Procedures and Responsibilities

Student Disability Services (SDS) respects that faculty are the subject matter experts. Therefore, accommodations are an interactive process involving the student, faculty, and SDS. Students should complete the following steps to be eligible for accommodations and Student Disability Services:

  1. Self-disclose disability by completing the New Student Application in the SAM online portal.
  2. Provide verifying documentation that meets SDS Documentation Guidelines.
  3. Meet with SDS staff to determine accommodation plans.
  4. Request a Faculty Notification Letter (FNL) each term and self-advocate regarding accommodation needs.

Recommended accommodations are determined based upon student need. Accommodations must be reasonable, appropriate and not interfere with essential course components. Faculty and students can view accommodation information by visiting the SAM: Students Accessing Miami Online Portal.

Faculty Notification of Accommodations

The accommodations process begins with receiving a Faculty Notification Letter (FNL). Students are responsible for requesting their FNL each semester via the SAM portal. The FNL lists accommodations the student has requested and is sent to your Miami email account.

We recommend only providing accommodations to students for which you have received formal notification. To promote overall course accessibility, we encourage you to employ Universal Design for Learning (UDL) principles. Please refer students to SDS if they disclose accommodations needs that you have not been formally notified about.

Students are strongly encouraged to initiate a meeting to discuss accommodation plans. However, if you receive a letter and the student does not contact you regarding their accommodations, we recommend reaching out to the student. A brief email acknowledging you received the FNL and encouraging them to meet with you is suggested. Include this email in your class records.

SAM Faculty Portal

The SAM: Students Accessing Miami Faculty Portal provides faculty with important information regarding student accommodations. By visiting this portal you can:

  • View accommodation information for SDS affiliated students in your course.
  • Review exam requests and upload exams to the Testing Center.
  • Review notetaking and real-time captioning transcripts.

Please contact SDS if you need training or assistance with the SAM Faculty Portal.

Pre-Term Consultation for Students who Require Accessible Course Materials

SDS will contact you for pre-term consultation, when a student that requires advance planning of accessible course materials is enrolled in your class. In most cases, these students may require alternative formats including accessible textbooks, braille, tactile course materials or captioned media. You will be contacted the semester before the class begins or as soon as the student registers for the course.

Students have a right to change their course schedule at anytime. Due to this, advance notice cannot be guaranteed. Faculty are strongly encouraged to embed accessibility into course design. This minimizes necessary alterations if a student who requires accommodations registers late.

Student Confidentiality

Disability information is private. Information about a student’s SDS affiliation and accommodations should be held in strict confidence. SDS complies with FERPA guidelines and can discuss student progress to support coordination of services for the student’s educational benefit. SDS welcomes faculty to contact the office at anytime concerning student needs.