Is your office accessible to students with disabilities? If you are unsure, imagine yourself in a wheelchair, scooter, or on crutches. While imagining yourself navigating to your office, take notice of doorway and corner widths, stairs, and availability of ramps. Also keep in mind that many ramps can have too steep a grade for some students' use. Are offices labeled with Braille? If you are still unsure if your office is physically accessible, please contact us (firstname.lastname@example.org, x4134). We are more than happy to come over and conduct an assessment.
My office is not physically accessible to students with disabilities. What should I do?
Be sure that you make it clear to all of your students that you are willing to meet with them in an accessible location. We recommend that you make this announcement in your classroom (remember, many students' disabilities are not obvious or visible), and place a statement on your syllabi. If you use Blackboard to communicate with your students or have a website, you can also post this information there. Below you will find a sample of what you could use for this purpose. Please feel free to copy and paste this statement:
"My office does not have access for individuals with mobility impairments. However, I will arrange to meet with any student in an accessible location. Please contact me at ________________ to make arrangements."
My office is physically accessible to students with disabilities. Is there anything I need to do?
Not necessarily. We are now 30 years past the original federal legislation requiring buildings to be accessible to individuals with physical disabilities. However, many buildings (specifically older, historical buildings) are still not accessible. It would be helpful for your students to know what to expect when navigating their way to your office. Below you will find a sample of what you could use for this purpose. Please feel free to copy, paste, and alter this statement to meet your own needs. You will notice that this statement is useful for all students, not just those with disabilities.
"My office has access for individuals with disabilities. The best route is through the south entrance to the College Hall. From there you can take an elevator to the fourth floor. Take a right, and go down the ramp. My office is on the right at CG______."