Frequently Asked Questions:
General Inquiries1.What are the responsibilities of a student with a disability?
2.What are the responsibilities of an instructor when working with a student with a disability?
3.What are the responsibilities of the DSS staff?
4.How are appropriate accommodations for a student determined?
5.What should I do if I believe that the accommodation alters the nature of the course?
6.What is the DSS policy regarding the disclosure of information about a student’s disability?
7.What if a student with a disability is disruptive in class?
8.What if a student with a disability is failing?
9.What are the most common classroom accommodations requested?
Test Taking Accommodations10.How do I know if a student needs testing accommodations?
11.Who provides the test accommodation to the student?
12.Will students take the exam at the same time as the class?
13.When do exams need to be sent to the DSS office?
14.How are exams delivered to DSS?
15.How are completed exams returned back to the instructor?
16.What happens when a student makes a late request for accommodated testing?
17.How are exams proctored?
18.What happens if DSS suspects a student of academic dishonesty/cheating during an exam?
- Identifying themselves to instructors and to DSS
- Providing disability verification to and register with DSS
- Consult with DSS regarding specific accommodation needs
- Communicating to the professor, in a timely manner, necessary course accommodations
- Providing accommodations recommended by DSS.
- Consulting with the DSS staff if a question arises regarding specific recommendations for accommodation for an individual student.
- Refer a student to DSS who requests accommodations but is not currently registered. Instructors do not have to provide accommodations for students not registered with DSS.
- Maintaining confidentiality of all accommodations made for a student. It is critical to stress that all matters relating to a student with a disability remain confidential. Students are not required to disclose the specific diagnosis.
- Determining appropriate accommodations for students with disabilities.
- Providing letters for the student to give to instructors recommending specific accommodations.
- Assisting instructors to provide the recommended accommodations.
- Maintaining confidential records for each student with a disability.
- DSS staff determines appropriate accommodations based on the documentation submitted by the student, the student’s prior record of accommodations, the student’s expressed needs and the professional judgment of the DSS staff.
- When in doubt, ask. Reasonable accommodations are provided to students with disabilities in order to ensure they have an equal opportunity to participate in all programs and activities. If you question the reasonableness of an accommodation request, please contact us so that we may collaboratively assess the situation.
- Disability information is confidential and must be treated as such. Avoid discussing disability issues at the front of the class or in the presence of other students. Information about a student’s disability should not be shared with other faculty members or staff unless they have a legitimate educational need to know. Written material, such as letters of accommodation needs to be regarded as “confidential” and should be filed with restricted access.
- Whether or not students with a disability prefer to discuss the nature of their particular disability with their instructors is entirely up to them. They are NOT required to tell you specifics about their disability when they self-disclose a need for accommodations, having already done this with a DSS staff member.
- A student with a disability who is disruptive in class should be treated as an instructor would treat any student who is disruptive in class. If an instructor feels that there is a disability related reason for the student’s behavior, the instructor can discuss this with DSS staff to determine if there is a solution to the problem.
- It is important for instructors to remember that providing reasonable accommodations to a student with a disability does not guarantee success in the course. Students with disabilities may not master the course material, just like any other student. Students with disabilities have the same right as other students to fail as part of their educational experience.
- Alternative testing (such as extended time, distraction-reduced environment, use of screen reading software, scribe)
- Notetaking service
- Alternative text (such as electronic textbooks, large print)
Test Taking Accommodations
- Students will provide you with a Letter of Accommodation that will recommend the appropriate test accommodations for the student. Also included are specific instructions on administering exams with accommodations.
- DSS encourages faculty to provide test accommodations directly. Generally, DSS administers exams because faculty do not have the time or resources. However, since the most common test accommodations are extended time and a distraction-reduced environment, faculty often make arrangements themselves. Advantages of accommodating students directly are that the instructor maintains control over the exam and students have direct access to the instructor during the exam.
- If you need assistance from DSS to administer your exam, the student will provide you with a Test Request Form to complete. The student is responsible for returning the form back to us at least three days prior to a scheduled exam. DSS will send an email to you confirming the test arrangements and any necessary details, such as allowing use of a calculator.
- Generally, students will take the exam at the same time as the regularly scheduled class exam. Occasionally, due to conflicts between their other scheduled classes and the accommodation of extended time for your exam, or evening exams (DSS hours are 8am-5pm) students may need to take exams before or after the regularly scheduled exam time.
- Exams need to be at DSS at least 48 hours prior to the exam. This will allow sufficient time so that DSS can successfully process receipt of exam and if needed, convert the exam to an alternative format, print the exam, and prepare for proctoring.
- Instructors are asked to send exams electronically to email@example.com
- Some instructors choose to drop off the exam at DSS in 202 Holton Hall.
- Instructors are asked to pick up the completed exam from the DSS office in 202 Holton Hall.
- DSS staff can return exams to the departmental office in a sealed envelope. Exams are returned daily.
- Students are responsible for providing timely notice to faculty and/or DSS in order to receive test accommodations. DSS instructs students to discuss their test accommodation needs with their instructor early in the semester and return a completed test request form to DSS at least three days before a scheduled exam.
- When a student submits a late request and there is insufficient time to arrange for the test accommodations, the student may need to take the exam without accommodations. The student and faculty member should meet to discuss arrangements for the remaining exams in the semester.
- The DSS Testing Center in 203 Holton Hall is equipped with video cameras. Students are proctored by DSS staff who can visually observe the testing room on a computer screen from the main office in 202 Holton Hall. Individual proctors are sometimes used depending on available staff.
- If there is reasonable cause to suspect that cheating has occurred, a DSS staff member will immediately take the exam and copy the answers thus far and then allow the student to complete the exam. DSS will return the exam with an incident report, the completed exam, a copy of the partially completed exam, and any testing materials back to the professor. To allow a student to complete the exam even after possible cheating has occurred is due to the fact that each faculty member handles cheating differently. The student is instructed to follow-up with the professor as soon as possible.
- A student who is eligible to receive notetaking services will provide you with a Letter of Accommodation that includes instructions on providing this accommodation. Typically, instructors are asked to make a general announcement in class for a volunteer note taker. Information regarding a student’s disability is confidential so please remember to not identify students with disabilities in class.