Accommodations Or Reasonable Modifications

It is not the sole responsibility of the Disability & Assistive Technology Center to provide all accommodations, but rather to assist units in meeting the UWSP mandated responsibility. In addition, individuals seeking accommodations are expected to demonstrate initiative in obtaining and arranging assistance.

Accommodation Request Form

The Accommodation Request Form will be completed for each qualified student with a disability on a one-to-one basis. Students are encouraged to meet with Disability & Assistive Technology Center staff early in the semester to discuss which accommodations are appropriate (based on disability and documentation) and what accommodations are actually needed. Students are to then meet with faculty to discuss and finalize their accommodations. The faculty member is to sign the form verifying its review and affirming the accommodation plan. Faculty members are welcome to provide input to the plan as appropriate.


Auxiliary Aids or Services

Specific accommodations respond to the functional needs created by the disability, and may vary among students having the same medical diagnosis. Students with disabilities may benefit from the following assistance coordinated by the Disability & Assistive Technology Center. Please be aware that appropriate accommodations are determined on a case by case basis. Therefore, the following information is not exclusive. It is a discussion of the most common auxiliary aids or services which are provided to qualified individuals with disabilities. A student may need an auxiliary aid or service which is not included and discussed below.

Adapted Testing

Adapted testing assistance is required when students with disabilities need special equipment, readers, writers, proctors, additional test time, and/or an isolated environment in order to take course quizzes and exams, placement tests, and standardized tests. Depending upon the particular disability and documentation, students may also need alternate types of exams, e.g. oral, taped, large print, multiple choice, etc. According to federal and state regulations, students with disabilities must be provided reasonable testing accommodations when deemed necessary. Testing accommodations are to be provided only if the student with a disability has provided Disability Services with the appropriate documentation and has made the request in a timely manner.

Library Assistance

It may be necessary to provided assistance to students who are physically unable to use the library. Students may need additional time to read assignments, or materials may need to be enlarged or recorded on tape.


Note Takers

Students with a wide variety of disabilities, including those with limited hand function, visual impairments, hearing impairments, and learning disabilities may need assistance in taking notes. The Disability & Assistive Technology Center utilizes peer, volunteer note-takers; in most cases the student will seek out a fellow-student. However, in some instances Disability Services may ask for your assistance in finding a competent note-taker. This simply involves choosing a well organized student and requesting that she/he share notes with the student who has the disability. The Disability & Assistive Technology Center provides self-duplicating paper.

Registration Assistance

If appropriate, priority registration may be available to eligible students with disabilities.

Sign Language Interpreters

Deaf or hard-of-hearing students may need sign language interpreters to access class lectures and materials. A note taker may also be needed if the student requires a sign language interpreter. The Disability & Assistive Technology Center will provide sign language interpreter services for deaf or hard-of-hearing students. Interpreters will both translate oral communication into sign language, and sign language into oral communication, to enable deaf or hard-of-hearing students to communicate with faculty or other students. Interpreters are translators, and remain neutral in all communication as they transmit information. They do not become involved in the student's interactions, and are not advocates for the student.


Taped Lectures

Taped lectures allow students to review information given in a lecture. This is particularly helpful to students with any type of visual processing problems. The use of a tape recorder may not be refused if it is essential to the participation of a student with a disability. Authorization to use a tape recorder will be provided by Disability Services.



The Tutoring Learning Center (TLC) offers reading and writing help. Specifically the TLC assists with: reading text, organizing notes, writing for Freshman English or any other class.

Tutors, as part of their 3 credit (Ed 370) practicum, are trained to work with students with language based difficulties and will edit and proofread for students with learning disabilities.

In addition, the independent writing ( English '57) course, run through the TLC, allows students who need to improve on their writing to work in a non-threatening environment. This is an excellent program for developing writing skills in a supportive environment.

Content-area tutoring is available to any student referred by Disability Services. The student can be matched with a peer tutor for help with reading, writing papers, study techniques, note taking, and test prep in all subject areas. Several of the tutors in this program have learning disabilities or attention deficit disorder and bring special compensatory skills into the tutoring sessions. Student evaluations attest to the positive effect that this kind of academic peer support has on learners.


A scribe will be provided if the student has fine or gross motor movement impairments or other writing difficulties. The scribe may be present for note taking during class and/or for exams.


Fatigue, medical problems, medication, hospitalization, and extreme weather may disrupt a student's class attendance. Disabilities particularly likely to impact class attendance include: paraplegia, quadriplegia, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, heart disorders, psychological disorders, AIDS, arthritis, chronic illness, and chemical dependency.

Building Accessibility

Students with mobility disabilities may be unable to access certain facilities. Should a classroom not be accessible, students with mobility impairments can be scheduled into sections of courses held in accessible buildings or the class location can be moved to an accessible site. Other architectural barriers may also exist. Faculty offices may be inaccessible to a student using a wheelchair either because of office size or furniture arrangement. Use of computer or laboratory equipment may also be difficult for some students. Adapted equipment may be needed. The Disability & Assistive Technology Center will work with the student and faculty member to ensure access in the most integrated setting.

