Shared Roles and Responsibilities

People walking near Kirkhof Center

Disability Support Resources (DSR) assists faculty and students equitably. DSR believes that providing reasonable accommodations for students with a disability is a shared responsibility and partnership.

Section 504 of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act, as amended, requires the University to provide reasonable accommodations to qualified students with disabilities. 

Academic accommodations are determined for each student on an individual basis by the DSR advisor, and designed through an interactive process with the student.  The interactive process includes; DSR application, documentation of a disability, meeting with a DSR advisor, and any follow-up needed to ensure reasonable accommodations have been considered.  Accommodations are not retroactive.

If you have any questions about approved accommodations issued by DSR, please contact the DSR advisor listed on the “memo” to discuss your  concerns.

Services for Faculty

DSR serves as your resource and collaborator in ensuring that academic accommodations are reasonable and adequate.  If you have any questions and/or problems with establishing accommodations or require assistance on providing requests, DSR is here to help with a variety of services for delivering instruction, including but not limited to:

  • Troubleshooting/assisting with establishing a classroom accommodation
  • Facilitation of extended time and low-stimuli testing environments
  • Providing consultation on working with various types of disabilities
  • Assist faculty in ensuring they have accessible course materials
  • Providing faculty training and educational resources

Faculty Responsibilities

  • Students must disclose a disability by providing a DSR issued memo, in order to receive services. 
  • Provide only the adjustments on the DSR memo unless it is an accommodation that you are willing to offer all students in the class.
  • Contact DSR if there are questions or concerns about requested adjustments, or for assistance in identifying the best method for providing accommodations for students enrolled in classes.
  • Ensure that all accommodations listed on the DSR memo are provided.
  • Maintain confidentiality.
  • Faculty should not lower course expectations or fundamentally alter the nature of the course at the request of a student with a disability. 
  • Faculty are not entitled to know the diagnosis of a student and should not ask students to disclose the specifics of their disability.
  • Documentation related to accommodations (i.e., accommodation forms and memos) (memorandum of accommodations) must be kept separate from a student’s departmental file.

Student Responsibilities

  • Self-identify as a qualified student with a disability in order to make a specific request for reasonable accommodations in a timely manner.
  • Provide documentation as specified in DSR guidelines.
  • Participate in the accommodation process, and understand that the process is intended to be interactive and collaborative.
  • Meet with an advisor in DSR before the initial semester in which accommodations will be requested whenever possible.
  • Initiate a face-to-face meeting with each professor who you will provide a copy of your DSR “memo” during office hours to ensure a mutual understanding of how accommodations will be provided.
  • Contact DSR if questions or difficulties related to the provision of accommodations arise that cannot be resolved between the student and faculty/staff.
  • Abide by the Code of Conduct and other regulations applicable to all students enrolled at Grand Valley State University (GVSU).

Disability Support Resources Responsibilities

  • Develop policies and procedures to guide the provision of support services and institutional compliance with legislative mandates regarding persons with disabilities.
  • Facilitate the assessment of documentation and applications for academic and housing accommodations.
  • Facilitate and coordinate the provision of special accommodations for students with disabilities.
  • Communicate departmental procedures to students, faculty, and staff.
  • Communicate to student applicant results of the assessment, including requests for additional documentation, recommendations for transitional support services and accommodations.
  • Maintain confidential records, including documentation.
  • Provide guidance and resource referrals for students, faculty, and staff who receive and provide access to facilities, programs, activities, and services for persons with disabilities.
  • Contact faculty and staff on behalf of students when appropriate to facilitate the provision of accommodations and access to service.

Shared Responsibilities

  • Students with disabilities have the primary responsibility to self-identify and request accommodations in a timely manner.   Faculty nor staff are required to anticipate individual student needs. Students may request accommodations at any time. 
  • University personnel, including both faculty and staff, should integrate accessibility into their routine planning process for delivery of programs and services of their departments.
  • Accessibility and inclusion should be considered in arranging field trips and special events, designing computer labs, purchasing videos, computers, software, and creating websites.
  • When a student discloses a disability, faculty and staff members must be receptive to ways they can facilitate learning and promote equal access.
  • There are no time limits on when a student could disclose a disability.  A student may disclose at any time; however, accommodations must be reasonable and accommodations are not retroactive.  It may be as simple as allowing a student to sit in front of the classroom, or making an enlargement on the copy machine.
  • Students with disabilities should not be discouraged from specific fields of study if they meet the admission requirements and maintain the appropriate grades, and are otherwise qualified. We recommend students review and understand all technical standards for their chosen program (i.e., OT, PT, NUR) and ask their program director any clarifying questions.


Page last modified November 8, 2021