Accommodation Basics

When you are presented with a Letter of Accommodation by a student with a documented disability, it is your responsibility to ensure the proper application of the listed accommodations to your course. Please find the text for a given accommodation below and click to see more details to help you get started. If you have questions after reading below and discussing the accommodations with the student, please look over the information provided in the Faculty webpages or contact the Office of Disability Services (DisabilityServices@wpi.edu).

Accommodations

  • Ability to reschedule exams with a documented flare-up of disability-related symptoms. >>>
  • Ability to schedule exams/quizzes at an alternative time when original time conflicts with functional limitation of disability. This may pertain to the exam time of day, number of exams in one day, a flare up of disability-related symptoms, or doctor's appointments. *Exams can be arranged within the individual department or through the Office of Disability Services and the Exam Proctoring Center (EPC) . >>>
  • Ability to stand/stretch in class or during exams. >>>
  • Access to a scribe or voice recognition software for exams and other written work. >>>
  • Access to alternative media format of texts/books. >>>
  • Access to food/drink in the classroom. >>>
  • Access to professor's handouts, PowerPoint slides, and/or lecture notes when available. >>>
  • Access to verbal or auditory instructions for exams and in-class work. >>>
  • All printed material must all be printed in enlarged font (18 pt. unless student specifies otherwise). >>>
  • All videos for a course must be available in a captioned format. >>>
  • Alternative testing site. *Exams/quizzes can be arranged within the individual department or through the Office of Disability Services and the Exam Proctoring Center (EPC). >>>
  • Assistive computing (using voice synthesizers, voice recognition systems, and/or enlarged screen readers) for exams. >>>
  • Due to a documented disability that is episodic and/or chronic in nature, student may have difficulty adhering to deadlines. It is requested that the student's disability be taken into consideration when making determinations on whether or not to grant extensions at a the student's request. >>>
  • Due to a documented disability that is episodic and/or chronic in nature, student may have to miss class on occasion. It is requested that the student's disability be taken into consideration when applying your classroom attendance policy. >>>
  • Due to an element of the student's disability, they may need preferential seating in a specific area of the classroom. Students should discuss specifics with their professor for each classroom space. >>>
  • Due to an element of the student's disability, examination periods that are long in duration may need to be broken into smaller units allowing the student time to recover. >>>
  • Extended time (1.5x or 2x) on in-class writing assignments. >>>
  • Option to schedule a private room for exams.*Exams/quizzes can be arranged within the individual department or through the Office of Disability Services and the Exam Proctoring Center (EPC). >>>
  • Option to supplement written exam response with oral answers when the instructor agrees this is reasonable and appropriate. >>>
  • Should be allowed to monitor blood sugar during exams and be given additional extra time if blood sugar dips too low. >>>
  • Student is eligible for classroom capture if the current classroom allows. >>>
  • Time extensions for in class exams or quizzes; 1.5x or 2x *Exams/quizzes can be arranged within the individual department or through the Office of Disability Services and the Exam Proctoring Center (EPC).  >>>
  • Use of a calculator for basic calculations when appropriate. >>>
  • Use of a word processor for essay or written exams. >>>
  • Use of an ASL interpreter in the classroom. >>>
  • Use of an FM loop in the classroom. >>>
  • Use of tape recorder in the classroom. >>>
  • Volunteer note taker in the classroom when a professor's slides and/or lecture notes are not available or sufficient. Students should consult with their professor to assess the need for notes in a given class before submitting a request to ODS. >>>

 

 

Reschedule Exams with Flare-up

Some students have disabilities with intermittent and sporadic impact on their ability to be present at a scheduled exam. This should not be a regular occurrence and is in place as a precautionary measure.

Students usually have a good sense of how often a flare-up  might occur and how it will impact them. You should discuss expectations in the event that a flare-up requires an exam to be rescheduled.

If a student does experience a flare-up, they should contact you as soon as possible once they have received proper treatment to execute whatever contingency plan you have both agreed on ahead of time.

To maintain a student's confidentiality, documentation of a flare-up will be maintained by the Office of Disability Services or Student Health Services. If you require verification of a flare-up, please contact the Director of Disability Services.

If you cannot administer the exam yourself, the EPC can be used to deliver these exams at a later date and/or time that is convenient for both you and the student.

If students will be utilizing the EPC, we ask that you fill out the Accommodated Testing Schedule Survey (find the link also on the student's Letter of Accommodation). This will give the EPC staff specific details of how the exams should be administered, how you plan to provide a copy of your exam to the EPC, and when your exams occur. Please visit to the EPC webpage for further instructions.

