Student Accessibility Academic Accommodations

To be approved for academic accommodations, the student must first register for disability services.

Each semester students:

  • Work with Student Accessibility Services to identify specific accommodations based on current academic courses and update the student’s accommodation plan.
  • Contact instructors to finalize arrangements for those accommodations.

Accommodation Plan

Your accommodation plan will list recommended accommodations, agreed on between you and the Director of Student Accessibility Services, which you will discuss with your instructor. This document is reviewed and updated each semester.

Once you receive and sign your accommodation plan, it is your responsibility to contact each instructor in whose class you are requesting an accommodation. This will allow the two of you to discuss how your accommodation(s) will be arranged. Take a copy of your accommodation plan with you to give to the instructor.

Here are some tips:

  • Contact your professors as early in the semester as possible.
  • Request to meet privately with your instructor.
  • Be prepared. Think about what you will discuss with your instructor.
  • Let your accommodation plan guide your discussion.
  • Focus on your accommodations, not your disability.
  • You do not need to disclose your diagnosed disability to your instructor in order to receive accommodations.
  • Be open to suggestions or comments from faculty. Accommodations often require a collaborative effort and professors may be able to offer creative suggestions for implementing accommodations.

Common Accommodation Requests

The following list is not intended to be an all-inclusive list. The accommodations listed below are some of the accommodations most commonly provided through Student Accessibility Services. Accommodations are approved on a case by case basis, based on the functional limitations of the student’s disability, and may vary for each student. 

Procedure

  • After registering for classes, obtain a list of the textbooks required for each class from theUniversity of Mary Bookstore. In many cases, textbooks are available for purchase online from the publisher or another source in electronic format (e.g., etextbook, Kindle, Nook, Learning Ally, Bookshare).
  • If the textbook is not available for purchase in electronic format or the format available is not accessible, submit a completed Alternative Format Request Form, which requires the textbook title, author, copyright date, publisher, and edition.
  • Provide Student Accessibility Services with proof that a copy of the textbook was purchased before receiving the alternative format copy. Proof of purchase is typically a copy of the receipt or charge that includes date of purchase, title and cost.
  • Notify Student Accessibility Services immediately if there's a problem with the material or if you withdraw from a course that requires alternative text accommodations.

Policy

Student Accessibility Services provides instructional material in an alternative format as an accommodation to students who have disabilities that adversely affect the ability to use standard printed materials.

Alternative formats include electronic text, large print, or braille. Only required instructional material will be provided in alternative format.

Students must give adequate notice of their request for material in an alternative format in order for Student Accessibility Services to provide it in a timely manner, preferably 60 days before it is needed. Students are also required to provide proof of purchase of the instructional material before receiving the formatted material.

University of Mary provides Read & Write Gold to students free of charge. Read & Write Gold is an easy-to-use toolbar that highlights and reads text aloud and provides additional support with reading, writing and learning.

It is the student's responsibility to follow the Alternative Format Policy and Procedure. Failure to do so may result in the accommodation being suspended until the student has contacted the Director of Student Accessibility Services and cleared up any concerns.

Student Accessibility Services Responsibilities

  • Determine if the student with a disability is eligible for an alternative format.
  • Identify the specific type of format the student needs.
  • Provide the materials to the student in a timely fashion.
  • Consult or problem solve with the instructor when appropriate.

Student Responsibilities

  • Request material in an alternative format from Student Accessibility Services in a timely manner.
  • Follow the Student Accessibility Services Policy for Alternative/Electronic Text.
  • Notify Student Accessibility Services of any changes in the request, e.g., class dropped, instructor assigned more or different material.
  • Report any problems to Student Accessibility Services immediately so appropriate steps can be taken to correct the situation.

Faculty Responsibilities

  • Whenever possible, maintain syllabi, handouts, and other instructional materials in electronic text format on Canvas.
  • Provide Student Accessibility Services with the course syllabus and a list of required reading material when requested.
  • Provide Student Accessibility Services with any additional instructional material assigned throughout the semester when requested.
  • Consult with Student Accessibility Services when appropriate.

Procedure

  • To determine if you need access to class notes as an accommodation, attend several lectures first. If the instructor posts the instructional materials (e.g., PowerPoint slides, instructor’s personal notes) on Canvas or you can copy a classmate’s notes, you may not need an accommodation.
  • Inform the instructor if you need the instructional materials sent to you before the lecture is given or if you need copies of another student’s notes.
  • If you are requesting copies of another student’s notes, inform the instructor whether you would prefer to remain anonymous or if you would prefer to have the volunteer note taker send his/her notes directly to you. If you would prefer to remain anonymous, the notes will be coordinated through Student Accessibility Services and sent through email, in which case there may be a delay in receiving notes.
  • If you are receiving notes through email, contact Student Accessibility Services if you are not receiving your notes in a timely manner.
  • If you drop the class or no longer need notes, notify Student Accessibility Services immediately so the accommodation can be cancelled.
  • Notify Student Accessibility Services immediately if a problem occurs. 

