Supporting Students with Disabilities

The SASO is dedicated to ensuring access and inclusion for students with disabilities. This includes students in undergraduate, graduate, and certificate programs. SASO currently serves around 200 students with temporary and permanent physical, health, learning, sensory, or psychological disabilities. The SASO work in partnership with students to establish services and accommodations.

FSU strives to create a community of access and inclusion on campus. Though most students with disabilities work with the SASO office, often students may first disclose their disability to a faculty/staff member before establishing a connection with SASO. It is not uncommon for students to be unaware of the existence of the Student Accessibility Services Office. Faculty or staff are often the first people students self-disclose their disability to through various interactions.


  • If a student self-discloses their disability, health condition, or pregnancy to you, please refer them to the Student Accessibility Services Office.
  • If a student self-discloses they used an IEP or 504 plan in K-12 or at a previous institution, please refer them to the Student Accessibility Services Office.

If you believe a student is struggling and have concern that it may be due to an undiagnosed or non-disclosed disability, you can provide the student with resources on campus and include the office of Student Accessibility Services as one of the resources that may be able to help.

 Best Practices/Teaching Strategies

  • Pause and ask questions throughout lesson to check for understanding. Access students' prior knowledge. This helps them relate similar concepts.
  • Give examples of key concepts.
  • If possible, provide presentations or lecture materials online. Guided notes are helpful as well.
  • Use multiple formats: Visual aids, three-dimensional models, charts or graphics, group projects, visual stimuli, audio and video content to accommodate different learning styles.
  • Allow audio recording of lectures.
  • Consider that students with reading disabilities may not wish to read out loud in class.
  • Encourage the student to visit during office hours for clarification of content.
  • If possible, have textbook info and syllabus available early for conversion into alternate format. (For students with visual impairments)
  • Consult with SASO staff on any lecture materials, assignments, or tests that can be converted for the student. (For students with visual impairments)
  • Consider obstacles in the classroom that might present a problem. (For students with visual impairments)
  • Consider the impact of lighting on the student's ability to see. (For with visual impairments)
  • Address students by name, so they know you are talking to them. (For students with visual impairments)
  • Face the student when you speak. (For students with visual or hearing impairment.)
  • If possible, make any PowerPoint presentations or lecture materials available for student access.
  • Provide a written supplement to oral instructions, assignments, and directions.
  • Encourage students in class to speak one at a time.
  • Consider the impact of lighting on the student's ability to see your face (lips, expressions and gestures).
  • Use consistent, predictable content delivery in your online environment
  • Encourage the use of a personal planner
  • Make no assumptions about the student's abilities
  • The student may need extra time to process the information
  • Don't take a lack of immediate response personally; information overload can take a few moments to work through
  • Allow for different styles of processing information