Faculty Guide For Student Accommodations
Click on the titles below to expand information to read about the guidelines.
What kinds of disabilities are served by the Accessibility Services Office (AS)?
The office offers services to students with disabilities, including disabilities considered hidden. Hidden disabilities may include learning, medical, physical, emotional, or psychiatric. They may be continuous, intermittent, or temporary.
Who is eligible for services?
Any student of Louisburg College who has a documented disability is eligible for services.
What is accommodation?
A reasonable accommodation is a modification or adjustment to a course, program, service, activity, or facility. This adjustment enables a qualified student with a disability to have an equal opportunity to attain the same performance level or enjoy similar benefits and privileges available to similarly situated students without disabilities.
Why does Louisburg College have to provide academic accommodations?
Proving accommodation ensures that the college complies with Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), and the ADA Amendments Act of 2008. It is also part of our central purpose as a small college committed to offering an individualized approach to higher education.
The Rehabilitation Act states, “No otherwise qualified individual with a disability in the United States… shall, solely by reason of her or his disability, be excluded from the participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving Federal financial assistance...” With the passage of the ADA, the government expanded this mandate to any public or private institution. Subpart E of the Rehabilitation Act requires an institution to be prepared to make reasonable academic accommodations to allow students with disabilities full access to the same programs and activities available to students without disabilities.
What should a faculty member do if they have concerns about implementing a requested accommodation?
If faculty members have questions or think they will have difficulty providing accommodations, the first step they should take is to contact the Accessibility Services Office. The AS office will clarify information and assist with the resources needed to provide accommodations.
Why does the Accessibility Office so often recommend ‘extended time for tests’ ?
Extended test time is the accommodation most commonly recommended because many disabilities affect processing time. Therefore, students may need additional time to rephrase questions to understand them and provide answers. A student with a disability affecting motor control may require extra time to write the answers. Accommodations allow students with disabilities to demonstrate their abilities, not the limitations of their disabilities.
Can faculty members know specific information about a student’s disability?
The Accessibility Services Office cannot release information about students unless they sign a release to exchange information.
What should faculty members do if they suspect a student would benefit from accommodations and are uncertain if the student is working with the Accessibility Services Office?
The Accessibility Services Office receives many referrals from faculty members who have noticed students having difficulty in class. If you see a student struggling and suspect they may have a disability, you are encouraged to contact the AS office. The office will help develop an appropriate strategy for approaching the student to discuss their difficulty.
Adapted from Meredith College’s Disability Services Handbook
After a thorough examination of the required documentation, Accessibility Services (AS) determines appropriate accommodation, which may include the following:
Extended Time -time and a half:
Faculty members privately arrange with the student to implement options. These may include asking the student to start a test or quiz early, stay after the test period ends, or reserve a separate space within the department, such as a conference room or office.
Faculty members may provide their notes directly to the student or may choose a volunteer note-taker for the class. To maintain confidentiality, faculty do not identify the student with disabilities to the student note-taker. The student note-taker should take the notes to the administrative assistant in the Accessibility Services Office in Taft room 107. The student with disabilities can pick up their copy of the class notes there.
Faculty members may provide a quiet space like a classroom, office, or conference room - free from distractions such as phones or conversations.
A faculty member may read or allow assistive technology to read the student’s test aloud.
Faculty members may transcribe or allow assistive technology such as speech-to-text to transcribe student test answers.
The Office of Accessibility Services may provide electronic textbooks.
Faculty members may allow a cell phone or other recording devices to record the classroom instruction for future reference.
Faculty members may permit students to sit in an area, usually at the front, where there are potentially fewer distractions and more focused attention.
Faculty members may allow students to use the spell check function on their computer for assignments and tests.
A professor may permit students to use a word processor program on their personal computers in the classroom or provide students with one.
- The student provides the Accessibility Services Director documentation of disability and its impact from an appropriately licensed or certified professional.
- After reviewing the documentation and meeting with the student, the AS Director makes an eligibility determination.
- Once the AS Director makes an eligibility determination, the student signs a release, which allows the AS Director to inform instructors of the needed accommodations.
- The AS Director sends the student and the student’s instructors a letter with the accommodation approvals.
- The AS office instructs the student to discuss how the instructor will implement the accommodations in each course.
- Faculty members are responsible for proctoring tests for their students and providing other approved accommodations.
