As we begin the new academic year, I want to update you on some organizational
changes for our Student Accessibility Services (SAS) Office and make sure you are
aware of the many resources it offers.
SAS (previously the Office for Students with Disabilities) ensures students with
disabilities have equal and effective access to ACC’s programs and services by
approving accommodations for those who are eligible. These accommodations help
level the playing field for students with disabilities by providing them equal opportunities
to participate and learn. Accommodations vary from altering the physical learning
environment to modifying instructional materials.
Resources for Faculty
Faculty are responsible for implementing accommodations for a student who presents a
Notice of Approved Accommodation letter from SAS; however, SAS and our
Instructional Development Services Department offer extensive support and resources
Media Captioning Editors (email@example.com) can close-caption film,
videos, or other media for courses in which deaf students are enrolled. IDS can help
upload captioned videos on ACC’s video streaming webpage. SAS and IDS also can
help convert instructional materials into alternative formats, including braille, for
students who are blind or visually-impaired.
Detailed information about supporting students with disabilities can be found on the
Accessibility Services: Faculty Responsibilities webpage. These include strategies and
tips for improving learning outcomes for students with specific types of disabilities.
Additionally, SAS coordinators at each campus offer “Faculty Forums” throughout the
year; look for announcements from your campus SAS office.
If your student’s Notice of Approved Accommodations is unclear or you have concerns
about providing the accommodation, please contact the SAS coordinator listed on the
letter. You also are encouraged to meet with the student to discuss a plan for
implementing the accommodations.
The college is centralizing SAS functions to increase the consistency and quality of
services across all campuses and to help SAS better respond when students or faculty
have concerns. The office also is working closely with Interpreter Services, Media
Transcription, and Alternative Media Production to streamline services for students and
Once the reorganization is complete, staff will review policies and procedures with an
eye toward improving quality and effectiveness. The college also will review and update
administrative rules governing how students with disabilities are served, the type of
academic adjustments that must be made, and when and under what circumstances
accommodations must be provided.
These efforts are led by Steve Christopher, Executive Director of Special Populations.
SAS Director Lauren Sebel reports to Steve, and campus SAS coordinators report to
As a reminder, ACC also provides accommodations for employees with qualifying
disabilities. To request accommodations, contact the Human Resources Benefits Office
at 512-223-7800. You are required to provide information from your physician
documenting your disability and its impact on your ability to meet the needs of your
position. Upon receiving the information, the Benefits Office will engage in an
interactive process with you to determine the appropriate accommodations that will
enable you to perform the essential functions of your position.
I appreciate your attention to this vitally important topic. Again, do not hesitate to
contact SAS staff (or our Benefits Office staff for employee accommodations) for more
information or assistance.
Richard M. Rhodes, Ph.D.
Austin Community College District