It is our mission to remove barriers and ensure equal access for all qualified students with disabilities.
In support of this mission, the goals of the Office of Accessibility Resources are to:
Accommodations for students with disabilities are designed to level the playing field for those students and to ensure access. Accommodations are provided when deemed necessary and reasonable for a particular student and are determined on a case-by-case basis through an interactive process between the student and OAR.
It is your responsibility as a student to disclose your disability and to request academic or physical accommodations. You should make your request in a timely manner to the Office of Accessibility Resources (OAR) and every reasonable effort will be made to provide accommodations and ensure accessibility. Requests for accommodations can be made at any time; however, some accommodations may take time to put in place. Therefore, it is best to make your request as early as possible in the semester. Accommodations are not retroactive and cannot be made for events or exams that have happened before the request.
The process for obtaining accommodations is as follows:
Each student requesting accommodations must provide current, comprehensive documentation of a disability by a qualified professional (which may include, depending upon the nature of the disability: a physician, psychologist, audiologist, speech-language pathologist, Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor, physical therapist, optometrist, or learning disabilities specialist).
The Federal definition of a person with a disability is a person who (1) has a physical or mental impairment which limits one or more major life activities; (2) has a record of such impairment; or (3) is regarded as having such impairment. The determination of whether an individual has a disability under the law is not based on the name or diagnosis of the impairment but rather the impact of that impairment on the life/learning of that individual (the functional limitations).
Please remember that documentation serves two purposes: 1) to establish that a student meets the definition of a person with a disability; and 2) to describe functional limitations in order to support the need for and reasonableness of specific accommodations. All documentation provided is reviewed in light of these purposes.
In general, documentation of disability should be typed on letterhead stationery or be in a report format and should include the following:
Other points to remember:
Information regarding a student's disability is not obtained through the admissions process. Disability-related information and records are maintained separately from academic records. Please send documentation of disability directly to OAR.
Accommodations Plans are created collaboratively with the student and OAR. From that plan, Accommodations Letters are generated for each class and specifies appropriate classroom accommodations, which may include (examples):
Accommodations Letters inform instructors of approved modifications. It is your (the student's) responsibility to deliver the letters to your instructors and to initiate discussion about your accommodations. OAR staff will be available to meet with students and faculty upon request. Accommodations must be reviewed and new letters generated each semester in which you need them.
Students with documented disabilities sometimes need alternative testing accommodations for access. These accommodations are designed to adjust testing conditions to validly measure what the student with a disability has learned rather than measuring the impact of that person's disability.
The most common testing accommodations include extended time (time-and-a-half is standard); a reduced-distraction testing environment; use of a reader or text-to-speech software; use of a computer; use of a scribe or speech-to-text software; or exams are given using alternate materials (such as Braille or large print).
Many times your instructor can provide the accommodations you need (such as extra time or a quiet environment). However, there may be times when the instructor does not have the resources to do so. In those cases, you will need to schedule to take your exams with OAR.
Instructions for Submitting a Test Proctoring Request
1. Proctoring requests must be received at firstname.lastname@example.org three (3) business days before the test.
2. Type “Test Proctoring Request” in the subject line of your email
3. In the body of your email, type the following:
- Your first and last name
- Your 92#
- Class prefix and number (i.e. PSY 150)
- Your instructor’s first and last name
- Date and time when the class will take the test
- Date and time, you will be requesting to take the test (make sure you have permission from your instructor FIRST for any changes of the day or time BEFORE sending your request to OAR).
- List your approved accommodations that you will need for this quiz/exam (i.e. time-and-a-half, assistance with reduced-distractions, alternate format test-braille)
Remember, the specific accommodations you request via this process must be listed on your Letter and agreed upon ahead of time.
You will receive an Outlook Calendar invite within one business day from the test proctoring request submission (Friday requests will be confirmed Monday). If you do not receive a confirmation, please contact Office of Accessibility Resources at (828) 227-3886.
IMPORTANT: IF YOU DO NOT FOLLOW THIS PROCEDURE, OAR may not be able to proctor your exam and you must take your exam with the rest of the class. In this case, the instructor might not be able to provide you accommodations for the exam.
Absolutely NO cell phones/smartphones/tablets are allowed in the testing rooms.
OAR staff are available to provide support and advocacy to address the unique personal and academic issues of students with disabilities. OAR does not provide therapy, counseling, or psychological evaluations, but we can refer you to appropriate sources as needed.