Frequently Asked Questions from Faculty

As faculty, do i have access to mysds online services?

All faculty with students registered with SDS who requested their accommodations for the course (i.e. you received a Faculty Notification Letter for them) have access to MySDS Online Services. Please find the link to MySDS Online Services on our website and click "Faculty Login." 

In the MySDS Online Services faculty portal, faculty can:

  • view a list of students who requested accommodations for their course
  • view the Faculty Notification Letters that were sent
  • complete and modify Alternative Testing Contracts
  • upload exams for scheduled students

Are students required to register at the beginning of the semester?

No. While it is our policy to strongly encourage students to register at the beginning of the semester, or upon onset of their disability, the law allows students to register with our office whenever they like. While many students may find accommodations to be most useful if they register at the beginning of the semester, they are not required to do so.

What is my role and responsibility when students request accommodations in the middle of the semester? 

Do I need to offer accommodations retroactively, say for missed exams or assignments that occurred prior to the student becoming eligible for accommodations? 

I suspect one of my students has a disability. What should I do?

If you suspect one of your students has a disability, please feel free to refer them to our office. If you would like assistance with wording or how to approach the student, please feel free to contact our office to speak to one of our specialists. You will find more information specifically for faculty members in our Faculty section.

Will I know what disability a student has? Will the diagnosis be shared with me?

No. Due to confidentiality and privacy concerns, SDS shares accommodations only. It is up to a student if they want to voluntarily disclose their diagnosis. We do not recommend asking the student.

Are we setting students up for failure by accommodating them here when they may not get accommodations in the “real world”?

The Section 504 regulation of the Rehabilitation Act requires a college to modify its academic requirements as necessary to ensure that such requirements do not discriminate or have the effect of discriminating on the basis of disability against a qualified student with a disability. The purpose of SDS is to provide accommodations to students specifically during their time at USF. Additionally, while it may seem logical to compare the classroom/learning environment with what the students would encounter or experience in the workplace, the law treats them as two distinct and separate settings, and they cannot be compared.

Is SDS over diagnosing learning disabilities?

SDS staff do not diagnose students. We carefully review submitted medical documentation and interview students to determine appropriate accommodations. SDS staff also play no role in the admission process, as it is illegal to make inquiries as to students’ disability status prior to admission to USF.

What do I do if I have behavior problems in my classroom?

A student’s disability does not excuse inappropriate behavior. If your requests to the student to change behavior are not working, you should contact the Office of Student Conduct Rights and Responsibilities (OSCRR) at x5330 to file an Incident Report. If you are concerned for your or other individuals' safety, you should immediately contact Public Safety at x2911. If you need to report student behavior that is concerning, erratic or otherwise disruptive but that does not constitute an emergency please contact the Office of the Dean of Students at x5330.

It doesn’t appear as if my student has a disability, yet they have accommodations. Why is this?

According to the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) an individual with a disability is a person who: has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities; has a record of such an impairment, or is regarded as having such an impairment. Approximately 80% of disabilities are not visible.And there are many disabilities that are not obvious to the onlooker, but can sometimes or always limit daily activities, range from mild challenges to severe limitations, and vary from person to person. We should never assume a person does not have a disability just because it “appears” as if they do not.

I am an employee at USF, how can I receive accommodations?

Please contact Human Resources at (415) 422-6707.

Does SDS have a code of ethics?

Yes. Our office uses the AHEAD (Association on Higher Education and Disability) Code of Ethics as our standard for practice.

View the SDS Code of Ethics

What is an E-Text accommodation? 


How do I know if my course materials are accessible?

We recommend using the accessibility checker within your software:

We also recommend signing up for a Digital Accessibility training with the Educational Technology Services team to learn more about creating accessible course materials:

Faculty and Staff Training and Workshops Registration Form

Can i schedule an exam at your office for my student?

Students are responsible for scheduling their exams, however faculty must complete the Alternative Testing Contract prior to using our proctoring services. Please see our Exam Scheduling Procedure page for more details.

What is the alternative testing contract?

The alternative testing contract provides our office with the parameters of the course exams and quizzes in which to proctor students. A completed contract is required to use our proctoring services.

How do I complete the contract? How do I update it?

The link is provided in the Faculty Notification Letter. It can also be accessed through mySDS Online Services: select “Faculty Login” and navigate to the Alternative Testing page. Select the course and click View. Faculty may also complete the contract in PDF format and email it to

A student is saying they cannot schedule an exam/submit an exam request but I completed the alternative testing contract.

Each exam date needs to be entered in the contract for a student to be able to schedule an exam. Please email us at to confirm the exam date and standard length of time and we can enter the date for you. You may also log in to mySDS Online Services: select “Faculty Login” and navigate to the Alternative Testing page. Select the course and click View. Scroll down to the "Specify Dates" section and enter the required information.

I cannot find where to upload the exam.

The exam upload link is created when students schedule the exam/submit an exam request. It is emailed to the instructor three days prior to the exam date, or less if the student submitted a late exam request. Faculty may view all exam requests for the semester in mySDS Online Services. Select “Faculty Login” and navigate to the Alternative Testing page.

  1. Under "STEP 1 - SELECT ACTION" select "Upload File to Exam(s)".
  2. Under "STEP 2 - SELECT FROM THE FOLLOWING COURSES" select the dates you are uploading the exam for.
  3. Under "STEP 3 - CONFIRMATION" click "Confirm Your Selections."

Exams may also be emailed directly to

How do I find a private room/semi-private room to proctor my student in?

Our office has private and semi-private rooms available for students. Students are responsible for scheduling their exams at our office. Faculty who choose to proctor exams themselves use their offices and/or classrooms.

Can SDS proctor an exam for one of my students?

Due to limited testing space, we only proctor students who are registered with our office and eligible for Alternative Testing accommodations. We recommend reaching out to your department office to organize a proctor for your exam.

48hr Assignment Extension

What is deadline flexibility? What is it used for and how is it implemented?

Attendance Modification

How does attendance flexibility work? Does this mean my student does not have to come to class?

Often students have a disability that can flare up, without any warning, causing them to miss class. We do not tell students they can have unlimited absences. We talk at length with students about this accommodation, and explain that it is to be used for disability flare ups as needed and does not allow them to miss unlimited classes. Students are advised that the accommodation requires communication with the professor. We instruct students to meet with their professors about this accommodation right away. We have tutorials and videos to assist students with how to us this accommodation as well as how to talk to their professors about it.

Glean Audio Note Taking

What is Glean?


Record lecture

Am I expected to record my lecture?

Students are responsible for recording the lecture.

I am not comfortable with students recording lectures.

The student, faculty member, and disability specialist may sign a Recording Agreement stating the understanding that recordings are strictly for the study uses of the student and may not be shared without consent of the instructor.

A student is eligible for a peer notetaker. Am I required to find the student a notetaker?

We will recruit a peer notetaker from your course and coordinate the delivery of notes to the student. We may contact you for assistance in recruitment if we are unable to find a notetaker.