SSD Portal Frequently Asked Questions
Why aren’t my accommodation letters available via the Student Portal?
SSD does not issue accommodation letters automatically. Students are required to complete SSD’s online Accommodation Letter Request Form at the beginning of each semester. You will not receive any accommodation letters until you have submitted the online request form, which can be found here: https://diversity.utexas.edu/disability/using-accommodations/.
If you submitted the online request form, but you have not yet received your accommodation letters, please keep in mind that it takes up to 3-5 business days for SSD to process accommodation letter requests, from the date the form was submitted. Please be patient during this time. If it has been over 5 business days since you submitted your request, and you still have not received your letters, please contact SSD at (512) 471-6259 or email@example.com.
I received my accommodation letters, but there appears to be a mistake on one of my letters or one of the letters I requested is missing. What should I do?
You should review the following page of SSD’s website for the most common issues related to receiving accommodation letters: Accommodation Letter Questions/Concerns
If you have further questions about your accommodation letter(s) that are not addressed on that webpage, please contact SSD at (512) 471-6259 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Who can access the SSD Portal to view my accommodation letters?
Students can access the Student Portal to view the accommodation letters they requested from SSD. Instructors will also be able to use the Instructor Portal to view the accommodation letters that students have requested for them. If you do not request an accommodation letter for a specific class, then that instructor will not be able to view your accommodations.
Only the instructor(s) assigned to teach a course will be able to log into the Instructor Portal to view accommodation letters for that course. Teaching Assistants (TAs) and Assistant Instructors (AIs) will not have access to the Instructor Portal to view your letters, except in rare circumstances. You or your instructor may provide a copy of your accommodation letter to a TA/AI, if necessary.
How will I know if my instructor viewed my accommodation letter online?
When an instructor chooses to view your accommodation letter online, they will have the option to click a button that “confirms receipt” of your accommodation letter. If your instructor clicks the confirmation button, then you will automatically receive an email from SSD notifying you which of your instructors has accessed your accommodation letter. However, instructors can view your accommodation letter without clicking the confirmation button, which means you may not know if your instructor has accessed your letter.
Do not wait to receive this notification. Instead, you should reach out to your instructors as soon as you are issued your accommodation letters to notify them that you are registered with SSD and request a time to discuss your accommodations.
I received an email that my instructor confirmed receipt of my accommodation letter. Do I still have to discuss my accommodations with my instructor even though they viewed the letter online?
Yes. Students are responsible for delivering and discussing their accommodation letters, and any associated handouts, with instructors as early as possible each semester. Your accommodations do not go into effect until you follow this step.
Even if your instructor has viewed your accommodation letter online, do not wait for your instructor to contact you and do not assume your instructor already knows which accommodations you need in their class. Instead, you should contact your instructor (via email, phone, or in person) to discuss your letter, specify the accommodations you are requesting to use in their class, and determine how they will be applied.
My instructor told me they will not be using the Instructor Portal. Is that an option?
Yes. Instructors can decide whether or not they would like to utilize the Instructor Portal to coordinate students’ accommodations. This does not mean instructors can choose whether or not to accommodate you. As long as you deliver and discuss your accommodation letter with an instructor, that instructor will be required to accommodate you.
It is important for you to ask instructors whether they will be using the Instructor Portal, and to what extent, so that you know what to expect.
Instructors will be required to use the Instructor Portal if they want you to take your tests in the Campus Testing Center or in the SSD ATEC Lab since student test requests require instructor confirmation. Visit the Testing Accommodations page for more information on reserving space in the CTC.
Can my instructors reserve my tests for me on the SSD Portal?
No. Students are responsible for requesting space to test at the Campus Testing Center or SSD ATEC Lab by logging into the Student Portal to make a test reservation. Your instructors will not be able to complete this step for you.
However, instructors will need to use the Instructor Portal to confirm your test reservations. Please review the following page of SSD’s website for detailed information about our testing policies and procedures: https://diversity.utexas.edu/disability/using-testing-accommodations/.
I received an email that my instructor confirmed my test reservation online. Is there anything else I need to do?
Yes. Once your test is confirmed, you should remind your instructor to send the test to the CTC at least 1-2 business days before the date of the test.
You may also log in to the Student Portal and click on “My Upcoming Events” to view the status of all of your upcoming tests and the location of your tests. This page allows you to check whether your tests have been confirmed. If a test is listed as “tentative,” this means the CTC has not yet received confirmation from your instructor for you to test in the CTC on that date/time. Contact your instructor ASAP to verify the confirmation will be received before the 5 business day (1 week) confirmation deadline.
For more detailed information about CTC’s testing policies and procedures, please visit the Campus Testing Center’s page.
I have been contacted by my instructor to change the date/time of my test reservation, what do I do next?
