The federal law requires post-secondary institutions to provide “reasonable accommodations” for students with disabilities. The Office of Disability Services strives to provide a learning environment that allows full participation and equal access.
There is no standard accommodation plan. Academic accommodations are developed each semester according to the needs of each student and his/her courses.
In order to determine appropriate accommodations, DS requests and maintains confidential disability-related documentation for each registered student. The DS staff determines eligibility for services and develops plans for academic adjustments, auxiliary aids, and/or services.
According to Section 504 of the Vocational Rehabilitation Act & the Americans with Disabilities Act: “A reasonable accommodation is a modification or adjustment to a course, program, service, or activity that enables a qualified student with a disability to obtain equal access. Equal access means an opportunity to attain the same level of performance or to enjoy equal benefits and privileges as are available to a similarly situated student without a disability. Only the peripheral requirements of courses, programs, and activities are subject to modification; essential elements of courses, programs, and activities must remain intact.”
- Provide students with disabilities equal access to the same information as non-disabled students.
- Provide students with disabilities the same opportunities to demonstrate mastery as students without disabilities.
- Reduce assignments
- Reduce test questions or answer selections
- Allow a student to miss class or change the professor's absence policy
- Allow extended time on assignments
- Fundamentally alter course requirements or affect the integrity of the course in any way
Reasonable accommodations are determined by examining:
- the barriers resulting from the interaction between the documented disability and the campus environment;
- the possible accommodations that might remove barriers;
- whether or not the student has access to the course, program, service, or activity, without accommodations; and
- whether essential elements of the course, program, service, activity, or facility are compromised or fundamentally altered by the accommodations.
Typical accommodations might include (but are not limited to):
Extended time for quizzes and exams
Distraction-reduced area for testing
Alternate test format
Individual test administration
Reader (someone who reads the exam word for word to student)
Student reads exam to self
Scribe (someone who writes the answers word for word as student dictates)
No Scantron form – student will mark answers on hard copy of test
Supervised breaks during exams
Use of computer for essay exam
Use of a basic calculator for math computation
Long exams administered in two parts
Use of Irlen Overlay/colored lens
Allow spell check
Laptop or tablet for notes
Hard copy of notes or PowerPoint file
Textbooks in alternative formats i.e. - audio, e-Texts, enlarged print, braille
Use of Irlen Overlay/colored lens
Print all handouts, tests, etc. on colored paper as specified
Lecture notes, handouts, tests on disk or enlarged format
Accessible classroom furniture
Early availability course syllabus and textbooks
Sign language interpreter
CART services (Computer Aided Real-time Translation)
Captioning and/or transcription
Use of CCTV
Assistive technology/computer software