Frequently Asked Questions

Why should students with disabilities receive testing accommodations?


Will providing a student with accommodations give the student an advantage over other students?


Can I provide the testing accommodation (i.e., extended time or reduced distraction room) and proctor my own examination when that accommodation is requested by the student and approved by the disability services office?


My course has a lot of technical language that is difficult for laypersons to pronounce correctly. I am concerned that a reader will badly mispronounce these words and that it will adversely effect the student’s performance. What should I do?


What if a student informs me at the beginning of the semester that he has a disability and requires extended testing time, but never presents me with the accommodation documentation from the disability services office? Can I still provide this accommodation?



Why should students with disabilities receive testing accommodations?

Students who have documented disabilities may receive accommodations in order to help mitigate the impact of their disabilities.


Will providing a student with accommodations give the student an advantage over other students?

No. Providing accommodations allows the instructor to test the knowledge of the student, rather then testing the disability. Testing accommodations level the playing field so that the student with the disability has an equal opportunity to demonstrate mastery of course content.


Can I provide the testing accommodation (i.e., extended time or reduced distraction room) and proctor my own examination when that accommodation is requested by the student and approved by the Disability Services Office?

Yes. When the instructor does provide the accommodation and proctors the examination, it is important that the instructor only provides the same type of assistance (e.g., answering questions) that was provided to the other students. It is also a good idea to have the student sign a statement stating that the specified testing accommodations were provided.


My course has a lot of technical language that is difficult for laypersons to pronounce correctly. I am concerned that a reader will badly mispronounce these words and that it will adversely effect the studentís performance. What can I do about this situation?

You can either find a reader who is familiar with the technical language, or you could tape record the questions so that the student can listen to you pronounce the questions.


What if a student informs me at the beginning of the semester that he has a disability and requires extended testing time, but never presents me with the accommodation documentation from the Disability Services Office? Can I still provide this accommodation?

No. Determining if a student has a disability that is eligible and requires accommodation is the responsibility of the disability services office. Instructors do not have the legal authority to determine disability eligibility, and by doing so, the instructor could be held liable if the accommodation decisions do not work as planned. Also, if an instructor provides a simple accommodation, the student may later request a more extensive accommodation that the instructor does not feel as comfortable about providing. However, the instructor already set a precedent for providing accommodation without documentation.