- If you entered the wrong test date and time for an upcoming test, please go to the Student Portal and choose the Book a Test Icon, then go to the My upcoming events Tab found at the top menu ribbon to cancel the test reservation. You then will be able to start a new test request.
- If you need to change the test request after the 10-business day deadline, and request a new test on the same date/time you will need to contact your Disabilities Services Coordinator.
- If your instructor already confirmed your test and it is passed the 10-business day student test request deadline, please email the CTC (email@example.com) with an email and/or screen shot from canvas from your instructor confirming a new date and time for the test. The CTC cannot guarantee space if a test request needs to be changed after the 5-business day confirmation deadline.
I am approved for notetaking assistance as an accommodation. Can my instructor use the Instructor Portal to provide my copy of class notes?
No. Only students have access to the Notetaking Module. Your instructor can assist you with finding a volunteer note-taker, but they do not have access to the Notetaking Module. Please make sure your instructor has received a copy of the Notetaking Guidelines Handout, which was included with your accommodation letter. This handout contains detailed instructions for how to provide students with a copy of class notes.
I recently found out about the Instructor Portal. How long has the portal existed?
Prior to Spring 2019, SSD’s Portal could only be accessed and utilized by students. However, in an effort to improve the accommodations process for both students and instructors, SSD recently launched the Instructor Portal. In the Spring 2019 semester, SSD launched a Pilot Program of our Instructor Portal, which allowed a small group of instructors to access the Instructor Portal, and provide feedback to SSD about their experience.
As of Summer 2019, SSD officially launched the Instructor Portal for use by all instructors campus-wide. The link to the Instructor Portal is posted on the right hand side of the SSD website. We encourage instructors to read through the FAQs and then contact SSD at (512) 471-6259 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any additional questions, concerns, or feedback about the portal.
Am I required to use the Instructor Portal to coordinate students’ accommodations?
No. Instructors can decide whether or not they would like to utilize the Instructor Portal to coordinate students’ accommodations. However, you cannot choose whether or not to accommodate students who are registered with SSD.
Regardless of your preference for using the Instructor Portal, you are required to accommodate students from the date they deliver and discuss their accommodation letter with you.
When discussing accommodations, it is important to indicate whether you will be using the Instructor Portal, and to what extent, so that responsibilities can be clarified. For example, if you refer a student to test at SSD, you will need to communicate whether you plan to confirm the student’s test reservations online via the Instructor Portal or whether you prefer the student to deliver their paper test reservation form to you to sign. More detailed information about SSD’s testing policies and procedures can be found here: https://diversity.utexas.edu/disability/using-accommodations/.
Can my Teaching Assistant (TA) or Assistant Instructor (AI) have access to the SSD Instructor Portal?
No. TAs and AIs will not have access to the Instructor Portal. Only the instructor(s) assigned to teach a course will be able to access the Instructor Portal to coordinate students’ accommodations for that course. Please keep in mind that the instructor(s) is ultimately responsible for ensuring students receive their accommodations.
We realize that instructors often delegate the responsibility of accommodating students to their TA/AI. Therefore, you are encouraged to provide your TA with copies of your students’ accommodation letters so they can still assist you with coordinating accommodations.
If you have questions or concerns about this, please contact SSD at (512) 471-6259 or email@example.com.
I viewed one of my student’s accommodation letters via the Portal, but that student has not contacted me to discuss their accommodations yet. Do I have to wait for the student to initiate the conversation, or can I reach out to them?
You do not have to wait for a student to contact you first regarding their accommodation letter. Although students are responsible for discussing their accommodations with instructors, we encourage instructors to reach out to students after viewing their letters, as it may invite students to play a more proactive role in the process. Students can often be reluctant or intimidated to reach out to their instructors and a welcoming invitation from an instructor can help a student feel more confident about using their accommodations.
Can I unsubscribe from the emails I am receiving from SSD in regards to the SSD Instructor Portal?
No, you cannot unsubscribe from the emails you are receiving from SSD. The University has a legal obligation to ensure students equal access and opportunity to learn and participate fully in the classroom. For this reason, you cannot unsubscribe from accommodation-related notifications from SSD. However, you can create a filter in your email settings for the notifications you receive from SSD.
A student dropped my class, but their accommodation letter is still listed on the Instructor Portal. Why is that?
Accommodation letters are issued manually by SSD, based on a student’s enrollment at the time their accommodation letter request is processed by SSD. If a student drops a class during the add/drop period, or drops a class through their college, SSD is not notified. Therefore, once a student receives an accommodation letter for a class, that letter may remain available via the portal after the course is dropped. Changes in students’ enrollment are not automatically reflected in our database.
If you are unsure whether a student is still enrolled in your course and continues to require accommodations, we recommend referring to university records and/or contacting the student directly.
I have been issued a new accommodation letter(s) unexpectedly, and it seems a little late in the semester. When is the deadline for students to receive accommodation letters from SSD?
