Students with documented disabilities may need alternative testing accommodations. Testing accommodations are determined according to documented individual need. Adjustments to testing conditions are designed to allow a student with a disability to fairly demonstrate what has been learned rather than the impact of a disability. Commonly utilized testing accommodations may include: extended time (time-and-a-half is standard); a reduced-distraction environment; use of a reader or text-to-speech software; use of a computer, scribe, or speech-to-text software; exams using alternative materials; etc. Approved testing accommodations are documented on the student’s Academic Accommodation Plan (AAP).
Students should notify professors of the need for test accommodations by sharing the approved AAP with each professor early in the semester. Students should also ensure a discussion is initiated with the professor at least a week prior to any scheduled test date regarding the means and plan of implementation for approved testing accommodations.
Test accommodations may be achieved in several different ways:
Scheduling Alternative Test Settings: Alternative test settings should be scheduled as close as possible to the day and time of the regularly scheduled class exam. Alternative settings should not be requested for the purpose of finishing exams early or to extend time for test preparation. Students who utilize extended time and who have adjacent or more than two final exams in one day, or another disability-related extenuating circumstance, may request special consideration for approval to schedule test settings on alternative dates/times. The DSC can assist students with scheduling issues as needed.
Students with a documented disability may request note-taking assistance as a reasonable accommodation for their disability. The following criteria must be met in order to obtain this accommodation:
Students may use the following independent strategies:
Professors may assist students to use the following strategies:
The Disability Services Coordinator may also help to facilitate a note-taker for a particular class by:
Alternate/Audio Format Textbooks
Qualifying students with disabilities may be approved to request audio texts or other alternate book formats. For information or assistance regarding obtaining alternate format text books, please contact the Disability Services Coordinator.
Course Substitution Guidelines
Course requirements for MHU degree programs are designed to provide a comprehensive education in both general liberal arts and in the student’s major field of study. However, in some limited circumstances, substitution of a course requirement may be determined to be a reasonable and appropriate accommodation for a student with a documented disability. An accommodation of this nature is considered only when it has been confirmed that the student’s disability makes completion of the requirement impossible. Consideration of a course substitution is made on a case-by-case basis, as long as the substitution does not substantially alter the student’s course of study or result in decreased standards for the student or the university.
Course Substitution Request Procedures for Students with Disabilities:
When the student’s documentation is determined to meet guidelines, the following steps will be taken:
Reduced Semester Course Load Guidelines
Students with documented disabilities may request a reduced semester course load (fewer than 12 hours) if their documentation meets the guidelines set by the university, and if their documentation clearly supports a reduced course load as an appropriate accommodation. Reduced course load requests for disability related reasons should be submitted in writing to the Disability Services Coordinator. In addition, students should discuss the decision to take a reduced load with their MHU Financial Aid Counselor to determine the impact on receiving financial aid.
Disability Related Absences Guidelines
MHU recognizes that a number of conditions qualifying as documented disabilities may at times cause a student to be absent from class beyond the course’s stated absence policy. However, disability-related absences do not alter the student’s obligation to fulfill class requirements.
Attendance is fundamental to traditional course objectives; for example, students may be required to participate in class discussion, in group projects or labs, or otherwise participate as part of a class participation grade component. Faculty is not required to effect substantial modifications of class requirements for accommodation purposes. However, for students adversely affected by documented conditions such as those above, faculty may determine in some instances that a student could master course content and complete course requirements with the accommodation of extra disability-related absences.
The Office of Civil Rights (OCR) has provided the following guidelines to assess if attendance is an essential part of a class:
The Disability Services Coordinator may determine whether the student’s documented disability meets the criteria for consideration of reasonable modification of attendance policies for disability-related absences. If deemed to qualify, the student should present each professor with an Academic Accommodation Plan stating approved accommodations at or prior to the start of the course. The student and professor should have a dialogue to determine the following expectations, and the professor should document the agreement as discussed and provided to the student:
If class attendance can be justified as an integral part of how the course is taught, and/or how learning is to be demonstrated and measured, there can be a point at which disability-related absences cannot be reasonably accommodated.
Students who have disability-related absences are responsible for monitoring their class performance and determining any negative impact such absences may have had upon their understanding of the course material and their final course grade.
Faculty members are asked to notify the student, the Director of Student Persistence, and encouraged to consult with the Disability Services Coordinator if the student is in danger of failing or falling too far behind. If the maximum number of allowed absences is exceeded during the semester, it is recommended that the student and instructor meet to discuss an appropriate course of action. Possible solutions include: student will be granted an incomplete grade status; student will be advised to withdraw from the course; professor may allow an alternate means of completing course requirements; etc.
For questions or concerns, the Disability Services Coordinator should be consulted as soon as possible so that concerns may be addressed and resolved.