Common Accommodations Descriptions
Below are descriptions of common accommodations recommended for students for applicable barriers due to a disability. In accordance with ADA law, Stetson University requires documentation of a student's disability to ensure that reasonable and appropriate accommodations are recommended for students. The list of accommodations below is not exhaustive and is meant as an example of possible accommodations which may be possible, based on a student's specific needs.
Some students who have barriers caused by specific learning, process, or attention disorders may be inhibited by the time limits placed around testing. Since the majority of courses are testing students on their knowledge of the course materials and not the time in which a student can complete the questions, giving students additional time for exams is reasonable and quite common. At Stetson University, additional time varies in the ways that it is provided. Professors can sometimes provide additional time for students on their own. More often, students will take their exams at the Accessibility Services Center (ASC). The ASC provides semi-private testing spaces for students to use, as needed for extended testing time. You can read more about the specific policies around exam proctoring.
Barriers related to sustained attention, processing speed, or anxiety can cause students to not perform to their full potential in a typical testing environment. For qualifying students, we can work to ensure they have a more private testing environment to meet their needs. This could be an empty classroom, departmental office, or study room provided by the professor. If professors do not have access to one of these options, the ASC offers semi-private testing spaces.
Most faculty members have established attendance policies in their course that limit the amount of class meetings that can be missed without academic penalty. Some medical and psychological conditions may create barriers to a student's ability to adhere to these attendance policies. This may be due to a necessity to make frequent doctor visits, or episodes that make attending class difficult or even dangerous. In such cases, the ASC will recommend that professors are flexible with their attendance policy. Students who receive this accommodation are still required to meet the learning outcomes of the course. A reasonable number of absences can be dependent on the course format and its associated learning outcomes. If the number of absences risks impacting the student's ability to meet the stated learning outcomes, the ASC will be in contact to explore other options. When absent, students are also responsible for contacting the professor for all homework, papers, assignments and exams they miss when absent and completing them in a timely manner, as established by the professor.
Attendance accommodation arrangements should be discussed with the ASC. The following questions will be considered when making a determination about reasonable attendance accommodations:
- What does the course description and syllabus say?
- What elements of the class experience are used to calculate the final grade?
- What are the classroom practices and policies regarding attendance?
- To what extent is there classroom interaction between the instructor and students and among students?
- Do student contributions constitute a significant component of the learning process?
- Does the fundamental nature of the course rely on student participation as an essential method for learning?
- To what degree does a student's failure to attend constitute a significant loss to the educational experience of other students in the class?
This accommodation is recommended for where the schedule itself creates a significant barrier (e.g., impacts of medication, needed rest, noted trends in symptoms). The Accessibility Services Center will work with the Office of the Registrar to allow a student with this accommodation to register before most other students regardless of class standing. The priority registration accommodation provides a student with more options to find a schedule that will best meet their accessibility needs. However, there may be some courses with limited options for days and times. Students understand they will have to register for the courses available and work with the Accessibility Services Center to identify some alternative options to ensure access.
This accommodation is recommended for students who have specific needs regarding access to certain classroom spaces. Typically, this is in relation to a mobility-related issue but could be due to other barriers as well. For students who have this accommodation, the Accessibility Services Center will work with the Office of the Registrar to relocate any courses which are in inaccessible locations prior to each semester beginning (provided the student has worked with Accessibility Services and our office is aware of their need).
This accommodation is designed to provide the student with the content being covered in the class so the student can then focus more on the additional information covered rather than strictly copying down the information. For students with processing speed concerns, attention issues, etc., the simultaneous tasks of listening for comprehension, reading the visuals provided and writing down information create barriers to their engagement and retention of the needed information. The above options provide the students with the visual components of the lecture so they can focus more on the other information being delivered.
Some barriers related to sustained attention and/or auditory processing can be addressed by the student having access to their notes, as well as, the audio from the lecture. The addition of the lecture audio allows the students to take a multi-modal approach to their studying and appropriately fill in information gaps from the course. Students are required to sign a recording release when recommended for this accommodation. By signing the release form, the student acknowledges the professor's copyright of the lecture materials and agrees to use the recordings solely for studying purposes. Students misusing their recordings of class can be referred to the Office of Community Standards.
A note taking accommodation is meant to supplement the accommodated student's personal notes in order to support their understanding of the course materials. This accommodation does not excuse the student from attending or appropriately engaging in the class. The Accessibility Services Center will work with the student's professors and classmates to identify a voluntary note taker. The note taker will be asked to provide the accommodated student with a copy of their notes within 24 hours of the class meeting. That note taker can type and email their notes or bring them to the ASC to be scanned and sent.
Computers may be provided for students with a variety of needs. The ASC has dictation software, screen-readers, and other technology that students can use for exams if they have the corresponding accommodation. This accommodation is also recommended for students who require the ability to type rather than hand-write papers.
In some instances, students may require the assistance of a reader on exams. This may be due to a visual-impairment, dyslexia, or another learning disorder. This may sometimes take the form of staff at the Accessibility Services Center working directly with a student and reading exam questions for them. Oftentimes, the Accessibility Services Center will leverage technology to aid in a student's ability to have a reader for exams. This means that the Accessibility Services Center provides screen-reading technology which students can utilize in our testing spaces which read questions to them at their pace. Staff at the Accessibility Services Center will work with students on an individual basis to discuss what would best fit their needs.
When applicable, the Accessibility Services Center can provide a scribe for students on exams. This can take many forms whether it be staff at the Accessibility Services Center completing a bubble sheet for a student with limited mobility to giving students access to dictation software in our testing spaces so that they can speak and have a computer record their response rather than writing. Staff at the Accessibility Services Center will work with students on an individual basis to discuss what would best fit their needs.
Individuals who have a service animal are not required to register with the Accessibility Services Center, per ADA law. For more information on the specific animal policy at Stetson. However, if a student so chooses, they may register for the purposes of the Accessibility Services Center assisting them in notifying their professors that they will have a service animal in the classroom. Documentation is not required for this accommodation. The Accessibility Services Center often consults with faculty to ensure access to students who require a services animal when the structure of a course may create a challenge for access of the service animal. In these instances, the Accessibility Services Center will work with both the professor and the student to ensure access. There is no requirement for the student to register with the Accessibility Service Center for any accommodations for a service animal alone.
- Ability to Leave Class and Return When Able
- Ability to Ask Clarifying Questions
- Alternative Presentation Format
- Calculator for Exams
- Closed Captioning for Videos
- Computer or Personal Device for Notes and Written Assignments
- Short Breaks During Exams
There are other accommodations available depending on a student's needs. The Accessibility Services Center is committed to the interactive process of establishing accommodations and will explore all possible options to ensure access.