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Home » Campus Life » Office of Disability Services » Academic Accommodations

Academic Accommodations

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


Step 1: Submit an Intake Request

Online Request for Accommodations and Services Form


Step 2: Documentation

Review the guidelines and submit all documentation.


Step 3: Appointment

Schedule your intake appointment with Disability Services.

Step 4: Notification

Once you receive your accommodations letter, meet with your professors.

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.

Differences Between High School and College

Who is a qualified individual with a disability in college?

According to the Americans with Disabilities Act as Amended (ADAA), a person with a disability is defined as someone who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.

If a student with a disability qualifies for accommodations in high school, will they receive the same accommodations in college?

Not necessarily. A students’ history of accommodations is discussed during the intake process and is considered when applying accommodations to the academic environment. Colleges are not required to provide accommodations that fundamentally alter the nature of a class or that will pose an undue administrative or financial burden on the institution. In addition, accommodations provided may not be the same as at different post-secondary institutions.

What is the purpose of accommodations in a college setting?

The purpose of accommodations is to provide access and equal opportunity. Keystone College provides students with disabilities academic, housing, and/or other accommodations in order to ensure that students have an equal opportunity to participate in all Keystone College programs, services, and activities.

Will the accommodation plan be automatically given to students every semester?

No. Students must arrange for accommodations before or at the beginning of each semester. The Office of Disability Services (ODS) will not automatically assume the student will want the same accommodations for each class the following semester. Each semester, students must make an appointment with ODS to request accommodations.

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?

Yes, but students are urged to get their accommodations in place and communicate with their instructors that they are registered with the Office of Disability Services and may need their accommodations during the semester. Accommodations are never retroactive. For example, a student cannot set up accommodations at midterm and expect to be able to retake tests with accommodations that were taken prior to midterm.

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. 

Contact Us

Disability Services

Frank Ohotnicky, M.S.
Director of the Learning Center
Email: frank.ohotnicky@keystone.edu

Tel: 570-945-8988
Fax: 570-945-8969
Email: disabilityservices@keystone.edu

Office Hours:
Monday – Friday
8 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Hours subject to change)

Summer Hours
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.

A complete list of documentation guidelines and information on how documents can be submitted can be found here.

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.

Appointments with our Director using the link here.

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.