Frequently Asked Questions

Empowering Students, Enhancing Equity and Promoting a Culture of Inclusion

Frequently Asked Questions for Faculty and Staff

If you have other questions, please contact the Disability Resource Center (DRC) by visiting the Reception Desk, SBA 118 or emailing

  • How will I know if a student is entitled to disability-related accommodations?

    You will know that a student is entitled to disability-related accommodations when they present you with their current accommodation plan. The student will email a copy of their accommodation plan to you along with a brief letter of introduction. The student will identify the course code and section for which they're enrolled, describe their learning strengths and challenges, and let you know which accommodations on their plan they will need for your specific course as the need for accommodations is dependent on the intersectionality of the student's disability and the structure and format of your course. A reply email from you to the student confirming receipt of their accommodation plan and any clarification you may need is recommended.

  • Can I ask a student if they have a disability?

    No. You should not ask a student if they have a disability. However, to ensure students with disabilities get the support and resources they need, you should include BCC's institutional access statement on your course syllabus inviting students to meet with you to discuss their disability-related needs.

    Access Statement: Berkshire Community College values inclusion and equal access to its programs and activities and is committed to a climate of mutual respect and full participation. Our goal is to create learning environments that are usable, equitable, inclusive and welcoming. If you are an individual with a disability and require reasonable academic accommodations, you are advised to contact the Disability Resource Center (DRC) prior to the start of a course to discuss your accommodation needs and options. The DRC will work collaboratively with students with disabilities to develop effective accommodation plans.

    For an appointment, contact the Disability Resource Center at

  • What should I do if I feel an accommodation is unreasonable?

    If you feel a recommended accommodations is unreasonable or fundamentally alters the nature of your course, you should contact the DRC as soon as possible so that we can discuss your concerns and make alternative arrangements, if necessary and appropriate.

  • What should I do if a student requests a disability-related accommodation, but does not provide me with an accommodation plan?

    If a student asks for a disability-related accommodation, but has not provided you with a current accommodation plan, you should refer the student to the DRC. A DRC counselor will meet with the student, determine eligibility for services and develop an accommodation plan.

  • What is the process for students taking exams with accommodation?

    When students need to take exams with accommodations, they need to schedule their exams at least one week in advance of the test date using our request form. Once submitted, you will receive an automated email informing you of their requests. You will be prompted to reply directly to this email by attaching a completed Exam Proctoring Checklist form and your exam. Accommodated exams are administered by the staff in the Testing Center located in the lower level of the Jonathan Edwards Library, E10. If you have a scheduling or proctoring concern, please contact the Testing Center. If you have an accommodation concern, contact the Disability Resource Center.

  • What should I do if I suspect a student has a disability, would benefit from accommodations, but they have not disclosed?

    If you suspect a student has a disability, would benefit from accommodations, but they have not disclosed, meet with them privately. Discuss your concerns, the possibility of accommodations, and refer them to the DRC. Do not ask if they have a disability or suggest that they have a disability; instead, stick with the observable behavior/skills and the available support services that might benefit them.

  • If a student discloses a disability midway through the semester, am I required to accommodate previous work submitted in the course?

    No. You are not required to accommodate previous work submitted. Accommodations begin once the student has submitted their accommodation plan and you have verified receipt.

  • Am I required to alter my attendance policy for a student whose disability affects attendance?

    No. In most instances, you are not required to alter your attendance policy for a student whose disability affects his/her attendance. In the rare case that a student requires flexible attendance, the Disability Resource Center will contact you prior to approving the accommodation.

  • Am I required to extend the deadlines for all my course assignments?

    No. Extensions through the DRC are requested when a student has a disability-related illness or when symptoms of their disability are exacerbated. Extensions for assignments are based on a course by course, assignment by assignment basis. DRC will contact faculty when extensions are requested for disability-related reasons.

  • How do students obtain note-takers or record course lectures?

    Typically, students do not need note-takers for online classes, unless lectures are taught "live" (synchronous). If your course consists of live lectures, please consider recording it and posting the recording to your Moodle page for students to review. This will benefit all students, not just students with disabilities.

    If you do not record your live lecture or provide notes on your Moodle page, students who require note-taking accommodations will need to use a smart pen, digital recorder or other assistive technology to capture your lecture. Some students may need to obtain copies of your lecture notes or a classmate's lecture notes. Please be assured, students have been made aware that your recorded lecture may be protected by state and federal copyright law and that using it outside of their educational purposes may subject them to disciplinary action under the Code of Conduct and/or penalties under state and federal law (e.g. copyright law).

Frequently Asked Questions for Students