Faculty Info

Accommodation Letter Process:

  • During the student intake meeting or check-in, CARDS staff will email a Faculty Notification Letter to the Faculty member's BC or CU email address to notify the Faculty member of the accommodations the student is eligible to receive. The Faculty Notification Letter will also be available in the AIM Instructor Portal
  • We recommend that students bring a hard copy of their accommodation agreement form within one week of their meeting with CARDS, in order to inform their professor that they have an accommodation plan. If you have any concerns about the implementation of the accommodation plan after reviewing it, please raise them with CARDS, not with the student. Please sign the student's accommodation agreement form to indicate that you are aware of their accommodations and agree to provide them. Please note:  if you receive a Faculty Notification Letter, but the student has not contacted you (either in person or via email) regarding signing their accommodation agreement form within one week of your receipt of this letter, please contact the student's CARDS case manager and we will follow up with the student to discuss options.  

Using the Instructor Portal in AIM (Accessible Information Management System)

The Center for Accessibility Resources & Disability Services is implementing improvements of our online Accessible Information Management system (AIM). We are excited to announce that beginning Fall term 2019, we will have an Instructor Portal that faculty can access to view students' accommodation letters and fill out their alternative testing agreements. In addition, accommodation letters previously delivered by students will now be e-mailed directly from our office to faculty and instructors.

Please note that in order to access AIM, you will need your Columbia UNI and password. If you're unsure of how to find your UNI, you can find it on your profile on the Columbia University Directory. To reset your UNI password, please visit Manage My UNI through CUIT.

NOTE: To ensure that you do not miss important emails sent via AIM, we encourage you to either:

  1. Add the domain "hood.accessiblelearning.com" to your sender list, or
  2. Regularly check your junk mail folder.

New Module Features & Benefits:

  • Generates course-specific accommodation letters which students request electronically. After students submit their requests, AIM automatically emails the letters directly to instructors.
  • Streamlines the exam scheduling process, allowing students to submit requests and faculty to submit proctoring information electronically.
  • Instructors will only need to complete one Testing Agreement per course (not per student).
  • Includes the ability to add course coordinators as an additional or replacement instructor, providing flexibility for departments in how accommodation requests are managed in common courses.
  • Includes an "Instructor Portal,” which allows faculty and course coordinators to see an overview of and process all received accommodation requests in a course without relying on email. 
    • Provides you with an overview of all accommodation requests made by students in all of your courses, including quick access to see all Faculty Notification Letters in one place. (This allows you to not have to solely rely on the emailed Faculty Notification Letters for individual students.)
    • Shows a summary table on the dashboard for the most frequently requested accommodations (exam accommodations, peer note-takers, and attendance/deadline modifications).
    • Grants the ability to download Excel summaries of students’ eligibilities and requested accommodations.
    • Allows instructors to coordinate exam accommodation requests. These features include:
      • Submitting Alternative Testing Agreements.
      • Modifying an Alternative Testing Agreement.
      • Copying an Alternative Testing Agreement to other course sections.
      • Uploading exam materials.
  • Includes an "exam upload" feature for Instructors to easily and securely submit exam materials. This new process meets all Barnard College information security standards.

For more information on the instructor portal, please view our brief Instructor Portal tutorial

Testing Accommodations at CARDS:

CARDS has an online management system to help us manage the large volume of students taking their exams with accommodations from CARDS. Faculty will receive a link in the student's Faculty Notification Letter with instructions on how to fill out test proctoring information via our Alternative Testing Contract. 

It's important that you fill out this Alternative Testing Contract within one week of receiving the email so that students can schedule their exams with CARDS. You only need to fill out the Alternative Testing Contract once per semester for each course section that you teach. For any additional questions, please feel free to contact us!

Faculty Consultation:

The Center for Accessibility Resources & Disability Services is available to consult with individual faculty members and departments. Topics can include an overview of the Center and our processes; developing universally designed courses; managing complex student needs; or any specifically requested presentation related to disability services in higher education.

Other Important Items to Note:

  • CARDS understands that not all accommodations will be applicable in every context, given the variety in course design and content. If you have specific questions about how to accommodate a student within the context of your course, please contact CARDS staff so we can work together to find the most applicable accommodation(s) given the student's specific situation.
  • Disability information is confidential. Therefore, CARDS staff are not able to disclose the type of disability that the student has registered for without written permission from the student. However, we can discuss the accommodation plan and work together to discuss options regarding implementing various accommodations in your classroom. 
  • Students are required to self-identify to and register with CARDS in order to be eligible for accommodations. Faculty are NOT required to provide accommodations to a student until they receive a Faculty Notification Letter, which formally notifies them of the accommodations the student is eligible for.
  • If a student discloses a disability to you without providing you with a Faculty Notification Letter, it is imperative that you both inform the student that they need to register with the Center for Accessibility Resources & Disability Services first to seek formal accommodations and contact CARDS to inform them that you have made a referral about a particular student.
  • Faculty should not ask a student what type of disability they have, but we encourage you to have a conversation with either the student or CARDS about how the accommodations on the student's Faculty Notification Letter can be applied within the course content.
  • Faculty should never ask a student about their disability or accommodations in front of other students in the course.  This can in essence "out" the student with a disability to their peers and is not appropriate. We appreciate your caution and consideration.