Services for Students With Disabilities | Accommodations

Accommodations Policy and Procedures

Statement of Policy

In accordance with applicable law and University policy, Southern University at New Orleans ensures equal opportunity for all qualified students with disabilities, without regard to disability, in the programs and services provided by the University.

Procedure for Requesting Accommodations

Students may require course accommodations; such as extended test-taking time, being allowed to record lectures, testing in a distraction-free environment, etc.). The following procedures must be followed to obtain any such accommodations:

Time and Place for Making Request

Requests for course accommodations must be addressed to Services for Students with Disabilities located in Emmett Bashful Administration Building, Room 204. The office telephone number is 504-286-5335. Such requests should be made no later than the second full week of classes of the semester that the student is enrolled in school.

The Requirement of Self-Identification

As a requirement of requesting course accommodations, students must self-identify through the office of Services for Students with Disabilities. Self-identification is initiated by submitting medical documentation to substantiate the claim of disability. Disability documentation is kept confidential and released only with the consent of the student.

Accommodation Letters

Upon a timely request from a student who has properly self-identified, the Services for Students with Disabilities office will provide individual letters for instructors explaining that the student has a documented disability and outlining the requested accommodations. Students are required to provide these accommodation letters to their professors each subsequent semester that they are enrolled.

Required Documentation

A student seeking accommodations is required to provide medical documentation that will substantiate the claim of disability. Documentation must be provided on letterhead stationery by a licensed professional qualified in the area of the disability. Documentation must have been completed no more than three years prior to the date that the student submits a request for accommodations. Some cases involving adjustment disorders or Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder documentation must have been completed no more than two years prior to the request. All documentation should address the nature and extent of the disability and the recommended accommodations. It should describe the specific disability in behavioral terms in relations to the specific accommodations sought. The documentation should also address the specific diagnosis; the tests used in making the decisions, and when appropriate, scores. While Section 504 plans or IEPs are useful in identifying a student’s needs, it is not sufficient documentation for accommodations in postsecondary education.

Examination Policy

Students who plan on using their examination accommodations in the office of Services for Students with Disabilities have the responsibility of notifying the office three (3) school days before the test. Listed below are the student and faculty responsibilities in the examination procedures.

IN ORDER TO TEST IN THE SERVICES FOR STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES OFFICE, THE STUDENT MUST FOLLOW THESE PROCEDURES:

  1. Come into the office to notify the staff three (3) school days before the exam. Students MUST report to the testing center at the same time as the test is being given to their classmates or the time designated by their instructor.
  2. Students not on time to take their exam, may not be accommodated and the exam returned to the instructor.

IN ORDER TO TEST IN THE SERVICES FOR STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES TESTING AREA, THE FACULTY MUST FOLLOW THESE PROCEDURES:

  1. Bring or email the exam to the office by the scheduled exam date and time.
  2. Inform staff of instructions pertaining to the exam, such as no notes, books cellular devices, etc.
Classroom Examinations and Testing Accommodations

Students are responsible for informing their instructors that they test in the disability testing center before exam dates, so exams will be there when they come.

Changes, including cancellations, should be made known to the office at least 24 hours in advance.  Contact the office immediately when unexpected changes occur.      

National Exams:  Requests for Special Accommodations

  1. Services for Students with Disabilities may be able to help you request accommodations for national exams (GRE, Praxis, LSAT, MCAT).
  2. Check the test’s application booklet for deadlines and procedures for requesting accommodations. Bring your accommodation request form to the office in a timely manner for processing.

Academic Accommodations Policy

Accessible Classrooms and University Functions

It is the responsibility of the student to notify the office of Services for Students with Disabilities of classes that are not accessible to his/her disability.

Consideration for Absences

An Academic Accommodation form is given to students to present to faculty verifying that their absence was due to a disability-related problem. Medical accommodation flexibility will be granted according to the course requirement and is not for student’s abuse of excessive absences. This form is signed by the instructor and returned to the disability office. Students are responsible for contacting faculty and making up missed assignments. The identified accommodation may not be granted retroactively.

Examination Accommodations

Students who qualify for an alternative testing format that includes adequate privacy when working with a reader, or scribe and/or an environmental setting, free from interruptions and distractions must be documented in the disability office.  A student should not be expected to cope with taking an exam in the hallway or department’s office if telephone, visits, or other distractions are allowed.

Extended Test-Taking Time

Extended time for examinations will be equal to time-and-a-half (1.5) of the usual time or double (2) time of the usual time, (when documented by medical professionals) allotted for the examination. Extended exam time does not mean “as long as it takes until the student is finished”. The timelines in place are to assure equal opportunity to complete an exam due to disability and/or medical/mental health condition, yet are to ensure that students with disabilities are not given an advantage over other students also taking the exam. Please remember that the Examination Request Form must be completed and returned to the disability office for an exam to be monitored or taken outside the classroom.

In-Class/Out-of-Class Assignments

In some cases, illnesses may cause a student to get behind in class assignments, consideration for an extended time may be granted by the instructor for the student to complete assignments.

Scantrons

Students with various disabilities who are unable to use a scantron should receive accommodations that allow these students to write his/her answers directly on the exam.

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