Accommodations

Academic Accommodations

Academic Accommodation Resource Guide

This list contains examples of academic accommodations with guidance on implementation. This is not an exhaustive list. Please note: 

  • Students may initiate their accommodations at any time during the semester but must provide instructors adequate notice (typically one week) that an accommodation is needed. 
  • Accommodations are not retroactive.  
  • Instructors are not required to substantially alter course requirements or instructional design as an accommodation. If you believe the accommodation is insufficient or unacceptable within the context of your course, please contact SAS promptly at 515-294-7220 or e-mail accessibility@iastate.edu.   
  • Students and instructors are encouraged to utilize the accommodation planning tool to record the accommodation agreements made in the initial meeting.

For information about non-academic accommodations, view our non-academic accommodations page.

Exam Accommodations

Students will be provided extended time for all timed exams and quizzes.

Please Note: Unlimited time is not an available accommodation. 

  • For example, if the class is taking an exam that is 50 minutes a student with “1.5x extended time on exams/quizzes” will have 75 minutes for the exam. 

Note for instructors: ISU’s CELT (Center for Excellence in Learning and Teaching) has “Six ways to set-up accommodations in Canvas” – see Extended Time for help with adding time to Canvas exams and quizzes.

A low distraction testing environment is a setting outside the usual classroom/testing centers that limits interruptions and other environmental influences. For example, a room that minimizes both the auditory (e.g. copy machines, talking) and visual distractions (e.g. people moving in and out of the testing space). Instructors may choose to refer students to the Exam Accommodation Center (EAC) or set up a space on their own.  

The EAC (Exam Accommodation Center) provides this accommodation through this environment: 

  • Small group (less than 30 students) 
  • Cubicles or dividers 
  • White noise machines 

An example that does NOT meet the low distraction description: 

  • Large testing centers 
  • An office where the phone is ringing, people are coming in and out, conversations are taking place 
  • An open lounge where people pass by 
  • Interrupting the test to move locations 

Lab practicals can vary in how they apply the low distraction environment, given the space and time restraints. Students can work with their instructor to find reduced distraction solutions. 

This exam setting is most commonly used for individuals with specific needs that could prove a distraction to other students in the exam room.  This may include, but is not limited to, the use of assistive technology such as a speech-to-text program, the need for an interpreter, or a medical condition that engages movement during the course of testing. 

Due to unpredictable medical events, some students may require the need to take an exam or quiz at a rescheduled time. Instructor and student should discuss guidelines regarding communication expectations as well as the period of time to make up the exam or quiz.

Exams and quizzes with assistive technology will require further considerations:  

Examples:

  • Kurzweil for Exams: this software needs access to the exam or quiz to read the text to the student. If the chosen lockdown browser prevents this and/or does not provide a Text to Speech option, the lockdown browser requirement may need to be removed for accessibility
  • Dragon for Exams: this speech recognition software requires a private room since the individual must dictate answers to the exam or quiz

The Exam Accommodation Center can assist with coordinating proctored exams and quizzes requiring assistive technology, if needed

See Assistive Technology and Devices for details. 

Notes and Class Lecture

Students are allowed to audio record lectures for their personal use (not to be shared with others). Students will need to provide their own recording device such as a cell phone or laptop. Instructors may set guidelines on pausing the recording if discussions are not conducive to study notes (e.g. personal stories that the student would not use for assignments, projects, exams, etc.) 

Students are allowed access to slides and other lecture material used by the instructor during class to supplement note-taking. If an instructor does not use slideshows for in-class instruction, student and instructor can work together to determine an equitable solution for the student to have access to similar class materials.  

Students have access to notes from the instructor, TA, or another student in the class (as identified by the instructor). Once the instructor identifies who will create notes, the student and instructor will identify a reasonable method {ie. e-mail, Canvas, Cybox, hand delivery) for providing notes to the student with this accommodation in a timely manner. 

Notes may be provided in any convenient format. Options include:  

  • Handwritten notes may be scanned or photographed, and e-mailed or uploaded.   
  • Handwritten notes may be photocopied and hand-delivered.  
  • Typed notes may be e-mailed as an attachment or uploaded.  

Regarding Instructor Concerns with Provided Lecture Material 

Please see the Student Code of Conduct: Recording and/or sale or dissemination (including posting) of instructional content without the express permission of the instructor(s), or an approved accommodation coordinated via Student Accessibility Services.  

Course-related presentations and materials are owned by the presenter. Students may take written notes or make other recordings for educational purposes, but specific written permission to sell and/or make publicly available the notes, recordings, or materials must be obtained from the presenter. Failure to secure permission is a violation of these conduct regulations.

 

For information about non-academic accommodations, view our non-academic accommodations page.

Assignment Flexibility

Several versions of this accommodation are available depending on a student’s needs. This may include alternative audiences to presentations or alternative assignments to presentations altogether. Instructors and students will need to work together to ensure modifications align with all course objectives along with the student’s needs.  

Attendance and Deadline Flexibility 

Students may require short breaks during a class period. The nature of these breaks will depend on the individual student’s medical needs. 

Students with medical conditions that fluctuate may need reasonable flexibility to complete course work. Please note that many of these conditions do not require the student to visit a medical provider during flare ups, so requiring doctor’s notes for absences is not equitable. All students eligible for this accommodation have gone through a thorough approval process with review of previous medical documentation. The following guidance and suggestions may support students with disabilities and instructors during times of heightened symptoms, when flexibility is needed: 

  • Is attendance and/or participation factored in as part of the course grade? If so, how? Is there a course, departmental, or college policy? 
  • What does the course syllabus say about attendance and missed deadlines? How have you made exceptions to these policies in the past? 
  • Do student contributions/participation constitute a significant component of the learning process? 
  • What is the impact on the educational experience of other students in the class if a student is absent or misses a deadline? 
  • Please consider allowing more absences than listed on syllabus, per conversation with student. 
  • Please consider allowing the student to attend another section of the class or view an on-line version if available. 
  • Please consider allowing the student to view equivalent course content as available (e.g., anatomy dissection, Shakespearian play, etc.) 
  • If discussions are missed, consider having the student keep a journal for contributions, e-mail comments to instructors and/or classmates, or meet during office hours. 

**If modifying attendance policies and deadlines would not substantially impact the nature or design of the course, then flexibility with attendance policies and deadlines is reasonable. 

***If learning in your course is primarily based on classroom discourse and experiences, and cannot be easily recreated elsewhere, then less flexibility with attendance and deadlines would be reasonable. 

Students with medical conditions that fluctuate may need reasonable flexibility to complete course work. The following guidance and suggestions may support students with disabilities and instructors during times of heightened symptoms, when flexibility is needed: 

  • Discuss how and when you would like to be notified that the student cannot meet the deadline (e.g., email, voicemail, 1 - 72 hour notice depending on reasonableness, etc.). 
  • Allow reasonable extensions on a case-by-case basis when appropriate. 
  • Merge two smaller projects into a larger one, with a longer timeline. 
  • Let students know how many assignments can be flexed, or if flexibility is not possible. 
  • Consider whether an essential element of the assignment is the time necessary to complete the assignment. It may be reasonable to extend an assignment deadline if the time necessary to complete is not a factor being assessed. If an essential element of an assignment is the ability to complete the assignment within a certain meaningful time frame, then a deadline extension may not be reasonable. 
  • Consider granting an “Incomplete” for the course when most of the work is completed satisfactorily. 

**If modifying attendance policies and deadlines would not substantially impact the nature or design of the course, then flexibility with attendance policies and deadlines is reasonable.