Instructor Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

This is an accordion element with a series of buttons that open and close related content panels.

How do students get connected with the McBurney Center?

Students first complete an application through McBurney Connect. They then participate in an initial meeting with an Access Consultant (conversation to review diagnosis, impact, barriers, and history). An eligibility determination is then made by synthesizing the self-report and documentation and determining whether a student has a “physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities” (Americans with Disabilities Act). If the student is eligible, the Access Consultant develops an accommodation plan in McBurney Connect that is used as the basis for the student generating Student Accommodation Letters.

When might a student connect with the McBurney Center?

Students can begin the application process at any point during their educational career on campus. This can be dependent on the student’s comfort, confidence, awareness of our office, severity of impact, or potentially the recent onset of a disability. While students are encouraged to affiliate early, they are able to submit an application at any time, including in the middle of semesters. If accommodations are approved late in a given semester, they may not be able to be implemented until the following semester.

What is a “Student Accommodation Letter”?

A Student Accommodation Letter (SAL) is a letter sent to instructors of record for each student approved for accommodations, outlining those accommodations and providing general information about implementation. If an instructor has any questions or concerns about a particular accommodation, they should contact the Access Consultant listed on the SAL.

Students can generate Student Accommodation Letter (SAL) as soon as two days after they register for their classes.

What is the McBurney Connect "Instructor Portal"?

The “Instructor Portal” is a web-based application for instructors of record to review the accommodation requests (i.e. Student Accommodation Letters) from students in their classes.  It can be accessed from the McBurney Connect page by selecting the “Instructor Portal Login” button and logging in with their NetID.  The portal provides:

  1. Listing in table format of the students who have made requests, including a high level overview of the types of accommodation requests (e.g. alternative testing, alternative formats, communication access, notetaking)
  2. “View” links to the Student Accommodation Letters
  3. Export to a CSV file that can be opened in Excel and sorted to assist in the process of coordinating/implementing accommodations (e.g. for midterms)

Student Accommodation Letters are available in the Instructor Portal at soon as the students generate them, so instructors are able to review them anytime prior to or after receiving them via email.

More info is available in the Instructor Portal FAQ.

What training do students get related to specific accommodations and expectations around communication and implementation?

Students are trained on each individual accommodation for which they are approved. Staff meet 1-on-1 with students to relay important information about implementation of the accommodation(s) and necessary communication with instructors about their unique classes. Our office also provides supplementary materials and online training, when applicable. After this initial preparation, students request their accommodations through the online system and are prepared to engage with instructors. Students are instructed to connect with each instructor prior to or within the first 2-to-3 weeks of class or as soon as they are approved for accommodations.

Are students required to meet with the McBurney Center on any recurring basis after being approved for accommodations?

Generally, no. Once students are approved for accommodations, they are empowered to work with instructors to implement their accommodations. Students may, at any time, reach out to the McBurney Center and their assigned Access Consultant for support and advocacy related to access. There may be some exceptions depending on specific accommodations and/or technology the Center provides.

Can accommodation plans change?

Yes. There are times when students receive new diagnoses or experience new impacts and barriers that result in a review of their accommodation plan. Students need to reconnect with their Access Consultant and talk about changes that they are experiencing. If applicable, a new Student Accommodation Letter will be generated. Again, this may happen mid-semester.

Do accommodation plans expire?

Accommodations are typically approved on an ongoing basis after a student is determined eligible. These plans remain active throughout the remainder of a student’s time on campus. In some cases where temporary disabilities are present or a student does not have access to documentation when initially meeting with an Access Consultant, plans may be temporary or provisional and require review in order to be extended to future semesters.

What do I do when a student is not affiliated with the McBurney Center and is reaching out for support?

Feel free to support them in the same ways that you are able to support any student experiencing difficulties during a semester. Include the McBurney Center in a list of resources that you provide as options. Encourage them to connect with the appropriate offices

What do I do when a student is in the process of affiliating with the McBurney Center?

If the student shares that they are in process with the McBurney Center, feel free to support them in the same ways that you are able to support any student experiencing difficulties during a semester. Additionally, if they have shared that they are in process with us, contact the McBurney Center with questions.

Can I get a list of all students in my class who have been approved for accommodations?

Because not all students make accommodation requests for every course or section they take, we cannot provide a list of all students who have been approved for accommodations. You can access all students who have made accommodation requests (i.e. Student Accommodation Letters) in your course sections in one place on the Instructor Portal of McBurney Connect, including prior to the Student Accommodation Letters being emailed to you. Students are encouraged to make their requests as soon as possible after they register for classes so that instructors have as much lead time as possible. 

More info is available in the Instructor Portal FAQ.

Who can I talk to about a student’s accommodation(s)?

A student’s affiliation with the McBurney Center is part of their educational record and protected under FERPA privacy laws. As such, any conversation should generally be limited only to the student, McBurney Center staff, instructors, or others with an educational need to know (e.g., course coordinators or TAs).

Who can I talk to about a student’s accommodation(s) at the McBurney Center?

The Access Consult and their contact information is listed at the bottom of each student’s Student Accommodation Letter. We encourage instructors to reach out directly to the student’s Access Consult rather than via the McBurney Connect email.