- It is the student’s responsibility to request accommodations at least two days before the test’s date. If a student asks for accommodations after this deadline, providing them is at the instructor’s discretion.
- The AC office suggests that instructors keep a record for each student with the date and accommodations provided for legal purposes.
- Remember that the student’s identity and other disability-related information are strictly confidential.
- If faculty need assistance or have questions, they should contact the Director of AS.
Distraction-free Tests & Quizzes in the Classroom: This environment includes faculty! Professors talking distracts students.
Confidentiality: Faculty need to ask when providing instructor-proctored tests, how are you maintaining confidentiality within the proctoring process? Students only give their professor permission to know about their requests for disability accommodations; this permission does NOT extend to other faculty members or other students.
Assistive technology: Google Read & Write is available to all Louisburg College students and faculty. R&W is a useful resource for instruction and for providing test accommodations.Tracking the process:
- The faculty needs a method for keeping all of the accommodation letters together to quickly determine which students need accommodations.
- The faculty needs to ask itself, “Am I keeping notes on what I did, when, and for whom?”
Is the environment welcoming for students?
- Faculty should have a welcoming statement on their syllabi.
- Faculty should make a verbal statement welcoming students and inviting them to meet with you privately if they have specific learning needs.
How are you helping students get notes when that is a part of their accommodation? Are you keeping confidentiality in mind during the process?
How are you allowing access to a computer when a student has listed it as an accommodation for in-class assignments and tests?
How are you handling quizzes when a student needs extra time, including pop quizzes?
The Accessibility Services Office arranges services best when there is sufficient time for planning and problem-solving. However, because of the stigma associated with disabilities, students often find it challenging to bring up the subject of accommodations. As a course instructor, you can facilitate early planning by encouraging students with disabilities to disclose their condition and begin discussing what accommodations they might need. A beneficial way of encouraging such dialogue is to include a statement in your syllabus that announces your willingness to talk about accommodations with students who may need them. The Accessibility Services Office encourages including the following information in your syllabus:
Louisburg College is an equal opportunity provider. If you have a documented disability -- physical, psychological, or learning -- you may be eligible to receive reasonable college accommodations. Students requesting accommodations should contact the Accessibility Services Offices in Taft Building, room 107 or 111 within the first two weeks of the semester. Please note that using accommodations can significantly influence your success in college.
Such announcements help set a tone of acceptance of differences and a willingness to make your course accessible to everyone. Reinforcing this information verbally during class time will provide additional emphasis and reassurance to students.
Accessibility Services (AS) provides assistive technology designed to support students’ learning with various needs.
Google Read & Write
Read & Write for Google Chrome offers a range of powerful support tools to help students gain confidence with reading, writing, studying, and research, including:
- Hear words, passages, or whole documents read aloud with easy-to-follow dual color highlighting.
- See the meaning of words explained with text and picture dictionaries.
- Hear text translated into other languages.
- Get suggestions for the current or next word as you type.
- Turn words into the text as you speak.
- Highlight text in documents or the web, and collect this text for use in other forms.
- Create and listen to voice notes directly inside of Google documents.
- Simplify and summarize text on web pages.
Read & Write for Google Chrome is a user-friendly chrome extension for PCs, Macs, and Chromebooks. It works with web pages and common file types in Google Drive. The toolbar is available for all students with a louisburg.edu account.
Louisburg College makes e-textbooks available to students who have a print disability. Students may request them through the AS administrative assistant.
Louisburg College makes recorders available to students to check out.
In compliance with federal and state legislation, Louisburg College offers free accessibility services to students with a documented disability. The college also serves students in the Learning Partners program through accessibility services. These students also participate in a fee-based academic coaching program.
- Disability documentation required
- Accommodations provided
- LP students have a learning specialist with whom they meet twice per week for academic coaching and advising.
- LP students may take their tests with accommodations in the LP Test Center.
- LP students have a Learning Lab available for their study time and academic support in the Taft Building rooms 108 and 110.
Learning Partners welcomes collaboration between Learning Specialists and their students’ instructors. Learning Partners works to support the classroom instructional process.
Learning Partners Test Center:
- The student completes an electronic test proctoring form with the LP administrative assistant in the Taft Building in room 107 two days before the scheduled exam, allowing the assistant and the instructor to coordinate test materials. Failing to do so, the student may test with instructor accommodations like any student who has approved accommodations through Accessibility Services.
- Once an instructor receives a request to test in the Learning Partner Test Center, they indicate approval for the time and date requested, any special instructions, delivery method, and the test return method.