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Alternative Testing Time

Students may need to take their exams at a different time.*

This can be arranged by having the student take the exam with you in another location outside of class time or by arranging for the student to take their exam at the EPC at a mutually agreed-upon time.

If students will be utilizing the EPC, we ask that you fill out the Accommodated Testing Schedule Questionnaire (find the link on the student's Letter of Accommodation). This will give EPC staff the specific details of how the exams should be administered and will let us know how you plan to provide a copy of your exam to the EPC. Please visit to the EPC webpage for further instructions.

*A few reasons students may need to take an exam or quiz at an alternate time include, but are not limited to: flare-up of symptoms related to a medical disability such as Lyme Disease, Chrohns Disease or Diabetes, flare-up or psychological symptoms related to PTSD or Severe Anxiety or Depression, or when the time of day an exam is regularly administered falls at a time when medication or a specific functional limitation would impact the student's ability to perform.

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Stand/Stretch

The students may need to decrease agitation by standing or stretching during a lecture. As long as this does not interfere with the lecture or distract the other students, this should be allowed at any time. 

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Scribe

As an alternative to completing a written exam, the student may use voice recognition software or the assistance of a scribe.*

As this will likely be distracting for other students; students with this particular accommodation will need to take the exam in an alternative location. They may take the exam with you or in the EPC.

If students will be utilizing the EPC, we ask that you fill out the Accommodated Testing Schedule Questionnaire (find the link on the student's Letter of Accommodation). This will give EPC staff the specific details of how the exams should be administered and will let us know how you plan to provide a copy of your exam to the EPC. Please visit to the EPC webpage for further instructions.

If you and the student are unable to agree on the specifics of the alternative site, please consult with ODS staff.

*A few reasons students may need to utilize this accommodation is when they have injured their dominant writing hand or perform more to their aptitude through verbal expression.

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Audiobooks and E-Texts

Students who need their course material in an alternative, accessible format (braille, audio, electronic, etc.), the ODS has means to convert materials into accessible formats.

For textbooks, the student is required to purchase the book and show proof of purchase when requesting an alternative format conversion.

ODS will work with publishers for conversion permissions when utilizing assistive technology to create accessible formats.

For handouts and other materials, the student should request the appropriate conversion in a timely manner by sending a request to EPC@wpi.edu. The student will purchase the textbook for the course and acquire an electronic copy of the text from the ODS. You simply need to specify which textbook is required for the course.

For more information on alternative format media, please visit the EPC website.

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Food/Drink in Class

Students will need to be allowed to have food and/or drinks in the classroom. This could be to regulate blood sugar or to address other diet or medication-related issues that would require the student to eat at regularly spaced intervals.

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Notes - Professor Notes

Any notes-based accommodation is intended to allow the student access to lecture material outside of the classroom that they would not otherwise be able to capture themselves.*

Course material which specifically needs to be considered is material that students are expected to be responsible to know for assessments (grades).

Students should have access to any materials or notes you have not already made available to the class, if any exist.

Any materials posted in class or reference materials outside of class should be made available either in hard copy or online. 

These notes are preferable to meet note-taking accommodation needs since they are from you, not a volunteer classmate, and will likely be more accurate and beneficial.

*A few reasons students are allowed a note taking accommodation include, but are not limited to, functional limitations in: fine motor skills (handwriting), processing speed, auditory processing, attention.

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Verbal Instructions

Some students are not able to accurately demonstrate their true level of understanding of material in the standard format for a given course and/or understand instructions more accurately when presented auditorily.*

Often this applies directly to exams or quizzes and can be facilitated in-person or through the EPC.

You should ask the student what resources they have available on their own (text-to-speech software) and if it is compatible with materials you provide for your course.

If students will be utilizing the EPC, we ask that you fill out the Accommodated Testing Schedule Questionnaire (find the link on the student's Letter of Accommodation). This will give EPC staff the specific details of how the exams should be administered and will let us know how you plan to provide a copy of your exam to the EPC. Please visit to the EPC webpage for further instructions.

*Often times students who have a writing/reading-based learning disability develop a stronger auditory/verbal learning style.

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Enlarged Font

Students with low vision often require handouts, quizzes, and exams to be provided with font that has been enlarged to 18 pt. (or another size depending on the student's preference).

