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Faculty Guide for Supporting Full Access for All Students

National Louis University is committed to ensuring that all of its programs and activities are fully accessible for all students by removing all barriers to access within the learning environment.

What does this all mean to me, the faculty member? What are my responsibilities toward the student, the curriculum? What are the student's responsibilities? What if anything should I say to the student? To whom do I go for answers to my questions? What about the varying modes and rates at which students learn? What are some chronic illnesses I should be aware of that may warrant an academic accommodation?

Possible Academic Accommodations

Information on Specific Conditions Causing Disabilities‌ (PDF)

Faculty Guide for Supporting Full Access for All Students (PDF)

Due to the very personal and private nature of some types of disabilities, it may be extremely difficult for some students to ask for an accommodation. Often, students struggle through classes and may never identify for fear of discrimination. Therefore, it is important that faculty create an atmosphere where students feel comfortable about coming forward to discuss any of their needs that cannot be met within the current framework of the learning environment. 

Faculty can demonstrate openness and willingness to help students by drawing attention to the statement on their syllabi directing students to the Library & Learning Support Specialist for academic accommodations’ requests.  It would also be most helpful if faculty would announce to students at the first class meeting their willingness to help with accommodations because a student will be then be more likely to seek the assistance he or she needs sooner than later. Helpful communication and accommodation guides follow under each specific category of disability.

 It is strongly recommended that faculty let students know that they are willing to set up a time to meet with student(s) to:

  1. Make certain the student is aware of services available and is registered through the Library & Learning Support Specialist which includes responsibility for overall coordination of services for students with disabilities
  2. Ask the student what course accommodations the student(s) need in terms of fulfilling course requirements
  3. Ask the student if he or she would like you to announce that a note-taker is needed if pertinent.
  4. Ask the student if a study group would help; then, announce that study groups would be beneficial to students
  5. If it becomes apparent the student needs a tutor, help identify upper level or graduate students in the pertinent area of study. Contact Peter Ploegman, NLU’s Library & Learning Support Specialist, for further information, questions, or assistance.

While it is the responsibility of faculty to create an academic environment that is fully accessible, the student must bear some responsibility as well. Generally, a student is responsible for:

  • Registering with the Library & Learning Support Specialist, who is responsible for overall coordination of services for students with disabilities,
  • Obtaining special equipment such as FM amplification systems with the assistance of the Library & Learning Support Specialist
  • Initiating contact with readers or tutors in the pertinent area or through the assistance of the Library & Learning Support Specialist
  • Keeping up with assignments, if having difficulty, talking with you to see what strategies or alternatives there might be,
  • Arranging with faculty to have an exam taken in an alternate room or proctored by someone at he Learning Support Department
  • Arranging changes to classrooms for accessibility purposes through the Library & Learning Support Specialist with the assistance of the campus’ Facilities Manager as needed,
  • Arranging access to transportation to and from class with the assistance of the Library & Learning Support Specialist as needed
  • Arranging for orientation and mobility training by Lighthouse for the Blind through the Library & Learning Support Specialist, and
  • Finding, training, and employing attendants if necessary.

Informal Complaint Procedure If a student is comfortable doing so, s/he should speak first about the concerns with his or her faculty member, program director or college dean. In these discussions, a satisfactory resolution may be readily found. An applicant who feels s/he has been discriminated against because of a disability and is uncertain about filing a formal complaint may wish to discuss the question informally with the designated Library and Learning Support Specialist 8 at 312.261.3329. This informal discussion may result in the development of an approach enabling the student or applicant to deal with the situation or the complaint may be taken under formal review.

Formal Grievance Procedure A student or applicant who decides to file a formal complaint should contact the University Ombudsman, 312.261.3461. If the grievance concerns the actions of the University Ombudsman, contact the Vice President of Student Services at 847.947.5409. All other grievances will be promptly investigated and reviewed by the University Ombudsman. The purpose of the review is to determine if University policy and applicable federal and local law have been followed and, if not, to address the consequences that may have resulted and take appropriate corrective action. Information relevant to the matter may be requested from the involved parties. The University Ombudsman will provide a response notifying the student or applicant of the findings and recommendations.

 A student or applicant who uses the complaint procedure must not be retaliated against for doing so. The student or applicant may choose another student, faculty or staff employee to accompany him or her through the procedure. The other student or employee may help to express the complaint. A student or applicant who finds that a complaint is not resolved to his or her satisfaction may appeal to the Director of Student Experience or Vice President of Student Services. The finding and response from either of these officers is the final response for the University. Additionally, a student or applicant who believes that s/he has been harassed or discriminated against because of a disability can file a Charge of Discrimination at their regional U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights. The Illinois regional office is located at 500 W. Madison St., Chicago, IL, 60661. The Florida regional office is located at 61 Forsyth St. W, Ste. 19T10, Atlanta, GA 30303


    NLU’s Chicago campus on South Michigan Avenue occupies five floors of the historic Peoples Gas Building. This landmark building, across the street from the Art Institute of Chicago and Grant Park, is easily accessible by train, bus and car and is surrounded by restaurants, parking lots/garages and shops.

    122 S. Michigan Avenue
    Chicago, IL 60603
    (888) 658.8632
    Info » | Directions »

    Conveniently located in a fast-growing business district off I-90 and Route 31, NLU Elgin features 10 classrooms with high-tech media equipment; a computer lab with high-speed Internet access; two conference rooms; and comfortable student lounges. Parking is free at this recently remodeled and upgraded teaching site, which now includes wireless Internet access.

    620 Tollgate Road
    Elgin, IL 60123
    (888) 658.8632
    Info » | Directions »

    Opened in the summer of 2006, NLU North Shore at Skokie is a state-of-the-art modern campus located just off the Edens Expressway near the Old Orchard Shopping Center. The campus includes 44 wireless classrooms equipped with high-tech media equipment; four computer labs with high-speed Internet access, including a walk-in lab in the library; six conference rooms; a public café for beverages and snacks; a student welcome center; a library for research and study; and multiple, comfortable student lounge areas.

    5202 Old Orchard Road
    Skokie, IL 60077
    (888) 658.8632
    Info » | Directions »

    Located just minutes from the East-West Tollway (I-88), NLU Lisle features 42 wireless classrooms equipped with high-tech media equipment; four computer labs with high-speed Internet access, including a separate walk-in lab in the library; a café for beverages and snacks; a student welcome center; a library for research and study; conference rooms; and six comfortable student lounge areas with wireless access.

    850 Warrenville Road
    Lisle, IL 60532
    (888) 658.8632
    Info » | Directions »

    Located in one of Chicago's major northwest suburbs, the newly renovated NLU Wheeling includes 20 classrooms with high-tech media equipment, four conference rooms, four computer labs with high-speed Internet access, large student lounge areas with wireless capabilities and interactive video capabilities, and an extensive research library. The site also houses the university library research collection.

    1000 Capitol Drive
    Wheeling, IL 60090
    (888) 658.8632
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    Established in 1988 and located in one of Tampa's major business districts, NLU's Florida Regional Center serves students in 13 counties in central Florida. In addition to its classrooms, the National Louis University Tampa Regional Center features a computer lab, student lounges, and conference room.

    5110 Sunforest Drive, Suite 102
    Tampa, FL 33634
    (800) 366.6581
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