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Information for Faculty

Welcome to the pivotal partnership for fulfilling our institution's commitment and responsibility to ensure that students with disabilities have equal access to M??noa's programs, activities, and services. You, your disabled student and KOKUA constitute the team that can address your student's disability access needs with confidentiality, respect and effectiveness.

Please note that student situations vary widely and that the best way for us to appropriately serve our students is to treat each student and situation on a case by case basis.

Identification of Students with Disabilities

You are likely to learn of your disabled student in one of three ways:

  1. KOKUA contacts you (faculty liaison -- i.e., student-authorized disability disclosure): You will receive confidential notification from KOKUA of disability disclosure regarding a particular student. That student has authorized KOKUA to verify his/her disability status based on documentation presented to and reviewed by KOKUA professional staff.
    • Disclosure of disability status to faculty members is voluntary on the part of students for different reasons. Some KOKUA students ask us to refrain from disclosing their disability status to faculty members. In situations where students request exam accommodations or lecture notetaking, KOKUA has determined that faculty members "have a need to know" about this student and his/her disability status. The need for disclosure is explained to the student and subsequently their authorization is obtained.

  2. Student discloses to you: A student may privately disclose his/her disability status to you and request various accommodations.
    • In the case of student disclosure, you may wish to refer him/her to KOKUA noting that you would be happy to work with the student and KOKUA to address the student's access needs. You are advised not to request the student's disability documentation which should be received and reviewed only by KOKUA.

  3. Your speculation: Out of your knowledge and experience, you may think that a particular student may have a disability.
    • In the case of your suspecting that a student might have a disability, you might privately and respectfully suggest to the student that while you are not a disability specialist, you think that the student might wish to connect with KOKUA in the event the student might have a disability and be served in the name of equity of opportunity.

Students with disabilities meet the same admission standards as do their able-bodied peers. They are therefore considered to be "otherwise qualified" and may not be discriminated against on the basis of their disabilities lest the institution have violated their civil rights as persons with disabilities.

KOKUA, established in 1966, is charged with working closely with disabled students and their faculty members to identify and address their disability related needs toward equal access to the enriching Manoa experience. KOKUA is a free and dedicated resource to both you and your student as we strive together to create access for these students similar to what is available to those without disabilities.

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Syllabus Information

It would be highly desirable to have both a syllabus statement, as well as a verbal announcement of the faculty member's commitment to welcoming students with disabilities. Please see a sample syllabus statement regarding disability access below and feel free to alter this statement to meet the specific needs of your course.

Any student who feels s/he may need an accommodation based on the impact of a disability is invited to contact me privately. I would be happy to work with you, and the KOKUA Program (Office for Students with Disabilities) to ensure reasonable accommodations in my course. KOKUA can be reached at (808) 956-7511 or (808) 956-7612 (voice/text) in room 013 of the Queen Lili'uokalani Center for Student Services.

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Exam Accommodations

Update: Beginning Spring 2014, KOKUA will use a modified FINAL EXAM SCHEDULE to address the dramatic increase in students needing exam accommodations for disability-related reasons. Please see our modified Spring 2014 final exam start times below and contact a KOKUA counselor if you have questions. Thank you for your partnership in this fundamental aspect of disability access for UH Manoa's growing number of students with disabilities:

KOKUA modified Final Exam Start Time

7:15 am (instead of 7:30 am or 8:00 am)

9:15 am (instead of 9:45 am)

12:15 pm (instead of 12:00 pm)

2:30 pm (instead of 2:15 pm)

Because students with disabilities may need reasonable accommodation in test taking, your assistance is needed in accommodating your student's disability in this vital area. Exam accommodations are essential components of our institution's commitment to guaranteeing equal access to students with disabilities as mandated by federal and state law.

Request Process:

Students have been asked to communicate their request to their respective KOKUA Counselors at least *(1) week prior to the scheduled exam date. They are also asked to approach you about their need to take their exam at KOKUA. Students are asked to provide us with your contact information and the day, date, and time of your exam. KOKUA students are expected to take their exams at the same time as their classmates. Any alternate arrangements must be cleared with you first.

