The following information includes explanations of some of the accommodations provided to students.
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, 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, in-the-moment experience. Therefore, it may not be reasonable to have extended time during hands-on skills-based tests.
Students with disabilities may be approved for and request a separate “distraction-limited environment” testing space. This space more often than not will be at the Testing Center. 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 provides computer software programs that can “read” the exam aloud to a student. If necessary, a Reader can read the exam aloud to a student, however, this must be scheduled at least 5 business days in advance.
Physical Environment Accommodations
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. Accessibility Services 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. Accessibility Services 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 a computer for in class writing. 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.
Other Accommodations (if requested)
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, the note taking accommodation ensures that a student will receive a copy of notes from a fellow student volunteer. If a student approved for note taking accommodations and the instructor are experiencing difficulties in obtaining notes, it is the student’s responsibility to contact Accessibility Services. Students may acquire notes in a variety of ways including:
- 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.
- 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.
Access to Overheads or Power Point Presentations
Students with disabilities may request that an instructor make course materials displayed on overhead projectors or Power Point slides available for review. Instructors are not required to create new materials. Instead, instructors might post the materials on D2L or 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.
*Students MUST discuss the following with their instructors, as these requests are at the discretion of their instructors*
Missing Class Due to a Disability (Attendance Flexibility)
Students with disabilities may be more prone to missing class due to medication concerns, chronic illness, transportation issues, mobility difficulties or other disability related circumstances. Students registered with Accessibility Services may be requested to provide documentation supporting the request of flexibility with course attendance. A Disability Specialist will meet with students to discuss the potential implications of missing class (i.e. missed notes, greater difficulty in understanding the material); flexibility does not mean that attendance policies do not apply.
The instructor and the student determine the specifics of a flexible attendance policy, using the Accessibility Services “Instructor Notification of Academic Accommodations” letter provided by Accessibility Services. If the student or instructor wishes, Accessibility Services can serve as an additional resource to discuss this form and/or options related to accommodation issues.
Extended Time for Class Assignments
Students must discuss their request for extra time to submit an assignment, AND the circumstance must be related to the student’s disability. Accessibility Services informs students that technical excuses (internet crashing) may not be supported by Accessibility Services as a reason to use this accommodation. Students are encouraged to start on assignments early as they are informed of deadlines in advance through the course syllabus.
Use of a Note Card/Formula Sheet for Tests
At the instructor’s discretion, students may be allowed to use a note card or formula sheet for tests. Students must discuss the content with their instructors; and it must be approved before it is used for testing in Accessibility Services.