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How does a student become eligible to receive accommodations through ODS?

Students must have a documented disability and inform the University that he or she is requesting accommodations. This is done through the ODS office. 

Won’t providing accommodations on examinations and in the classroom give students with disabilities an unfair advantage?

No. Accommodations don’t make things easier for disabled students, just possible. The purpose of academic accommodations is to put the person with a disability on a level playing field with other students who do not have a disability.

Are faculty required to use the testing services at ODS when providing accommodations to students?

No. But faculty are required to provide the appropriate accommodations to students registered with our office. Keep in mind, though, that ODS is set up to provide the necessary testing accommodations for our disabled students.

If I use the testing services, can I send and receive my exam through campus mail?

Please don’t. Campus mail is not a secure means of transporting an exam and test security is extremely important to us. You may hand deliver your exam, email ( or fax (482-1340) the exam to us. On the testing contract, you indicate how you would like the exam returned to you. We will not send an exam back to you through campus mail.

How can accommodations be provided within my classroom?

If you choose to administer your own exam, first determine if the student needs a reduced distraction environment along with extended time. This will be listed on the accommodation letter from ODS. Extended time is defined as “time and a half” which means the time the class has to take the exam plus half of that time. For example, in a 50 minute class a student would have 75 minutes to complete the exam. Some students are allowed “double time” based on medical documentation. If you have any questions about allowed time, please contact ODS. Also, please discuss accommodations with students to make sure that all needs are being met.

What do I do when a student identifies himself/herself as an ODS student?

The student should present an accommodation letter from ODS at the start of the semester. This letter describes the accommodations that faculty are legally required to provide. During office hours or at another convenient time, discuss the letter and the accommodations with the student.  Accommodations are determined by ODS after reviewing documentation.

Can I review the student’s documentation of the disability?

No. ODS is the office designated to receive and interpret documentation of the disability. Disability information is confidential and students are not required to disclose this information to faculty. If you are concerned that a student is not disabled or otherwise qualified for accommodations, please consult ODS. 

What do I do if a student with a disability is failing?

Treat the student as you would any student who is not performing well in your class. Invite the student to your office to discuss what resources might be available to assist them. Contact ODS to discuss any additional concerns.

What if a student with a disability is often absent?

Talk with the student and discuss your concerns that absences are affecting class performance. Students with disabilities are required to attend class just like everyone else. Keep in mind, though, that consideration for absences is an accommodation that is provided for some students. Remind the student of your policy on class absences. Determine with the student whether the missed work can be made up and arrange with the student to do so. Refer the student to ODS if too much class work has been missed. 

What is a note-taker?

A note-taker is usually another student in class who agrees to provide copies of lecture notes taken during class. Some students with disabilities require note-takers as a reasonable accommodation. Students who volunteer as note-takers are rewarded with priority scheduling.  Note takers can provide a copy of their notes to the student in a variety of ways including scanning or photographing their notes then emailing to the student.  ODS has a scanner students are welcome to use.

How can I assist a student with getting notes?

Students who cannot take notes or who have difficulty taking notes due to their disability can be accommodated in a variety of ways including: allowing them to tape lectures, assisting them in obtaining an in-class volunteer note-taker, and providing them with an outlining of lecture materials and copies of overheads or power-point copies.

If you have any questions not answered here, please call ODS at 482-5252.