Adjustments in Testing
Many students with disabilities need extra time to complete tests because of the extra effort they must make to read, process, and/or write the relevant information. Time and a half is considered adequate extended time for exams; however, some students may need double time.
Students with Tourette's Syndrome, Attention Deficit Disorder, or learning disabilities, and anyone using a talking computer, may need to take tests in a separate room. This will produce an environment with fewer distractions for students with disabilities as well as the other students.
Some students with visual impairments may need to have large-print tests. Often, this can be accomplished by using a photocopier's enlarge function. Other students will need to have tests printed in Braille.
It may be appropriate to allow a student to use a word processor or laptop computer. If it is not appropriate for the student to use his or her personal computer, there are laptops available in the Academic Resource Center for exam use.
Oral exams are sometimes an excellent alternative for testing students with disabilities. They can be of value in helping students who have trouble writing (often a complication of such diseases as arthritis and multiple sclerosis), or reading (blind students and some students with dyslexia can best demonstrate their mastery of the subject matter orally). Another option is to allow the student to dictate his or her answers to the instructor or to an assistant, or to read them into a tape recorder.
In general, it is best and fairest to give the same test to all students, rather than composing special tests for students with disabilities. All students should be held to the same standards; special adjustments merely allow the disabled student to demonstrate fairly his or her understanding of the course material.
To the greatest extent possible, all campus services, classes, and programs will be offered in accessible locations. Students and others who wish to use the College’s facilities and services currently located in "inaccessible" areas should contact the office involved. The office personnel or service provider will arrange to meet in another alternative, accessible location. Students should also consult with the department head involved or with the Academic Resource Center if they have questions about access to campus facilities such as the fitness center, swimming pools or to nonacademic programs. The College will make every effort to ensure that qualified students will be able to participate in all of the College’s programs.
Field Trips and Out-of-Class Activities
Students who have disabilities have a right to participate in all the educational activities associated with a course, including any activities planned for outside the classroom. Thus, it is necessary for faculty members to consider the specific needs and limitations of students as they plan required field trips or other out-of-the-classroom activities. Issues to consider are accessible transportation; steps, curb cuts, and elevators at the off-campus site; service animals; and sign language interpreters. The Academic Resource Center will be able to assist faculty in planning appropriate adjustments.
Occasionally, it will be impossible for a student to engage in a regular course activity; for instance, a blind student cannot use a telescope or microscope. In such cases, an alternative activity should be devised to achieve the same educational goals.
In case of medical emergencies, contact the Welty Student Health Center or call 9-1-1 immediately. Notify the Health Center as soon as possible after phoning 9-1-1. They may have some health information about the student that could be of critical importance to the emergency response team. Students who are blind or deaf may not be able to identify warning signs or alarms in the event of a fire, earthquake, or other disaster. Communicate directly with them to ensure they can safely exit from the building along with the rest of the class. Students with mobility limitations should consult with the Director of Academic Resources, the college’s Safety Officer, and the Director of Security to form a plan for assistance in the case of an emergency.