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K-State Today

August 31, 2018

Accommodating students in your classroom

Submitted by Jason Maseberg-Tomlinson

The Student Access Center appreciates disability as an integral part of the K-State experience. We are committed to providing equal access and opportunity to all campus programs and services for students with disabilities. Through collaboration and support of the entire campus community, the center promotes disability pride, self-determination of the student, and universally accessible design principles, so that everyone has full access to university life.

During the semester, a student may give you an accommodation letter from our office. Please read this carefully and talk with the student about how they intend to use their accommodations. Some students don't use all of their accommodations in every class, or they may need to address how the accommodation affects your course specifically. When speaking with students, please do so with respect to their confidentiality. A student may disclose to you that they have a disability but that does not necessarily mean that they are comfortable disclosing this information to their peers. Two accommodations we regularly receive questions about from faculty are note takers and testing — extended time and distraction reduced environment.

Note-taking services is an accommodation that assists students in obtaining notes from classroom lectures who are unable to acquire the notes themselves. It is important that faculty members assist the student with obtaining notes for their course. Options may include providing the student with PowerPoint slides, personal notes or arranging for a volunteer note taker.

If locating a volunteer is necessary, the following statement can be announced in class or via email: "If you take good notes and would like to provide notes to a person in class, please consider being a volunteer note taker. Students interested in serving as a note taker in this class should contact me." Also, keep in mind the following:

  • Student confidentiality needs to be respected. When making an announcement to the class, faculty members should not provide the class with information about the student requesting the service.
  • Provide the student requesting the service, the volunteer note taker's name and email address.
  • The student requesting a note taker understands that receiving these notes does not take the place of attending class.
  • Please let the volunteer note-taker know that our office can provide them with a letter for community service hours.
  • The student is responsible for discussing with each faculty member the best option for obtaining notes in their course.

You also may have students who need testing accommodations. Most often these include extended time and distraction reduced space. You may provide testing accommodations in your department or schedule exams with the Student Access Center testing center in 2 Holton Hall. If you provide testing accommodations in the department, you are responsible for providing the accommodations as listed in the letter. If a student has the accommodation of extended time — time and a half or double time — then time and a quarter is not providing the accommodation. The student should receive the full time plus 50 percent time of the exam or double the time of the exam. If a student has the accommodation of distraction-reduced environment, be mindful of what a distraction-reduced environment entails. Distraction-reduced environments can be a space in an office or an empty classroom, but not a hallway or room with an open door to a busy environment. Consider any noises or visual distractions and talk with the student to make sure that the environment will be appropriate.

Some faculty may need the Student Access Center to proctor exams and provide accommodations. Professors who utilize the Student Access Center testing center to proctor exams are responsible for scheduling exams via KSIS. Step-by-step instructions can be found at k-state.edu/accesscenter/faculty/.

The Student Access Center appreciates all that faculty do to maintain an accessible environment for students. We are thankful to have a campus that celebrates inclusivity and support for all students. Check out our website at k-state.edu/accesscenter for more information.