This can easily be done on a word or Excel document, but you may need to use photo software or the photocopier to enlarge PDF's, pictures, or other hard copies.

If you have any questions or need any assistance in making material font-size accessible and the student does not have preferred solutions they can implement on their own, contact the ODS for support as soon as possible to leave time for conversions and editing.

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Video Captioning

If a student is Deaf or heard of hearing and requires captioned videos, any videos used in the course must include captioning. (This includes videos shown in class and videos provided as part of the resource materials outside of class or online.)

Captions can be added to videos you create yourself using the Camtasia system. A link to captioning tutorial for Camtasia can be found here.

The ODS can also assist in adding captions to your videos.

Provide your videos to the ODS and we will work with the Academic Technology Center (ATC) to add accessibility features as necessary. 

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Alternative Testing Site

Students with this accommodation are allowed to take their exams in a location outside of a large classroom setting.*

This can be arranged by having the student take the exam with you in another location in your department that meets their specific alternative site needs or by arranging for the student to take their exam in the EPC.

If students will be utilizing the EPC, we ask that you fill out the Accommodated Testing Schedule Questionnaire (find the link on the student's Letter of Accommodation). This will give EPC staff the specific details of how the exams should be administered and will let us know how you plan to provide a copy of your exam to the EPC. Please visit to the EPC webpage for further instructions. 

If you and the student are unable to agree on the specifics of the alternative site, please consult with ODS staff.

*A few reasons students need to take their exam at another location include, but are not limited to: Severe Anxiety, Sensory Integration Issues, and Severe Attention Issues.

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Assistive Technology for Exams

When students need to have access to assistive technology during an exam the EPC has the appropriate software available for student training and use. 

If you prefer to facilitate the exam yourself and are knowledgeable about the assistive technology involved, the EPC has laptops loaded with programs for you to borrow.

If students will be utilizing the EPC, we ask that you fill out the Accommodated Testing Schedule Questionnaire (find the link on the student's Letter of Accommodation). This will give EPC staff the specific details of how the exams should be administered and will let us know how you plan to provide a copy of your exam to the EPC. Please visit to the EPC webpage for further instructions.

For more information on Assistive Technology, please visit the EPC web page.

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Deadline Consideration

Some students have disabilities with intermittent and sporadic (bet very significant) impact on their ability to complete work on time. This does not include issues with organization or time management.

Students are expected to plan ahead as best as they can, but should inform you as soon as they know their disability will affect their ability to complete the assignment in a timely manner.

You should be flexible with the late policy for the course when their disability makes it difficult for the student to complete assignments, but you will not be expected to be flexible to the point that other students are impacted (group assignments) or that essential graded requirements of the course are compromised (graded ability to complete a task in a given time-frame).

You should discuss contingencies with the student and address how flexible you are able to be at the beginning of the course to make sure expectations are clear.

If you believe the student is taking advantage of this accommodation and you are not able to resolve the situation with the student, contact the ODS and we will work with you to resolve the issue.

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Flexible Attendance

Students who experience unpredictable functional limitations which do not allow them to attend class are eligible for consideration of the attendance policy.

Any student with this accommodation should inform you before class if they will not be attending. You should be flexible with the attendance policy for the course when the illness or functional limitation of their disability makes it difficult for the student to come to class.

Consideration for this accommodation is especially important if attendance is a portion of the student's final grade.

Make sure to discuss with the student how the attendance will be counted in their final grade and what alternative options of capturing material presented in lecture are available (notes/PPT available online, classroom capture).

If you believe the student is taking advantage of this accommodation and you are not able to resolve the situation with the student, contact the ODS and we will work with you to resolve the issue.

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Preferential Seating

The student should be allowed access to a seat in the front of the classroom, near an exit, in a place that helps them access information more easily, in a place to minimize distraction, or in a place to decrease distraction of others.

It is the student's responsibility to explain specifically where they need to be placed to allow you to assist them if need be.

They may need some assistance in this based on the number of students or type of classroom.

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Exam Broken into Smaller Sections

When a student's disability and other accommodations would make the amount of time to sit for an exam unreasonable, they should be allowed to take the exam in pre-determined sections at separate times.

The student should be given only a portion of the exam at one time for a proportionally appropriate amount of time with subsequent portions being administered at a later date and/or time.

Students and professors should discuss the specific details of how this will be facilitated.

Exams can be administered by you or by the EPC.

