Academic Accommodations and Resources - Fall 2023 Semester

August 10, 2023

Dear colleagues, 

We have both ethical and legal obligations to provide accommodations and other supportive measures to our students. We call your attention to important campus policies and guidelines concerning academic accommodations for religious observance, illness, disability, hardship, and other matters. 

Academic Accommodations Hub

The Academic Accommodations Hub is the student and instructor portal for support resources and academic policies, including key information regarding academic accommodations as well as links to mental health resources, resources for survivors of sexual violence and sexual harassment, and more. This hub is located on the website of the Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost, and may also be accessed through bCourses (click “Academic Policies” in the bCourses navigation bar). We strongly encourage all instructors to provide a link to the Academic Accommodations Hub in their course syllabi. The Office for Faculty Equity & Welfare also has suggestions for referring to accommodations and campus resources in a supportive way on your course syllabus.  

Additional Resources:

Disability Accommodations

We remind faculty that University and campus policies (including APM 015) establish specific requirements regarding classroom instruction, examinations, and disability accommodations. Instructors who need assistance with DSP (Disabled Students’ Program) accommodations can access a 10-Point Guide to DSP Accommodations. The guide provides information about common questions that instructors may have about implementing DSP accommodations. DSP staff and the DSP Faculty Liaisons are available to answer any questions you may have about a particular request via the guide on the webpage. 

The UC Office of the President (UCOP) recently releasedguidance related to academic accommodations for students with disabilitiesWe recommend reviewing the guidance prior to the start of instruction. Instructors can also access a voluntary training opportunity that is a 10-15 minute read and contains a six-step instructor checklist for preparing for an accessible semester. It also links to the new UCOP guidance. Instructors are encouraged to take the deeper dive DSP online training “Disability, Accommodation, and Access in the UC Classroom” (visit the DSP Resources for Faculty webpage and click on the “DSP New Online Training” link) 

Technology and Accessibility

Fostering an equitable learning experience for all Berkeley students and instructors by supporting accessible academic technology tools is a high priority. We strongly recommend instructors use supported learning tools which offer the benefits of accessibility, privacy, and security. Instructors have the ability to use tools not supported by campus; however, when using an unsupported tool, instructors assume responsibility for reviewing and vetting tools for accessibility, privacy, and security. Campus is unable to provide any assistance for unsupported tools. If using an unsupported tool, please work with DSP to ensure that accommodations can be made. 

In 2022, the campus entered into a Consent Decree with the Department of Justice concerning the need to ensure that web content is accessible to persons with disabilities, including those who are Deaf/Hard of Hearing or Blind/Visually Impaired. As part of the settlement, the Digital Accessibility Program will make available to all employees a short mandatory training on this topic. Campus will release a communication about this training and how to access it in September. If you would like to get an early start and complete the How to Comply with the Web Accessibility Procedures training, you may access and complete it now. 

Additionally, if you have audio (e.g., podcasts) or video (e.g., YouTube) that has been published and available to the public since December 2, 2022, you must ensure that it is accessible by September 2, 2023 See Video Requirements and Audio Requirements for guidance on meeting your obligations for this deadline. Please email if you have any questions or would like to meet with a digital accessibility specialist on Zoom. You may also join open office hours on Tuesdays and Fridays (sign up for office hours). 

Important Semester Dates

See the Fall 2023 Academic Calendar maintained by the Office of the Registrar for the latest calendar information (students in degree programs that do not align with the standard academic calendar should consult with their department). Below are some important dates in the semester:

  • Fall Semester Begins: Wednesday, August 16
  • Instruction Begins: Wednesday, August 23
  • Academic and Administrative Holiday: Monday, September 4
  • Midpoint grading rosters open for instructors: Monday, September 25
  • Deadline for instructors to enter midterm deficient grades: Tuesday, October 17
  • Academic and Administrative Holiday: Friday, November 10
  • Non-Instructional Day: Wednesday, November 22
  • Academic and Administrative Holiday: Thursday, November 23 & Friday, November 24
  • Formal Classes End: Friday, December 1
  • Reading/Review/Recitation Week: Monday, December 4-Friday, December 8
  • Last day of instruction: Friday, December 8
  • Final examinations: Monday, December 11-Friday, December 15

In addition to these dates, instructors should consult the Calendar of Religious and Cultural Holidays prior to scheduling midterms and assignment due dates. The Religious Holidays Calendar—as well as the Academic Calender and Student Enrollment Calendar—can be added to your bCal (go to the Academic Calendar webpage and see the “Add a Calendar to bCal” tab for instructions). 

Thank you for your continued dedication, creativity, and flexibility as we begin the new academic year. 


Benjamin E. Hermalin
Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost

Oliver M. O’Reilly
Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education  

Lisa García Bedolla
Vice Provost for Graduate Studies and Dean of the Graduate Division 

Max Auffhammer
Chair, Berkeley Division of the Academic Senate

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