With the current high rate of contagiousness and infection from Omicron, we have made the decision to conduct all January classes remotely and to require, with limited exceptions, all employees without essential on-campus duties during this period to work from home through January 28th.  For more information on Covid-19 and the start of spring semester, please use this link to our Covid Response page.  

Sample Syllabus Accessibility Statements - Cooper Union Disability Support Services

Including a statement on your syllabus that addresses accessibility and student accommodation needs is important. This can:

  • Signal to all students in a course (not just those with disabilities) that you welcome discussion about individual differences in learning, encountered barriers, and ways to maximize access.
  • Send a message that you value diversity and an inclusive learning environment.
  • Open the door to communication and help students feel more comfortable approaching you.
  • Normalize the accommodations process as just another part of the course.
  • Inform students about college procedures and available resources.

When deciding on language to use in statements and in your communications to students, please consider these guiding principles:

Many typical “disability” or “accommodation” statements:

  • Single out students with disabilities, provide information for how they can request accommodations, and reference a college’s legal obligations but not much beyond that.
  • Use language that focuses on limitations caused by a disability as opposed to barriers encountered in course design or requirements.
  • Presume the Dean of Students office must always be involved.

A more inclusive “accessibility” statement:

  • Recognizes disability as an aspect of diversity and equity.
  • Places emphasis on inclusive course design.
  • Empowers the student and faculty member to work together to find solutions, involving the Academic Dean and Dean of Students office when needed or desired.

Sample Syllabus Statements

Language has been adapted in part from the following resources:

Project ShIFT/Refocus: Syllabus Statement

 

Sample 1

Cooper Union values diversity and inclusion; we are 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 there are aspects of the instruction or design of this course that result in barriers to your inclusion or accurate assessment or achievement, please notify the instructor as soon as possible. Students with disabilities are to contact the Dean of Students to formally establish accommodations. Students with accommodation letters must provide me with a copy of your letter and make an appointment to meet with me as soon as possible to discuss your needs.

 

Sample 2

If you anticipate issues related to the format or requirements of this course, please meet with me. I would like us to discuss ways to ensure your full participation in the course. Together we can plan how best to design the course and coordinate your accommodations. Students with disabilities are to contact the Dean of Students to formally establish accommodations. Students with accommodation letters must provide me with a copy of your letter and make an appointment to meet with me as soon as possible to discuss your needs.

 

Sample 3

It is a goal of Cooper Union that learning experiences be as accessible as possible. If you anticipate or experience physical or academic barriers based on disability, please let me know immediately so that we can discuss options. Students with disabilities are to contact the Dean of Students to formally establish accommodations. Students with accommodation letters must provide me with a copy of your letter and make an appointment to meet with me as soon as possible to discuss your needs.

 

Sample 4

I am committed to creating a course that is inclusive in its design. If you encounter barriers, please let me know immediately so that we can determine if there is a design adjustment that can be made or if an accommodation might be needed to overcome the limitations of the design. I am always happy to consider creative solutions provided they do not compromise the intent of the assessment or learning activity. Students with disabilities are to contact the Dean of Students to formally establish accommodations. Students with accommodation letters must provide me with a copy of your letter and make an appointment to meet with me as soon as possible to discuss your needs. I welcome feedback that will assist me in improving the usability and experience for all students.

 

Making an Announcement in Class

Please consider reading this statement or discussing it in class at the beginning of each semester. This can further normalize the accommodations process and encourage students to feel comfortable approaching you.

  • Founded by inventor, industrialist and philanthropist Peter Cooper in 1859, The Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art offers education in art, architecture and engineering, as well as courses in the humanities and social sciences.

  • “My feelings, my desires, my hopes, embrace humanity throughout the world,” Peter Cooper proclaimed in a speech in 1853. He looked forward to a time when, “knowledge shall cover the earth as waters cover the great deep.”

  • From its beginnings, Cooper Union was a unique institution, dedicated to founder Peter Cooper's proposition that education is the key not only to personal prosperity but to civic virtue and harmony.

  • Peter Cooper wanted his graduates to acquire the technical mastery and entrepreneurial skills, enrich their intellects and spark their creativity, and develop a sense of social justice that would translate into action.