Policy

Student Accessibility Services authorizes access to class notes as an accommodation to students who have a disability that adversely affects their ability to take notes. Students are encouraged to purchase Livescribe Smartpens if possible to aid in note taking.

Notes are for the student’s personal study only and may not be distributed to other students in the class.

Notes must adequately reflect the information on which the student will be tested. Notes do not have to include class discussion based on personal opinion and/or observation. It is the students’ responsibility to monitor the quality of the notes and take the appropriate steps to correct any concerns.                  

Note taking assistance is intended to provide access to the lecture and is not considered a substitute for full participation in the course. Notes will be withheld when the student did not attend class or is excessively tardy. Failure to attend class regularly may result in discontinuation of services. In addition, abuse of the accommodation, by asking the note taker to provide additional services such as outlining reading material or providing copies of completed assignments or study guides, may result in discontinuation of the service and, in some instances, disciplinary action as outlined in the University of Mary Academic Honor Code and Honor System.

If a student does not follow the Class Notes Policy and Procedure, this accommodation may be suspended until the student has contacted the Director of Student Accessibility Services and cleared up any difficulties or misunderstandings.  

Student Accessibility Services Responsibilities

  • Determine if class notes is an appropriate accommodation for an individual student.
  • Work with the instructor to insure that the student receives class notes only when in class.
  • Consult with the instructor when appropriate.
  • Copy the notes and distribute them to the student if the student prefers to remain anonymous.
  • Assist the student in resolving problems.

Student Responsibilities

  • Follow the Class Notes Policy and Procedure.
  • Attend class regularly and on time.  Notes are not a substitute for attendance.
  • Notify Student Accessibility Services if notes are not received in a timely manner or if any concerns regarding the notes arise.
  • Notify Student Accessibility Services if a class is dropped or notes are no longer needed.

Faculty Responsibilities

  • When notified by the student that class notes are needed as an accommodation, decide in consultation with the student how notes will be provided. Options include:
      • Provide copies of the instructor’s personal lecture notes before the lecture is given.
      • Provide copies of lecture slides or overhead presentations before the lecture is given.
      • Recruit a volunteer note taker.
          • Make an announcement in class or by email or ask a student who you believe would be a reliable note taker. To protect the student’s right to confidentiality, the faculty member must not identify the student in need of note taking assistance.
          • If the student wishes to remain anonymous, instruct the volunteer note taker to meet with the Director of Student Accessibility Services to coordinate the exchange of notes.
          • If the student would prefer to receive the notes directly from the volunteer note taker, introduce the student and the volunteer note taker. Instruct the volunteer note taker to not provide copies of notes on days that the student is absent from class.
          • If the exchange of notes will be coordinated by Student Accessibility Services, inform Student Accessibility Services when notes should be withheld due to absence or excessive tardiness.
  • Consult with Student Accessibility Services as appropriate.

Note Taker Responsibilities

  • Take notes on the entire lecture, including any directions for class assignments, test dates, etc.
  • Provide a readable copy of the notes within 24 hours of the class.
  • Make no modifications or changes in the provision of this service, unless instructed by Student Accessibility Services.

Procedure

  • Meet with Student Accessibility Services at the beginning of the semester to receive your Accommodation Plan and Exam Reservation Form.
  • Discuss your Accommodation Plan with your instructor. Your instructor will determine whether you will take the exam(s) in the Student Success Center or in the instructor’s department.
  • If you will be taking an exam in the Student Success Center, fill out Section C of the Exam Reservation Form and sign and date.
  • Give the Exam Reservation Form to your instructor, who will fill out Section B, sign and date, and give the form back to you.
  • At least three business days before the exam, give the form to the Director of Student Accessibility Services or the Student Success Center Administrative Assistant to schedule your exam. Additional notice may be required to schedule midterm or final exams. Without this notice, Student Accessibility Services cannot assure that accommodations will be available. If you are unable to provide adequate notice, options include:
      • Negotiate with the instructor to take the exam at the Student Success Center at a later date
      • Negotiate an alternative accommodation that can be provided within the department.
      • Take the exam in the classroom without accommodations.
  • When you receive a confirmation email from the Director of Student Accessibility Services, check to see that the correct date and time of the exam has been recorded. Inform the Director of Student Accessibility Services as soon as possible if there has been a miscommunication.
  • Inform Student Accessibility Services as soon as possible if you need to reschedule your exam.

