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Providing reasonable and appropriate accommodations to students with disabilities is an important part of our responsibilities as administrators and educators. To ensure that the University meets its obligations to students consistently and fairly, students who seek accommodations should first register with the disability services office at ETSU. Students should call the office at 423-439-8346 and make an appointment to speak to a counselor. The student should bring appropriate and recent documentation from a professional to the appointment. Accommodations are granted on a case-by-case basis through an interactive registration process with the disability services counselor. Typical classroom accommodations may include priority seating, recording lectures, receiving copies of presentations, and securing a note taker. An evaluation will determine which accommodations each student qualifies for.
Once a student has been granted accommodations, the office of Disability Services will provide the student with faculty accommodation letters to share with faculty members. It is the student's responsibility to meet with the faculty member and provide the faculty letter. Only in instances of online coursework will the office email the faculty member to provide the letter as an attachment.
Arranging for accommodations is a cooperative endeavor involving the student, the Disability Services office, and the instructor. A student must act as self-advocate in the process and notify Disability Services when and if she feels that an accommodation request is not being reasonably met. Instructors are also encouraged to contact Disability Services if a question arises about how best to provide an accommodation.
Academic test accommodations are modifications to standard classroom testing procedures. Accommodations are granted to provide access. While standard accommodations fit most situations, a case-by-case evaluation may be necessary to provide access without altering the academic integrity of the test or the course. Examples of testing accommodations are alternative answer sheets, low distraction room, reader or test on audio tape, oral testing, computer, scribe, and extended test time. Extended time is limited to double the amount of time the test is designed to take for students without accommodations. For example, extended time for a quiz designed to take fifteen (15) minutes would be thirty (30) minutes not double the class period. Test anxiety is not a disability.
To utilize accommodations for classroom testing, students must:
- Take an active role in this process
- Provide instructors with Faculty Accommodation Forms (FAF) at the beginning of each semester. Instructors will not grant test accommodations without the FAF.
- Meet with instructors to discuss testing needs preferably at the beginning of the semester.
- Meet with instructors again at least one week prior to the scheduled test date in order to arrange a place and time for the test.
- If the exam is going to be proctored at DS, a completed Exam Proctoring Checklist should be turned in at DS at least five (5) working days before the exam date. Requests to take exams in DS should be the exception because most students can be accommodated in the instructor's department.
- Arrive at the designated place on time and prepared to take the exam. Be familiar with the ETSU academic policy dishonesty policy.
Important Note: Disability Services does not reschedule exams without a new Exam Proctoring Checklist. If a student misses or cancels a scheduled proctoring appointment, Disability Services will return the exam to the instructor. The student is then responsible for meeting with their instructor to complete the new Exam Proctoring Checklist and for scheduling a new proctoring appointment time.
Scribes, readers, and alternative formats such as Braille can be provided by Disability Services (DS) with adequate notice, but DS does not routinely give academic tests requiring accommodations such as extended time and low distraction rooms. To a limited degree, DS can assist instructors in locating a proctor for tests with adequate notice. Requests for proctors provided by DS should be an exception, not a standard practice. Proctors provided by DS will be student workers.
Disability Services cannot guarantee that the office will be able to proctor exams. Exams are scheduled on a first-come, first-serve basis. To schedule an exam with DS, an Exam Proctoring Checklist must be completed and turned in to DS at least five business days before the exam date. This form is available on the DS website or in the DS office. Due to space limitations, DS may proctor tests in the DS conference room, DS open lab, or in a meeting room in the D. P. Culp Center.. Delivery and pick up of tests at the designated site is the responsibility of the instructor and/or student with a disability.
Whenever DS provides a test accommodation, ETSU's policy on academic dishonesty outlined in the Spectrum will be adhered to strictly. Proctors, readers, or scribes cannot provide assistance beyond the approved accommodation. If a student is caught violating the academic dishonesty policy, the exam will be taken from the student and the incident will be reported in writing to the instructor. The instructor will then determine the course of action to be followed.
DS PROCEDURE: 3/2013
ETSUs policy 0240-3-2-.03 ACADEMIC AND CLASSROOM MISCONDUCT can be found by clicking here.
For more information about Test Accommodations, call Disability Services at 423-439-8346.
Attendance policies are designed to address the essential instructional objectives in a specific course. The University makes every effort to reasonably accommodate a student's disability-related academic needs, but the University is not required to waive an essential or fundamental academic requirement of a course, regardless of the nature of the student's disability. Students with disabilities are expected to follow the attendance policy established for each class according to the guidelines established by the University. The ETSU Class Attendance Policy can be accessed at
Students who anticipate problems with attendance due to a disability should discuss their concerns with DS prior to registering for a course or before the last day to make schedule changes. The DS staff will talk with the student and the faculty member in an effort to identify options for reasonable accommodations regarding attendance, however, for most classes, students should expect to abide by the attendance policy set by the instructor. In those few circumstances when leniency in attendance can be arranged for a particular class, alternative parameters for the student's attendance and participation will be formalized in writing by the DS office.
Absences -- excused or not -- have a negative impact on academic performance because of the content and experiential learning missed by not being in class. Students who may have disability-related absences are encouraged to evaluate the impact their disability may have on attendance when registering for classes. Planning a schedule that is flexible enough to allow for doctor's appointments and other non-emergency absences can help students comply with attendance policies. If students feel they will be unable to meet the expectations of a traditional lecture course, online coursework may be the best option.
When a student with a disability cannot attend class due to unanticipated disability-related reasons, DS will help the student notify their instructors by email, but this does not insure that the student's absence will be excused or that deadlines for missed work will be extended. When a student is absent due to emergencies or unexpected disability-related absences, the student should follow up with the instructor as soon as possible to discuss make-up work. The student and instructor should come to a clear agreement about the nature of the make-up work and deadlines for completing it. A copy of this agreement should be placed in the student's DS file.
It is the student's responsibility to obtain copies of notes and materials from missed classes. Students should plan responsibly ahead of time to get lecture notes from a classmate. Disability Services cannot provide note takers for students who are absent from class.
Students who have questions about class attendance policies are encouraged to contact DS at 439-8346.