Chapter 18 – Classroom Assistants   

A Classroom Assistant (CA) is a student employee hired by DAS to assist students with disabilities to perform tasks that are a required component of their course.   CAs do not do the work for the student, but they may manipulate materials, write or complete other course-related tasks as directed by the student with a disability.   CAs will only help carry out course-related procedures that the student is unable to complete due to their disability. All information about the actual course and lab processes and procedures are the student’s responsibility. 

Some examples of tasks performed by the CA: 

  • Lifting objects
  • Describing visual materials or surroundings
  • Physical manipulation of lab materials
  • Gathering supplies
  • Pouring/mixing liquids
  • Using tools and/or cutting
  • Scribing (filling out required lab worksheets or other written materials)
  • Voicing for a student (typically, by reading from a computer screen) 

Expectations of DAS Students: 

  • Request CA accommodations within 48 hours of registering for courses with the university.  At a minimum, a student needs to provide DAS ten (10) business days to find and hire a CA.
  • Meet with the CA and DAS staff either in person or via email to discuss the course, expectations and exchange of contact information (phone numbers, email addresses etc.).
  • The student is responsible for full participation in the course.
  • If the student is running late or will miss the course, they should contact their CA directly.  CAs do not stay in the classroom when the student is not present.  If the student does not arrive within 15 minutes of the start of the course, the CA will leave.
  • If the CA is functioning as a reader or a scribe, they will write legibly, read at a pace that fits the student’s needs and will not contribute information or assistance regarding the course topic. (See expectations of CAs below)
  • If the student drops the course, they should cancel the request for a CA in the DAS online system.
  • The student is required to let their DAS Advisor know if the CA does not show up for work or if they have any questions or concerns about the CA. 

Clarification of CA role: 

  • CAs will not complete a lab for the student or the lab partner(s). The student must give the CA explicit instructions on how to participate in the lab with you and your partner(s).
  • CAs are not responsible for non-academic related tasks (i.e. bathroom access, feeding, bathing, assisting with transfers, walking student to a different course/classroom, etc.).
  • CAs will not tutor the student or assist the student with out-of-class projects, assignments or homework.
  • CAs will not censor the material, add or omit pertinent details unless directed to do so by the student.
  • CAs will not correct errors in the students’ work, including spelling or grammar. 

Expectations of CAs: 

  • Meet with the student and DAS staff either in person or via email to discuss the course, expectations and exchange of contact information (phone numbers, email addresses, etc.).
  • The CA should introduce themselves to the faculty member on the first day they attend.  DAS will notify faculty that a CA will be attending the course.
  • The CA is not a student in the course.  Do not participate in the course discussions or engage in the course as though you are a student in the course.
  • Do not work on homework or any other personal tasks when working as a CA.
  • If the CA is functioning as a reader, scribe or notetaker, write legibly and read at a pace that fits the student’s needs. Please do not contribute information or assistance regarding the course topic.
  • If also working as a notetaker, CA should use a computer and email notes to the student.  If there are charts, figures or graphs and alternative formats is need, CA should provide copy of notes to Accessible Formats
  • Perform only those tasks directed by the student specific to the course.
  • Do not prompt or guide the student in performing a lab or course related tasks.
  • Adhere to proper classroom/lab procedures (including wearing protective gear if required).
  • Do not act as a tutor. 
  • Do alert the student if the instructor is calling on them and the student missed the non-verbal cues.
  • If the CA cannot attend the course, the CA is required to contact DAS as soon as possible to allow time for DAS to find a substitute. The CA should also communicate with the student that they are not able to attend and have requested a substitute.
  • If the student does not arrive to the course after 15 minutes, the CA is free to leave.  CA is required to report absences to the Classroom Access Coordinator (DAS).
  • The CA should ask the Classroom Access Coordinator if they have questions about being a CA for a specific student in a specific course. 
  • Submit timesheets per OSU Business Center requirements.  Student timesheets are due on the 15th of the month. 

Expectations of Faculty: 

  • Please add the CA as a viewer to the course in Canvas.
  • Please work directly with the student and not the CA. 

Page Updated 09/2020