Tips for Faculty & Staff

We at the DAC are certain all MTSU employees want their service to the campus to be accessed and enjoyed by as many people as possible. It brings us great pleasure to offer helpful tips to increase access for people with disabilities.

Be Welcoming

  • When advertising for an event, include a line similar to “Disability related accommodations available upon request” and include a contact from your office. We will be happy to offer any campus constituent advice on how to arrange a requested accommodation.
  • Include a statement concerning accommodations for students with disabilities in all syllabi. The current one proposed by the university is:

    Reasonable Accommodations for Students with Disabilities: Middle Tennessee State University is committed to campus access in accordance with Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Vocational Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Any student interested in reasonable accommodations can consult the Disability & Access Center (DAC) website www.mtsu.edu/dac and/or contact the DAC for assistance at 615-898-2783 or dacemail@mtsu.edu.
     

Be Prepared

In the classroom, the top two accommodations requested are testing accommodations and note taking.

  • When planning a course or campus presentation that consists of the use of visual and/or audio material, having captioned or caption ready versions is a best practice in case a request is made. Assistance can be provided by the Learning Teaching & Innovative Technologies Center.

  • When planning an event, inform the presenter if any accommodations have been requested and make sure the room configuration allows for access through aisles and seating for people who use mobility devices and companion seating.
     
  • Service animals are a part of basic access. A student does not need to go through the DAC to discuss a service animal. Only dogs and specialized horses are allowable service animals. If it is not readily apparent why the person has a service animal, two questions may be asked:
    • Do you have a disability?
    • What necessary tasks does this animal perform?
       
      Service animals are an extension of their owners and are to be held to the same code of conduct as their owners.
       
  • If someone has a seizure, call EMS as soon as possible and clear the area around the student. Any other intervention could cause harm.
  • Please remember that anything relating to a person’s disability or accommodation need is meant to be kept reasonably confidential.
  • Sign Language Interpreting / CART for classes and events
  • Tips for hosting a sign language interpreter: 
    • Allow the student to work with you and the interpreter to find the best location for the interpreter. It is important for all involved to have a clear line of sight for the speaker, interpreter and Deaf student.

    • Avoid locating the interpreter in front of a bright light or window. Glare and shadows make lip movements and sign language difficult to see.

    • Speak directly to the Deaf or hard of hearing student. There is no need to ask the interpreter to tell something to the Deaf or hard of hearing student. In other words, speak as you would to any individual and leave the rest to the interpreter. The interpreter is not responsible, nor keeps tabs on the student’s progress in class. Please address any academic concerns with the student directly.

    • Throughout the class interpreters are working to convey information, and therefore it is important not include the interpreter in the classroom activities or small group discussions. Also, during class lectures, do not solicit opinions or responses from the interpreter.

    • Depending on the course content and length of class, two interpreters may be assigned to one student. The team of interpreters works closely together and provides clarification and missed information when necessary. Interpreters will switch at convenient times during in class lecture.

    • And lastly, use all the facial expressions and gestures you normally use—they show your interest and improve understanding. The Deaf or hard of hearing student sees both you and the interpreter.