Academic Accommodations

A reasonable accommodation is a modification or adjustment to instructional methods and/or a course, program, service, activity or facility that enables a qualified student with a disability to have equal access to programs, services and activities. Equal access means an opportunity to attain the same level of performance or to enjoy equal benefits and privileges as are available to a similarly-situated student without a disability.

At the college level, students are encouraged to self-advocate. Examples of reasonable academic accommodations include:

  • Extended Time on Exams
  • Separate Setting for Exams
  • Use of a Computer for Exams
  • Use of a Calculator
  • Use of Assistive Technology for Exams
  • Preferential Seating
  • Assistance from a Peer Note Taker
  • Alternate Format of Text
  • Reduced Course Load
  • Assistive Technology
    (Kurzweil 3000, Zoomtext, and Dragon Naturally Speaking)

Reasonable Accommodations

The Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act require the College to provide reasonable accommodations to students with disabilities. A “reasonable accommodation” is one that allows students with disabilities to participate in an educational course in a manner that does not fundamentally alter the course. 

“Fundamentally Alters”

An accommodation fundamentally alters a course if it can be demonstrated that the accommodation changes the course in a substantial way, and that the change impacts an essential aspect of the curriculum. Before concluding that we cannot accommodate a student’s disability without fundamentally altering a course, the College must engage in an “interactive process” with the student.  Faculty members are essential to this process.

Interactive Process

If you believe that any of the accommodations identified for this student may fundamentally alter your course, or if you have any questions about these accommodations, please contact the Office of Disability Services at (508) 565-1306. Please do not simply inform students that you are denying certain accommodations. 


 Extended Time for Exams

  • Extended time for exams means that the student is given “time and a half” to complete the exam (i.e., for a 50-minute exam, a student with this accommodation is given 75 minutes).
  • Double time for exams means that the student is given twice as long to complete an exam (i.e., for a 60-minute exam, the student with this accommodation is given 120 minutes)

Guidance for the instructor:

  • The Office of Disability Services strongly encourages instructors to proctor extended time exams if their schedules allow for it.
  • Instructors should schedule extended time directly before or immediately after a scheduled exam time, during office hours, or at any other mutually agreed upon time and location.
  • If instructors are able to proctor the exam, but are unsure of what that entails, please contact the Office of Disability Services for assistance. We would be glad to help.
  • The Office of Disability Services strongly discourages the allowance of “time intervals” while taking an exam (i.e., allowing a student to begin an exam, leave to attend another class, and return to complete the exam). Exams should be completed during the initial administration of the exam.  

Guidance for the student:

  • It is the student’s responsibility to self-advocate, and to make arrangements with his or her instructors in advance.
  • If the instructor is unable to proctor the exam, the student must fill out an Exam Accommodations Form with the instructor, and submit the form to the Office of Disability Services (ODS) at least 7 days prior to the scheduled exam date. If advance notice is not provided, ODS cannot guarantee the student’s specified exam accommodations date.

Separate Setting/Distraction-Reduced Setting For Exams

  • Based upon the nature of the disability, a student may require a quiet and/or distraction free environment in which to take the exam.
  • Instructors may administer their exams during office hours or through a staff assistant to administer the exam with the separate setting accommodation.
  • If the instructor is able to proctor the student’s exam but unsure what that entails, please contact the Office of Disability Services for further instruction. We would be glad to help.
  • If the exam is unable to be proctored by the instructor due to scheduling conflicts, the student is responsible for contacting the Office of Disability Services (ODS) to make exam accommodations arrangements at least 7 days prior to the scheduled exam. If advance notice is not provided, the ODS cannot guarantee the student’s specified exam accommodations date.
  • To take an exam at ODS; the student is responsible for filling out an Exam Accommodations Form with their instructor, and submitting this form 7 days prior to scheduled exam date.
  • The Office of Disability Services strongly discourages the allowance of “time intervals” while taking an exam (i.e., allowing a student to begin an exam, leave to attend another class, and return to complete the exam). Exams should be completed during the initial administration of the exam.

Use of a Computer for an Exam

  • When appropriate, a student will be permitted the use of a computer to take an exam or to complete an in-class assignment. In most cases, the student will be confined to the word processing function of the computer for the exam.
  • Under no circumstances is the student permitted to view files or connect to the Internet while taking the exam.
  • If a student is seeking to utilize a computer on their exam, it is the student’s responsible to contact the Office of Disability Services (ODS) to make exam accommodations arrangements at least 7 days prior to the scheduled exam. If advance notice is not provided, the ODS cannot guarantee the student’s specified exam accommodations date.
  • To take an exam at ODS; the student is responsible for filling out an Exam Accommodations Form with their instructor, and submitting this form 7 days prior to scheduled exam date.

Assistance from a Peer Note Taker

  • When appropriate, a student will qualify for assistance from a peer note taker during class.
  • The student is encouraged to ask a peer in the class for a copy of supplemental notes. The student is welcome to utilize the copy machine in the Center for Writing and Academic Achievement to make copies of all notes.
  • If a student is unable to identify a peer to assist them with copies of notes, then the student should contact the Office of Disability Services. ODS will request that the professor suggest a peer note taker in the class. The note taker will need to register with the Office of Disability Services. The peer note taker will receive a gift card at the end of the semester from the Center for Writing and Academic Achievement as a thank you for assisting with note taking services.  

Audio Recording Lectures

  • Under certain circumstances, a student will tape record lectures for use when transcribing into class notes.
  • A student is required to inform the instructor of this accommodation prior to the first day of recording. The student is responsible for bringing a recording device to class.
  • A student is required to review and sign an audio taping of class lectures agreement in the Office of Disability Services for this accommodation. 

Use of a Reader/Scribe for Exams

  • Based upon the nature of the disability, a student may require a reader and/or scribe to complete an exam.
  • This accommodation will always be used in conjunction with Separate Setting for Exams and will be administered through the Office of Disability Services.
  • It is the responsibility of the student to fill out an Exam Accommodations Form with their instructor, for this accommodation. The student is required to submit the Exam Accommodations Form to ODS at least 7 days prior to the scheduled exam.

Use of a Signer/Interpreter

  •    Under certain circumstances, a signer or interpreter may accompany a student during class.

Closed Captioning

  •  All DVD’s, video tapes, streaming digital media, video files and other course materials that include an audio portion should be captioned. If captioning is not available, a transcript of the audio must be provided before the media is used. Uncaptioned materials cannot be assigned as a course requirement. 

Preferential Seating Arrangement

  • Based upon the nature of the disability, a student may need to sit in a certain area of the classroom in order to provide an appropriate learning environment. The Office of Disability Services requests that instructors permit this.

Use of Laptop in Class for Note Taking

  • When appropriate, a student will be permitted the use of a laptop in class for the purpose of note taking. During these cases, the student will be confined to the word processing function of the computer for the exam.
  • The student is not permitted to view files or connect to the Internet while participating in a course lecture, and taking notes in class. The student is responsible for asking the professor what type of calculator they should have, and bringing this device to class with them.

Use of a Calculator

  • Permission to use a calculator for basic math functions may be permitted unless the instructor determines that basic computational skills without the use of a calculator is essential to the course

Extensions on Coursework Accommodation

  •    Ordinarily, students with disabilities will be expected to complete all course assignments on time, based on the schedule in the course syllabus, and will plan accordingly.
  •  Depending on the specific nature of students’ disabilities, they may on occasion, require a reasonable extension on the due dates of some course assignments.
  •    If a student with a disability is unable to meet a particular deadline due to unforeseen or extenuating circumstances, it is the student’s responsibility to request an extension from the professor in advance of the scheduled due date.
  •    Any extension will be granted on an individual basis by the professor for a specific assignment and not as a blanket allowance for all assignments.
  •    The guideline for any extension should be a reasonable accommodation at the professor’s discretion, should be time limited, and not at the expense of the integrity of the essentials of the course plan.
  •    A professor is not required to give an extension on coursework that would fundamentally alter the curriculum of the course. If a professor has questions as to whether or not this accommodation would change the course curriculum, they are encouraged to speak with the Office of Disability Services.

Use of a Live Scribe Pen

  •    A Live Scribe Smartpen is about the size and weight of a large pen that is equipped with a removable ball-point ink cartridge, a microphone to record audio, a speaker for playback, a small LED display and an internal flash memory that captures handwritten notes, audio and drawings.
  •    Students using this device review and sign an Audio Taping Agreement (for class lectures) in the Office of Disability Services. The student understands that this information is for their use only and will not share this information with other students.

Assistance of a Classroom Assistant

  • Based upon the nature of the disability this student will require an Academic Assistant to accompany him/her during class.
  • The Classroom Assistant is a current student that has been hired and trained by the Office of Disability Services. The Assistant will attend all classes with the student and assist with academic tasks. These tasks may include, but are not limited to:
    • Provide copies of notes
    • Scan course materials
    • Computer navigation
    • Scribe
    • Exam/quiz proctoring
    • Organize academic materials 
    • The Classroom Assistant will report to the Director of Disability Services and will submit a weekly report.
    • The Classroom Assistant is not responsible to attend to personal care needs. 

Assistance of a Personal Care Attendant

  • Based upon the nature of the disability this student will require the services of a Personal Care Attendant (PCA) who may, or may not be in attendance in the classroom.
  • The PCA is employed by the student.
  • The PCA is required to follow Stonehill College policies and procedures.
  • The PCA may assist with personal care needs in the classroom but may not assist with academic needs. It is the not the responsibility of the PCA to be an academic advocate. It is the College’s responsibility to provide reasonable academic accommodations that do not alter the course of study.
  • The PCA is expected to allow the student to take responsibility for his/her own actions, avoid speaking on behalf of the student, and refrain from discussing confidential information with others.

Electronic Format of Course Material

  • Based upon the nature of the disability this student will require all printed course material be sent to him/her electronically. Including syllabus, handouts, rubrics, and copies of power point presentations.
  • Please provide this student with electronic copies of any printed materials.

Alternate Format of Assessment

  • Due to the specific nature of a specific disability, the above named student qualifies for alternate format of assessment.
  • This means offering the student a substitute assignment or exam, such as a paper, project, oral exam, or presentation.
  • It is up to the student to facilitate a conversation with the professor if he or she seeking a substitution on an assignment.
  • It is advised that the student and professor meet in the beginning of the semester to review the course syllabus and expectations regarding assignments.
  • The alternate format of assessment should be a reasonable accommodation at the professor’s discretion, and should not fundamentally alter the essentials of the course.
  • A professor is not required to provide an accommodation that would fundamentally alter the curriculum of the course. If a professor has questions as to whether or not this accommodation would fundamentally alter the course curriculum, he or she is encouraged to contact the Office of Disability Services.

Alternate Format of Exams

  • Due to a specific disability, the above named student qualifies for alternate format of exams.
  • It is up to the student to facilitate a conversation with the professor if he or she is seeking a substitution on an exam.
  • The alternate format of assessment should be a reasonable accommodation at the professor’s discretion, and should not fundamentally alter the essentials of the course.
  • A professor is not required to provide a format of an exam that would fundamentally alter the curriculum of the course. If a professor has questions as to whether or not this accommodation would fundamentally alter the course curriculum, he or she is encouraged to speak with the Office of Disability Services.

Use of an FM System

  • The above named student will provide their instructors with a small FM transmitter. The transmitter acts like a microphone, and reduces background noises. The student will take the device back after each class.
  • Students are permitted to utilize noise cancelling headphones or earplugs. 

Other:

  • This student has been instructed to meet with you to discuss the specifics of your course relative to the above request. He or she can share with you more thoroughly the academic difficulties being experienced.