In general, an accommodation is a change in the learning environment to provide equal opportunity for academic or physical accessibility. The nature of the accommodation is considered individually, utilizing recommendations in the documentation of the disability. Accommodations are to be reasonable, not impose an undue hardship on the operation of the program, and not fundamentally alter the academic and technical standards. Also, accommodations such as note-takers are not in lieu of classroom attendance and participation. Possible accommodations at Concordia University may include, but are not limited to:
This accommodation grants the student the ability to pre-register for classes for the upcoming term. This accommodation assists those who need specific classes, need breaks between classes, and those who need classes at certain times of the day.
American Sign Language
Sign Language interpreters can be made available for students needing sign language for academic and co-curricular activities. All interpreters are contracted by the University. The University does not have interpreters as regular employees at this time.
Many textbooks used in Concordia University classes are available in electronic version. Most of the electronic versions are obtained from the Recording For the Blind and Dyslexic organization (RFBD). Students are encouraged to request books in electronic form 4 weeks before instruction begins. Orders will not be placed within 1 month of the end of classes. Students who qualify for electronic textbooks must provide proof of purchase of textbooks and may not copy or distribute electronic version. Students must fill out the Alternative Format Request and Loan Form in order to receive electronic textbooks.
Exams: Alternative Environment
This accommodation is available for students who become distracted when taking exams in the regular classroom. Tests may be administered in a private room by the instructor, or may be proctored by the DLRC in a private testing location located in the DLRC. For examinations proctored by DLRC staff, students may only take appropriate testing materials into the testing room. Any supplemental materials must be approved in advance by the instructor. The DLRC staff shall be informed of this approval. Devices such as portable phones, tape players, private laptop computers, handheld electronic devices, etc. are not permitted in the proctor rooms unless otherwise noted by the instructor. The DLRC reserves the right to photocopy any written materials taken into a testing room and also reserves the right to inform instructors of any concerns regarding the academic integrity of the testing; disciplinary action may be taken. Before beginning an exam, advise the DLRC staff of any personal health needs that will require frequent breaks. Prepare ahead for snacks or medications. Extended time stated on the accommodations letter will be allowed. Students are to remain in the testing room. In case of emergency, the incomplete exam must be returned to the Director of Disability and Learning Services. If a student leaves the room without informing the DLRC staff, the exam will be taken and returned to the instructor. Arriving late (up to 30 minutes) will not extend the scheduled ending time for the exam. If a student arrives more than 30 minutes late for a scheduled exam, the DLRC may not administer the exam. It will then be the student’s responsibility to go to the classroom to take the test or speak to the instructor about rescheduling the exam.
Exams: Time Extensions
Students with disabilities can receive time extensions (time and a half or double time) to complete examinations. The student must be approved for time extensions for each class in which the accommodation is desired. Students may not qualify for this accommodation in every class. As part of Concordia University’s efforts to provide equal opportunity for scholastic success to students with disabilities, the DLRC offers time extensions on examinations to those who are approved for this accommodation. Work, travel or other extra-curricular activities are NOT valid reasons for moving the date or time of an exam or quiz. Once approved, the student will contact his/her instructor and will provide an Exam Accommodations Checklist. This Exam Accommodations Checklist will indicate the amount of additional time that the DLRC considers appropriate. To implement this accommodation, the student and instructor may agree to the following:
- Have the instructor arrange for administration of the examination under extended time conditions (time and a half or double time). This may include use of departmental resources (e.g. conference room, proctoring by secretary, empty classroom).
- Have the test proctored by the DLRC. If this option is chosen, the following procedures are to be followed:
- The student must submit to the DLRC an Exam Accommodations Checklist. This form must be signed by the instructor and will indicate the standard amount of time given and any special arrangements for the examination (e.g. use of calculator, formula table, open book, etc.). This form must be received at least 3 days before the examination so that a testing time can be scheduled. The student is to take the examination on the same date that the examination is administered, unless otherwise noted by the instructor.
- The instructor will indicate on the Exam Accommodations Checklist the desired delivery means for the examination. The examination may be hand carried by the instructor or departmental staff member, may be emailed to the DLRC, or may be sent through school mail or hand delivered by the student in a sealed envelope with the instructor’s signature on the seal.
- The instructor will also indicate the desired return means for the examination. The options include having the exam hand carried by a DLRC staff member (within 1 day of proctoring), returning it using the inter-campus mail system, the DLRC scanning and emailing the exam, the DLRC faxing the exam, the instructor personally picking it up from the DLRC, or having the examination hand carried by the student in a signed and sealed envelope.
