Chronic Health Conditions - Instructional Strategies

This page contains instructional strategies for faculty who have SF State students with chronic health conditions enrolled in their classes.  The best instructional strategy is to facilitate the accommodations that the student is authorized for. You have the right to view the student's accommodation letter at any time. In addition, below are some strategies that some students have found helpful. Please contact the DPRC with any questions about these recommendations. Contact us at (415) 338-2472 or dprc@sfsu.edu.

Instructional Strategies

Chronic health conditions often require instructional strategies similar to those listed for other disability conditions. The use of such strategies will depend on how the disability is manifested. The following are suggested to enhance accessibility of course instruction, materials, and activities. They are general strategies designed to support individualized reasonable accommodations.

  • On your syllabus, include a Disability Access Statement inviting students with disabilities to request accommodations. DPRC has developed the following Disability Access Statement for course syllabi: "Students with disabilities who need reasonable accommodations are encouraged to contact the instructor. The Disability Programs and Resource Center is available to facilitate the reasonable accommodations process. The DPRC, located in SSB 110, can be reached by telephone at 338-2472 (voice/TTY) or by e-mail at dprc@sfsu.edu."
  • Include a clear policy on attendance and its role in your grading scheme, if any.  If a student is prone to an exacerbation of disability-related symptoms, the student needs to work with you and the DPRC to identify a modification of the attendance policy and still meet the essential requirements of the course. 
  • Medical conditions, including medication side effects, can cause problems with fatigue and stamina, which adversely affect attention and concentration. For these reasons, students with medical conditions may need extended time on exams.
  • Students with some medical conditions may become dizzy and disoriented, or may lack physical stamina. Thus, they may be unable to get from one location to another on campus within the expected time frame. Take this into consideration if they are late to class.
  • Preferential seating may be necessary to meet the students’ needs. In a few instances, students may be unable to use the furniture of a particular classroom and may need to request furniture assistance. If students need to stand during class, they may need podiums on which to rest open books or to write.
  • Instructors in courses requiring field trips or internships need to work with their students and the DPRC to ensure that the students are accommodated. For example, the students may need assistance with transportation, special seating, or frequent rest-breaks.
  • Some students experience recurrence of a chronic health condition requiring bed rest and/or hospitalization. In most situations, students are able to make up the incomplete work, but they may need deadline extensions. This is considered a reasonable accommodation as long as it does not alter an essential requirement of the course.
  • Keep in mind that students do not have to do more work because of their health conditions.
  • A professor should not lower their academic standards to accommodate a student with a disability. Registered DPRC students are expected to complete the same level of work as non-DPRC student.

 

If your questions are not answered by what is in the information listed above, please contact the DPRC at (415) 338-2472 (voice/TTY) or dprc@sfsu.edu.