FAQ for Faculty

Where do I refer a student who has disclosed a disability to me and/or requested a reasonable accommodation or other services due to a disability?

The student must be referred to the Office of Disability Services (the “ODS”) for his or her respective campus. No one, including faculty and staff, except the ODS  is permitted to provide accommodations for students with disabilities. Only the ODS is authorized to process requests for reasonable accommodations and decide which accommodations shall be granted. The ODS advises faculty in a writing referred to as an accommodation memo about the reasonable accommodations or other services granted to a student only with respect to that faculty member’s course.

The contact information for the Office of Disability Services follows:

Westchester Campuses(including the Law School and the Graduate Center):

Elisse Geberth, Assistant Director, Disability Services
(914) 773-3710
egeberth@pace.edu
Administration Center, 2nd Floor, Pleasantville

New York City Campus:

(212) 346-1526
156 William Street, 8th Floor

Jenna Cler, Assistant Director, Disability Services
jcler@pace.edu

Jenna Farbiarz, Coordinator, Disability Services
 
Kate Sullivan, Accommodations Coordinator, Disability Services
 

May I ask a student if he or she has a disability?

No. Even if the disability is visible (e.g., vision impairment, mobility impairment, etc.) faculty are not permitted to ask a student about his or her apparent or actual disability. Some students with disabilities choose not to invoke their right to reasonable accommodations and it is their right to refuse this form of support. If you wish to share your concerns about a student with an apparent disability, you may contact your school or college’s Academic Advisor.

May I provide reasonable accommodations or other services to a student who has an apparent or actual disability but has not registered with the Office of Disability Services?

No. It is understandable to want to help a student who has an apparent or actual disability and is struggling academically or in other ways. Nevertheless, not even the ODS can grant reasonable accommodations or other services unless a student has self-identified and registered with the Office of Disability Services. There is no prohibition, however, against providing such students with the same assistance or support provided to students in the class without apparent or actual disabilities.

What is the procedure for requesting and receiving reasonable accommodations and services based on a disability?

The first step is for the student to self-identify and register with the Office of Disability Services for his or her campus. Generally, the next step is for the student to provide documentation that is acceptable to the ODS concerning the disability and identify the requested reasonable accommodation(s). The student will meet with the ODS to review the information provided by student and his or her health care provider. Next, the ODS will decide which, if any, accommodations will be granted and describe the process for implementing the granted reasonable accommodations. Finally, the student will be given an accommodations memo addressed to each faculty member in which the ODS identifies the accommodations that were granted to the student for that course. The accommodation memo expires at the end of each semester. In order to be granted accommodations in subsequent semesters, students are required to update forms prior to the beginning of each subsequent semester. If the student does not complete and submit the updated forms, no accommodations or other services will be granted.  Students are not necessarily required to provide additional documentation or meet with the ODS each semester, but they must complete and submit the updated forms in order to be granted reasonable accommodations or other services.

How does the Office of Disability Services determine whether to grant requests for reasonable accommodations?

The University is required by federal, state and local laws to provide reasonable accommodations to students with eligible disabilities. The law requires that the procedure for processing requests for reasonable accommodations be interactive and done on a case-by-case basis. Based on information provided by the student and an appropriate health care provider, the ODS first determines whether the student has an eligible disability. If the student has an eligible disability, accommodations are determined on a case-by-case basis after the ODS considers the student’s needs as described in the information provided to the ODS.  The University is not required by law to grant the reasonable accommodation requested by the student; rather, the University is required by law to grant a reasonable accommodation.

Do testing accommodations give disabled students an advantage over non-disabled students without such accommodations? 

No.  Testing accommodations are designed to give the student equal access to the assessment and evaluation methods of the course. Testing accommodations do not alter the content of the exam or what the student is required to demonstrate on the exam; rather, testing accommodations alter the administration of the exam. Examples of testing accommodations include large print format, use of a computer to type answers, use of assistive technology for the exam such as Dragon Naturally Speaking, a distraction-reduced environment, and extended time to complete the exam. The intention of testing accommodations is to remove barriers that the traditional administration of an exam presents to a student because of a disability.