If students will be utilizing the EPC, we ask that you fill out the Accommodated Testing Schedule Questionnaire (find the link on the student's Letter of Accommodation). This will give EPC staff the specific details of how the exams should be administered and will let us know how you plan to provide a copy of your exam to the EPC. Please visit to the EPC webpage for further instructions.

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Extended Time for In-class Writing Assignments

Students may need extra time for writing assignments in class if the assignment is going to be submitted for a grade.*

You may need to allow this student extra time to complete the assignment before, during or after class. Make arrangements with the student early in the term to accommodate their extra time based on what is convenient for both you and the student.

The EPC can often provide space for students to finish in-class assignments if needed.

If students will be utilizing the EPC, we ask that you fill out the Accommodated Testing Schedule Questionnaire (find the link on the student's Letter of Accommodation). This will give EPC staff the specific details of how the exams should be administered and will let us know how you plan to provide a copy of your exam to the EPC. Please visit to the EPC webpage for further instructions.

*A few reasons students need to utilize extra time on in-class writing assignments include, but are not limited to functional limitations in; fine motor skills, processing speed, anxiety, and writing-based learning disabilities.

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Private Exam Room

Students may need to take their exam in a private room to optimally reduce distraction. 

You may administer these exams yourself if a private room is available to you through your department. 

Private rooms are also available through the EPC on a limited basis.

If students will be utilizing the EPC, we ask that you fill out the Accommodated Testing Schedule Questionnaire (find the link on the student's Letter of Accommodation). This will give EPC staff the specific details of how the exams should be administered and will let us know how you plan to provide a copy of your exam to the EPC. Please visit to the EPC webpage for further instructions.

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Verbal Response

To enable students to accurately demonstrate their understanding of course material it may be helpful to allow an oral exam format if the content being evaluated allows.

This accommodation is often authorized for a student when the functional limitation of their disability pertains specifically to non-verbal forms of expression.

Administration of exams can be given during class, or at an alternate location during or outside of class.

Exams can be administered by you or by the EPC's trained proctors and recorded.

If students will be utilizing the EPC, we ask that you fill out the Accommodated Testing Schedule Questionnaire (find the link on the student's Letter of Accommodation). This will give EPC staff the specific details of how the exams should be administered and will let us know how you plan to provide a copy of your exam to the EPC. Please visit to the EPC webpage for further instructions.

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Monitor Blood Sugar

Studentst should be allowed to check a glucose meter during exams if necessary.

The student may need to take measures to increase or reduce their blood sugar levels, like eating food, drinking, or injecting insulin. If this takes substantial time away from testing, the student should be allowed commensurate additional time to complete the exam.

The student can stay after to finish or bring the exam to the EPC for completion in some cases. If students will be utilizing the EPC, we ask that you fill out the Accommodated Testing Schedule Questionnaire (find the link on the student's Letter of Accommodation). This will give EPC staff the specific details of how the exams should be administered and will let us know how you plan to provide a copy of your exam to the EPC. Please visit to the EPC webpage for further instructions.

Often students will also have accommodations for alternative testing site, times, or ability to reschedule exams to accommodate the need to check blood sugar levels and make appropriate adjustments.

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Classroom Capture

Certain classrooms on campus are equipped with the Echo 360 system for Class Capture. This system records video and audio of the front of the lecture hall and in some cases can also record the computer screen and the document reader when in use.

If you have never used classroom capture in the past, the Academic Technology Center (ATC) offers trainings about how to utilize the system.

When the capture is completed, it will automatically upload to the myWPI course website where students can access it. You will have control over who has access to the recordings and may restrict it to only students with capture accommodations.

Please go to the ATC webpage on Class Capture to learn more about and begin using this service.

If you are not comfortable with class capture or do not want to use class capture in your course, please contact the ODS to discuss reasonable alternative accommodations. 

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Extended Test Time

Students who need extra time may need to take their exams or quizzes in another location to accommodate extended time (1.5x or 2x).*

1.5x is standard, but often students will have a functional limitation or compounding functional limitations which provides eligibility for 2x. For more information, see faculty FAQ's.

Extended time can be arranged by having the student take the exam with you in another location or by arranging for the student to take their exam in the EPC.

Whenever possible, it is expected that the student will take their exam at a time overlapping the normal exam time; starting early and ending on time, or starting on time and ending late.

In the case that extended time causes a conflict with other courses in a student's schedule, they are not expected to miss class to complete an exam.

