Students with disabilities may require additional time for taking tests and completing other in-class assessments. Unless efficiency or speed is the essential skill that is being assessed, students may be granted additional time for all exams, in-class quizzes and in-class writing assignments. 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.
Some students, because of their disability, will require assistive technology to be able to complete their test. This accommodation may be needed due to a physical or learning disability which require 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 allows the student to concentrate on organization and producing a legible piece of work.
Breaks during exams allow a student to take a few minutes away from test-taking. Breaks during exams are necessary for students who experience significant pain issues, require frequent access to the bathroom, or who have difficulty with concentration over significant periods of time. Breaks are particularly important for exams that require extensive writing. Breaks do not count against the allotted exam time. Students are not allowed to work on the exam during breaks. Breaks should be proctored, if appropriate.
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.
Some students due to visual processing issues or visual disabilities, may not be able to transfer their answers to a scantron. In this case, we ask that the student be able to answer directly on the test. If this is not possible, please contact DRC to determine what other options might be appropriate.
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, the DRC encourages students 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 an appropriate option given the circumstances, the DRC will assist with the locating a scribe.
Having access to PowerPoints may be needed for students with a several different types of disabilities. Students requesting this accommodation typically require additional time to read/process information, need to convert PowerPoints to electronic/alternative format, or have difficulty focusing while listening and organizing information during course lecture. For courses where all materials are posted on MyClasses, that would suffice for meeting the needs of the student with this accommodation. For additional guidance on access to course PowerPoints, please contact the DRC.
Some students who have hearing impairments may require an assistive listening device. Each device is different. In most cases, unless there is an audio system in the room that has a built in ALD, the faculty will be required to wear a small device with a microphone so that the student can hear. Faculty of students with approved hearing devices as an accommodation will receive email notification from the DRC each semester offering guidance, if needed.
There is a variety of assistive technology available to students with disabilities on campus. Some students may need to type their notes or assignments on a computer with or without special software such as JAWS, Kurzweil 3000, and Dragon Naturally Speaking. Other students may need to use a Braille typewriter or magnifying products. For a list of available assistive technology and information on the AT spaces on campus. If you have questions about assistive technology, please contact the DRC.
Students who are deaf or hard of hearing may need to have all videos associated with the course (including “optional” videos) closed-captioned. DRC staff works closely the Office of Instructional Design & Delivery to ensure accessibility of course content. DRC staff notify faculty via email of students with closed-captioning as an accommodation, and offer assistance with determining what needs to be done to have the video captioned or to look for alternative solutions prior to the time of the class. For additional questions regarding closed-captioning, please contact the DRC or the Office of Instructional Design & Delivery.
Allowing a student to consume food and/or drinks in the classroom provides the ability to manage a variety of health conditions that are affected by diet. The student is expected to be discreet if they need to use this accommodation during lecture. If access to food and/or drink in the classroom/lab could be problematic, faculty are asked to please contact DRC to discuss alternatives.
Some students may need to be able to record their lectures due to the nature of their disability. Students who receive recording course lectures as an accommodation are often unable to take notes and process/comprehend content presented during course lectures simultaneously. Allowing a student to record course lectures, gives the student the ability to go back to include any information they may have missed during the lecture. Recording course lectures is not used for students who miss class, but rather students who need additional time to recall information. Students who receive recording course lectures as an accommodation review the SU Audio-recording Agreement with DRC staff, and receive a copy along with their Memorandum of Accommodations.
Some students experience chronic increases of symptoms related to their specific diagnoses, which make deadlines and due dates challenging. The DRC requires that students with an approved Extension on Assignments as a reasonable accommodation meet with their faculty at the beginning of each semester or as soon as the student presents their Memorandum of Accommodations to discuss the extent to which modification to assignment deadlines may be reasonable for a particular class. Following this meeting, the student and faculty should have a clear understanding of what accommodations can be made for disability-related assignment extensions. To facilitate this discussion, DRC staff are available to consult with faculty and students to determine reasonable extensions to assignments, as appropriate. Extending a deadline until the end of the semester isn’t reasonable. Accommodations are not granted retroactively and do not excuse any prior unexcused untimely assignments or mitigate any consequences from failing to meet deadlines.
Students with disabilities are expected to attend classes on a regular basis and to comply with class attendance policies. However, there may be times when a student with a disability will be absent for disability-related reasons. For such absences, it may be considered a reasonable accommodation for faculty to modify their class attendance policy for that individual student. In such cases, as in any and all cases where students with disabilities wish to request accommodations, modifications to policies, and/or aids and services, it is the responsibility of the student to self-identify to the Disability Resource Center (DRC) and seek eligibility for a reasonable modification to class attendance policies. As with any and all requests for accommodations, aids, and/or services, requests for modifications to attendance policies cannot be granted retroactively and as such, students are encouraged to make such requests as early in the semester as possible.
Students with a variety of disabilities may require their print materials to be produced in an alternative format (electronic, large print or Braille). Each semester, the DRC converts between 150-200 books into alternative format. Students should contact the DRC well in advance of the start of each semester to request assistance in obtaining these alternatively formatted materials as some requests can take up to six weeks to process. Faculty can help expedite this process by submitting their textbooks and other course materials lists to the bookstore as early as possible.