Academic Centers

Descriptions of Commonly-Requested Accommodations

Accommodations are modifications to conditions that would otherwise cause a student, because of a disability, to be at a disadvantage relative to non-disabled students in their access to the university’s programs for students. Reasonable accommodations provide equitable access to programs or facilities and do not fundamentally alter the essential functions  of a course or academic program

Classroom Accommodations 

Having access to handouts is needed either because a student needs to have the extra time to read them, they may need to be converted  into an  electronic format due to the student needing assistive software to access them, or they may be beneficial to a student who has trouble focusing while listening to the lecture or has difficulty writing and focusing at the same time. For classes where all materials are posted to Blackboard ahead of the class meeting time, this is considered meeting this accommodation.

Some students due to their disability may require additional time to process and complete assignments.  As a result a barrier is created when students are expected to complete  writing assignments, worksheets, and labs within a fixed in- class time frame. If such assignments are to be evaluated for a grade the student and faculty member should work out how to incorporate the needed extra time. Extended time on in-class assignments does not apply to online courses where the assignments are completed asynchronously.

Some disabilities cause communication difficulties making class participation, or speaking up in groups, difficult. If appropriate to the nature of your course, please privately discuss alternative methods of class participation with this student.  Examples of possible alternative methods include but are not limited to having the student turn in note cards of written thoughts they had at the end of each discussion, giving you a non-verbal cue of when they feel comfortable to speak, or submitting responses online.

Certain disabilities cause students to think very literally and limit the ability to think abstractly. It may also be that they cannot process all details right away. For this reason, they rely on the written word as a reminder of what expectations are for an assignment. This can be done in an email after class if handouts are not available.

Often certain disabilities can cause delays with processing, extreme anxiety, deficits in attention, delays in writing, or a need for a necessary break. In these cases, a fixed time extension (time in addition to what non accommodated students get for the duration of the exam.) The duration of time extension is a fixed increase based off of the time given to the general class population.

 For example, If the general class population receives 50 minutes to take an exam, the student with time and a half receives 50 minutes (time)+ a ½ extension of that duration (50/2= 25 extra minutes) for an exam time total of 75 minutes. This accommodation does not apply to exam scheduling windows generally (i.e. If you give a student 4 days to complete an online exam at a time of their choosing, you do not have to give an accommodated student 6 days.)

Realizing that there are no spaces that are distraction “free”, some of our students experience symptoms exacerbated by the typical testing environment. They may experience an overabundance of anxiety, loss of attention, or fixation on distractions such as getting up and turning in tests, pencil tapping, coughing, or simply just a lot of people in the room. Because of this, students with disabilities may require a distraction “reduced” environment, or private room, if available. Distraction reduced environments contain minimal noise, foot traffic, comfortable lighting, in a discrete location.

This does not mean a student does not have to go to class! Some students have conditions which present in unpredictable flare ups. Because of this, a student may request a reasonable amount of absences in addition to what is outlined in the attendance policy without penalty. The amount of acceptable absences is determined by a discussion between the student and instructor about what is appropriate for that specific course, depending on how the course is set up (i.e. It may be difficult to recreate a small group discussion or lab, so absences may have to be limited, versus a lecture based class that can easily be made up through notes or slides.) Students with this accommodation are required to touch base with instructors within 48 hours of the absences, and the amount of absences should not fundamentally effect course requirements.

Some students have disabilities which require only brief, but immediate attention. Please don’t penalize these students for brief departure or lateness, though these should not be excessive to the point of major disruption.

Some students may experience difficulty with the physical aspect of taking notes, and thus may find it easier to absorb notes auditorily or take them at their own pace while listening to a recording at a later date. With this accommodation, the student understands they are not to redistribute information, nor record sensitive personal material.

Students with hearing loss may utilize a system that requires you to speak into a provided microphone to amplify the sound in their ears.