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Accommodation Description


  • American Sign Language Interpreters: ASL Interpreters can be provided for classes. SDS advisors submit requests for sign language interpreting services to SDS by contacting  

    Please note: Interpreting requests for other events need to be made by the sponsoring department on campus.  SDS can be utilized as a resource for referral information. 

  • Attendance:

    Student Disability Services does not provide a waiver for attendance in a class due to a medical condition nor do we “certify” that a given student qualifies for a given number of absences related to their disability. If “attendance” is marked on the Student Academic Accommodation Request Form (SAAR form) under other classroom accommodations this means that SDS has information on file that a student’s disability may impact their attendance if their condition were to exacerbate. Faculty are free to use their own judgment in how to respond to students where this is the case.  Attendance policies should clearly be stated on the syllabus including if and how to contact the instructor if a student is unable to attend class.  In determining the importance of attendance as a factor in grading the Office of Civil Rights has suggested that four questions be addressed:

    • Is there classroom interaction between instructor and students, and among students?

    • Do student contributions constitute a significant component of the learning process?

    • Does the fundamental nature of the course rely upon student participation as an essential method for learning?

    • To what extent does a student’s failure to attend constitute a significant loss to the educational experience of other students in the class?

    This type of accommodation necessitates an interactive process between the student and the instructor at the beginning of the semester to determine what is “reasonable” in regard to class absences, how absences will be communicated to the instructor, and what “makeup” work, if any, will be allowed to mitigate the impact of the class absence.   If the amount of work missed is significant, the possibility of withdrawing from the class should also be discussed. Promising practices in dealing with class absence include allowing the student to attend another section of the class (if available), providing an alternate version of an exam that is missed (or using last year’s version if available), and substituting a paper, presentation or an oral exam for a written exam.

    Student Disability Services is always available for consultation if a faculty member or student has additional questions of concerns in this regard. 

  • Audio Format
    • Read&Write GOLD - A literacy software with support tolls for reading, writing, research, and studying. Reformatted materials provided by Media Services will be Adobe PDF text-searchable files that are compatible with Read&Write GOLD. Students may install this software for free by using the following link along with their HawkID and password:

  • Audio Record ClassesStudent is allowed to use his or her recording device to record lectures.

  • Calculator: The student may use the type of calculator specified by the instructor for all quizzes and exams.

  • Captioning videotape and film in the classrooms: The Deaf/HOH Services Coordinator works with classroom instructors and departments to use closed or open captioned videos, subtitled DVDs, or transcripts.

  • Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART):  CART is an option when sign language interpreters are not used.  A speech-to-text provider is seated in the classroom with a specialized stenography equipment.  The lecturer’s words are captioned on the deaf/hoh student's laptop or electronic device.

    • Remote Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) is when the speech-to-text provider is physically located in a remote location.  The lecturer’s words are captioned on the deaf/hoh student's laptop via internet connection with the speech-to-text provider. 

  • Extended time: The length of the exam is extended to time and a half or double time.

  • FM System: Available for students to check out at SDS at no charge on a semester-by-semester basis.  Many of the sound systems in the large auditoriums throughout the University are equipped with FM systems.  The receivers used with earphones, a neckloop, or an ear bud allow direct sound from the microphone to the student without extraneous noises.    

  • Foreign Language Substitution Courses - Refer to World Language Requirement Substitution Courses below.

  • Grammar/Spelling:  This student has a disability that may impact his/her ability to produce in-class writing assignments that are correct in terms of grammar and/or spelling.  Please do not subtract points for this unless it is a fundamental component of the class to produce writing samples on demand.

  • Notetaking Services:  The University of Iowa uses a volunteer note taking system to provide copies of class notes to students with disabilities. Instructors are the primary recruiters of volunteer note-takers. They may provide a copy of their own notes or recruit a student to take notes. Notetaking services are provided as a supplement to the classroom experience. It is not intended to replace regular classroom attendance or participation.

  • Other: The student may qualify for other test accommodations as determined by SDS. This may include, but not be limited to, items such as the following:
    • breaks during the exam period
    • food or drink available during the exam period
    • exams may need to be rescheduled if condition exacerbates
    • exams should be scheduled for certain time periods during the day
    • Instructor discretion to use list of words or notes during exam

  • Preferential seating:  Some students with disabilities may require preferential seating in the classroom. This may include seating in the front, side, or back of the classroom depending on the individual student's needs. Some students may also require a table and/or chair arranged through SDS.

  • Reduced distraction testing environment: The student is placed in either a room with a limited number of students or alone.

  • Scribe
    • Scantron: A staff member will fill in the scantron form from the answers circled on the exam paper.
    • Essay: The student will dictate the answers to a staff member for short answer and essay questions.
    • Dragon: The student will use the software package to translate speech into written format.
    • Graph: A staff member will draw the graph(s), chart(s) or other image as dictated by the student.

  • Tape Recording lectures:  Student may tape record lectures and discussions. The student is responsible for providing his/her own tape recorder and tapes.

  • Visual Format
    • Brailed
    • Enlarged: The exam should be delivered in font to the specified size
    • Jaws/eformat: The exam is delivered in a special format that the software package can “read” to the student.

  • Wheelchair accessible rooms: Classroom locations may be changed to meet the needs of a student with a temporary or permanent mobility-related impairment. Instructors should monitor the classroom layout to ensure doorways and aisles are clear of obstruction.  Accessibility should be taken into account when planning field trips required by the course. Laboratory courses may require a modification of tables and the placement of equipment.

  • Word Processor: The student will use Word to type the answers to the exam.

  • World Language Requirement Substitution Courses:  Some students have a disability that prevents them from meeting the world language requirement of their college of enrollment.  SDS has an agreement with the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences and the Tippie College of Business where the colleges will consider providing substitution courses for this requirement based on a recommendation from our office.  Please contact the SDS Director for additional information.