A KOKUA Counselor will then contact you by phone or by e-mail to arrange for a pick-up and a return of this exam (i.e. date, location, e-mail.) Exams will be picked up and delivered by KOKUA student assistants or staff with written authorization and a personal photo ID card. Exams are then stored in a locked file until the exam is administered. Completed exams will be returned to a designated location in a sealed and signed envelope with a written "report" summarizing the services provided to the student, start and stop time, etc.

*Late exam requests received by staff may not be accommodated. KOKUA proctors as many as 100 exams per day in our office.

Testing Conditions:

Testing conditions (e.g. open book, closed book) for students with disabilities should parallel those that you enforce in the classroom. Therefore we will confirm those conditions with you at the point of contact. KOKUA will administer exams as "closed book, closed notes" unless otherwise specified by you. Use of calculators, spell check, etc. must be pre-approved.

Accommodations include, but are not limited to:

Amanuensis (the use of a scribe to take dictation of answers); Audio recording of print material; Braille transcription; E-Text conversion; Computer access (with or without assistive technology software); Facilities; Large print or Copy enlargement; Live reading; Time extension; Answer sheet completion; and/or CCETV (closed-circuit enlarging television system).

Exam Security:

Exam security is taken very seriously by KOKUA. Academic honesty from students who use KOKUA's service of exam accommodations is a fundamental expectation as it is for all UH Manoa students. Academic dishonesty by a student constitutes a serious violation of the Student Conduct Code. In the event of suspected academic dishonesty KOKUA will immediately terminate the exam, notify you of the incident and return all exam materials to you with an incident report. Students are informed that this violation may result in their probation, suspension or expulsion from the University and that it may also result in the suspension or cancellation of KOKUA services.

Exam facilities are located in the KOKUA Program office, Student Services Center in QLCSS Room 013. You are welcome to visit our facilities. Please call to schedule a visit.

Your invaluable cooperation is appreciated! Should you have any concerns or questions about exam accommodations, please call and ask for your student's respective Counselor or for an available full-time staff member.

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Notetaking and Notetakers

If a KOKUA student is eligible for and has requested notetaking services, this will be indicated on the disability status letter emailed to you. This means that a notetaker will be present to take notes in your course.

KOKUA notetakers are UH Manoa students who have been hired by our office to take complete notes for KOKUA students who have been approved to receive notetaking services on the basis of their documented disability. In hiring notetakers we look for academically strong students who are good communicators, service-oriented, responsible, and respectful.

Each semester KOKUA professional staff seeks out qualified students to serve as student notetakers. With a high number of notetaking assignments to fill, KOKUA staff may send "temporary notetakers" until a permanent notetaker can be found. It is not unusual for KOKUA professional staff to ask the student and/or faculty member to assist us in identifying a qualified notetaker for the class. We will let faculty know if such a request is necessary. However, faculty are encouraged to recommend students to KOKUA that they believe may be qualified to work as notetakers, and/or encourage such students to inquire about employment with KOKUA themselves.

Generally, we instruct our notetakers to introduce themselves to faculty before class (when possible) so that they will not be called upon or included in class discussions. In some instances the KOKUA notetaker may also be registered in the same class and later provide a copy of their notes to a KOKUA student.

Confidentiality is also emphasized to our student staff as most times KOKUA students do not want to be identified in class and often notetakers drop off notes at KOKUA where the student later picks them up. KOKUA notetakers do not know any specific information about a student's disability or disabilities and are instead informed that the student is eligible for notetaking services and given information in regards to the scope of their notetaking assignment. Notetakers may also be assisting KOKUA students with services such as mobility assistance (e.g. walking students to and from class), physical assistance (e.g. helping a student open and close doors or navigate through a textbook in class), scribe services (e.g. dictation), etc.

Some in-class policies for KOKUA notetakers are:

  • Notes that are taken are for the KOKUA student only. Notes cannot be shared with anyone else in the class.
  • Notetakers are to verify that the KOKUA student is present in class in order to receive notes. When students are not in class, notes will be turned over to the KOKUA student's respective Counselor.
  • Notetakers are NOT to participate in class.

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