Descriptions of Commonly-Requested Accommodations

Descriptions of Commonly-Requested Accommodations

 

1.    Extended time for completion of tests/quizzes: the student is usually given time and a half, but may receive double time is the disability is considered to be more severe. Please understand that the law has been clarified regarding extended time.  Whatever the amount of time that is allowed for test completion for the rest of the students in the class, no matter the reason given, the DSS student is to be given the extended time beyond that.  If the rest of the class is given two whole hours, even though the test is a one-hour test, the DSS student must be given three hours to complete it. This has been misunderstood by many, because the law was not especially clear on its interpretation. The US Department of Education has made this distinction to help us understand the meaning of this accommodation.

2.    Alternate location or distraction-reduced environment for test completion: Some students with disabilities may be distracted while taking a test in the classroom or may need to talk out loud to help him process the information and may need to take the test in a different room. The professor should talk with the student to determine the alternate location for taking the test.  It can be in a different room in the same building as the classroom or in a different building like the library.  Some students request to take the test in DSS office; in this case, the test taking is monitored by DSS personnel. If the student will be taking the test in the DSS office, contact the DSS director or the administrative assistant to arrange transporting of the test to the DSS office.  This can be done in several ways: some professors send the test in a sealed envelope with the student; some professors send the test to me by email attachment; some prefer to drop off the test at the DSS office personally o to have us come and pick up the test from the professor’s office.

3.    Notetaking support: Some students having trouble processing information at the same time as they take notes.  These students benefit from having the option of getting copies of the notes taken by a peer (this should be facilitated by the professor) or getting notes from the professor.  Many students greatly benefit from receiving the notes for class before the class begins.  This helps give them a guide to follow during the lecture, on which they can write a few shorter notes but can mostly concentrate on the lecture. Some students achieve this support by tape recording the lectures and listen to the tapes later.

4.    Extra time to complete assignments: this should always be arranged between the professor and the student early. It generally, but not always, applies to lengthy writing assignments.

5.    Reader: students with a reading disability might need tests/quizzes read for them.

6.    Scribe: students with a writing disability or a visual or physical disability or paralysis might need someone to record their responses on a test or an in-class assignment.

7.    Assistive technology: there are various types of assistive technology available for use by students with sensory, communication, physical, or learning disabilities. These will be described to the professors involved as the need arises.  One thing to know: VU has several computers in the Christopher Center which utilize a screen reader called Window Eyes and a scanner program called Open Book Ruby, which can be helpful to those with visual impairments or with reading disabilities. These are available for use by all students, not just those in DSS.

8.    Transportation: Students with mobility issues might occasionally need transportation to and from classes, especially in the event of bad weather.  This can be arranged with the VUPD, who have a van with wheelchair accessibility.

9.    Priority registration: students with disabilities are identified by the Registrar’s office and given priority registration. Many DSS students have specific needs regarding timing of class as they complete their schedules, so this affords them the opportunity to have more control over their schedules.

10.     Handicap Parking Sticker: students needing a handicap parking sticker for parking their car on campus should contact the VUPD to make this arrangement. Documentation of the need for the special sticker will need to be provided.