May I fail a student with a disability?
Yes. It is possible to fail a student with a disability. The laws mandate access to education, not guaranteed academic success. When a faculty member has provided reasonable academic accommodations, all that is required to comply with the law, and the student does not meet the course requirements, then failing a student is proper and lawful. The following is a compliance checklist that may be helpful:
- Stand by academic standards and freedoms, which include full and equitable access to academic programs.
- Provide verbal and written notice to your students of your willingness to accommodate. For example: "I encourage students with disabilities to discuss accommodations with me."
- Communicate clear and concise expectations for performance to your students. Distinguish between essential and non-essential components of the course.a
- Respect requests for reasonable accommodations. (The disability student services office facilitates obtaining these alternative formats).
- Permit students to use auxiliary aides and technologies that ensure access (examples: note takers, sign language interpreters, readers, scribes, research assistants, tape recorders/players, assistive listening devices).
- Assure that your course materials, whether printed or electronic, are accessible and available in alternative formats (examples: Braille, computer electronic text, large print, internet, CD/cassettes).
- Consult with your disability student services office if you have questions when a student requests accommodations.
- Keep student disability-related information strictly confidential.