report any concerns that he/she may have regarding accommodations as they arise. Otherwise, the Ross Center's ability to respond is reduced
  •     Treat all university personnel with respect
  •     Meet the University's graduation requirement and qualifications essential for full participation in any academic program

Ross Center for Disability Services has the right to:

  •      Request current and appropriate documentation of your disability.
  •      Discuss a student's need for reasonable accommodations, academic adjustments, and/or auxiliary aids with the professional who provides the written verification of disability (with the student's signed consent).
  •      Deny a request for accommodations, academic adjustments, and/or auxiliary aids if the documentation does not meet the guidelines set forth in this handbook.
  •      Refuse to provide specific accommodations if:
    •          The request is not made within the timeline and procedures as specified in this handbook.
    •          It constitutes a substantial change or alteration to an essential part of a academic program or course.
    •          It poses a direct threat to the health and safety of others.
    •          It poses undue financial hardship on the University.
    •          The faculty member has not been notified.
  •      Select the most appropriate or equally effective accommodations, adjustments, or auxiliary aids through discussion with the student.
  •      Suspend services if the Student Code of Conduct has been violated.
  •      Be treated respectfully by all students.

Ross Center for Disability Services is responsible to:

  •      Maintain the student's confidentiality with respect to their disability
  •      Orient students to information regarding policies and procedures at the Ross Center to ensure availability of material in accessible format upon a timely request by a student
  •      Support reasonable and appropriate accommodations, academic adjustments, adaptive equipment and/or other auxiliary aids for students with disabilities on an individualized basis upon request and with appropriate documentation
  •      Inform students with disabilities of University grievance procedures