Disabled Students’ Program website offers faculty portal

By D. Lyn Hunter, Public Affairs

15 August 2002 | A groundbreaking portal for faculty adds a new option to the array of services available on the Disabled Students’ Program website. The portal — the only one of its kind in the UC system, and one of the few in the country — enables faculty to retrieve letters of accommodation for students with disabilities who are enrolled in their classes.

Letters of accommodation apprise faculty members of the academic-related needs of these students, such as extended time for exams, enlarged copies of lecture notes, or the provision of sign-language interpreters.

The service allows faculty to obtain letters of accommodation more quickly, giving them enhanced notice and additional time to make preparations, if needed, says Ed Rogers, director of the Disabled Students’ Program.

“In the past, we simply printed out the letters, and students were responsible for hand-delivering them to their professors,” he says. “The new service automates this function, speeding up the letters’ distribution significantly.”

When an accommodation letter is generated by the Disabled Students’ Program, an e-mail is sent automatically to the faculty member. The message includes a link to the program’s website ( From this site, faculty can access the “Faculty/Proxy” portal and follow the instructions. The portal is secure, so faculty must have CalNet authorization to access it.

For faculty without e-mail, the program will mail hard copies of accommodation letters to their home department.

Though letter distribution is now automated, students are still expected to take the time to meet with their professors face-to-face and discuss their disability- related academic needs at the beginning of each semester, advises Rogers.

“It’s important for students to build a relationship with their instructors,” he says, “so they can work together to make sure educational goals are met.”

In addition to retrieving accommodation letters, faculty can use the portal to view lists of assigned notetakers for each student; special test requirements and extended time allotments; course proxies; and suggestions on additional ways they can help their students.

“Moving these functions to the web gives us more time to assist students,” he said, “and enhances our support and assistance to faculty.”

The faculty portal is only the latest addition to a growing list of online services the Disabled Students’ Program offers. These include student application for services, appointment scheduling, and the hiring and payment of auxiliary-services assistants.


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