and Answers: Faculty Guide to Accommodating Students
Answers” is designed to guide faculty in providing reasonable
accommodations to students with disabilities in compliance with
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with
Disabilities Act of 1990.
How does the student arrange
for a distraction-reduced test site and/or a test monitor for my
Check with the student. Students with
disabilities are best served by accommodating them in the most
integrated setting possible. For
example, a student will be at a disadvantage if the professor allows
for test clarification and the student is not nearby.
Therefore, Disability Services encourages faculty to provide
test accommodations within their own department.
However, if it is necessary for the student to use Disability
Services for exam proctoring to have the accommodation of extended
test time, testing in a distraction-reduced environment, test reader
or scribe, then the student (please reiterate this with the
student) is responsible for meeting with his/her
professor to discuss the exam arrangements and to schedule the exam
with the Disability Services Office through our web page.
TESTS SHOULD BE RECEIVED IN
OUR OFFICE AT LEAST 24
HOURS BEFORE THE TIME
AND DATE OF ANY TEST!
Our office 'may' send a
courtesy email reminder to the Professor, serving as a courtesy ONLY
and should NEVER be presumed. The student is to 'notify' the
Professor! Then the Professor would submit the test to our office!
Tests will be accepted through email,
if sent to:
**Please be sure to state how you would
like the test returned to you!
Campus mail / pick it up / student
How can I make
students with disabilities more comfortable in my class?
accommodation statement in your course syllabus, such as, “If you
have a disability that requires accommodations, please let me know
so that I can assist you. It is also helpful to verbalize such
a statement in the classroom.
Arrange an office
appointment with the student rather than talking in the classroom or
hallway where confidentiality may be violated.
Is it okay to
acknowledge the student who needs a note taker in front of the
No, students with
disabilities are protected under FERPA and the civil rights laws. At no time
should a faculty member overtly or covertly state
or imply that the student is any different than the general student
How can I recognize learning disabilities?
Learning disabilities may be indicated when a
person’s performance is significantly lower in some area (s) than
would be expected given his/her intelligence.
Some symptoms include serious difficulties in keeping
letters and words in order when writing or reading, remembering
information, staying focused on a task, following directions, being
organized, understanding time and number concepts, and maintaining
consistent levels of performance.
What are learning disabilities?
Learning disabilities is a generic
term that refers to a heterogeneous group of neurological disorders
that interfere with an individual's ability to receive, process,
store, retrieve, or produce information. These disorders
create a gap between an individual's true capacity and his/her
productivity and performance. Learning disabilities typically
affect reading, spelling, comprehension, written and spoken
language, social interaction, organization, mathematics, and/or
What should I do when a student requests accommodations for a disability in my class?
Ask the student for a letter of verification
from the Disability Services Office signed by the Director of
that describes the accommodations required for your class.
What if the student doesn’t have a letter?
Refer the student to the Disability Services
Office, 215 Stratton Administration Building.. If the student has the proper documentation, the
Director of Services will discuss accommodations with the student and a
letter of verification will be prepared. If there is no
documentation, the student will be given guidelines for obtaining
What if the student has never been tested for
The Disability Services Office will
make the appropriate referral.
Does a student who is blind require
extended time on tests?
A student who is blind or who has low
vision may require up to double the time that is allotted sighted
peers due to time necessary to utilize accommodations such
as readers or magnification systems.
How can a student who is blind follow
If all essential information
contained in the video is provided verbally and if another person
watching the video describes important visual content, the student
who is blind can benefit from the video.
How can a student who has a visual
impairment participate in labs that require computer graphing?
A student who has low vision may be
able to use the graphing software if the text and graphics on the
screen can be enlarged using either features built into the
operating system or adaptive software. A student who is
completely blind can work with a partner who can describe the
What is the best way to speak to a
student with a hearing impairment?
Face the student when you
speak. Do not overemphasize words. Speak clearly and at
a normal speed. Communicate in a quiet area if possible.
Do not obstruct the student's view of your lips; keep your hands and
other objects away from your face while you are speaking (mustaches
can make lip reading more difficult).
What can a professor do to make sure
a student who is hard of hearing hears information in a large
Do not turn your back to the
group. Avoid lecturing against a window since the light
through the window may throw a shadow over your mouth, making lip
reading difficult. Finally, avoid obscuring your mouth with
books, hands, or other materials.
I have several instructional
videotapes that I use. How can I make sure students with
hearing impairments are able to access the content.
Video or file information can be
accessed by those who cannot hear the audio in three ways: 1)
captioning 2) sign-language interpreting, or 3)
scripting/transcribing. Closed captioning requires the use of a
decoder to view the captioning. Open captioning displays the text
automatically during every viewing. No special equipment is needed
to view open captioning. Ask the publisher for captioned versions of
videotapes you use in class. If a captioned version of a video
tape is not available, a sign language interpreter can translate
verbal information from the video for a student who knows sign
language. Scripting/transcription can be provided as a last
resort. Ask the videotape publisher for a transcript of the
tape. Be sure the student has time to read the transcript
before the videotape is shown since the student cannot read the transcript
and access visual content at the same time.
What are Assistive Listening Devices
ALDs consist of a
microphone/transmitter positioned close to the speaker's mouth that
sends the speaker's voice through the air or by cable to the
receiver worn by the student. ALDs can provide clear sound over
distances, eliminating echoes and reducing the distraction of
surrounding noises, allowing the student to more easily attend to
What are some of
the accommodations I might be required to provide in the classroom?
Additional time to complete tests
Distraction-reduced testing environment
Use of mechanical devices or note takers
Alternative forms of examinations
What other services are available for
students with disabilities?
Readers, note takers
Test scribes, tape recorders
Large print materials
Assistance ordering taped texts
Screen reading software
Networking and support group
Learning Strategies tutoring
What if I disagree
with the accommodations listed in the letter?
If you have questions concerning
the accommodations, please contact Patricia Richter
the Director of Services services by calling our office at
610.683.4108 or emailing her at
For more information contact:
Disability Services Office
215 Stratton Administration Building
Kutztown University is a Member of the Pennsylvania State System of Higher
University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color,
gender, religion, ancestry, national origin, age, disability or
sexual orientation in its educational programs, activities,
admissions or employment practices as required by Title IX of the
Education Amendment of 1972, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act
of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.