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Accommodations Glossary

Accommodation Letters
Classroom Accommodations

Classroom Accommodations

This accommodation allows the student to consume food or beverages during class due to impacts of their disability. It results in a modification to a classroom rule which may prohibit food and drinks.


Students with disabilities may need course materials that are displayed in class available for review.  Instructors can post the materials using online software or make copies of the materials and distribute these copies to students.

Instructor notes are also beneficial to provide to the student, if available.

Some students require course materials in alternate formats. Common alternate formats include recorded texts or electronic texts. The DRC recommends students purchase or rent textbooks in their preferred format.  When a preferred format is not available, students approved for this accommodation are able to request alternative format for required textbooks through the DRC's Student Portal.  Depending on the format, conversion can be a slow and time consuming process.  During the conversion process, DRC staff may reach out to instructors for additional textbook information such as, publisher information or with help comparing different editions. 

Instructors are responsible for making sure their content (e.g., articles, handouts, etc) are accessible for students with disabilities.  DRC staff will only convert required textbooks.


Some students may require the use of recording devices (e.g., cell phone, Smart Pen, laptop or other appropriate recording device) in class to capture class lectures and discussions. Recording class materials in audio format is allowed when the student provides notification of the accommodation to the instructor. The student may discuss with the instructor the best placement of the recording device.  Through the DRC, students with this accommodation formally acknowledge that they agree to abide by proper use of the recordings as a study aide.  A copy of this agreement can be obtained by emailing

Can I forbid a student with this accommodation from recording my lectures?

No. If it is an approved accommodation, it is meant to provide meaningful access to the educational experience and will appear on the student's Accommodation Letter. The recording of lectures is one of the accommodations specifically mentioned in Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The issue of copyright as a concern is referenced in this Department of Education document on auxiliary aids.


For some students with disabilities, sitting for long periods of time and/or remaining in the same position for the duration of a class period can exacerbate symptoms of the disability. Similarly, some students may need to leave class for brief periods to attend to medications or other medical needs. DRC staff encourage these students to move around or leave class in the least disruptive manner possible. Students should discuss seating arrangements and the timing of breaks with their instructors.


The accommodation provides the student with a real-time transcript of the lecture. A transcriber, or “writer” listens to the lecture through a small lapel microphone that the professor wears. The student will provide the professor with the microphone. The writer transcribes everything the professor verbalizes, and this is displayed on the student’s computer screen. This enables the student to have access to the lecture content visually in real time. The professor is always expected to face the class while speaking. Instructors are asked not to turn their back on the class for any reason. If it is necessary to turn their back in order to write on the blackboard, professors are asked to wait to lecture on that content until they are facing the class again.

Videos that are part of the class or are on the course syllabus should be captioned.  Faculty should review videos prior to the start of the semester for accessibility and if not captioned, contact immediately for assistance.

Additionally, closed-captioning should be enabled for any Zoom, MS Teams or external video shown in class.


Student is Permitted to Give Presentations to the Faculty Member instead of Entire Class, Unless Public Speaking is an Essential Element of the Course

This accommodation allows the student to give a required in-class presentation to the faculty member instead of to their peers. The student and the professor are responsible for establishing a mutually agreed upon date and time for completing the presentation. This accommodation does not modify the content of the presentation or the requirement to present their materials. If a professor believes that this accommodation will result in a fundamental alteration to an essential element of their course, they should contact Disability Resource Center directly for consultation.

Some students may require larger font due to a visual disability.  Large print font is equivalent to 18 point font.  However, some students require larger that 18 point.  Font size will be indicated on their accommodation letter.

Students with chronic conditions that are episodic in nature may experience brief interruptions to their attendance which can require accommodation. Common examples could include diabetes, epilepsy, Crohn’s disease, or other chronic conditions. This accommodation does not apply to health matters not on record with DRC, seasonal colds or flu, or non-medical related reasons. This accommodation is not designed to permit unlimited absences, nor is it designed to create a virtual class from a class offered in person.

