Understanding Accommodation Letter Terms

Testing Accommodations

Alternate Testing Location – This accommodation permits students to take an exam in a location that differs from the location in which it is typically administered. This can include utilization of the CDR testing location, an instructor’s office, or in a proctored classroom separate from the main class.

Avoid back-to-back exams – The scheduling of back-to-back exams must be avoided. There must be at least a one hour break between exams administered on the same day.

Breaks During Exams – Student are allowed breaks during long exams. The time allocated for the break is compensated for in the allowable testing time. Breaks are typically 10 minutes per hour in addition to the testing time but can be extended if needed.

Enlarged Print – Exams must be in enlarged print. The font size can vary depending on the student’s disability.

Extended Time for Tests/Exams/Quizzes -1.5X – Extended time on in-class exams and quizzes in the amount of 1.5 (Time-and-a-half)

Extended Time for Tests/Exams/Quizzes -2X – Extended time on in-class exams and quizzes in the amount of 2.0 (Double time)

Live Reader – The use of a human reader to read the exam aloud to the student.

Private Room – Single occupancy room.

Reduced Distraction Environment – Attention to the reduction of noise and visual distraction to the greatest extent reasonable in the exam environment.

Scantron Exempt – Allows the use of handwritten responses rather than computerized answer sheets (scantron/bubble forms)

Screen Reader – Allows for the use of a computer with text-to-speech software to read exam content to student.

Scribe – Use of a human proctor to transcribe the student’s responses to the test questions.

Simple Function Calculator – Use of a basic, 4-function (non-programmable, non-graphing, non-scientific) calculator

Use of Earplugs – The use of earplugs or noise-cancelling headphones during exams

Use of Word Processor – Allows for use of a computer with spell- and grammar-check applications for essay exams and written work.  These computers are not connected to the internet.

Voice Recorded – Exam instructions and questions are pre-recorded with a human voice.

Voice to Text – The use of a computer with voice-to-text software such as Dragon Dictate for all written answers. 

Classroom Accommodations

Access to Food and Drinks – A student’s disability may require them to have access to food or drink during class.  The student is required to bring their own provisions.  In classrooms where food and drink are not permitted (a sterile lab), the student should discuss an equally effective alternative with the instructor when necessary.

Advance Access to PowerPoints – Timing to Be Determined Between Student and Instructor – A student has access to PowerPoint slides before class to aid in note-taking and previewing of the presentation material; the purpose is to provide time to preview class material and potentially use slides/notes as a template for more detailed note taking.  Students vary in their use of the materials, so an agreement between student and instructor should determine how much advance time is needed.  Sometimes it is at the start of the class, and sometimes students need up to 24 hours advance access. If instructors do not post classroom slides/written material to Blackboard or equivalent, then arrangements to send materials to the student  will be necessary. Instructors can request students to sign a non-disclosure agreement to prevent posting/sharing of class materials, and CDR can provide an agreement form.

Alternative Format – Books and materials may be needed in an electronic, screen-readable format.  Students must submit a request for a book or article to the CDR office through their Disability Resource Portal.  The Alternative Format Coordinator will prepare the materials for the student and deliver them electronically. Instructors are responsible to ensure that all posted electronic reading materials are presented in an accessible, screen-readable format.

Assignment Extension This accommodation provides extra time for out-of-class assignments or take-home exams due to an exacerbation of a disability or a disability-related condition. If necessary, CDR/the student will reach out to the instructor to create an agreement to determine which assignments (e.g., presentations, group work, discussion boards, etc.) may be potentially impacted, and how much additional time will be granted for each assignment. Otherwise, a 1-day (24-hour) extension will apply to a limit of two out-of- class written assignments, and the student will notify the instructor in advance of utilizing the accommodation.  

Assistive Listening Devices – These devices are personal amplifiers (FM system) that are used by students who are hard-of-hearing to increase the volume of the professor’s voice in the classroom environment. Faculty are required to wear a microphone or transmitter during the lecture.

Attendance Modification This requires a modification to an attendance policy due to possibility/likelihood of an exacerbation of a disability or a disability-related condition. When needed for a disability-related reason, the student is allowed one additional absence beyond the stated attendance policy without penalty. If necessary, CDR and/or the student will reach out to the instructor to create a written agreement if a need for additional attendance flexibility is expected and will be needed. Different types of classes call for different agreements (e.g., lab classes may call for less flexibility than lecture classes). 

Audio Description – A student who is blind or has low vision may need visual presentations (typically films) described auditorily.  This is done either professionally, requiring the film to be sent out to a service, or with a live person present who can describe the visual scenes to the individual during the viewing.

Braille and Tactile Course Materials – Braille is a written system of embossed symbols that are read using the sense of touch. Tactile course materials are representations of written, drawn, or graphically displayed materials that are also in tactile form.  Maps and graphs can be made using a variety of materials.  A student or a professor can request that tactile materials be provided by CDR.  CDR will also emboss readings into Braille when requested. When an instructor plans to use a class handout (hard copy) that does not have an equivalent electronic copy that can be read through a screen-reader, and a student who is blind or has low vision and is a Braille-user, instructors should work with CDR to ensure that a Braille copy is ready for the student when needed.

Breaks During Class – A student may need to leave class for a disability-related reason.  The student is expected to do this as discretely as possible. This accommodation does not require the entire class to have breaks, only the individual, and only when needed.

Closed Captioning – Text displayed on a screen for a student who is Deaf or Hard of Hearing.  All videos shown in class must have closed captioning enabled.  This also applies to any specific, out of class video assignments.  Please note that the automatic captioning provided by sites such as YouTube are not always acceptable in terms of quality and providing equal access to the content.  We encourage instructors to contact CDR if they need technical support. Please do so well in advance of the date the videos will be screened.

Computer Assisted Real-Time Translation (CART) – CART is a service that provides real time transcription of the lecture or discussion. It is provided by a CART transcriptionist using computer technology. A copy of the transcript of the lecture may be made available to the instructor upon request. This service should be arranged in advance through CDR.

Course Materials in an Alternative Format – This accommodation is provided for an individual with a print disability who needs written material available in a screen-readable, electronic format. If the material is graphic, then “Alt Text”, which is a description of an image, graph, or any other visual representation, must be added and is required.

Enlarged Print – Students with this accommodation may need all handouts and class materials in enlarged font/print. The font size can vary depending on the student’s needs, and students should notify instructors what font size is necessary for access.

Interpreting – Interpreters are individuals who are professionally trained in the designated sign language to translate lectures, discussions, and conversations in classes and other academic venues. The interpreters for classes will be arranged through CDR and will be present in classes.  Interpreting must also be arranged for any other academic event that is related to the class.

Note Taking Assistance – Use of a Laptop and/or Recording Device In Class – The student has the use of a device to type notes and/or record the lecture. This device may include a tablet or laptop with or without a note-taking application, a digital recorder, or smart pen.  Instructors shall not assign designated seating areas to students with this accommodation. Instructors can request students to sign a non-disclosure agreement to prevent posting/sharing of class materials, and CDR can provide an agreement form.

Peer Note Taker – The student will have access to notes taken by another member of the class who is hired and paid by CDR. These peer notes are posted in Student’s Disability Resource Portal, and instructors have access to the notes in their faculty portal.  Only students who are approved for the peer note accommodation will have access to these notes.

Preferential Seating – This refers to a specific seating location within the classroom.

Specialized Furniture – This refers to furniture that meets the specific needs of an individual. CDR will supply and arrange the furniture in the classroom settings.  This furniture is identified with a CDR sticker, and faculty may need to assist students if the required furniture is occupied by another student or missing from the classroom.