What Does Documentation Do?
Disability documentation establishes that a student is entitled to legal protections under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and its additional amendments. Adequate documentation of a disability determines reasonable accommodations necessary for access to campus courses, programs, services, and activities.
Reasonable accommodations are changes in the learning environment that permit students with disabilities to compete on an equal footing with their peers. A reasonable academic accommodation allows a qualified student with a disability to have an equal opportunity to attain the same level of performance or enjoy equal benefits and privileges as are available to similarly situated students without disabilities.
What Accommodations Don't Do
Accommodations do not alter the requirements of the course or alter essential aspects of a class. The faculty member sets out clear policies and procedures for the classroom which are indicated on the syllabus. Assignment extensions, make up work, exam dates, and number of absences allowed are stated in the syllabus. Instructors and professors apply the standard set forth in their course syllabus. Reasonable accommodations do not include prolonged delays, multiple absences, long extensions, or taking exams several days after the exam was taken by the rest of the class.
Accommodations are NOT granted retroactively. The letter of accommodation should be presented by the student to the teacher within the first three weeks of the semester and well in advance of exams and assignments. If a student does not have a letter of accommodation or does not present the letter of accommodation in a timely manner there is no obligation to provide the accommodation. Therefore it is very important that students identify themselves at the start of each semester.
Students with note taking as an accommodation will receive one note taking packet per class from the Director of Disability Services at the beginning of each semester. The student presents the packet to their instructors. The instructor will then ask for volunteers within the class to take notes for the student. Once a volunteer is identified the note taker and student are introduced. Carbon copy paper is provided to the volunteer note taker for the purpose of taking notes. The volunteer note taker is also given a small stipend for their service. Please visit note taking policies for more detailed information.
Common testing accommodations granted by the Director of Disability Services include additional time, quiet removed setting, tests read aloud, or scribed. Instructors are encouraged to provide the testing accommodations themselves whenever possible. If an instructor cannot provide the testing accommodations for the student, tests can be proctored at Disability Services. If the instructor and student decide that exams will be administered at Disability Services it is the student’s responsibility to inform Disability Services of the test times and dates. At least 3 business days advance notice is required. A Disability Services representative will then contact the instructor for all relevant details regarding the exam. Disability Services currently has a testing area that is equipped with a camera for proctoring purposes. Please visit testing policies for more detailed information. If you intend on using our testing area please look over our testing area rules.
Transcription and American Sign Language Services
Transcription and American Sign Language Services are granted to students who are Deaf or hard of hearing. Transcription Services consist of a transcriber providing real-time, English, transcription of a classroom lecture. American Sign Language services consist of an interpreter translating a classroom lecture into American Sign Language. These services may be directly provided by an individual in the classroom or remotely from a service outside of Alaska. Disability Services encourages students who require these services to register early for each semester and once registered to contact Disability Services with a list of their classes. This will ensure that the appropriate arrangements can be made for the start of classes. Please visit transcription and American Sign Language policies for more detailed information.
The accommodation document conversion refers to all services that convert a document into another format. This could be enlarging a map for a geography class or preparing a text book to be read aloud by screen reading software. It is the student’s responsibility to provide Disability Services with any materials requiring document conversion as soon as possible. This might mean approaching instructors before classes for book titles or handouts. A syllabi or list for each class that includes the days the materials are due is also required. This will ensure that students receive all of their materials on time. Disability Services provides students their most pressing materials first, after which materials are completed on a first come, first serve basis. Please visit document conversion policies for more detailed information.
Equipment and Software Loans
If an accommodation requires the use of a specialized software or piece of equipment which the student does not own then it will be provided for them by Disability Services. Equipment and software loans are given on a semester by semester basis and are based on accommodations and availability. If the equipment or software is not returned to Disability Services on its due date or in a timely manner a hold will be placed on the students account. Please visit equipment and software loans policies for more detailed information.
Classroom environment accommodations range from preferential seating to altering furniture arrangements. Students are required to provide the room numbers for the courses they feel need furniture alterations at the beginning of each semester. It takes 3-5 days from the time the request is made to make alterations to the classroom. Please visit classroom environment policies for more detailed information.