Facilitating Non-Test Accommodations

Accommodation Notifications to Faculty

Up through summer quarter 2012, students requesting academic accommodations in the classroom were required to hand-deliver to each of their instructors a letter prepared by the Office of Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) verifying the appropriate academic accommodations and the need for such accommodations. However, starting fall 2012, professors will be notified via email from SSD when a student requires accommodations. (Students also have the option to print out these notifications for professors.) After requesting SSD to notify professors on their behalf, students are instructed to meet with their professors to discuss the accommodations that will be necessary in each specific class. If the professor has additional questions, he or she may use this direct link to our office email address for clarification or assistance, though the details of a student's disabling condition will not be discussed without the student's permission.

Note-Taking Assistance

Students who have been approved for note-taking services may request professors' assistance in soliciting a note-taker on their behalf. If this assistance is requested, professors should refer to SSD's Note-Taker ad, which gives the professor verbiage to anonymously announce to the class that the student needs a note-taker. An electronic version of the Note-taker Ad (Word doc) is available for professors to email the class or post the ad on Blackboard. On the other hand, if the student is comfortable approaching another student for a copy of class notes on his or her own, the student is welcome to do so. If neither of these procedures is successful in locating a note-taker, SSD will work with the professor and student to facilitate the process of locating a note-taker. Students are instructed to request note-takers no later than the third week of the quarter. SSD will compensate student note-takers one hundred dollars per course per quarter.

Access to Materials in Alternate Format

person reassembling book with a spiral binding, click to enlarge

SSD maintains an Institutional Membership with Learning Ally (formerly Recordings for the Blind & Dyslexic) that students may use to obtain recorded textbooks. Students approved to use this service will be required to submit a list of the textual material needed to SSD. SSD will then place the order with Learning Ally. SSD will also assist students interested in applying for individual memberships with Learning Ally along with the Library of Congress Talking Book Program as requested.

When information is unavailable through Learning Ally, SSD will convert print materials into e-text. Students are encouraged to talk with their professors prior to the beginning of class to learn what texts must be read and whether or not there will be additional material provided by the professor. To convert materials into e-text, students must drop off their books and other materials and complete a scanning request form. SSD may require a copy of a course syllabus to facilitate the scanning process. It is helpful when this information is made available to SSD before the start of a course.

If a student wants SSD to convert additional reading material he or she receives during the quarter, the material must be brought to the SSD office immediately in order to ensure sufficient conversion time. SSD staff will work with students and handle emergency needs on a case-by-case basis.

Information is also available in Braille or enlarged print. Students should follow the above document conversions procedures for Braille or enlarged materials.

Adaptive Equipment

page of braille text, click to enlargeIt may be appropriate for a student to use adaptive equipment in the classroom or in the preparation of class assignments. The University provides some adaptive equipment for general student use and a list of such equipment is available in SSD. If a student has the accommodation of the use of a recording device in class, that student must first notify the classroom instructor prior to using it.

Students who believe they will benefit from using other adaptive equipment may make a request of SSD to purchase adaptive equipment. The Director of SSD will evaluate the appropriateness of such accommodation or service based on the student's disability and functional limitations. Northwestern will only purchase adaptive equipment necessary to provide students with disabilities equal access to the educational opportunities provided by the University. Personal care items are the responsibility of the student. SSD will provide students information about federal and state vocational rehabilitation agencies that may be able to supply supplemental adaptive equipment.

Sign Language Interpreters and Voice-to-Text Transcription

SSD will provide deaf and hard-of-hearing students lecture material in the mode of communication that allows the student equal access to that material. This may include sign language interpreters or voice-to-text transcription such as C-Print, remote interpreting, or real-time captioning. SSD will also provide services for all student-related programs and activities sponsored by the University including but not limited to study groups and extracurricular activities. More information regarding these types of accommodations is available on our page of instructional strategies for students with hearing loss.