Talking to Your Instructors About Your Needs

You will need to meet with your instructors to discuss the accommodations you need to be successful in class. We recommend meeting with each new instructor before the semester begins. If that is not possible, be sure to meet with your instructor within the first two weeks of class, during their office hours.

Remember to bring your signed Accommodations Letter to present to your instructor.

Be prepared to answer general questions about the accommodations you are requesting and your disability. You do not need to go into detail about your disability, but you do need to talk about the limitations the disability causes and how it may impact studying, coursework, and any classroom needs.

You may also want to explain any weaknesses caused by the disability and be able to describe your strengths including accommodations that have worked for you.

Instructors have office hours and often may be reached before or after class to arrange a time to meet. Here are some examples of how you can approach your instructors:

  • Call the instructor's office and begin the call by saying something similar to the following: "Hello Ms. Smith, my name is John Doe and I am enrolled in your class this semester. I would like to make an appointment with you to discuss my specific learning needs and accommodations."

  • If you are unable to meet with your instructor before the semester begins, then approach them at the end of your first class session and say: "My name is Jane Doe. I would like to set up an appointment to talk with you about a confidential matter as soon as possible."

  • If you do not care if your disability is kept confidential or no one else is around, say: "My name is Jane Doe. I would like to set up an appointment to discuss my disability and the accommodations I need to complete the required coursework."

If questions arise that you cannot answer or if your instructor refuses to grant you the requested accommodations, do not argue. Arrange to get back to your instructor after the next class period and contact the special needs coordinator, for an appointment to discuss the situation.

Student Accessibility Services

Hawkeye Center 208
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Tiffany Dodd
Hawkeye Center 208
319-296-2329 ext.1060
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Regular Hours

Mon–Fri 8:00am–4:30pm

Hawkeye utilizes Relay Iowa, a telecommunications service providing full telephone accessibility to people who are deaf, hard of hearing, and/or speech impaired.

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