Students with disabilities may require additional time for taking tests and completing work in class. Unless efficiency or speed is the essential skill that is being assessed, students may be allowed additional time for all exams, in-class quizzes, in-class writing assignments and labs. Based on the documentation submitted to DS, extended time is typically approved for one and one half the allotted time. The extended time accommodation does not apply to take home exams. Extended time ensures that a student’s performance is reflective of his/her mastery of material rather than the speed at which a student performs.
Lower Distraction Environment
Students with disabilities may be approved for and request a separate “reduced distraction” testing space. This space may be a conference room, unused classroom, instructor’s office or DS Testing Center. This accommodation is a quiet space where students have few distractions and are thus better able to maintain focus.
Screen Readers for Exams
Some students with disabilities may require having exam questions read to them rather than reading the information on the screen. DS employs a variety of computer software programs that utilize text-to-speech capability and can “read” the exam aloud to a student. Disability Services discourages the use of other individuals for the purpose of reading text.
Use of a Calculator for Exams
This accommodation allows students to use a calculator as long as the calculator is unable to perform the functions that are being tested. This accommodation typically allows for the use of four-function calculator so that students who understand the concepts will not be penalized for errors in basic calculations. Instructors will approve the type of calculator to be used by the student.
Use of a Computer for Testing
Some students with disabilities will be approved for a computer to complete exams. Using a computer allows these students the opportunity to avoid physical fatigue and/or to provide legible, better-organized answers to essays. Students may use a computer in the DS testing center or a personal computer that is pre-approved by the instructor. Computers in the DS testing center allow for word processing and assistive technology programs without Internet access unless otherwise indicated..
Use of Spell Check for Exams
This accommodation allows students to use a spell check device during exams so that they will not be penalized for basic spelling and grammar errors when they are otherwise able to provide accurate responses to the questions be asked.