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Accommodations

Whether you have a permanent or temporary disability, we are here to provide reasonable and appropriate accommodations. After you've registered with our office and submitted documentation from a qualified professional, we will review the documentation and set up a meeting with you to learn more and determine any accommodations based on your individual situation. Once you've qualified for an accommodation, it's up to you to decide if and how you'll use it. Here are some samples of possible accommodations.

Explanation of accommodations

Extended time for tests

  • Typically time-and-a-half (1.5x) or double-time (2x) in rare instances. 
  • Does not apply to take-home tests. 
  • Students wishing to use this accommodation must make arrangements AT LEAST 3 BUSINESS DAYS IN ADVANCE to allow for adequate preparation time.
  • For on-campus face-to-face courses, students should contact the CMU Testing Center at 989-774-1092.
  • For online or remote courses, students should contact their instructor. 

Quiet area for tests

  • Provided by the instructor or CMU Testing Center. 
    • If provided by the instructor, the quiet area should be in a location of minimal distraction and in which the student can remain throughout the test.

Reading technology for textbooks and exams

  • Software that is loaded onto the student's equipment and can provide a reading alternative for texts and exams. Student Disability Services may provide equipment if needed. 
    • It is the student's responsibility to ask for training on the text-to-speech software before exams in order to be prepared to use this technology during the test.
  • Students approved for this accommodation may have to take exams in a separate location from their class, which means access to professors for questions may be limited or not available.
    • Students should ask about this on a case-by-case basis if they are concerned.

    Students who have been granted a reading technology accommodation through Student Disability Services are also eligible to receive textbooks they own in an electronic version compatible with screen-reading software.

    To request e-text resources

    1. Visit the Adaptive Technologies Service Request, and select E-text Request.
    2. Provide ISBN(s) of materials requested.
    3. Provide proof of purchase of the text requested. This is a requirement of the publishing companies. Students must bring in their receipt showing the purchase of the book or attach it to the E-textbook Request Form.
    4. You will be notified through your CMU email when your textbook is available.

    Once the request for an e-textbook has been made and accompanying proof of purchase provided, the publisher will be contacted and the material will be requested on behalf of the student. Since this process may take up to six weeks, students are encouraged to make their requests as soon as possible. When the e-text arrives, the student will be notified by CMU email and can download their textbooks.

    If the publisher does not already have an accessible copy, students will be notified through CMU email to bring in their textbook to the SDS office to be scanned. While this involves cutting the spine of the textbook, the CMU bookstore will still buy back this book at the end of the semester. Once scanned, the textbook can be either returned to the student with a plastic "comb" binding with a standard three-hole punch or returned as-is after the process.

Digital note taking

  • Software that is loaded onto the student's computer, tablet and/or smartphone to digitally record lectures. 
  • Students may require preferred seating for recording.
  • Recordings are for personal use and may not be distributed to others.

Speech-to-text technology or digital scribing

  • Software that is loaded onto the student's computer, tablet and/or smartphone which turns spoken word into written word.
    • It's the student's responsibility to ask for training on SDS's speech-to-text software before an exam in order to be prepared to use this technology during the test.
  • Students approved for this accommodation may have to take their exams in a separate location from their class, which means access to professors to ask questions may be limited or not available.
    • Students should ask about this on a case-by-case basis if they are concerned.

Periodic absences

  • Occasionally allowed if a student experiences complications associated with a disability that impairs their ability to attend class.
  • If the student must miss class for a disability-related reason, they should notify the instructor and SDS via email as soon as possible.
  • SDS staff monitor absences, but students should make arrangements with the instructor for any assignments due or tests/quizzes given during the missed class.
    • If an assignment was due or a test/quiz was administered on the day of an absence, the assignment or test will be due the following class period.
  • Each instructor has the right to determine their own attendance policy. Instructors who have received an accommodation letter from SDS are not required to waive attendance or participation requirements.
    • The letter serves to inform the instructor that the absence(s) may be related to symptoms or treatment of a documented disability. If a medical condition may significantly impact attendance, this should be discussed as soon as possible.

Reduced course load

  • Allowed in rare instances in which a student's health condition will affect their ability to maintain 15-16 credits in a semester.
  • Students concerned about graduating on time (4-5 years) may take classes during the summer or may decide to extend the time to graduation.

Using a computer for tests

  • Allowed if required for needed technology such as reading software or speech-to-text software.
  • If the student's or SDS's computer is used, internet access will be disconnected during the exam.
  • Students approved for this accommodation may have to take their exams in a separate location from their class, which means access to professors to ask questions may be limited or not available. Students should ask about this on a case-by-case basis if they are concerned.

Using a calculator for exams

  • Available in classes where the objective is on choosing and utilizing the correct formula rather than demonstrating calculation skills.

Accommodations in college vs. high school

Some accommodations which may have been granted in the high school environment are generally not appropriate or suitable for a collegiate environment.

Study guides

  • Generally not appropriate in higher education, although on occasion individual instructors do provide study guides.
  • Studying efficiently and effectively is an acquired skill. Check out the Office of Student Success resources to learn how to manage your time better, prepare for exams, learn study tips, and much more!

Extended deadlines on assignments, projects or papers

  • Considered an alteration of an essential element of a course so is not allowed by Student Disability Services. 
  • Given the condensed nature of college courses as compared to high school (16 weeks vs. year) timing of assignments, papers, projects, etc. is extremely important. Allowing an extension on a paper will likely overlap with the start of other coursework, which would in turn further delay the student's ability to complete that assignment and perhaps the course.
  • A student with a disability should discuss this with their instructor. Some are open to extensions on a limited basis; others are not.
  • Students having difficulty meeting deadlines can utilize the services of an academic advisor to learn better time management or may decide to reduce the course load with the understanding that time to graduation will be extended.

Alternative assignments, reduced assignment length or reduced reading load

  • Considered an alteration of an essential element of a course so is not allowed by Student Disability Services.
  • The student may discuss with their instructor if any of these are a possibility.

Assistance with assignments

Alternative testing methods

  • Generally considered fundamental alterations of a course and are not allowed by Student Disability Services.
  • Minor changes such as "no scantrons" are allowed, but such changes cannot interfere with the content that the instructor is trying to assess.