To implement this accommodation after it has been approved by the DRC, students will request an EA3 via online form. The DRC will email each faculty member and request they complete the EA3 form, designating the exam, attendance and assignment requirements for this course. The form also asks faculty to consider where additional flexibility or alternatives can be provided without fundamentally altering course requirements. The student remains responsible for meeting course objectives and requirements. 

The DRC believes good time, project and disability management skills, as well as effective decision-making relative to personal circumstances are important for all students. This accommodation does not address inefficiencies in these areas. The DRC position is assignments with more than one week to complete, can be done successfully with proper management and planning and need not warrant an accommodation except in extenuating circumstances. The University Learning Center provides Academic Peer Mentoring for students interested in refining these skills.

There are several different forms of interpreting that may be provided to a student with hearing loss.  The specific type of service is identified during the meeting with the student and is based on the medical documentation.  Interpreters typically stand in the front of the class to the side of the instructor.  In higher level classes, interpreters may ask for a copy of the text so that they can ensure access to discipline specific vocabulary.

A personal FM system consists of a transmitter microphone worn by the instructor and a receiver used by the student who is deaf or hard of hearing. The receiver transmits the sound to the ears of the student or directly to the hearing aid. 


Students who, because of a disability, have difficulty taking notes by hand may be eligible to use a laptop in class as an accommodation. Activities such as checking email, instant messaging, and other web related involvement are forbidden.

This accommodation provides permission for the student to choose their own seat when assigned seating is implemented by the instructor. Students who need to sit in a specific spot to mitigate impacts of their disability will do so independently, unless they require the professor’s assistance in making that seat available, whether by placing a reserved sign on the seat or by requesting that students do not take that seat.


Some students with disabilities may require having their content read to them rather than reading the information on the screen. The DRC employs a variety of computer software programs that utilize text-to-speech capability and can “read” the content aloud to a student. 

Additionally, some students may find it difficult to write or type longer assignments.  Therefore, students may be granted the accommodation to utilize speech-to-text. Students with this accommodation may use software programs that transcribe their speech into text.

Testing Accommodations

Testing Accommodations

This accommodation allows the student to consume food or beverages during the allotted exam time.
This accommodation permits the student to exit the testing room for a short break to manage specific impacts of their disability.  They may not access any course materials during the break and are still required to complete the test within the allotted time.
This accommodation permits the student to keep their cell phone visible on the table or desk top to manage specific elements of their disability.  They may not access any course materials during the break.
Some students may require larger font due to a visual disability.  Large print font is equivalent to 18 point font.  However, some students require larger that 18 point.  Font size will be indicated on their accommodation letter.

A student's extended time accommodation is based on the documentation submitted to DRC. Unless efficiency or speed is the essential skill that is being assessed, students with this accommodation should be provided additional time for timed tests and quizzes.  The extended time accommodation does not apply to take-home exams.  Extended time ensures that a student’s performance is reflective of their mastery of the material rather than the speed at which a student performs.

If a student ONLY has the accommodation of Extended Time on tests and exams, we ask that the instructor assist us by providing this accommodation.

Some students have difficulty completing a scantron sheet due to their disability. In these instances, the student will have "No Scantron" as an accommodation, meaning they can mark their answers directly on the test.

Students with disabilities may be approved for and request a “reduced distraction” or "separate setting" testing space. This space may be a conference room, unused classroom, instructor’s office or DRC Testing Center.

A reduced distraction environment is a quiet space where students have few distractions and are better able to maintain focus. 

Separate settings are reserved for students who may need to utilize certain assistive technologies to access their test or exam.

Some students with disabilities may require having exam questions read to them rather than reading the information on the screen. The DRC employs a variety of computer software programs that utilize text-to-speech capability and can “read” the exam aloud to a student. 
Some students with disabilities may have difficulty utilizing standard writing utensils.  Using a computer allows students the opportunity to access their tests and quizzes, avoid physical fatigue and/or to provide legible, better-organized answers to written responses. 

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