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Providing Student Accommodations

Professors, teaching assistants (TAs), instructors and staff are our greatest allies in providing equal access to students. Below is a sample of accommodations available through Disability Resources that tend to appear most frequently on an Accommodation Verification Letter (AVL) and may elicit the most questions by instructors administering them to students.

The Accommodation Verification Letter (AVL) is a legal document, and once an instructor or supervisor receives a completed AVL, all accommodations listed on the document must be provided.

The individual should never be asked to disclose their specific disability or give any personal information relating to their disability. Simply treat the individual the same as their peers with the only exception being the accommodations indicated on their AVL.

Individuals with disabilities should be held to the same standards as every other student or employee at the university. While they may receive accommodations to "level the playing field" and provide equal opportunity for success, they are still expected to maintain the same standards and abide by the same policies and programmatic expectations.

Instructors should be sure to provide students with their grades in a timely fashion; a special accommodation provision should not delay grade delivery.

Ability To Audio Record Classroom Activities

In addition to their AVL, students who plan on using their accommodation for recording of in-class lectures will present the professor with a signed Audio Recording Agreement Form if audio recording is not already allowed for all students. This form is available on the Disability Resources Forms page and stipulates that their class recordings are not to be used for anything other than academic purposes and are only to be used by the student receiving the accommodations.

Access To Powerpoints And Overheads Before Class Begins

These students should be given copies of the day’s PowerPoint slides before class begins. The slides can also be sent via e-mail in advance of class.

Note: Many professors choose to provide their PowerPoint slides to all students online before the class begins which also fulfills the accommodation.

Accessible Laboratory Environment

Students requiring an accessible laboratory environment may require a variety of adaptations to ensure equal access.  Disability Resources will provide clear direction regarding a specific student and their access needs.

Some examples of accessible laboratory accommodations may be: high stool to sit instead of stand, accessible work station, adaptive microscopes or devices, rolling cart for supplies, modified table height, etc.

Adaptive Technology

Students who qualify for the use of adaptive technology such as portable CCTVs, screen readers, text-to-speech software, word processors, voice-to-text software, brailing keypads, FM systems, etc., should be permitted to use this technology in the classroom and during exams unless otherwise noted on the AVL or unless it presents a safety risk to the student or others. If a professor is concerned about the use of adaptive technology in the classroom, they should contact Disability Resources at 215.895.1401 ext. 2.

Advanced Notice Of Synopsis Of And Due Dates For Long-Term Assignments And Projects

Students with this accommodation require advanced notice detailing the requirements for large class assignments and projects. Any changes made to the syllabus should be communicated in writing as soon as possible.

Generally, providing the students with assignment information 1-2 weeks before it is given to the class would constitute as advanced notice.

As with all accommodations, if you are not sure how you can provide the student with this accommodation please contact a Disability Resources staff member.

Breaks During Testing

Please see the fact sheet at the Disability Resources Forms page.

Cart Services (Communication Access In Real-Time Translation)

Students receiving CART will usually receive services remotely, but in person captioning services may be provided as appropriate.  The student may require use of a laptop to view the captions during class.

Note: During class the professor should direct all comments toward the student. The captioner should not be expected to participate in discussion, assist the professor, or receive any grade for the course.

Please see the fact sheet at the Disability Resources Forms page.

Chunking Of Exams

Please see the fact sheet at the Disability Resources Forms page.

Distraction Reduced Testing Environment

Students who qualify for a reduced distraction environment need a location with limited outside noise and commotion. Generally, providing these students with a separate room for testing is most appropriate.

Note: Sitting students in the back of a crowded classroom, in a hallway, or asking the class to remain silent does not constitute a reduced distraction environment. Testing should be put on hold, rescheduled or moved if a distraction reduced testing environment cannot be provided.

Enlarged Print Materials

Students should be provided with any in-class handout-out materials or exams in enlarged print. Professors submitting exams to Disability Resources for students being proctored in the Testing Center should enlarge the print prior to sending the exam.  The AVL will list what font size is appropriate for a given student.

Exams Answers To Be Given Orally

Students who qualify to be given their exams orally should be allowed to audibly say their answers to the professor instead of writing or typing them. Given the one-on-one nature of this accommodation, a separate time and place should be established where the professor or TA can meet with the student to proctor the exam.

When requesting to have their exams given orally, the student is expected to schedule with the professor at least five days in advance.

As with all accommodations, if you are not sure how you can provide the student with "exams to be given orally", please contact a Disability Resources staff member at 215.895.1401 or disability@drexel.edu.

Exemption From Use Of Scantron Sheets

Students with this accommodation listed on their AVL should be permitted to write their answers on a separate answer sheet or circle them on the actual exam.

Even though these students will be submitting their answers in a different format they still have the right to timely reporting of their grades.

Extended Time For Testing

The student's AVL will indicate whether they receive 1.5x or 2.0x the time given for standard test administration.

Ensure that the professor or a staff member can remain with the student for their entire testing time. If necessary the student can be asked to come during office hours to allow for full exam extended time but they should not be expected to change locations once testing has begun.

The student with a disability should not be singled out at any time, including while receiving their extended time.

Note: If the professor increases the standard administration time for the entire class this must be taken into account before calculating the extended time for the student with a disability.

