Always speak with your instructor privately and preferably during their office hours.
You can find out when the instructor holds office hours during the first class session,
and this information is typically, but not always, provided on the course syllabus.
If an instructor does not have office hours, contact them as instructed as soon as
possible but do meet privately with them.
We would not suggest that you meet with a professor before a class begins because
neither you nor they will have the time to adequately meet together, and chances are
they might be rushing to start the class on time.
Do not meet during class time and only meet after class with the professor if all
students have left the room. This is about your information, and you should guard
HOW to Talk to Your Instructor
Approach your meeting with a firm handshake and a smile, introducing yourself with
your first and last name, and the course in which you are enrolled. Its always nice
to know your instructors name before you meet with them. Provide them with a brief
introduction of yourself, such as:
Hello, I'm [ ], and I'm from [ ]. This is my first semester at FIT and I'm majoring
in [ ]. I would like to speak privately with you about how I can best participate
in your class. I'm registered with the Office of Disability Services, and this letter
explains accommodations the coordinator decided would help me.
We do not recommend that you discuss the nature of your disability, just the accommodations
you will need. Some students feel comfortable sharing their disability information,
but that is a personal choice. If an instructor is curious and asks about your disability
and this makes you feel uncomfortable, feel free to say you are uncomfortable sharing
this information. Ask the instructor to speak with the staff of the Office of Disability
Services and ask them to please remain focused on the accommodations listed in the
It's okay to remind the instructor this information is confidential and to remember
the instructor may be working with a student with a disability for the first time.
Not everyone knows everything about disabilities, so this is what is considered a
teachable moment, and a learning experience for both of you.
The staff of the Office of Disability Services provides training sessions for faculty
and has available printed materials as well.
If ever an instructor states an unwillingness to provide you with one or all of the
accommodations you requested, immediately contact the Office of Disability Services.
Discussing Your Accommodations
If you need accommodations for your exams, they must first be stated within your accommodation
letter, discussed with your professors, and your professors can be gently reminded
when you see them in their office hours. A healthy approach to working with your faculty
about your accommodations is to meet with them for 10-15 minutes each of their office
hours each week, so they get to know you better.
Using Email/Text Technology today can provide you with the ease of quick communication, but you may
not always want to dash off a message to someone, even a one-liner, unless you have
edited the message for content, typos, and tone of voice. For example, sending a message
to the professor of your history course should not read as follows:
Hey! Don't forget that I get extra time for my midterm. You need to walk it over to
Disability Services too. DONT FORGET!!!
Dear Professor [include their last name]: I'm in your LA251, section 208 course on
Tuesday evenings. I provided you with my letter of reasonable accommodation earlier
in the semester which certifies I have extended time for my exams. It would be appreciated
if you were to provide them with my exam. Ive arranged for my test accommodations
with them. Thanks. Your Name P.S. If you have any questions, please contact me by phone (212) 217-xxxx, or email
me [email protected].
That may be more than you want to write, but clear communication not only saves time,
it establishes respect.