Disability Services

Classroom Accommodations

Please note that this is not an all-inclusive list. Accommodations are determined on a case-by-case basis in order to determine what is appropriate for each student. If you have particular questions, please contact the ADA office.

  • Access to teacher handouts, slides, overheads: Having access to handouts is needed either because a student needs to have the extra time to read them, they may need to be put in electronic format or they may be beneficial to a student who has trouble focusing while listening to the lecture or has trouble with organization.
  • Additional time on in-class writing assignments: Some students due to their disability may require additional time on any in-class writing. It is recommended that the faculty member and the student work out how to best handle this situation directly. If there are any questions, please feel free to contact the ADA coordinator.
  • Assistive listening device (ALD): Some students who are hard of hearing may require an assistive listening device. Each device is different. In most cases the instructor will be required to wear a small device with a microphone so that the student can hear. It will be important for the instructor to repeat any comments from other members of the class.
  • Assistive Technology (laptop, note-taking device): There is a variety of assistive technology available to students with disabilities. Some students may need to type their tests on a computer. In some cases, students may use their own computer and in other cases, they may need to use a computer on campus.
  • Closed Captioned Videos: Students who are Deaf or hard of hearing will need to have all videos shown in class to have captioning. If the copy being shown is not captioned, please contact the ADA office to look for alternative solutions prior to the time of the class.
  • Information on board read aloud for students with visual disabilities: Students who are either Blind or have limited vision, may not be able to see information that is written on the board. Therefore, it is important for the instructor to read aloud all information that is written on the board in order to provide the student equal access to the information.
  • Interpreting/Transcribing: An interpreter/transcriber is simply one who bridges the gap between the spoken and Deaf world. When the teacher or a classmate speaks, the interpreter/transcriber translates the spoken words into the language preferred by the Deaf or hard of hearing student. The student likewise participates in the classroom by signing or typing the information and the interpreter voices it (talks) for the class. The interpreter is not meant to be a participant in the classroom, but a communication facilitator, making sure that communication is easily accessible for the deaf and hearing populations equally.
  • Leave classroom when symptoms occur: Some students with medical conditions may need to leave the class if problems due to their medical condition occur. It is recommended that students who have issues during class, email or contact their instructor as soon as possible after the incident occurs and then work with the instructor to make up any missed work. If this happens continuously, it is recommended that the instructor talk with the student and also talk with the ADA coordinator to determine appropriate action.
  • Note-taker: At times some students have difficulty taking notes due to their disability. Some student would benefit from copies of course notes from another student in the class. With the studentís consent, the professor, instructor or teaching assistant can make a general announcement that there are students in the class who have disabilities which preclude them from taking comprehensive notes and that it would be appreciated if other students could give the student with a disability copies of their notes. If a student agrees to be a note-taker, please have them email the ADA office. It is requested that you conduct this process in the most confidential manner. We do not want other class members to be made aware of which student is requesting the service.
  • Occasional exceptions to the absentee/tardiness policy: The Americans with Disabilities Act, 1990, specifies that case-by-case exceptions should be made to established policy in order to avoid discrimination on the basis of a disability. To address this, the following disability related absence protocol has been developed: The student is required to notify the faculty member as soon as possible. They are also encouraged to let the ADA coordinator know as well. Each faculty member makes the determination as to how many absences in general are acceptable in order to pass the class. For a student with a disability, we must also look at: What are the essential elements of the course? How many absences would fundamentally alter the studentís ability to experience; or ability to participate in; or to contribute to and demonstrate learning? More information is available about this accommodation by clicking here: Occasional Exceptions.
  • Personal Care Attendant: Some students with significant physical disabilities may require a personal care attendant to travel with them. Depending on the needs of the student, the attendant may or may not sit with the person in class.
  • Preferential Seating: Students who have limited hearing, vision or difficulty with attention, distraction or an ability to focus will need to sit as close to the instructor as possible.
  • Record Lectures: Some students may need to be able to record their lectures due to the nature of their disability. If the material you are presenting should not be indiscriminately distributed due to publishing concerns, copyright concerns or matters of confidentiality, please allow this student to record the class. A separate agreement ensuring the materials are not circulated beyond the class will be provided to the faculty member with the accommodation letter.

Testing Accommodations

  • Additional Time: It is recommended giving some students additional time for in-class tests. The amount of time appropriate is determined based on the student's documentation. Students do have the option to take their tests in The Learning Center. However, in the event that the student might have questions which would be best answered by someone with knowledge of the subject matter, it is more beneficial for the student if the instructor or a teaching assistant proctors the tests.
  • Alternate exam dates during periods of heavy scheduling: Some students with a variety of disabilities may need to space their exams out in order to allow for their disability to not significantly impact their ability to take their exams. Each case is different. The ADA office recommends talking about the issues with the student to determine the best way to address this. The ADA office is also happy to be a part of the discussion.
  • Alternative tesing environment: The ADA office encourages all students who require testing accommodations to try as best they can to make those arrangements directly with their instructors. However, if this is not possible, students may elect to take their test in The Learning Center. In order to do this, the student and the faculty member must complete the testing form which is available in The Learning Center.
  • Assistive Technology: Some students, because of their disability, will require assistive technology to be able to complete their test. They may be able to use a laptop of their own. However, if that is not an option, then they can use a computer in The Learning Center. This accommodation may be needed due to a physical or learning disability which requires the use of specialized software, hardware or because the student's disability makes handwriting extremely messy and organization tends to be disjointed. Using a word processor such as a laptop allows the student to concentrate on organization and producing a legible piece of work. Students who use assistive technology may also use this accommodation so that they can take their tests with the class. Headphones may be used by the student if a speech output program is needed.
  • Calculator: The use of a calculator helps this student avoid mistakes such as reversing or skipping numbers. If a test or assignment is designed to measure the student's ability to perform functions a calculator would perform then this accommodation is inappropriate.
  • No Scantron: Some students due to visual processing issues or visual disabilities may not be able to transfer their answers to a scantron. In this case, students should be able to answer directly on the test. If this is not possible, please contact the ADA office to determine what other options might be available.
  • Scribe: Students who are unable to write their exam independently due to either a physical or visual disability, may require assistance writing (i.e. scribe). However, students are encouraged to use assistive technology for this purpose as a better way to ensure that their work is completed independently. If assistive technology is not an available or appropriate option given the circumstances, the ADA office can assist with locating a scribe.
  • Spell-check or points not taken off for spelling: The use of a spellchecker will help this studetn and may halp the grader by making tests easier to read. If the function of the test or assignment includes measuring spelling ability, this accommodation may not be appropriate.