What do I do if I receive a disability accommodations memo from a student mid-semester?

Students are strongly encouraged to register with the ODS well before the beginning of the semester. However, they do not always do so or it sometimes happens they are not diagnosed with a disability until well after the beginning of the semester.  Regardless of the reason the student did not commence the procedure prior to the beginning of the semester or when the student requested and is granted a reasonable accommodation, the accommodation must be implemented. Nevertheless, accommodations are not provided retroactively, they are applicable only going forward. Hence, for example, if the student has already taken exams without an accommodation, he or she will not be permitted to retake exams administered before the grant of accommodations.

If I believe a reasonable accommodation that has been granted is not appropriate for my course, what should I do?

It is important to contact the Assistant Director of Disability Services if you believe an accommodation granted with respect to your course may compromise the essential educational requirements, academic standards, or grading standards of the course. Faculty must not discuss concerns about an accommodation with the student or alter in any manner the accommodation granted.

If I am uncertain how to implement an accommodation, what should I do?

If you have any questions about the process for implementing a particular accommodation, please call the Assistant Director of Disability Services for your campus. The ODSwill discuss the accommodation with you and assist in determining the most appropriate way to provide the accommodation to the student.

Is there an approved statement about disabilities and reasonable accommodations that must appear on every course syllabus?

Yes. The approved statement that must appear on every course syllabus may be found at http://www.pace.edu/counseling-center/resources-students-disabilities/syllabus-statement and also on the Counseling Services webpage by clicking on Resources for Students with Disabilities and then clicking on “Syllabus Statement.” . 

What on-campus resources are available for students with disabilities?

There are several offices that provide support to students with disabilities as well as, in some cases, the entire student population.

The Office of Disability Services

Westchester Campuses (including the Law School and the Graduate Center)
Administration Center, 2nd Floor (Assistant Director’s office is located on the 1st floor), Pleasantville
(914) 773-3710

New York City Campus
156 William Street, 8th Floor
(212) 346-1526

The Office of Disability Services provides the following services:

·         Assistance in arranging reasonable accommodations and services for students with disabilities.

·         Support for students in learning how to navigate the transition from high school to college.

·         A social skills group for students entitled, “Navigating the Social World” (Westchester campus)

·         Advocates for students with disabilities and supports them in learning to advocate for themselves.

·         In addition to the services identified directly above, the  New York City Office of Disability Services  maintains the assistive technology computer workstation for students with disabilities and coordinates accommodated testing granted by the ODS for students with disabilities,   

The Counseling Center  

Westchester Campuses (including the Law School and the Graduate Center)
Administration Center, 2nd Floor, Pleasantville
(914) 773-3710

New York City Campus
156 William Street, 8th Floor
(212) 346-1526

The Counseling Center provides:

·         Personal counseling

·         Alcohol and other drug assessments

·         Consultation to students, faculty and staff

·         Outreach

·         Workshops

·         Groups

 

The Center for Academic Excellence

Westchester Campuses (excluding the Law School but including the Graduate Center)
Mortola Library, 3rd Floor, Pleasantville
(914) 773-3434

New York City Campus
2nd Floor, 41 Park Row
(212) 346-1386

The Center for Academic Excellence (“CAE”) provides the following services:

·         Operates the Tutoring Center.

·         Manages the Challenge to Achieve at Pace Program.

·         Conducts individual meetings and workshops on topics such as time management, organizational skills, and study skills.

·         In addition to the services identified directly above, the CAE on the Pleasantville campus maintains the assistive technology computer workstation for students with disabilities and coordinates accommodated testing granted by the ODS for students with disabilities,   

The Writing Center

Westchester Campuses (excluding the Law School but including the Graduate Center)
Mortola Library, 3rd Floor, Pleasantville
(914) 773-3942

New York City Campus
Birnbaum Library, 2nd Floor
(212) 346-1085

The Writing Center provides tutoring for all aspects of the writing process.

Academic Advisement

The academic advisors in all of the schools and colleges are extremely useful resources for all students. They provide guidance not only on creating an appropriate schedule for the student, but also in learning how to best utilize the resources available on campus and managing the delicate balance between academic and social life.