- A proctor schedules testing for the same time as the class is taking the exam. There are two exceptions to this policy:
- The test proctor is unavailable to proctor the exam at that time.
- The student has another class immediately before or following the exam that would not allow the student to use the appropriate accommodations (e.g., extended time for testing).
- The instructor provides the exam to the administrative assistant in the Taft Building, room 107, no later than 8:30 a.m. on the day of the test. The administrative assistant keeps the exam until the scheduled proctoring time, maintaining test security.
- On the exam day, the student should arrive at the Taft Building, room 107, on time. If the student does not come within 15 minutes of the scheduled time, the assistant will return the test to the instructor.
- When testing, the student will take only permitted materials into the testing room. The college does not allow cell phones, notebooks, book bags, purses, oversized jackets. Students should place personal items in the office of the learning specialist or administrative assistant.
- Instructors may provide ‘as much time as needed’ if they offer this to all students. Instructors provide extended time as noted on the accommodations letter.
- Assistive technology typically provides the read-aloud accommodation.
- When the student completes the test or their time is out, they return all materials to the proctor.
- The administrative assistant will return the exam to the instructor according to the preferred method of return stated in the accommodation. The instructor will delete any tests sent electronically.
Learning Partners’ Mission:
Learning Partners’ mission is to provide students with the individualized support and coaching they need to develop their learning skills, realize their academic goals, and become successful independent learners.
- Realize Educational or Career Objectives
- Become Proactive Self-advocates
- Achieve Personal Learning Goals
- Develop Personally and Engage Socially
A person diagnosed with Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (AD/HD) has difficulty with inattention and hyperactivity. There are three types of AD/HD: combined type, predominantly inattentive, and hyperactive-impulsive type. Experts characterize AD/HD by inattention and distractibility, and in the case of the predominantly hyperactive-impulsive type, restlessness or an increased energy level. These individuals experience learning similar to simultaneously conversing, watching TV, and listening to the radio. It takes a great deal of energy and determination for individuals with AD/HD to stay focused, particularly in situations that require sustained mental effort or lack novelty. Treatment may include medication.
Accommodations for the student with AD/HD may include, but are not limited to the following:
- Preferential seating location
- Use of note-taker or digital recorder
- Extended testing time
- Separate setting
- Written and oral directions and deadlines
Suggestions for working with students:
- A student with AD/HD benefits from structure and organization. When possible, before each lecture, instructors should provide outlines of major topics covered. A detailed syllabus can help these students.
- Provide directions for assignments in writing.
- Provide a copy of your lecture notes or a classmate’s notes
- Allow the student to take a photo of notes written on the board.
- Provide students feedback about their level of participation in the class.
- Visual aids and demonstrations may help keep the student’s attention.
- The student with AD/HD may need assistance in setting mini-deadlines for large projects.
A specific learning disorder is a neurodevelopmental disorder that affects school-age children, although one may not fully recognize its effect until adulthood. Learning disability refers to ongoing problems in one of three areas reading, writing, or math, which are foundational to one’s ability to learn.
An estimated five to 15 percent of school-age children struggle with a learning disorder. Around 80 percent of those have a reading disorder. Data shows one-third of the people with learning disabilities also have attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Individuals with learning disabilities may have difficulty in the following areas:
- Reading accurately, with reasonable speed, and without much effort.
- Understanding the meaning of what they have read
- Spelling correctly
- Expressing themselves in written word evidenced by problems with clarity of thought, grammar, punctuation, or organization
- Understanding number concepts, number facts, or calculation
- Mathematical reasoning, applying math concepts, or solving math problems
American Psychiatric Association
How Learning Disabilities May Affect Students in College:
- Inability to effectively organize and budget time
- Inability to beneficially take notes or outline class material
- Inability to functionally understand or follow directions
- Inability to timely complete assignments
- Frequent spelling errors
- Incorrect grammar
- Poor penmanship
- Poor sentence structure
- Inability to take notes effectively while listening to class lectures
- Problems with organization, development of ideas, and transition words
- Inability to effectively understand the oral language when a lecturer speaks quickly
- Inability to pay attention during long lectures
- Poor vocabulary and word recall
- Problems with correctly using grammar
- Inability to functionally remember a series of events in sequence
- Inability to pronounce multisyllabic words
- Slow reading rate
- Inaccurate comprehension
- Poor retention
- Poor tracking skills causing skipping of words, missing lines of the text, or losing one’s place on printed materials.