Policy

Student Accessibility Services provides alternative testing to students with a disability that adversely affects them when testing under regular testing conditions. Testing accommodations provide access to the test by minimizing or eliminating the functional limitations imposed by the disability. Alternative testing accommodations may include but are not limited to extended test time, distraction reduced test environment, tests read aloud, and test scribe.

Read&Write Gold is used in the Student Success Center to provide tests read aloud.

When a scribe is provided, the following conditions apply:

  • The scribe will write down verbatim what you have dictated. The scribe is not responsible for organizing or paraphrasing your thoughts into a final draft.
  • Scribes are not responsible for spelling and sentence ending punctuation.  You may direct the scribe for any specific spelling or punctuation within sentences. 
  • At any time, you will have the opportunity to review what the scribe has written either by reading or having it read to you.
  • If there are corrections, you will direct the scribe to make them.

Exams should be taken on the same date as the regular exam is scheduled. When this is not possible, the exam will need to be scheduled within the time parameters outlined by the course instructor.  

The exams are proctored in the Student Success Center according to the options available to the student (e.g., calculator, open book) as indicated by the instructor on the Exam Reservation Form. Changes to the options available to the student during the exam must be communicated by the instructor.

The exam will begin (i.e., the clock will start) at the scheduled time regardless of when the student arrives to the exam. Time may not be extended for students who arrive late to the exam. If the student is more than 15 minutes late or does not show for the exam, the exam will not be administered and the student will be referred back to the instructor. The instructor will make the determination whether the student will be allowed to reschedule in the academic department or with Student Accessibility Services at another time. The instructor should follow his/her course policy for missed exams. The student will not be allowed to reschedule the exam with Student Accessibility Services until the instructor has given confirmation.

Students taking the exam in the Student Success Center must follow the Student Success Center Testing Center Policy, which is posted outside the Testing Center. Violation of the policy may result in forfeit of the exam or additional disciplinary actions outlined in the University of Mary Academic Honor Code and Honor System.

Students are responsible for following the Alternative Testing Policy and Procedure and taking appropriate steps to correct any problems. This accommodation may be suspended if a student does not follow the policy and procedure. The student must contact the Director of Student Accessibility Services to clear up any difficulties or misunderstandings, before the accommodation can be reinstated.

Student Accessibility Services Responsibilities

  • Identify the specific testing accommodations the student is eligible to use.
  • Provide appropriate assistive technology, test in alternate format or testing space, when not available in the academic department.
  • Deliver the completed exam to the instructor.
  • Consult and/or problem solve with the instructor when appropriate.
  • Adhere to the University of Mary Honor Code and Honor System when violations occur.

Student Responsibilities

  • Follow the Alternative Testing Policy and Procedure.
  • Follow the Student Success Center Testing Center Policy.
  • Discuss need for accommodations with the instructor.
  • Notify Student Accessibility Services and/or the instructor of any changes in the arrangements.
  • Be on time for the scheduled exam.
  • Report any problems to Student Accessibility Services and/or the instructor immediately so appropriate steps can be taken to correct the situation.
  • Adhere to the University of Mary Honor Code and Honor System.

Faculty Responsibilities

  • Provide the testing accommodations authorized by Student Accessibility Services. For example, work with the student to find a mutually agreed upon testing time and suitable testing room.
  • Give the student adequate notice of exams so that the student can make arrangements with Student Accessibility Services to proctor the exam. Notify the student as soon as possible for any changes to exam dates listed in the syllabus.
  • Include your policy for missed exams in the course syllabus. When a student is more than 15 minutes late to an exam or doesn’t show, follow policy for missed exams.
  • Fill out Section B on the Exam Reservation form for each exam proctored by the Student Success Center.
  • Make arrangements to deliver the exam by 4:30pm on the day before the exam, when the Student Success Center is providing the testing space. If the exam is not provided by the time the exam is scheduled to begin, the student will be directed to reschedule the exam with the instructor, who will be responsible for providing the necessary accommodations.
  • Be available during the testing time for questions from the student or Student Accessibility Services proctor or scribe. If you will be giving the exam at that time and not in your office, provide a cell phone number so that you may be texted questions from the student.
  • Inform Student Accessibility Services if the completed exam has not been received in a timely manner. Exams that do not include a scantron form will typically be scanned and emailed to ensure prompt delivery. During midterm or finals week, the instructor may need to pick up the exam or arrange for a designee to pick up the exam if it is needed promptly.
  • Notify Student Accessibility Services if a designee is delivering or picking up the exam.
  • Consult with Student Accessibility Services when appropriate.