Office for Disability and Access

Common Questions and Answers

Why do some students have more time than others on tests?

The time allocated is based on the functional impact of the disability. Most students are given time and a half, but some students may require more time.

Does the provision of extended time on tests mean the student also receives extended deadlines for papers and projects?

If a student receives extended time for testing, it does not mean that the student automatically has permission for extended deadlines for untimed, out-of-class assignments such as papers and projects. However, some disabilities may impact a student’s ability to complete an assignment by the stated deadline and an extension of certain deadlines for assignments may be considered an appropriate accommodation.

Medical emergencies may be one reason why extended deadlines are determined to be a reasonable accommodation. For students with chronic health conditions, particularly those characterized by periods of exacerbated symptoms, accessibility services staff may determine that extended deadlines are an appropriate accommodation to be applied on a case-by-case basis (i.e., assignment by assignment and course by course), as reasonable.

What advantage is there to having students with disabilities work through your office?

Staff are trained to verify a student’s disability status and determine appropriate accommodations in accordance with federal law. Students with disabilities that do not register with our office, may have to provide evidence of their disability to the instructor in every course for which accommodation is requested.

Additionally, accessibility services staff work closely with colleagues in the Center for Student Success and other campus offices that may be important connections for students to make. Accessibility Services also provides services and resources beyond the provision of classroom accommodations, including access to assistive technologies and registration, and housing and dining accommodations processes. Finally, if a student with a disability would like to receive accommodations through graduate school, that student must be able to establish a history of accommodations as an undergraduate student.

Where should a student take a test that requires extra time?

Most of the time, the faculty member and the student are able to answer that question. If you are having trouble finding a location, our staff can help identify an alternate location given reasonable notice (24-48 hours). Call Accessibility Services ( x55588) if you need assistance finding an alternate testing location.

It’s really inconvenient for me to stay later in the day to provide extra time. What are my options?

It is also feasible for a student to start a test early as a means of receiving extended time as specified on their letter of accommodation.

How many students with disabilities are there currently? What kinds of disabilities do you see?

Over 20 percent of Oberlin College students are registered with our office.

Accessibility Services provides services and accommodations for students with a variety of disability diagnoses including: attention deficit (hyperactivity) disorder, autism, visual impairment, hearing impairment, traumatic brain injury, orthopedic and mobility disorders, psychiatric and psychological disorders, learning disabilities, and other health and medical conditions both chronic and temporary in nature.

Do I have to give extended time to a student who has not provided an accommodation letter in a timely fashion? What should I do?

Students with disabilities are entitled to accommodations as specified on their accommodations letter. However, they are also advised that they must give timely notice to professors (typically at least a week’s notice) in order to arrange for certain accommodations, such as alternate testing locations and extended time.

You are not required to provide accommodations to students who have not followed proper procedures, including registering with Accessibility Services, presenting their accommodations letter, and making specific arrangements with you in a timely fashion. However, students should be accommodated to the greatest extent possible. Direct specific questions to Accessibility Services in Peters 116/118, x55588.