- Difficulty with complex syntax
- Incomplete mastery of phonics
- Difficulty with computational skills
- Difficulty with reasoning
- Difficulty with basic math operations
- Number reversals/confusion of symbols
- Difficulty copying problems
- Difficulty with concepts of time and money
- Spatial disorientation
- Low frustration level
- Difficulty with delaying problem resolution
- Disorientation in time
- Low self-esteem
Psychological Disability Conditions:
Individuals with disabilities, including individuals with anxiety disorders and other psychological disorders, are eligible for accommodations. Licensed psychologists and psychiatrists who have determined a student has a psychological disability may recommend accommodations. The AS Office will work with the student and faculty to provide accommodations for the classroom student as appropriate.
Hearing impairments are often hidden disabilities that range from mild hearing loss to deafness. Students with severe hearing loss may use American Sign Language interpreters or Cued Speech Transliterators. Some students read lips and rely on seeing the speaker. A hearing aid may help some individuals hear and understand speech, but the hearing aid will never restore hearing to normal. Certain kinds of hearing losses may create sound distortions as well as a reduction in volume. Classrooms typically have considerable background noise that increases the difficulty for students with hearing impairments.
Accommodations for students with hearing impairments may include, but are not limited to the following:
- Sign language interpreter or Cued Speech Transliterator
- Digitally recorded lectures
- Instructors using a lapel microphone for an assistive listening device (for example, an FM system)
- Preferential seating
- Handout identifying “new” terms
- Visual aids
- Lectures with written outlines or notes on the board
- The interpreter should sit where the student can see both the interpreter and the instructor simultaneously.
- The student needs a seat in the front of the classroom to see the instructor, board, and screen.
- For a student who reads lips, the instructor should face the class and speak clearly and in the typical fashion.
- A student with a hearing impairment can better participate in group discussions if the class sits in a circle.
- Avoid turning your back to the student when speaking.
- Avoid standing with your back to a window or other light source, which puts your face in a shadow and makes lip reading difficult.
- When showing a video, ensure that it has captions.
- Repeat questions or comments made by others in the room.
- Do not block your mouth with your hands or other objects.
- Keep background noise to a minimum. Environmental and background sounds tend to mask speech.
- Use visual aids whenever possible.
- When referring to items on the board, try to be specific about the word or phrase you are referring to by pointing directly to it.
Students with visual impairments may have vision ranging from blindness to low vision. A student with low vision may need large print reading materials. A student who is blind has no functional-vision and may rely upon devices for mobility, such as a cane or guide dog. Students with visual impairments may use paid or volunteer readers or assistive technology devices.
Accommodations for visually impaired students may include, but are not limited to the following:
- Preferential seating
- Recorded lectures
- Recorded texts
- Large print materials
- Alternate test format: oral, Braille, or large print
- Use of voice dictation or a computer for enlarging text
- Use of scribe or note taker
- Extended time and alternate locations for exams
- Extended time for research requirements
- Some students use a service animal. Guide dogs are highly trained and disciplined workers, not pets, and should not be distracted from their duties.
- Clear pathways of obstructions.
- Inform the student if the staff or students rearrange the furniture
- When offering a seat to a student, place the student’s hand on the chair’s back or arm and allow the student to seat himself or herself.
- Clearly and precisely, read aloud anything written on the board.
- Use precise, descriptive language. Do not use “this and that” phrases. For example, “the lungs are located here and diaphragm there.”
- Ensure that instructors provide documents, whether printed or online, in a format that is accessible to a screen reader. Document accessibility includes several factors such as font type and size, format, and color contrast. The AS Office can assist with understanding and providing accommodations.
- Provide enlarged copies of material or work with the AS office for Braille materials when appropriate.
- Identify yourself when talking with the student and let the individual know when you have finished the conversation. A student with visual impairments cannot depend on recognizing a voice and knowing with whom he or she is talking and does not always realize when a person has walked away and ended a conversation.
The ADA defines mobility or motor impairment as a partial or total loss of a body part’s function, usually a limb or limbs. These impairments may result in weakness, decreased stamina, lack of muscle control, or total paralysis. A mobility-impaired student may use a wheelchair, cane, crutches, or simply walk at a slower pace. Motor impairments range from obvious conditions to less apparent ones, such as a chronic back disorder.
