There is a variety of assistive technology available to students with disabilities. Some students may need to type their notes or assignments on a computer with or without special software for students with visual impairments to speech recognition software. Other students may need to use a Braille typewriter, note-taking solutions, or magnifying products.
Note takers can help students who are not able to take their own or sufficient notes during class due to a disability or an ongoing medical condition. Note taking does not replace the students’ attendance requirements. Students may not need a note taker for courses where lectures are asynchronous, meaning lectures are self-paced for students, and recordings are available at any time during the term.
Students with a variety of disabilities including, but not limited to, Blind or low vision, physical disabilities, and learning disabilities, may require their print materials to be produced in an alternative format (electronic, large print or Braille). Alternate format materials provide students with print disabilities access to academic materials. Each semester, Disability Services converts or ensures students have access to texts in an alternative format. This process takes time. Therefore, it is critically important for students to get their books into Disability Services before they go home for the break at the end of the semester. Faculty can help by getting their book lists into the bookstore early.
An interpreter/transcriber is simply one who bridges the gap between the spoken and Deaf world. When the teacher or a classmate speaks, the interpreter/transcriber translates the spoken words into the language preferred by the Deaf or hard of hearing student. The student likewise participates in the classroom by signing or typing the information and the interpreter voices it (talks) for the class. The interpreter is not meant to be a participant in the classroom, but a communication facilitator, making sure that communication is easily accessible for the deaf and hearing populations equally.
Some students who are hard of hearing may require an assistive listening device. Each device is different. In most cases, unless there is an audio system in the room that has a built-in ALD, the instructor will be required to wear a small device with a microphone so that the student can hear. It will be important for the instructor to repeat any comments from other members of the class.
Students who are deaf or hard of hearing will need to have all videos shown in class to have captioning. If the copy being shown is not captioned, please contact DS to determine what needs to be done to have the video captioned or to look for alternative solutions prior to the time of the class.
This accommodation is the ability to request additional time or alter a due date for an assignment, course reading, or class project and is intended to be used proactively. A student with the accommodation of extended or flexible deadlines must meet with their faculty at the beginning of the semester to discuss how this accommodation may be applied to a course. Faculty should work with the student in a good faith effort to determine a reasonable amount of time and set a new deadline. However, accommodations are not reasonable if they constitute a fundamental alteration of an essential element of the program. Accommodations are not granted retroactively and do not excuse any prior unexcused untimely assignments or mitigate any consequences from failing to meet deadlines.
Some students may need to be able to record their lectures due to the nature of their disability. If the material you are presenting should not be indiscriminately distributed due to publishing concerns, copyright concerns, or matters of confidentiality, please allow this student to record the class. A separate agreement ensuring that materials are not to be circulated beyond the class should be agreed upon.
Some accommodations relate to test taking. Time-and-one-half for testing is the usual accommodation given to students who, for disability related reasons, work slowly and require additional time to complete tests. A few students may also need to take tests in a room with limited distractions or with no other students present. For example, a student may need to read test questions aloud, and this would be disturbing to other test-takers. Still other students may request the use of a laptop computer or adaptive computer technology for taking essay exams, distraction-reduced rooms, a scribe, large print, special lighting, etc… Disability Services provides a testing space as a service for faculty and students. While we prefer that tasting take place in their department, we understand that it is not always possible. Disability Services provides an appropriate space for completing exams with the aim to make education accessible for students with verified disabilities. Our goal is to serve both students and instructors through a well-defined process that ensures confidentiality and test security.
Tutoring is not considered an accommodation but is available to all students, free of charge. Students with disabilities may qualify for TRIO student support services (SSS), which supports students in developing basic learning skills, while classes are offered to further extend the learning in key areas: computer skills, reading improvement, and study skills. Individual tutoring is available for English, writing, math, chemistry, biology, physics, and many other areas. Additional training is also available to NDSU students via ACE tutoring Center.