Lab Assistant Policy and Procedure

Policy

The Center for Students with Disabilities (CSD) engages in an interactive process with each student and reviews requests for accommodations on an individualized, case-by-case basis. Depending on the nature and functional limitations of a student’s documented disability, he/she may be eligible to work with a laboratory (lab) assistant. The provision of a lab assistant is not considered a substitute for a student’s full participation in each lab.

A lab assistant is a student employee hired by the CSD who assists with various lab requirements and procedures that students are unable to complete (e.g., retrieval of supplies or equipment). Lab assistants are hired to aid students with disabilities with the physical mechanics and dexterity requirements of lab activities (e.g., lifting, pouring). Lab assistants are required to complete the appropriate health and safety training as required by the Division of Environmental Health and Safety. In addition, lab assistants:

  • Will perform only those tasks directed by the student;
  • Are used as a tool, not as a teacher or tutor;
  • Will not prompt or guide a student in performing a lab task;
  • Will not explain nor interpret lab assignments/questions.

Students are responsible for notifying the CSD if any concerns arise regarding the lab assistant’s performance. Students will also have the opportunity to evaluate the lab assistant’s performance at the end of the semester.

Procedure

Student Responsibilities

  • Students approved for a lab assistant must provide the CSD with the necessary lab information including class, location, meeting times, instructor name and contact information, as well as a copy of the lab syllabus.
  • Be appropriately prepared for, attend and participate in each lab.
  • Contact the CSD as soon as possible if any issues arise regarding this accommodation (e.g., lab assistant does not show up, arrives late on a regular basis, etc.).

CSD Responsibilities

  • Hire a qualified lab assistant who meets the following criteria:
    • Is in good academic standing with a cumulative GPA of 2.5 or higher;
    • Has completed the required health and safety training;
    • Attends each scheduled lab;
    • Preference may be given to students with prior knowledge of the subject matter.
  • Once a lab assistant has been identified, provide the student and lab instructor with the lab assistant’s contact information.
  • Resolve any issues that arise regarding this accommodation.

Any questions regarding this policy and procedure should be directed to Jennifer Lucia, Associate Director, at (860) 486-2020 or jennifer.lucia@uconn.edu.