The need for adaptation varies among students with mobility impairments. Therefore, college staff must consult the student regarding the areas and extent of modifications needed. Some general considerations apply to most students with mobility impairments.
Accommodations for students with mobility impairments may include, but are not limited to the following:
- Relocating classes to accessible locations
- Providing space among the desks for a wheelchair or a wheelchair accessible desk or table
- Accommodating seating arrangements as needed
- Providing advance notice if the instructor changes the class location
- Reducing the writing load through the use of handouts, a note-taker, or a digital recorder
- Providing consideration for lateness due to difficulties in the location of the classroom or schedule
- Extending the time for test-taking
- Using a computer for written work
- Using a scribe or assistive technology for tests
- Allowing recorded test responses
- Providing instructor’s notes when appropriate and copies of powerpoints to reduce the need for writing
- Do not assume that students with motor impairments cannot participate in an activity; always consult with the student regarding limitations.
- Incorporate the student into group activities. This inclusion may require adaptive equipment or pairing the student with another classmate.
- Keep aisles free of obstacles.
- Work with the AS Office and Facilities Services ahead of time regarding modifying equipment or furniture (e.g., lab counters, sinks, storage shelves).
- Consider accessibility needs when planning field trips, fieldwork, and other types of activities.
- Provide a detailed course syllabus, clearly defined course requirements, and exam/assignment dates
- Provide clear materials
- Provide illustrations, handouts, and visual aids
- Team a skilled reader with a less capable reader
- Vary instruction modes; use more than one method to demonstrate or explain information.
- Allow students to record lectures.
- Provide alternative ways for students to complete a task such as an oral presentation
- Stress organization and ideas rather than mechanics when grading spontaneous writing assignments
- Allow use of word processing, spell check, and grammar check software.
- Make provisions for writing revisions and give feedback so that a student may continue in a better direction.
- Have students represent ideas as a work of art such as a sketch, painting, sculpture, or collage
- Stimulate ideas by presenting photos, artwork, film, and video
- Break information into small steps if teaching many new tasks in one lesson and include objectives, review of the previous class, and a summary
- Allow time for feedback, clarification, and interpretation of directions and essential information.
- When teaching a new task, relate the concept to a similar idea or procedure already learned.
- Repeat or give additional examples of instructions
- Provide advance notice of changes in assignments or test dates
- Provide additional time for tests and assignments when necessary
- Provide study guides or review sheets for exams
Adapted from “From Screening to Accommodation: Providing Services to Adults with Learning Disabilities”
- Ask questions if you do not understand something or you are not sure how to proceed.
- Hold up your end concerning accommodations.
- Treat students with disabilities with the same courtesies you would afford to other students.
- Respect the privacy of students with disabilities. They need not disclose their disability to fellow students. While they must disclose their disability to the AS Office to access accommodations, this does not include disclosure to everyone.
- Raise appropriate questions. Questions may lead to the college addressing specific requests more consistently and more thoroughly in the future.
- Assist students in the following procedure for requesting accommodations. The student must work through the AS Office and not individual faculty members. This process protects students, faculty, and the institution by ensuring consistency and takes much of the burden off individual faculty members.
- Engage in philosophical debates about “fairness” to other, nondisabled students or whether providing accommodations somehow violates your academic freedom. As a society, Congress has determined how we should address equal access to education by establishing federal civil rights statutes protecting persons with disabilities’ rights without adversely affecting those without disabilities. Most state legislatures have joined Congress in this effort. Secondly, academic freedom is not preemptive of federal civil rights statutes.
- Decide to ignore the academic accommodations that the AS Office has approved. You may subject the college and yourself to liability.
- Leave a student adrift without accommodations. For example, if no volunteers are willing to take notes in a class, make sure the AS director knows to locate someone who can assist.
- Refuse to permit students to digitally record lectures as an accommodation. Any general policy that might allow instructors to refuse the use of digital recorders without providing for students with disabilities is legally insufficient.
- Refuse to provide extended time for tests with the mistaken assumption that doing so would require you to provide additional time to all students.
- Refuse to provide accommodations until you have personally evaluated a student’s documentation of disability. Eligibility for services under the ADA is the job of the disability services personnel, not the faculty.
- Make assumptions about a student’s ability to work in a particular field. Often, society bases concern that students cannot handle a profession on fears and presuppositions, not facts.
- Provide unrequested or unauthorized accommodations. Direct students with unauthorized accommodations requests to the AS Office.