Flexibility In Attendance Unless It Fundamentally Alters The Learning Outcomes Of The Course Or Program

Flexibility in attendance allows students with significant disabilities to miss class when issues with their disability arise. These students should not be penalized for absences.

Students who receive Flexibility in Attendance are also allowed to turn in any homework assignment that was due in class on the day of absence within 24 hours if the assignment could not be submitted electronically. Note: This does not apply to assignments which were due online.

If a professor is concerned that allowing absences will alter the learning outcomes of their course, they should begin providing the accommodation but contact Disability Resources at 215.895.1401 at their earliest convenience to discuss their concerns.

Materials In Alternate Format

Students who qualify to receive materials in alternate format should work with Disability Resources to have these materials converted for use with adaptive technology. Information about requesting materials in alternate format can be found at the Disability Resources Forms page.

Disability Resources will reach out to professors individually to discuss ways to accommodate students using more advanced adaptive technology.  Disability Resources staff will need access to any online, in-class or testing materials.  These materials should be provided in a PDF or Word document.  Disability Resources will work with the professors to determine how far in advance materials are needed in order to be converted to an alternate format.

Note Taking Assistance

Disability Resources has a process to accommodate students who request note taking. This may include a peer Note Taker when available, the use of an online note taking service selected by the University, or audio recording for the purpose of note taking.  DR may identify other reasonable supports as appropriate.

Pop Quizzes

Remember to provide testing accommodations for pop quizzes. For example, offer the quiz at the beginning or end of class so that the student can be informed (on the day of the quiz) to come early or stay late, or to take the quiz in a designated testing location before or after class.

Priority Registration

Students who qualify for and wish to use their priority registration accommodation work directly with their academic advisor to schedule classes at the times and places that fit their needs relative to their disability.

The student must contact Disability Resources to request that their AVL to the advisor in advance of the registration date to be given priority.

For it to be valid, the AVL must be approved for the term in which it is issued. For example: If a student delivers an AVL to their advisor at the beginning of August 2019 to receive priority registration for Fall term, the AVL must read "Summer 2019".

Advisors must then hand-key enter the students into their courses due to confidentiality constraints.

Testing With Disability Resources

Instructors can independently provide students with testing accommodations. If using the Disability Resources test proctoring center is preferred, the student logs in to Clockwork to schedule their exam. Disability Resources will work with professors to make every effort to accommodate students but accommodations are not guaranteed if exams/quizzes are not scheduled through ClockWork by the student at least 5 calendar days/120 hours before test date/time. Instructors should log in to ClockWork to upload the exam information at least 24 hours in advance.

During exams with Disability Resources, if students are unclear about the exam instructions or conditions, they are asked to stop the exam and seek assistance from the proctor. The proctor will attempt to contact the instructor if necessary.

For additional questions about testing with Disability Resources, please see the Disability Resources Forms page for our testing services fact sheet and explanations of some other common testing accommodations.

Use Of Adaptive Technology For Exams

If a student with a disability qualifies for and requests the use of adaptive technology on their exam (such as a screen reader, voice to text software, text in alternate format, etc.), they should be permitted to schedule their exam in the Disability Resources office where these technologies can be provided.  The student should indicate this when scheduling the exam so that the Testing Center staff can ensure that the appropriate technology is available at the time it is needed.  

Use Of A Four Function Calculator In Class And On Exams

Except for the first two weeks of MATH 100 and/or when basic arithmetic is rested.

These students should be permitted to use a four-function (add, subtract, multiply, divide) calculator on any in-class work or exam that requires mathematical computation.

Use Of A Reader For Exams

An appropriate reader for a student with disabilities would be the professor, teaching assistant or other qualified faculty member, professional staff, or approved volunteer.

Since the reader will need to talk with the student and this may be distracting for other students testing, a private room should be provided.  The reader should read only the text of the exam, they are not permitted to explain questions or give any additional clarifying information that may provide an unfair advantage to the student with disabilities.

If a reader cannot be provided, the student may request to have their exam proctored with a reader in the Disability Resources office. This exam must be scheduled through Clockwork at least five days/120 hours in advance of the exam date.

Use Of A Scribe For Exams

An appropriate scribe for a student with disabilities would be the professor, teaching assistant or other qualified faculty member, professional staff, or approved volunteer.

Since students requiring a scribe for exams will need to speak with their scribe during the test, a separate room should be provided.  The student should dictate exactly what they want written down, including punctuation, and this should be done by the scribe. The scribe should not make any alterations to what the student says.

If a scribe cannot be provided, the student may request to have their exam proctored with a reader in the Disability Resources office. This exam must be scheduled through Clockwork at least five days/120 hours in advance of the exam date.

Use Of Sign Language Interpreter

Students receiving sign language interpreting will have an interpreter attend each class.  This is usually done in person but may occur remotely if needed.  If an in-person interpreter is provided, the interpreter will stand near the front corner of the room and provide translation for all class discussion.

Note: During class the professor should direct all comments toward the student, not the interpreter and ensure that the student's line of vision to the interpreter is kept clear. The interpreter should not be expected to participate in discussion, assist the professor, or receive any grade for the course.

Here is the forms policy.

Use Of Microsoft Word For In-Class Assignments

Students who present an AVL listing the use of a word processor for in-class assignments should be permitted to use a laptop to type any writing assignment done in class. Since these students may not have direct access to an in-room printer they should be permitted to e-mail the professor the file at the end of class or print it and hand it in at a later time.