- Additionally, should a student claim a special arrangement (e.g. calculator) not indicated on the Exam Accommodations Checklist form, the exam will be administered under the requested arrangement but will be returned with a cover letter indicating the administration change.
- Students should notify the DLRC of any cancellations, if a test date changes, or if testing accommodations are no longer needed for a class. Please indicate the course, the instructor, and the day and time of the test in all communications.
Foreign Language Substitution
Students with learning disabilities may request a course substitution for all, or part, of their foreign language requirements. To receive this accommodation, the student must meet certain clinical criteria established by the DLRC, must have a documented history of academic difficulty in a previously attempted foreign language class(es) and must be approved by the DLRC and the Registrar’s Office.
Concordia University participates in international education programs. All students are encouraged to consider participating in off-campus studies and internships. Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to plan early for this opportunity as host sites are not necessarily experienced in providing accommodations. It would be reasonable to include the DLRC in the process to assist in reviewing the program’s academic content, primary activities, and the overall living conditions to determine compatibility with needs.
Students with disabilities are expected to attend classes in accordance with the instructor’s attendance requirements as stated in the course syllabi and with the attendance requirements established by the Registrar’s Office. Exceptions to the attendance requirements can be requested as an accommodation. Approval of this accommodation will be made on a case-by-case basis and may involve the cooperation of the student, the instructor, the academic department, the Registrar’s Office, Dean of Student Affairs, Director of Health Services, and the DLRC. If an attendance accommodation is approved, arrangements will be made to provide the student with necessary course material. Each instructor has the authority to set attendance regulations for his/her class. It is a student’s obligation to attend class regularly and he/she is responsible for all the work, including tests, quizzes, and written work. The DLRC does not determine attendance policies for faculty. The DLRC can provide written verification of a disability/medical condition that might cause a student to miss class. This verification will address the legitimacy of, but not excuse, an absence. The faculty will make the determination as to what is reasonable.
Students whose abilities impair their ability to take notes may receive note-taking assistance. The instructor will be asked to assist in finding a note-taker by reading aloud from the Employment Letter for Note-Taker. It is important that the instructor does not disclose the name of the student who is in need of a note-taker; this is considered a breach of confidentiality. Generally, notes are obtained from another student in the class. The Note-Taker can photocopy all notes using the copier in the DLRC, where there will be no cost for copying. The preferred delivery of notes is by email to the Director of Disability and Learning Services. Arrangements for the delivery of the notes will be made with the cooperation of the student, instructor, note-taker, and the DLRC.
Physical Education Modification/Substitution
Students with disabilities who cannot meet the needed physical exertion requirements of physical education classes may request either a modification or substitution of the class. Modifications will be coordinated in cooperation with the instructor. Substitutions must be approved by the Registrar’s Office.
Students with primarily visual impairments may request a reader. Readers will generally be used if the student’s books and/or class material cannot be obtained in alternate media and/or if the student’s need cannot be met by using assistive technology. Readers used during examinations cannot be relatives or close friends of the student.
In some cases, students with disabilities may record their lectures. When recording is used, the student is responsible for the set up of the equipment and for the recording of the lecture. The student is also responsible for having the instructor sign the Recording Lecture Agreement and must return it to the DLRC. The instructor may request a signed copy of the Recording Lecture Agreement for their own records. Once recorded, the material may not be shared with other students. The instructor and/or the DLRC may stipulate conditions for recording. All recordings are to be erased or destroyed at the end of the semester.
Reduced Course Load
Some students may be eligible to take a reduced course load of classes, but this may affect financial aid or require additional semesters of attendance.
This accommodation is available for students who are unable to perform regular writing tasks. The scribe may function on a volunteer basis. Scribes used for examinations cannot be relatives or close friends of the student.
Time Extension on Assignments
Some students with disabilities can receive extra time to complete class assignments and projects. This accommodation is generally implemented after an acute “flare up” of clinical symptoms and only applies to specific assignments. However, the Director of Disability and Learning Services may authorize a time extension for assignments for students who request them on a basis of disability. Work, travel, or other extra-curricular activities are NOT valid reasons for moving the date and time of an assignment. This accommodation is not intended to be ongoing. Once this time extension has been approved, the following should be followed:
- The student will inform the instructor and the Director of Disability and Learning Services of the need for an extension for the specific assignment. The instructor may contact the DLRC if a question arises regarding the appropriateness of the extension.
- The student and instructor should attempt to agree upon a reasonable date when the assignment is due. If an agreed upon date cannot be determined between the instructor and the student, the DLRC can assist. Agreed upon dates are considered binding. The student will complete the assignment by the agreed upon date.