Dear Faculty,

I would like to take this time to further explain some issues pertaining to accommodations for students with disabilities. Many of you have received letters from me outlining what accommodations have been approved for a student by our accommodations committee. I will describe some of the common accommodations and how you as a faculty member can help the university make sure our students are given every opportunity to succeed.

Accommodations:

Extended time on tests. This accommodation is usually given as time and one half. This means that the student has the normal time allowed for the test plus an addition of one half of the normal time. It is possible that this time will run into your next class time. For this reason, I give faculty the option to allow a student to take their tests in my office. I inform the student that they are responsible for making the arrangements for this option. The student should discuss this option with the instructor and schedule the test with the Testing Office 1 week prior to the test date. It is the instructor's responsibility to bring the test to the Testing Center and to retrieve the test after it has been administered. For obvious reasons, it is not a good idea to allow the student to bring the test to the Test Center themselves.

Notes provided by the instructor or volunteer student note taker. (Instructor's choice)

Some student's simply are unable to learn the lecture material if they are expected to write and listen at the same time. They greatly improve their comprehension of the material if they concentrate on listening to the lecture instead of on trying to write down everything the instructor says. When this accommodation is granted, the instructor has the choice of either providing the student lecture notes, or asking for a volunteer student note taker from within the class. If you choose to find a volunteer student note taker, the Testing Center will provide the student with a carbonless notebook to take notes. These notebooks, which will be the property of the student note taker, allow the student to simply rip out the carbonless copy of the lecture notes after class and give them to the other student. The note taker does not have to worry about getting his/her notes to a copy machine. OPSU does not have funds to pay for a student note taker at this time; therefore, if the instructor is unable to locate a volunteer he/she will need to provide the student with his/her lecture notes. The proper way to locate a volunteer would be to ask if there is anyone in the class that considers themselves a good note taker and would be willing to share their notes with a student who requires a note taker. Ask anyone interested to stay after class so that you can discuss the arrangement. You should not mention the name of the student needing a note taker in front of the entire class. This can be discussed with the volunteer after class. It should also be mentioned that if an instructor provides an outline for his lectures that requires considerable adding of notes, the student may need both the instructor outline and a note taker.
  • Testing in a separate room.
  • Option to take tests orally.
  • Option to take tests with a reader.
The instructor can choose to carry out these accommodations himself or can arrange the tests with the Testing Center. If you choose to use the Test Center and the student has the option to take a test orally, the student's answers will be recorded onto a tape cassette. If the student needs a reader, we will provide one.

Option to have text books on cassette or CD

If the student has this accommodation, I have probably already purchased them a membership to Recordings for the Blind and Dyslexic. It is the student's responsibility to go to the bookstore each semester to find out which books they will need for their classes. The student should ask the bookstore for the title, author, and ISBN of the books. They can then go to www.rfbd.org and order their books. I would really appreciate it if when considering text books for classes, professors would check this same web site to see if the books are available on CD or cassette. If we can not get the book in audio form and a student requires this accommodation, the university could be out the time and expense of paying someone to dictate the book onto a cassette.

Allowed the use of a word processor for writing assignments or given allowances for spelling and grammatical errors.

This accommodation pertains to situations where a student is given a test, quiz, or assignment involving writing in class, and the assignment must be turned in after class. In this situation a student with this accommodation must either be allowed to use a word processor in the class, or if this is not possible, must be given allowances for spelling and grammatical errors.

Tutoring available on the 3rd floor of S.L or with instructor during office hours.

It is explained to the student that they are responsible for meeting with Carolyn McCargish to make arrangements for a tutor or they can meet with their instructors by appointment during the instructor's office hours to receive help. I explain that every instructor lists their office hours on their syllabus and most instructors place their office hours on their office doors.

I hope this helps everyone better understand the system for accommodating students with disabilities. Feel free to contact me with further questions that you might have or suggestions for improving the system.

Thank you,
Christi Hale
OPSU, Director of Counseling
PH# 349-1556