An academic accommodation is an adjustment to an academic course or program for students with a qualifying disability . The purpose of accommodations is to give students with disabilities equal access to the learning environment without altering the fundamental nature of the course.
Steps to Receive Academic Accommodations
Differences Between High School and College
We understand that sometimes the transition from high school to college can be difficult to any student, especially those with disabilities. Please take a look at the document provided below, which illustrates those differences.
Who is a qualified individual with a disability in college?
If a student with a disability qualifies for accommodations in high school, will they receive the same accommodations in college?
What is the purpose of accommodations in a college setting?
Will the accommodation plan be automatically given to students every semester?
Who is responsible for making sure that accommodations are put into practice?
The student is responsible for carrying out their part in implementing the accommodations. This could include the following:
– Setting up meetings with professors in order to discuss the specific needs regarding accommodations.
– Completing the test accommodation request form and following up to ensure alternative testing arrangements are in place.
– Recording lectures or discussions.
– Managing the note taking process
– Communicating with ODS staff.
Can students change their minds about using or not using accommodations?
How will the instructors know that a student needs accommodations?
Students must present his/her instructors with an accommodation plan. An accommodation plan will be issued to the student once the required documentation has been reviewed and reasonable accommodations are determined. The accommodations will be in place as soon as the student presents the plan to the instructor and has a conversation explaining how best to implement the authorized accommodation in a particular course. The plan will not be considered in place until the student presents it to the professor.
What resources are available for faculty members working with students with disabilities?
Our office works individually with faculty members on a case-by-case basis, along with holding trainings for them. For more information about what resources we provide to our faculty please follow the link here.
Examples of Offered Accommodations
Proctored Exams in a Reduced Distraction Environment.
Disability Services can help arrange an acceptable alternative for test taking through the Test Proctoring Center. These alternatives, stated within the student’s accommodation plan, may include:
- Marking answer selection directly on the exams instead of using a scantron
- Using a laptop instead of handwriting an essay
- Extra time to complete an exam or in-class project
- Orally record answers
- Using a scribe/reader
The student must fill out the student proctoring request online to inform the Proctoring Center of available days and times. The instructor must also submit an online proctoring request form. These requests must be completed for each individual test. All proctored exams are by appointment only and must be requested at least two business days in advance.
Recording of Class Lectures
- Students may be allowed to record class lectures using a digital recorder, pen, or software such as Livescribe, EverNote, etc.
While students are more than welcome to ask a fellow classmate to photocopy/scan their notes, ODS can arrange a notetaker for a student in need of such accommodations. The notetaker will make copies of their notes and give them to ODS to distribute to the student unless another option is decided upon. An alternative accommodation we often recommend is for the student to have access professor’s handouts, PowerPoint slides and/or lecture notes.
Frank Ohotnicky, M.S.
Director of the Learning Center
Monday – Friday
8 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Hours subject to change)
Monday – Thursday
8 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
Miller Library - Offices 309 – 310
Step 1: Intake Request Form
In order to give the student an opportunity to describe their disability and the accommodations they are looking to receive, the Office of Disability Services requires all students seeking accommodations to fill out an intake request form. If you need an alternative format please let our office know.
Step 2: Submit Documentation
Documentation of the student’s disability provides the Office of Disability Services the information necessary to determine appropriate accommodations. This information should be current and provide evidence of the functional limitation of the disability.
Step 3: Make an Appointment
Once the student has submitted the intake request form and documentation, they will need to schedule an intake appointment with Disability Services to discuss the procedures, services and accommodations they will receive.
Step 4: Receive Notification
Once approved for accommodations, the student will receive notification of the accommodation letter via their Keystone email account. This letter will list the accommodations and services the student is authorized to receive. It is then the student’s responsibility to provide and discuss their accommodation plan with each of their professors. Accommodations are only valid for the semester listed in the accommodation plan and must be renewed each semester by meeting with the Director of the Learning Center. Meetings typically take place in person or via Zoom.