DSP Accommodations for Spring 2022

December 13, 2021

Dear colleagues,

We have learned a lot in our return to in-person instruction this fall and are writing now in anticipation of another in-person semester in Spring 2022. Although some colleagues experimented with hybrid instruction in past semesters, we've learned that for many of us, teaching in that mode results in ineffective pedagogy. We are a residential campus, most of our classes are in-person with a few classes offered fully remotely. 

That said, we want to talk about how best to support students in the Disabled Students’ Program (DSP) who receive Letters of Accommodation (LOA) requesting remote course access. LOAs for Spring have already been received by some instructors, and some of these letters have been interpreted by the instructor as requiring them to implement a hybrid format, which may be experienced as a fundamental alteration to the course as designed. If you receive an LOA that seems to be requesting an accommodation that is a fundamental alteration, you should reach out to DSP and engage in a dialog. Contact the specialist who sent the accommodation letter first. If you are unable to connect with them or if you disagree with their response, please reach out to the DSP Executive Director, Karen Nielson <knielson@berkeley.edu>.

To meet our obligations to all of our students, it is essential that you actively engage with DSP when any request about your teaching would result in an altered educational experience for all students. Please view engaging in a dialog as part of your support for all students and in the spirit of collaboration with DSP.

There are many other types of questions faculty have for DSP. We encourage you to actively engage on those too. This year the campus appointed two faculty liaisons to assist in navigating those situations for which a faculty expert with inside knowledge of DSP would be helpful. The faculty liaisons are: Jonah Levy <jlevy@berkeley.edu> and Justin Davidson <justindavidson@berkeley.edu>. Please don’t hesitate to contact them if you have questions or concerns as you navigate the DSP accommodations process. 

Wishing you the best in this as the term winds down and for the holiday and new year.

In partnership,

Ron Cohen, Chair, Berkeley Division of the Academic Senate
Karen Nielson, Executive Director, Disabled Students’ Program

Oliver O’Reilly, Interim Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education

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

Cathy Koshland, Interim Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost