Why do students with disabilities often need testing accommodations?
Testing accommodations are designed to give the student equal access to the assessment and evaluation methods of the course. Testing accommodations do not alter the content of the exam or what the student is required to demonstrate on the exam, but rather alter the administration of the exam. Examples of testing accommodations include large print format, extended time to complete the exam, or a private testing environment free of distractions. The intention of testing accommodations is to remove barriers that traditional exam administration presents to the student due to their disability.
Does anyone who claims that s/he has a disability get accommodations?
No, it is likely that many students with disabilities have chosen not to be registered with SASS or they may not have met the eligibility criteria for services. In either instance, faculty does not need to provide these students with accommodations.
Is it acceptable to ask a student who is having obvious difficulties whether he/she has a disability or to refer the student to SASS for disability support services?
No. It is a civil rights violation to ask directly about a possible disability. First, the Americans with Disabilities Act states that a public entity may not make unnecessary inquiries into the existence of a disability. These inquiries usually relate to hiring or pre-admission screening, but when talking with students such inquiries should also be avoided. A direct inquiry such as this could also be considered intrusive or insensitive. You may simply tell the student that you notice he/she is having academic difficulty and encourage him/her to come talk with you about gaining assistance, just as you would with any student.
How do I know that my exam will be safe and that the student will get no unfair advantage while testing in SASS?
SASS has developed a very systematic and secure procedure for getting exams from faculty and returning them once the student has taken the exam. The Disability Coordinator checks in and out each exam and no student is allowed to take the exam without authorization from the professor. The Exam Registry Form, completed by the professor, is attached to each exam that is checked-in and should have the specific instructions for the student(s) who is taking the exam. SASS follows any instructions left by the processor. While exams are at SASS, they are kept in a locked file cabinet that is housed in a locked office.
8 S. Dunlap GEB, Rm BB9
Memphis, TN 38163