The following information includes explanations of some of the accommodations provided to students.

Testing Accommodations

Extended Time

Students with disabilities may require additional time for taking tests and completing work in class. Unless efficiency or speed is the essential skill that is being assessed, students may be allowed additional time for all exams and in-class quizzes. Based on the documentation submitted to ACCESSibility Services (AS), extended time is typically approved in increments of either one and one half or double the allotted time. The extended time accommodation does not apply to take home exams. Extended time ensures that a student’s performance is reflective of his/her mastery of material rather than the speed at which a student performs.

That said, certain hands-on skills-based tests such as clinical skills or lab tests are meant to be done in a certain time frame to mimic the real-life experience. Therefore, it may not be reasonable to have extended time during hands-on skills-based tests.

Distraction-Limited Environment

Students with disabilities may be approved for and request a “distraction-limited environment” testing space. This space can be provided at the AS testing rooms or at the Testing Centers at the different campuses. This accommodation is not a guarantee of a “distraction free” testing space, but rather a quieter space where students have fewer distractions from fellow test-takers and are thus better able to maintain focus.

Readers for Exams

Some students with disabilities may require having exam questions read to them. ACCESSibility Services (AS) provides computer software programs that can “read” the exam aloud to a student. If necessary, this must be scheduled at least 2 business days in advance.

Physical Environment Accommodations

Preferential Seating

Students with disabilities may request an instructor’s assistance in obtaining appropriate classroom seating. While reasons for accessible seating vary widely, common disability-related requests include seating near the front of the room, seating near the board or overhead projector, seating near an interpreter or microphone, seating near (or away) from windows, seating near the door and seating on the entry-level of a multi-level classroom. AS staff can assist with any modifications to classroom furniture, which may be necessary due to an accessible seating request.

Permission for Classroom Breaks or Moving About in Class

For some students with disabilities, sitting for long periods of time and/or remaining in the same position for the duration of a class period can exacerbate symptoms of the disability. Similarly, some students may need to leave class for brief periods to attend to medications or other medical needs. AS encourages these students to move around or leave class in the least disruptive manner possible. Students should discuss seating arrangements and the timing of breaks with their instructors.

Assistive Technology Accommodations

Use of a Computer for In-Class Writing

Some students with disabilities will be approved for and request to use their computer for in class writing and note-taking. Using a computer allows these students the opportunity to avoid physical fatigue and/or to provide legible, better-organized writing. Students making such a request may use a computer in class with the understanding that internet searching, playing games, and/or using social media is not allowed unless instructed by the instructor.

Use of Spell Check

This accommodation allows students to use a dictionary or spell check device so that they will not be penalized for basic spelling and grammar errors when they are otherwise able to provide accurate responses to the questions be asked.

Permission to Digitally Record Class Lectures

Students with disabilities may request permission to record class lectures and discussions. Recording class materials is allowed when the student provides notification of the accommodation to the instructor. The student must provide his/her own recording device and may discuss with the instructor the best placement of the recording device. Instructors have the right to request that the student turn off any recording if the discussion involves the privacy and confidentiality of what is being shared in class.

Instructional Accommodations 

Copies of Class Notes

Students needing note-taking assistance may approach a Disability Specialist for suggestions regarding how to acquire a copy of course notes. While students may ask an instructor for a copy of the instructor’s notes, there are other ways to obtain lecture information. 

  1. Asking an instructor to make an anonymous request for a note taker. The note taker provides the notes to the instructor who then gives them to the student requesting the notes. This method allows a student using this accommodation to remain anonymous.
  2. Students may ask a fellow classmate for a copy of his/her notes directly. Students may share notes by making photocopies or by exchanging notes electronically.
  3. Students may use a smart pen, recording device, or note-taking software. AS provides training on technology that will assist students with note-taking in the classroom.

Advance Access to Course Materials

Students with disabilities may request that an instructor make course materials (ex., overheads, Power Point slides, checklists, study guides, etc.) available for review. Instructors are not required to create new materials. Instead, instructors might post the materials on D2L for all students, email, make copies of the materials and distribute these copies to students or allow a student to review the PowerPoint slides during office hours. Students should work with their instructor(s) to determine an appropriate time frame for viewing materials.

Academic

*Students MUST discuss their accommodations with their instructors.

Modified Attendance

All students are responsible for attending class and responsible for their learning. Instructors are expected to provide students information regarding attendance policies and practices.

Some students may be approved for a modified attendance accommodation due to the episodic nature, chronic level or on-going specialized treatment of a medical condition or disability that may hinder their ability to regularly attend class.

Examples: chronic illnesses, mental health, migraines, diabetes, epilepsy, medicinal side effects)

AS Specialists determine the reasonableness of this accommodation through an interactive process in addition to documentation provided by the student.

ADA regulates that all approved accommodations should be provided unless it fundamentally alters the nature or is proven to be an essential element of the course.

Determining Disability-Related Absences

To determine whether attendance is an essential element of a course, instructional departments should refer to the following  guidelines provided by the Office of Civil Rights.

1) Do student contributions constitute a significant component of the learning process?

2) Does the fundamental nature of the course rely on student participation?

3) To what degree does a student's failure to attend constitute a significant loss to the educational experience of other students in the class?

4) Which method is used to calculate the final grade?

5) What do the course description and syllabus say about attendance?

6) What are the classroom/department policies regarding attendance?

Student & Instructor Responsibilities

*The conditions of this accommodation should be established before absences become an issue. Instrustors are only required to provide approved disability-related accommodations after receiving the Notification of Academic Accommodations and a discussion between the student and professor has taken place.

*The method and timing of notification of absences and making up any materials, exams, assignments missed should be agreed upon.

*Students are responsible for advocating for assistance to obtain missed course content, lecture material or notes presented that day. Student must arrange how they will obtain this information w/ the instructor.

*Students are not required to provide medical documentation verifying the disability-related absence, but may be required to document other non-disability related absences as per the syllabus requirements.

*Communicate w/AS for further assistance regarding the implementation of any of the student's accommodations (719.502.3333)

Extension Dates for Assignments

Extended time for assignment submission is a reasonable accommodation in situations where a student's disability or medical situation creates an unexpected circumstance that poses a challenge to completing assignments on time. 

Generally, a one week extension for assignment completion is reasonable. However, timelines should be considered on an individual and circumstantial basis. The request must be disability-related.

This accommodation is reasonable when:

1) An assignment was not listed on the syllabus or LMS and is given to students one week or less to complete.

2) The deadline is listed on the syllabus but the student has not been provided the necessary information (lectures, presentations) to complete the assignment.

3) An unexpected disability-related circumstance interferes with the ability to complete the assignment on time (i.e., disability-related absences).

*Communicate w/AS for further assistance regarding the implementation of any of the student's accommodations (719.502.3333)