MOST COMMON APPROPRIATE ACCOMMODATIONS
1.Priority Registration: Students with disabilities may request an appointment with the Disability Support Counselor for academic advising prior to the publication of the Schedule of Classes. Knowing what classes to enroll in may assist in preparing the student for the upcoming semester as well as allow time for any needed assistive devices/technology to arrive.
2. Utilization of a Scribe and/or Notetaker: Students with disabilities may request the assistance of a scribe for assignments and/or exams. A scribe should be a faculty or staff member or other person designated by the student and approved by the instructor who writes or types answers for the student. A notetaker should be a fellow student or willing faculty or staff member who takes notes for the student. These accommodations are primarily for students with certain kinds of learning impairments, such as disorder of written expression or dyslexia, or physical conditions in which there is limited hand dexterity. Instructors may be asked to assist in securing an appropriate classmate for note taking assistance.
3. Front Row Seating: Students may request to sit close to the front of the class due to conditions or impairments, such as ADD/ADHD or visual/hearing impairments. For a student with ADD/ADHD sitting in the front row, or near the front row, allows the student to better focus as most of the potential distractions are behind the student.
4. Audio Recording Lectures: It may be appropriate for some students with disabilities to request to audio record class lectures. Students with learning disabilities or cognitive impairments usually benefit from recording lectures as repetition is typically a crucial part of their learning process. Students with physical impairments may not have the dexterity to take notes on the lecture and are not comfortable depending on a classmates note taking ability. Digital audio recorders may be checked out from the Disability Support Counselor but should be requested as soon as possible as there are a limited number of recorders available.
5. Instructor Notes: Some students with disabilities may request lecture and/or presentation notes, such as copies of PowerPoint presentations, from instructors. This accommodation would be most appropriate for visual learners, students with auditory processing disorders, physical conditions which affect dexterity, and some learning disabilities. Instructors may be asked to compile their notes for the student or provide the student with a copy of basic ideas and key concepts for the class.
6. Alternative Format Textbooks: Some students with disabilities may request textbooks in a format different from the traditional textbook. Students with visual impairments and/or specific learning disabilities such as dyslexia may benefit from audio textbooks. These may be available in an audio compact disc format or a downloadable electronic book. These students may still be required to purchase the traditional textbook. Because it may take several weeks to secure alternative format textbooks, students are strongly encouraged to contact the Disability Support Counselor as soon as they are enrolled. In the event that alternative format textbooks are not available the Disability Support Counselor will work with the student and instructor to make arrangements to meet the needs of the student.
7. Extra Time on Assignments: In some instances it may be a reasonable accommodation for a student to request extra time on assignments. The request may be due to anything from a specific learning disability to anxiety disorder to a medical condition. Accommodation Plans should be specific regarding extra time on assignments by including the maximum appropriate length of time for the extension, a deadline for when the request for an extension should be made, and if a valid excuse (i.e. doctors note) should be provided for approval of the extension.
8. Use of Testing Center: Use of the testing center provides the student a least distractive environment for exams. It is appropriate for many students with anxiety, ADD/ADHD, learning disabilities, some medical conditions, and possibly those who require an alternative exam format to utilize the testing center. Depending on circumstances, there may be times when the student will need to schedule an appointment with the Director of Testing Services to complete an exam in the testing center
9. Alternative Format Exams: Alternative format exams may be appropriate for some students with disabilities as long as it does not jeopardize the integrity of the exam. This accommodation is very individualized for the specific student and is typically only utilized with a recommendation from a professional or past history of success. If this accommodation is appropriate for a student, the student is strongly encouraged to discuss their specific needs with the instructor prior to the first exam so that adequate arrangements can be made.
10. Extra Time on Exams: Extra time on exams is an appropriate accommodation for many students with disabilities such as ADD/ADHD, anxiety, specific learning disabilities, and medical conditions. If an exam is not timed then this accommodation will not be applicable. Extra time on exams is almost always provided in the testing center and is typically necessary for students to complete oral or alternative format exams. Accommodation Plans should be specific regarding extra time on exams and will normally be “time and a half” or “double time,” although the accommodation will be tailored on a case by case basis to meet the needs of the student.
11. Oral Exams:
- The student may request an exam be completely read aloud. However, if the student utilizes this accommodation, it will be the responsibility of the student to schedule a time to complete the exam. Oral exams should not be administered in the testing center unless arrangements are made by the student with the testing center and it is determined it will not adversely affect others in the testing center. The student should schedule their oral exam with the instructor or Disability Support Counselor prior to the deadline for completing the exam.
- The student may ask for a word or phrase be read aloud for clarification during an exam. This can be done in the testing center unless it evolves into the student needing the entire exam read aloud or becomes a distraction to other students in the testing center. If this happens, it would be best for the student to contact the instructor or Disability Support Counselor to make other arrangements to complete the exam.
- Depending on the course and subject matter, a situation may arise where reading the exam aloud or even clarifying a word or phrase for the student may cause concern that the exam will not accurately reflect the student’s knowledge on the subject matter. When this occurs, the situation will be evaluated on a case by case bases and the final determination will be based on collaboration between the Disability Support Counselor, the student, and the instructor. In some cases it may be necessary to consult the appropriate Division Chair and/or Academic Dean.
12. Short Breaks During Exams: For some students with disabilities it may be appropriate to allow short breaks during exams in order for the exam to accurately measure their knowledge on the information being tested. This accommodation is usually provided in the testing center and is determined on a case by case basis depending on the student’s needs. Accommodation Plans should be specific as to how many breaks will be allowed and for how long.
13. Use of a Calculator: This accommodation is most appropriate for students with learning disabilities in math or dyscalculia. The student may be required to demonstrate their ability to perform basic mathematics before the use of a calculator is permitted. Use of a calculator is only allowed if it does not jeopardize the integrity of the course.
14. Large Text Format: It may benefit some students with disabilities such as visual impairments or dyslexia to have class materials presented in a large test format. If large text format is determined to be an appropriate accommodation, instructors may be asked to alter class hand-outs, exams, etc. by choosing a larger font size.
15. Braille Format: Students who are blind may request textbooks as well as other class materials in Braille format. Obtaining Braille textbooks and materials may take several weeks, so students need to make their request as soon as possible. Faculty and staff assisting students who are blind may also request Braille textbooks and materials on behalf of the student. All requests should be made to the Disability Support Counselor. The Disability Support Counselor will not assume that students who are blind utilize Braille and will not work to obtain Braille textbooks and materials until a request is made. In the event that Braille textbooks or materials are not available the Disability Support Counselor will work with the student and instructor to make arrangements to meet the needs of the student.
16. Sign Language Interpreters: Students who are deaf may request the assistance of a sign language interpreter while in class. Locating a qualified American Sign Language interpreter may take several weeks, so students need to make their request as soon as possible. If a student has a preferred qualified interpreter they should provide the name and contact information of the interpreter in their request. All requests should be made to the Disability Support Counselor. The Disability Support Counselor will not assume that all students who are deaf require the assistance of an interpreter and will not work to locate and hire an interpreter until a request is made. In the event a qualified sign language interpreter is not available the Disability Support Counselor will work with the student and instructor to make arrangements to meet the needs of the student.
17. Personal Counseling: Some students may request regularly scheduled appointments to meet with the Disability Support Counselor to counsel on personal and academic issues. While this is an appropriate accommodation depending on each student’s individual needs, some students may be referred to Southwest Arkansas Counseling and Mental Health for more in-depth professional counseling services.