Providing Classroom Accommodations
Accommodating students with disabilities in higher education is a collaborative effort between faculty, students, disability services and staff. Coordinated efforts and support from departmental, administrative, facilities, and other student service personnel can also enhance the overall accessibility of the postsecondary environment for students with disabilities.
Letters of Accommodation
Letters of Accommodation are mailed to professors at the start of each semester with signed permission from the student. The letter identifies the individual student needing accommodations and specifies the accommodations needed. For convenience, the actions requested of professors are presented in bold text.
Extended Time on Tests or Testing in a Separate Space
Extended time or separate space is available for students on a first come first served basis since space is limited and cannot be guaranteed. Students are encouraged to schedule their exams at least one week ahead and two or more weeks for finals. Tests must come with the information supplied on the test proctoring card in order for it to be proctored in our office. At all times we will protect the integrity and security of your test. Most of our rooms are supplied with cameras. For more information about test proctoring, please read the memo we send out with Letters of Accommodation regarding test proctoring.
Ergonomic Chairs and Adjustable Tables
Please leave all tables and chairs labeled by our office where they are placed. If you do need to move or use the table or chair, please call our office at ext. 7206.
Students may bring in a tape recorder to tape in-class lecture. Professors may have the student sign a contract (page 21, Faculty & Staff Handbook) ensuring that the copyrighted material will not be duplicated.
Books on DVD or CD
Students with visual and/or learning disabilities may receive texts in alternative format. It is imperative that professors choose their text and submit it to the bookstore as early as possible, as it is a time consuming process to have the texts converted. It is also helpful if texts selected are not out of print. Please note that it is very expensive to legally copy textbooks. Also, if we have an older edition in our library, you may be asked to allow the existing CD to be used.
Several programs are available to assist students. Please visit our assistive technology page for more information.
Students with a variety of learning and physical disabilities need to have someone else in class take notes for them. In these situations, the DSS Office will pay a student in the class to take notes for the student. The DSS Office hires, trains and supervises the note takers. The faculty are simply asked to announce the need for a note taker once they receive a Letter of Accommodation, and to instruct interested students to come to the DSS Office to apply. Faculty are not responsible for choosing the note taker, just for making the announcement. If a student receiving notes has a concern about the quality of the notes they are receiving, such concerns and questions should be directed to the DSS Office.
Sign Language Interpreters and Realtime Captioners
Students with profound hearing loss use sign language interpreters or real time captioners to “hear” lectures. Interpreters are hired and paid through the DSS Office. Because interpreters and realtime captioners must be arranged well in advance, giving students ample notice of field trips, class cancellations, etc., is greatly appreciated.
For faculty, staff and students sensitive to white board markers, the PLU Bookstore has vapor-less, low-odor whiteboard markers available. In addition, the DSS Office attempts to maintain a relatively chemical-free environment.