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Below is the suggested language for faculty and instructors to include on their syllabi:
Fairfield University is committed to providing an accessible learning environment. If you need to request accommodations based on a disability, please contact the Office of Accessibility in the Academic Commons, DiMenna–Nyselius Library at 203-254-4000 ext 2615 or via email at email@example.com. Any student with a disability registered with the Office of Accessibility for academic accommodations should send me their accommodation letter as soon as possible in the semester as accommodations are not retroactive.
Extended Time Accommodations
I do not give exams in my course, how does the extended time accommodation factor in?
If you do not have exams, perhaps you give timed in-class assignments? These assignments will take longer for a student with a disability to complete than their peers, so you will need to discuss their extended time accommodations and apply the extended time to in-class assignments.
If all of your assessments of student knowledge are take home essays, projects, or group assignments, then it is possible that the extra time will not provide equal access to material. These alternative assignments may have other aspects to consider for a student with disabilities. Be sure to check in with your student to assess how they interpret the assignments and whether they are struggling with long-term deadlines.
What does extended time for an exam really mean?
If a student in your class has been approved for extended time for exams and in class assignments, this means that their disability has an aspect that affects processing speed. This student needs more time to process the same amount of information as their peers. Granting the extended time for a student to complete material provides equal access to the material for this student.
My class meets for 50 minutes and a student receives time and a half, does this mean they receive 75 minutes (1 hour and 15 minutes) to complete my exam?
It depends. If you teach a 50 minute class and schedule your exam for the entire period, then the student is entitled to a full 75 minutes to complete the material. If you schedule your exam to only take up half of the period, 25 minutes, then the student would receive 37.5 minutes to complete the exam. Instructors may find it helpful to write in the instructions section at the beginning of each exam how much time the class is being given to complete the exam AND how much time the specific Accessibility student should receive to complete their exam with their extended time accommodation.
Alternative Testing/Exam Accommodations
How does an exam become scheduled at The Office of Accessibility?
The Office of Accessibility is able to proctor exams for students with disabilities who have been approved for alternative testing accommodations. In order for a student to schedule an exam at the Office of Accessibility, instructors are first required to complete an "Exam Agreement" through their faculty Accessibility portal on my.fairfield. Instructions can indicate on this form that they will be proctoring their own exams and implementing the student's accommodations throughout the entire semester or if they will be requesting assistance in providing alternative testing accommodations from The Office of Accessibility. Instructors are strongly encouraged to proctor their own exams with accommodations (ex. during instructor office hours) and/or to work with other faculty within their department for proctor exams with accommodations in order to provide students with access to them during the test taking process.
After an instructor has completed the "Exam Agreement" and have indicated that they would like their exams proctored in the Office of Accessibility throughout the semester, students will then be able to schedule their exams. The student is responsible for logging into their Student Accessibility profile, reading through the Instructor's "Exam Agreement", and for submitting an "Exam Request" for each exam they need to schedule at the Office of Accessibility. Students are encouraged to speak with their instructor to determine the details for each exam prior to submitting each exam request and for submitting the exam request within both the Instructor and The Office of Accessibility's designated timeframe.
What is The Office of Accessibility's designated timeframe for student's to submit an "Exam Request"?
Exams to be taken during the REGULAR semester:
Each exam request should be submitted by the student at least 1 week before their exam to ensure that there is a seat available for the student in the Office of Accessibility's exam rooms and to allow their instructor time to provide the exam. Failure to submit the exam request 1 week prior to the exam may result in the Office of Accessibility's inability to proctor the exam due to limited testing space and resources.
Exams to be taken during FINALS week:
Final exam requests are encouraged to be submitted as early in the semester as possible since the Office of Accessibility's proctors a high volume of exams towards the end of the semester and during final exams week. Final exam requests should be submitted by the student at least 2 weeks before final exams week begins to ensure that there is a seat available for the student in the Office of Accessibility's exam room and to allow their instructor time to provide the exam. Failure to submit the exam request 1 week prior to the exam may result in the Office of Accessibility's inability to proctor the exam due to limited testing space and resources.
What are the Office of Accessibility's exam proctoring hours?