If this is the case, the student should be allowed to take the exam earlier or later that day or the exam should be split into segments to be administered at another mutually agreed upon time.

It is up to you whether you make another version of the exam for that student.

If students will be utilizing the EPC, we ask that you fill out the Accommodated Testing Schedule Questionnaire (find the link on the student's Letter of Accommodation). This will give EPC staff the specific details of how the exams should be administered and will let us know how you plan to provide a copy of your exam to the EPC. Please visit to the EPC webpage for further instructions.

*A few reasons students need to utilize extended time include, but are not limited to: reading/writing-based learning disability, broken dominant hand/wrist, attention-related difficulties, anxiety, processing speed, vision, fine motor issues.

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Use of a Calculator

Students should be allowed to use a non-programmable calculator for basic calculations (addition, subtraction, multiplication and division) necessary on certain exams. This accommodation would cover any exam, even those where calculators are specifically not allowed, unless the exam is testing the students knowledge of those specific basic functions.

The student should provide their own calculator for exams and the EPC has them available for students taking their exams at the EPC.

This accommodation may not be applicable in all situations; you should discuss the situation with the student at the beginning of the course to make sure expectations are clear.

If the student is taking their exam with extended time at the EPC, you should notify the coordinator when and what type of calculator is allowed on the standard exam.

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Notes on Laptop in Class

Students are allowed to bring their laptop/tablet into the classroom in order to take notes during class. 

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Use of a Word Processor for Essay Exams

This accommodation is helpful to both the student and faculty member since it will allow the student to fully articulate their thoughts during essay exams and also allow easier reading of their answers on your part.*

Often the medium of typing allows a higher level of fluidity in expressing thoughts that pen and paper does not allow.

If you do not wish the student to use a personal computer, the EPC can provide a laptop that has no internet access or additional resources available.

The student may take the exam with you or in the EPC. If students will be utilizing the EPC, we ask that you fill out the Accommodated Testing Schedule Questionnaire and provide a copy of your exam to the EPC. This will give our department the specific details of how the exams should be administered. Please go to the EPC webpage for further instructions.

*A few reasons students are allowed to utilize a laptop for written assignments and exams include, but are not limited to; fine motor skills (handwriting), temporary injury to their dominant hand, or processing speed issues)

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ASL Interpreter

Students with hearing impairments may need to have an American Sign Language (ASL)interpreter in the classroom during lecture.

The Office of Disability Services will schedule and coordinate with the interpreter.

If class ever cancelled or rescheduled, you must give the ODS 24 hours notice.

Acquaint yourself with this interpreter and make sure they are aware of any complicated, subject-specific words.

Make sure that the interpreter is in an area of the classroom where he/she is able to interpret appropriately. 

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Wear FM Loop

If a student has difficulty hearing a lecture in a large room, they will provide a small FM transmitter and lapel mic to you for use during each lecture. The transmitter will send an FM signal to their receiver which amplifies the lecture.

The ODS supplies and maintains the FM devices in most cases, so if it breaks during the term, inform us right away to order replacement parts or repair services.

Since students use one device for all of their classes, they will be unable to leave the device with you between classes.

You will need to allow time before class to secure the device and make sure it is returned to the student after each lecture.

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Audio Taping

The student will provide their own audio recording device for class and will operate it independently. 

You must simply agree to being recorded.

The student has agreed that all recordings will be for their personal, academic use only, should not be distributed, posted online, or shared in any way.

Please contact the ODS if you have any questions or concerns regarding this accommodation. 

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Notes - Note Taker

Students who are allowed a note taker should determine whether professor notes/slides are sufficient before requesting a note taker through the EPC.

Any notes-based accommodation is intended to allow the student access to lecture material outside of the classroom that they would not otherwise be able to capture themselves.*

Course material which specifically needs to be considered is material that students are expected to be responsible to know for assessments (grades).

If a note taker is deemed necessary, the student must request a note taker from the EPC (See EPC website-note taking for more).

EPC staff will solicit the class list via email (you will be copied) to identify a student volunteer to take notes.

The accommodated student will remain anonymous and the volunteer will be directed to work with EPC staff to complete a brief training. Note takers are compensated with a $25 gift card to the bookstore.

If a volunteer note taker is not found, it may be necessary for you to provide extra notes for the student or the ODS will try to hire a professional note taker to sit-in on the class.

*A few reasons students are allowed a note taking accommodation include, but are not limited to, functional limitations in: fine motor skills (handwriting), processing speed, auditory processing and attention.

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