Detailed Information on Particular Accommodations
Extended time for exams, quizzes, and in-class written assignments is the most commonly recommended academic accommodation as it is relevant to a range of disabilities. Extended time does not mean “unlimited time”. Accessible Education allows extended time in increments of time and one-half or double time. Increments are based on functional limitations described in the documentation and/or specific recommendation by the qualified diagnostician. Most students who are allowed extra time receive time and one-half. Extra time may not be provided for 24 hour take home exams. These exams comply with Universal Design meaning extended time is built in and afforded for every student taking the exam. Multiple students who are eligible for extended time in a given course at the professor’s discretion may be tested in the same exam space unless a student specifically is entitled to a separate exam space. Extended time can be accommodated in several ways (i.e. student comes early, stays late, takes the exam during another time, with another proctor, or no proctor at all).
The Office of Accessible Education can provide support for faculty who are providing exams for students with academic accommodations if requested.
Separate Room for Quizzes and Exams
Separate room for quizzes and exams affords a distraction-reduced/minimized testing location as an effective accommodation for students with certain neurological, psychological, or attention deficit disorders. In identified situations, it is necessary to minimize distractions to the student or other exam takers and/or to afford the approved student opportunities to stretch, take breaks, talk out loud, move around, etc. A distraction-reduced location should be free of ringing telephones, conversations, rustling of chairs, coughing, excessive movement, and traffic. Often the professor cannot nor is expected to be present to answer any questions. Students are often permitted at the professor’s discretion to take the exams under the College’s Honor Code. In the case of 24 hour self-scheduled exams, the Registrar’s Office is notified in writing by the office of Accessible Education of each student who has been approved for specific accommodations. Regarding separate room accommodations, The Office of Accessible Education stipulates that each student with accommodations should have similar access to a faculty member when taking an exam. If a professor is not present to answer any questions or clarify any instructions during the examination, the professor must be available through other means (ie. phone).
Alternative Testing affords students with impediments to writing/drawing and/or typing another way to complete assessments. In most instances voice to text software can be provided by the Academic Resources office allowing the student the ability to speak into a computer that will type what they say. This technology is limited when it comes to drawing graphs and/or using chemical and other notations. In some situations faculty have determined that an oral exam might substitute to assessing the student’s mastery of the course material.
Keyboard-Class/Exam is an effective accommodation for some students with certain neurological, physical, psychological and/or attention deficit disorders. An exception needs to be granted if there is a course policy restricting or banning lap top use. Students eligible for this accommodation are advised by the Director that the use of a laptop is restricted to note taking and/or responding to exam questions. That use beyond this for social media or inappropriate searches can result in loss of use of this as an academic accommodation and in some cases possible violation of the Academic Honor Code.
Enlarged Print Text
Enlarged Print Text required for some students with visual disabilities. The Academic Resources office can, upon request from any eligible student, provide assistance with text books, course packets, and any large amount of written material required and/or recommended for the course. Generally the Professor and/or department will enlarge print for printed quizzes and exams.
Note Taker in Class
Note Taker in Class: required for some students with neurological, physical, psychological, and/or attention deficit disorders. The Office of Accessible Education makes arrangements to secure the paid services of another student enrolled in the same course at the same time to copy their legible notes for the course on a regular basis. The student hired does not know the confidential identity of the student receive notes, unless the recipient elects to identify themselves to the note taker. Notes are copied in Accessible Education and placed in the appropriate in-office slot for each recipient. Copies of the notes are not kept by the Accessible Education office. In some situations notes may be provided to several eligible students in the same course. It is the responsibility of the recipient to alert Accessible Education staff about any concerns about the quality of the notes or missing notes. Once such notification is received Office staff will work to resolve the matter as soon as possible and in some cases will attempt to hire a new note taker. Although it is neither expected nor necessary, if a faculty member wishes to be involved in the process by recommending a note taker and/or assessing the quality of the notes that are being received, the office appreciates any such assistance. Again, it is imperative under the law that the identity of the individual receiving notes be kept in confidence and not shared with other students in the course including the note taker.
Use of a Lecture Microphone (a speech amplifier)
Use of a Lecture Microphone (a speech amplifier) is required for some students with specific hearing disabilities. The course professor is asked to wear a microphone which is provided by the student with assistance from Accessible Education for the professor to wear throughout the time period that the student is present in the class. The microphone amplifies speech that goes directly to a hearing device worn by the student. In some instances it may be helpful if any questions or comments that come from other members in the course are repeated by the professor so that the student with the hearing disability is able to more fully participate in the class. The student would provide the microphone at the beginning of class and collect it at the end of the class to use in the next class.
Reader for Exam
Reader for Exam some students with permanent or temporary visual, neurological and/or other physical disabilities may require someone to read the exam aloud to them as they respond in writing.
Reduced Course Load
Reduced Course Load is the most infrequently granted academic accommodation and held to the strictest institutional review process, because it requires a waiver of the college rule that each student must pass four courses each semester to remain in good academic standing. These requests must be approved by the Disability Accommodation Advisory Group and then voted by the Committee on Academic Standing.
Scribe for Class or Exam
Scribe for Class or Exam – occasionally, the student’s dominate hand cannot be used to write or type. Upon request after the review process, Accessible Education can make adaptive software available to eligible students affording them voice to text recognition. This may mean if a student is required to take an exam they will require a separate room so as not to distract/disturb while they are talking other students taking the exam. Note takers may provided .In some cases, Accessible Education may approve the use of a laptop during class for the student to take effective notes.
Preferential Seating is occasionally necessary to accommodate a student with a hearing, visual or distraction challenge. Students are thought to benefit from seating that will maximize access.
Tape Record Class
Tape Record Class – Massachusetts law requires permission from anyone being recorded. As Note takers are available in most cases and student are present in the course, the need to record the class has not often arisen except in cases where the student due to medical treatment, etc. will be away from the course for a minimal amount of time and even with notes would benefit from hearing the missed class in its entirety to supplement the notes that will be provided.
Interpreter Services – This accommodation is provided for students who have limited hearing.
Books on Tape
Books on Tape – Students with visual or reading disabilities may benefit from recordings of the class readings. When this accommodation is approved, the Academic Resources office will request copies of the readings and will make recordings available for the student.
Copy of Projected Material
Copy of Projected Material – Students who are granted this accommodation should receive copies of the materials projected by the faculty member in class. These can be photocopied and given to the student, or sent to them electronically, whichever is more convenient for the faculty member.