Exam Accommodation Procedures

Talking with Instructors about Accommodations

The decision to disclose a disability is a personal choice. 

Disclose to instructors early in the semester. Even if you disclose and explain that you prefer NOT to use accommodations unless the need arises, you are at least making the instructor aware of possible accommodation requests.

  • Make an appointment with your instructor to meet during office hours.
    DO NOT tell your life story to the instructor at that time; just set up an appointment. Before your appointment, you may want to discuss and/or practice what you are going to say with your DRC Coordinator.

  • Make sure you know how to explain the exact nature of your disability and what types of accommodations, if any, you need.
    If you feel uncomfortable with this, discuss these issues with your DRC Coordinator. Be prepared to answer specific questions and possible skepticism. Emphasize your strengths!

  • Request a letter from the DRC to  give to your instructors.
    You can also request a letter to your instructors explaining your possible accommodation requests and verifying that you are working with the DRC office. This really helps to establish your credibility and makes instructors feel more comfortable with the idea of accommodations. Letter Request Form.

  • You may  have to educate your professor as to what your disability IS and is NOT.
    If instructors are not familiar with support services offered through the DRC, give them some background information and suggest that they contact the DRC. This also helps to establish credibility. The DRC office has printed information to share with your instructors.

  • Describe your learning style in simple language.
    Provide concrete examples of how your disability may affect you in that particular class.

  • For students with learning disabilities, explain that you have gone through extensive diagnostic testing to diagnose and determine your specific learning disability.
    Your instructors may ask you to provide them with documentation of the disability. Decide in advance how much personal information you feel comfortable divulging. You are not required to show copies of your diagnostic evaluation to anyone, unless you choose to do so. You may prefer to have the instructor contact your DRC Coordinator, for further clarification; however, the DRC staff will not disclose any confidential information about you to anyone, without your consent.

  • Anticipate any accommodations or special needs you have in advance and develop a plan of action with your instructor.
    Will you need extended time on exams? Will you need a notetaker who is willing to share class notes? Will you need to take your exam in a quiet room with a proctor? Will the instructor allow you to use a calculator or dictionary during exams?

  • If you intend to tape record lectures,always ask permission.
    If an instructor expresses concern or seems uncomfortable with this, notify your DRC Coordinator. If you are eligible for this accommodation, instructors cannot deny your request to tape record. Sometimes instructors feel more comfortable if you sign a tape recording agreement form. These forms are available at the DRC.

  • What if an instructor is skeptical and/or not receptive to your accommodation requests?
    Discuss the situation with your DRC Coordinator.