Faculty Frequently Asked Questions

What should I do if a student requests an academic accommodation but I have not received notification of approved accommodations from ODS?

If a student requests accommodations and you did not receive an accommodation notification letter outlining approved academic accommodations, please contact ODS (258-8840) to verify eligibility for accommodations. No accommodations should be provided for a student based on a disability if you have not received verification from ODS. 

All students requesting an academic accommodation due to a disability must register with the Office of Disability Services (ODS). ODS will e-mail a letter outlining approved academic accommodations to all instructors identified by the registered student. Only the identified accommodations should be provided for the student. Students are also required to communicate with their instructors at least two weeks prior to the need for accommodations in order to discuss the implementation of the accommodations. 

What are some typical accommodations that a student might receive?

Accommodating students with disabilities is an individualized process, however, there are several academic accommodations that you might frequently be asked to implement.

Extended time for timed exams or assignments: 

While the amount of extra time can vary, students are most frequently approved for time-and-one-half (50% extra time) and sometimes time-and-one-quarter (25% extra time). Instructors have the option to administer the exam in the same room with other students if the space is available for the extra time or to provide an alternate location to allow the student to take the exam for the allotted time period. More than one student can take the exam in the same separate room.

Reduced distraction environment: 

This requires a separate testing location to be arranged for the student. This does not need to be an individualized room, unless indicated in the accommodation letter. Several students may be tested together and this may also include students who receive extended time.

Use of computer for writing intensive exams: 

Instructors may allow students to use their own laptops for exams or may borrow “clean laptops” (no internet access) from the Office of Disability Services. Instructors should make it clear to the student if a clean laptop is to be used and whether the department will pick up the laptop from ODS or whether the student should do so. When students will be picking up the laptop, the instructor should also convey any guidance about how long before the exam the laptop can be picked up. Please note that students need to sit near an outlet so that the power adaptor cord can be used. ODS will provide a flash drive for the student to save the exam on; we appreciate having the flash drive returned to ODS through campus mail after the exam is printed.


A student may be approved for breaks most frequently for exams exceeding one hour in length. The typical break time is 10 minutes after every hour of testing. This time is not to be used as working time, but for the benefit of rest or refocusing. Breaks do not have to be taken if the student is doing well, but the extra time incurred for breaks should be considered when making arrangements for testing space.

How can I proactively inform students of the need to request accommodations through the Office of Disability Services?

Faculty interested in informing students of the need to register with ODS for academic accommodations might consider adding a statement to the course syllabus. 

Consider the following text:

Students must register with the Office of Disability Services (ODS) ([email protected]; 258-8840) for disability verification and determination of eligibility for reasonable academic accommodations. Requests for academic accommodations for this course need to be made at the beginning of the semester, or as soon as possible for newly approved students, and again at least two weeks in advance of any needed accommodations in order to make arrangements to implement the accommodations. Please make an appointment to meet with me in order to maintain confidentiality in addressing your needs. No accommodations will be given without authorization from ODS, or without advance notice.

Who should I contact if I have a question concerning a student’s request for accommodations or how to implement an accommodation?

For questions or concerns relating to eligibility or implementing accommodations, please contact ODS at [email protected] or 609-258-8840.