Test and Early Syllabus Availability

Provision of class syllabi and required readings prior to the beginning of the semester will be helpful to some students with disabilities. Students with visual, learning, and other disabilities may require taping of reading materials. It is the student's responsibility to arrange taping through the Disability & Assistive Technology Center. Since this is a time consuming process, extended preparation time is helpful. Deaf or hard-of-hearing students may utilize an early syllabus to become familiar with terminology used in a course, and to develop sign language vocabularies for use by their interpreters. Provision of materials in advance of the semester will likely reduce the need for extension of time to complete course requirements at the end of the semester.


Extra Time Needed to Complete Course Work

Students with disabilities may need extra time to complete course requirements. Particularly new college students or a student who has been recently diagnosed, may need a period of adjustment in determining a realistic academic load. Unforeseen medical problems can cause increased physical limitations. Arranging for adapted course materials (i.e. raised line graphs and models for physical science courses for visually impaired students) can delay course work completion. Extra time may range from a few days to several weeks.



Although fatigue is not a disability, many disabilities cause frequent fatigue. It accompanies disabilities as varied as AIDS, arthritis, back injury, cardiac disease, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, polio, spinal cord injury, chronic illness, and visual impairments. Some students may have difficulty sitting for a long period of time, and will need to stand for awhile or leave class to stretch or lie down. Faculty and students should plan for accommodations caused by fatigue as early as possible. Students who have problems with fatigue may benefit from extended time to complete course reading and other assignments.

Lab Accessibility and Procedures

Students with disabilities may require accommodations in lab courses. Faculty may work with the Disability & Assistive Technology Center to identify means to make lab activities accessible. One issue which may need to be addressed is the height of lab counters. Problems with fatigue may require flexibility in time limits to complete laboratory course work, either through attendance in part of two sections of a lab, or completion of a lab over a two semester period. Visual limitations may require significant magnification of slides and objects. Models using tactile and size values can assist students with greatly limited or no vision. Restructuring laboratory experiences to include the use of a partner for students with hand and arm dexterity problems may be needed. Completing a lab or taking exams through partial attendance at two different sections of the course may accommodate the student with limited standing or sitting tolerance. Close cooperation with a lab partner, in which a student with and without a disability divide physical activities and data collection and analysis, according to ability, may be an effective means of meeting the needs of the student with a disability. Students and Disability Services can assist faculty in developing adjustments to meet the needs of the individual students.


Oral Communication

Students who have disabilities including cerebral palsy, head injury, cancer, multiple sclerosis, polio, speech, and hearing impairments may have difficulty with oral communication in the classroom. They may have slow speech, impaired speech or no speech. Students who have slow or difficult-to-understand speech should be encouraged to speak up in class and be allowed to take their time. If testing requires oral responses, students with speech difficulties may need the opportunity for alternative testing.


Exam Procedures

Exam accommodations include but are not limited to:

  • reader (proctor) - may read exam and fill out an answer sheet
  • distraction free environment
  • rest period during the exam
  • use of a computer
  • extra time
  • oral tests
  • scribe

Exam accommodations will be requested on the Accommodation Request form. It is the responsibility of the student to meet with the Disability & Assistive Technology Center to determine appropriate testing accommodations.


Other General Academic Accommodations or Modifications

Some general areas of course modification may benefit students both with and without disabilities:

  1. Inform students about the availability of support services for students with disabilities by including a statement on syllabi similar to the following: Any student who has a disability and is in need of classroom and/or exam accommodations, please contact the instructor and the Disability & Assistive Technology Center.
  2. Provide the course syllabus and a clear statement of expectations early to assist students in planning modifications and completion of assignments for the semester.
  3. Begin lecture/discussion with an overview of the topics to be covered.
  4. Use the chalkboard or overhead projector to highlight key course material.
  5. Emphasize important points, main ideas, and key concepts orally in lecture.
  6. Try to provide assignments in writing as well as orally.
  7. Provide an opportunity for participation, questions, and review sessions to aid in mastering material and preparing for exams.
  8. Provide time during office hours for individual discussion of assignments, questions about lectures, and readings.
  9. Try to talk toward the class while writing on the board.
  10. Make sure that students see your lips, expressions, and gestures. Try not to stand against a window where your features are shadowed.
  11. In answering questions or engaging in class discussions, repeat student comments as necessary.
  12. Make sure duplicated materials are visually clear.
  13. Use of a variety of formats to convey course material, both visual and auditory. If possible, convey difficult material in several ways.
  14. If possible, structure several ways for students to demonstrate mastery of material: oral reports; essays written both in and out of class; interpretive exams which allow the use of books and notes.