There is no deadline for students to register with SSD, which means students may request accommodation letters throughout the semester. Students who are already registered with SSD at the start of a semester are encouraged to deliver and discuss their accommodation letters with you within the first two weeks of class. However, students who do not register with SSD until later in the semester may deliver and discuss their accommodation letters with you later in the semester.
Please note that accommodations are not retroactive. Therefore, you are only required to accommodate students moving forward from the date they deliver and discuss their accommodation letter with you.
If you have questions or concerns about how to appropriately accommodate a student, we recommend that you contact the student’s assigned Disabilities Services Coordinator at SSD, whose name and contact information is included on the student’s accommodation letter.
I am unable to confirm my student’s test reservation via the Instructor Portal because I missed the confirmation deadline. What should I do?
As a reminder, SSD must receive test confirmation at least 5 business days (one week) prior to the date of a test during fall/spring, and at least 3 business days prior to the date of a test during summer session. These deadlines are in place due to the minimal space available for testing at SSD. We require this time to prepare for the volume of students who are scheduled to test at SSD on any given date, which includes reserving additional space in our building and ensuring we have enough proctors available.
After the test confirmation deadline, our office is unable to make these necessary arrangements for students to test at SSD. We send instructors and students an email reminder 8 business days prior to the date of a test (in fall/spring) and 4 business days prior to the date of a test (in summer session) when we have not yet received confirmation for that test reservation. The purpose of this email notification is to prevent situations like this from occurring.
If you told your student you would confirm their test reservation online, but you missed the deadline, we highly recommend that you work with your TA and/or department to find resources to accommodate your student on their exam.
Please contact SSD at (512) 471-6259 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions or concerns related to SSD’s testing policies and procedures.
I do not agree with the date/time my student requested to test at SSD so I cannot confirm their test reservation. How do I change the date/time via the Instructor Portal?
The Instructor Portal does not allow instructors to make changes to students’ test reservations. Since students are responsible for reserving space to test at SSD via the Student Portal, students are expected to communicate with instructors to agree upon the date/time that they will be testing at SSD prior to reserving space online.
Instructors will have the ability to confirm or decline confirmations for each students test request through the Instructor Portal. If the instructor determines the student’s request is inaccurate please contact the student, and have them cancel the current request. Students will need to request the approved date and time of the test in the Student Portal. Once the test has been rescheduled instructors will be able to confirm the new test date/time in the Instructor Portal.
To view a PDF flowchart of the SSD Test Reservation and Notification System click here . A text-based version is available for download here: Text based-SSD test request process and notification system outline
Please note that SSD’s testing hours are Monday-Friday from 8:30am-4:30pm. In some cases, students are unable to reserve space to test at SSD during their regular class time due to these business hours, or due to additional conflicts with their class schedule and the amount of time, they will need to test at SSD.
I have a student(s) whose Accommodation Letter comes with an attached Attendance Policy Addendum. What is the purpose of this form? And can I complete this form online?
The Attendance Policy Addendum will be included with a student’s Accommodation Letter if they are approved for flexibility with attendance as an accommodation. The APA allows instructors and students to come to a written agreement about the extent of flexibility with attendance that can be provided, based on the course structure. More detailed information about the objective of the APA is outlined on the first page of the form.
At this time, the APA cannot be completed online. The Instructor Portal and Student Portal operate separately, which means they lack the capability for instructors and students to complete a shared document or to communicate between each portal.
Students are expected to bring a hard copy of the APA to their instructors to complete in person, when they discuss their accommodation letter. The student is also responsible for submitting the completed APA to SSD. Instructors should make a copy of the APA at the time that they fill it out with the student, to keep a record of what was agreed upon.
I co-teach a course with another instructor(s), and we have a student(s) whose accommodation letter comes with an attached Attendance Policy Addendum. Are both of us expected to complete this form with the student, or can it be completed by one instructor?
The Attendance Policy Addendum (APA) is designed to be completed by only one instructor. We recommend the primary instructor responsible for establishing the attendance/grading policy be responsible for completing the APA with their student(s). However, if both instructors share equal responsibility over a course, and developed the attendance/grading policy together, then the instructors can work together to determine which instructor would be the most appropriate to sign the APA.
Although the APA is designed to be completed by one instructor, all instructors assigned to teach a course are responsible for accommodating a student. Thus, all instructors should be involved in the conversation with the student about their flexible attendance accommodation, but only one instructor should sign the APA.
Instructors/students are encouraged to keep a copy of the completed APA for their personal record of what was agreed upon. If the student only delivers and discusses their APA with one instructor, then that instructor should make a copy of the completed APA and request that the student forward it to any additional instructors who were not part of the conversation so that all instructors are on the same page about how to provide this accommodation to the student.
Additional information about completing the APA can be found in this 4 minute video. The student’s Disabilities Services Coordinator is able to serve as a resource if instructors have additional questions about the APA or any other accommodation.