1. Encourage students to disclose their disability as soon as possible by including a statement in your syllabus such as:
"If you may need an accommodation due to a disability please contact me privately to discuss your specific needs. A memo from Disability Support Services (DSS) authorizing your accommodations will be needed."
2. The DSS office determines a student's eligibility for accommodations and services, so if the student hasn't given you a memo from DSS you shouldn't provide accommodations on the basis of a disability -- no matter how convincing the student is.
3. As a faculty member you play an important role in providing accommodations. However, it should not be time consuming. DSS is a resource for you to expedite the accommodations process. For example, the purpose of the DSS Testing Services Center is to assist faculty with implementing testing accommodations. Importantly, you should provide help with course work for students with disabilities as you would for any other student. If a student with a disability needs more assistance that you can reasonably provide, you can refer the student to DSS or another appropriate campus resource.
4. Information related to a student's disability is confidential and protected under FERPA. The student should be afforded the opportunity to meet with you privately to discuss disability-related matters.
5. Accommodations are designed to mitigate the effects of a disability so the student has an equal opportunity to meet the course standards, not to change or circumvent them. If a student with a disability cannot meet the course standards with accommodations, it may mean the student will not pass. Accommodations give students a chance to compete on a level playing field; they don't guarantee success.