The Office of Accessibility's is available to proctor exams when the University is open during the times listed below. We are not available to proctor exams when the University is closed (ex. holidays, snow days, etc.).
- Regular Semester: Monday through Friday 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
- Final Exams Week: Each day of finals week (including Saturday) 8:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.
- Summer Session: Monday through Thursday 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.,
What happens if a student is scheduled for an exam at the Office of Accessibility, but needs to cancel or re-schedule it?
If a student is unable to make their scheduled exam due to an illness, an emergency, or if the student decides to take the exam in class or with the instructor, the student is expected to e-mail their instructor and 'CC' firstname.lastname@example.org. As indicated in the Office of Accessibility Exam Room Policies, students are aware there is no guarantee that the instructor will permit a make-up exam. This policy also applies to lateness due to illness- students unable to take an exam due to illness or emergency should contact their instructor immediately. Students are responsible for coordinating the makeup of any missed exam or quiz directly with their instructor.
Is the exam room secure against cheating?
We have webcams placed in our exam rooms which are used during testing. The Office of Accessibility reserves the right to enter the exam rooms at any time to check for academic integrity and student well-being. Students store their personal belongings outside of the exam rooms. Only materials for the student's accommodation(s) or permitted by the instructor will be allowed into the exam room. The Office of Accessibility maintains a list of restricted items to ensure academic integrity, a distraction reduced environment, and to minimize the risk of triggers for allergic reactions. The restricted items list is found in the "The Office of Accessibility Exam Room Policies" located on the Student's Accessibility profile, and is posted on the exam room doors and throughout the Office of Accessibility.
The following restricted items are not allowed into the exam room:
- Cell Phones
- Apple Watches and Smart Watches
- Unauthorized notes, books, calculators, etc.
- Any device that can be used for internet access/communication
- Portable music devices
- Pencil cases/pouches
How do I provide the Office of Accessibility with a copy of my exam(s)?
Instructors may upload the exam to their Instructor Accessibility Profile, drop off in person, campus mail, or seal in a signed envelope and send with the student directly to the Office of Accessibility in the Academic Commons. Instructors may also e-mail it to email@example.com if they have any difficulty uploading the exam to their Instructor Accessibility Profile.
How will my exam be returned to me?
The exam can be scanned and e-mailed back to you electronically, and/or the hard copy can be: returned via campus mail (1-3 days), held at our office for you to pick up, or placed in a signed and sealed envelope and hand delivered by the student.
How do I access my Instructor Accessibility profile?
While logged into my.fairfield as "Faculty", please search for and select the "Academic Accommodations Faculty Access" task. Please review the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) reminder screen before proceeding to the rest of your Instructor Accessibility profile. Please visit the "Faculty Training Video for Academic Accommodations" task on my.fairfield for additional video instructions about navigating the Instructor Accessibility profile.
A student in my class is claiming that they have accommodations for a disability, but have not provided me with a "Faculty Notification Letter" from the Office of Accessibility, what do I do? How do I see which student(s) have requested approved accommodations for my course?
Please refer the student to the Office of Accessibility and do not grant any accommodations until you have received a Faculty Notification Letter detailing any accommodations that the student's disability or temporary impairment requires in order to provide equal access to material in your course. On your instructor Accessibility profile, the "Overview" tab will provide you with a list of Accessibility students requesting to use academic accommodations for each of your class sections. Contact the Office of Accessibility at 203-254-4000 ext. 2615 or email firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions.
I have more than one student with disabilities in my class, can I e-mail all of these students at once to coordinate accommodations?
If you plan to provide extended time for exams, or other accommodations, please 'BCC' all students in your course on any e-mail communications that you send. Students have a right to confidentiality and may not want other students in the class to know that they have a disability (even if those other students also have a disability).
What if a situation arises with the student with a disability that I do not know how to manage?
Every student in your class is unique and having a disability may prevent some students from communicating effectively. Please contact our office with any questions, comments, or concerns about a student. We can be used as a resource for you. Please contact our office at ext. 2615 or email email@example.com
What strategies have other higher education faculty used to establish universal design in the classroom?
For more information regarding universal design and what has/has not worked for other higher education faculty members, please visit the University of Washington's "Faculty Room" resource page at washington.edu/doit/Faculty/Strategies.