Classroom Accommodations

Access to Overheads or PowerPoint Presentations
Students with disabilities may request an instructor make course materials displayed on overhead projectors or PowerPoint slides available for review. Instructors are not required to create new materials. Instead, instructors might post the materials, make copies of the materials and distribute these copies to students or place copies of the material on reserve in a library. Students will work with instructor(s) to determine an appropriate timeframe for viewing materials.

Accommodation Memos
Our office provides students with approved accommodations letters for instructors. The Memo of Accommodation includes classroom accommodations approved for a student. To access accommodation memos students must: 

1. Be registered with SDS and have accommodations approved by a Coordinator.

2. At the conclusion of the Drop/Add period for a given semester, students must visit AccessSDS and log-in using their NetID and Password.

3. Students will be able to download and print their Memos of Accommodation as PDF documents, through AccessSDS.

4. Students deliver their Memos to each instructor and discuss accommodations as appropriate. We recommend students meet with instructors during office hours or by private appointment to discuss any necessary accommodations or essential elements of the course.

5. Students must repeat steps 1-4 each semester.

6. PLEASE NOTE: After receiving an accommodations letter, instructors have up to 5 business days to provide the approved accommodations. This is to allow time for any administrative planning that may need to occur. Thus, students should deliver accommodation letters well in advance of class exams.

7. These letters contain confidential material and should be handled and filed accordingly.

Alternative Text
Alternative text is required course materials, textbooks, electronic documents, exams, and other print materials students need converted into accessible formats. We will work with the student and the professor to provide an appropriate format for the student. Because alternative text production is sometimes a time consuming process, a staff member may ask an instructor for information about course materials several weeks (or months) in advance. For more information on how to order alternative text visit the Alternative Text webpage.

While most course materials can be made available to students with visual impairments in electronic or audio formats, it may be necessary to provide key passages, handouts or diagrams in Braille. We can provide limited Brailing services and/or refer a student to appropriate resources.

Class Notes and Note Takers
Students who are authorized by their coordinator for note taking assistance can obtain class notes in a number of ways. Discuss with your coordinator the pros and cons of each method for accessing class materials. However, note taking assistance is not a substitute for attending class.

Note taking accommodations are provided by volunteers.  Volunteers may review the Note-Taker Procedures for more information. Instructors seeking more information on note taking options may see note-taking-procedures for Faculty. Students needing note-taking assistance may approach their coordinator for suggestions regarding how to acquire a copy of course notes. While students may ask a professor or TA for a copy of the instructor's notes, the note taking accommodation ensures that a student will receive a copy of notes from a fellow student. If a student approved for note taking accommodations and the instructor are experiencing difficulties in obtaining notes, it is the student's responsibility to contact their coordinator.

Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services
Students seeking assistance with interpreters, captioning or CART (computer aided real time transcription) services should contact the Coordinator of Services for Students who are deaf and hard of hearing.

Missing Class Due to a Disability
Students with disabilities may be more prone to missing class due to medication concerns, chronic illness, transportation issues, mobility difficulties or other disability related circumstances. Students registered with our office need to provide documentation supporting the request of flexibility with course attendance. Their coordinator will discuss the potential implications of missing class (i.e. missed notes, greater difficulty in understanding the material); flexibility does not mean that attendance policies do not apply. The instructor and the student determine the specifics of a flexible attendance policy, using the Attendance Clarification Form provided by our office as a guide. If the student or instructor wishes, the student's coordinator can serve as an additional resource to discuss this form and/or options related to accommodation issues.

Permission to Leave or Move About in Class
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. Students should discuss seating arrangements and the timing of breaks with their instructors.

Permission to Record Classes
Students with disabilities qualify for "permission to record class lectures/discussions" as an accommodation. The student is responsible for providing his/her own recording device. An instructor may request that a student limit recording to class lectures and/or material which may appear on exams. Faculty may review the Permission to Record documentation for more information.

Preferential Seating
Students with disabilities may request an instructor's assistance in obtaining appropriate classroom seating. While reasons for accessible seating vary widely, common disability-related requests include seating near the front of the room, seating near the board or overhead projector, seating near an interpreter or microphone, seating near (or away) from windows, seating near the door and seating on the entry-level of a multi-level classroom. We can assist with any modifications to classroom furniture, that are necessary due to an accessible seating request.

Use of a Laptop for Taking Notes
Students who, because of a disability, have difficulty taking notes by hand may request permission to use a laptop in class. Laptops allow for greater speed in taking notes and thus may allow a student to keep pace with others in the class.