Many academic resources are available to all Oberlin College students. However, students who request accommodation based on a diagnosed disability must register with Disability Resources.
Who is Eligible for Academic Accommodations?
Once a student requests an accommodation, the director or assistant director will meet with the student individually to plan the appropriate accommodation(s).
Registering with Disability Resources
Appropriate and reasonable accommodations are best determined through an interactive process that includes the student with the disability, staff within Disability Resources, course instructors, and other faculty or staff members as appropriate. Students are expected to make accommodation requests in a timely fashion.
- Contact Disability Resources. The initial request for accommodations is made to the director or assistant director.
- Meet with the director or assistant director to discuss determination of the status of the student as a person with a disability. If the student is a person with a disability, Disability Resources, the student, and other involved parties will determine the necessary accommodations. Usually, the student receives a letter verifying the student’s disability status and needed accommodations. At this point, the student is responsible for presenting the written request for accommodations to the faculty member. However, the student may request that a member of Disability Resources staff contact the faculty member for an initial introduction and for collaboration regarding accommodations.
- Discuss details of the accommodations with faculty and staff members as appropriate. It is the student’s responsibility to follow-up to arrange specific accommodations. For testing accommodations, students must make arrangements in a timely fashion.
Guidelines for Requesting Exam Accommodations
To receive exam accommodations such as extended time, distraction reduced testing environment, the use of a computer, or the use of a calculator:
- You must meet with Disability Resources staff to determine your eligibility for such accommodations.
- You must notify your course instructors of the exam accommodations you request for each class, providing appropriate documentation from Disability Resources.
- You must negotiate with the professor the terms of your exam accommodations for each class and each test. That is, if additional time is warranted will you start early or finish late? If an alternate test location is appropriate, where will that be? Disability Resources can assist with the negotiations if needed.
- If your exam accommodations require assistance from Disability Resources—for example, if we need to provide the exam in an alternate format such as electronic, Braille or enlarged text—you must notify us at least two work days in advance of the test date. Disability Resources no longer handles finding alternative testing location. It is up to the student and instructor to find an appropriate space.
- Final exams must be taken at the regularly scheduled time and cannot be given at alternate times without special permission from an assistant dean in the Academic Advising Resource Center/Registrar (for courses in the College of Arts and Sciences) or the conservatory associate dean for student academic affairs (for courses in the Conservatory of Music). Refer to the Academic Advising Resource Center/Registrar for information about requesting a change in your final exam time.
It is the student’s responsibility to follow the above guidelines. Failure to do so will result in an inability of Disability Resources to coordinate appropriate accommodations.
Guidelines for Requesting Alternate Media
Textbooks and other course materials can be made available in alternate formats (electronic files, Braille, enlarged text, etc.) with due notice (two weeks preferred) to Disability Resources. Students can stop in the office any time during business hours to fill out a request form.
Disability Resources has access to a high-speed scanner and text-conversion system. Single-page scanners are available for student use in the Adaptive Technology Laboratory, Mudd Center, room 203.
Guidelines for Requesting Accessible Technologies
Students requesting accessible technologies, such as access to such reading and writing programs as Kurzweil and Dragon Naturally Speaking, should contact Disability Resources. Students must register with us to be eligible to use accessible technology.
The determination of need and appropriateness of specific software programs and other accessible technology is made on a individual basis in consultation with Disability Resources staff.
Some accessible software programs are available on computers in Peters Hall, room G27 and in the Adaptive Technology Lab in Mudd Center, room 203. Software training is available.
Guidelines for Requesting Note-Taking Services
Note-taking services are coordinated through Disability Resources and are available only to students who are registered and have a demonstrated need for such services.
If you are a student with a diagnosed disability and believe that note-taking services may be appropriate to your needs, contact Disability Resources as soon as possible in the semester.
Having a note-taker is not an excuse to miss class. Note-takers will provide notes to students on days when the student receiving notes is in class.
Students with disabilities may request one-on-one assistance from the director or assistant director as available. Many times regular meetings to discuss accommodation implementation, time management, and executive functioning issues can benefit a student.
Tutoring is provided by Student Academic Success Programs and is available to all Oberlin College students. Stop by Peters Hall, room 118 for details.
To help facilitate students and faculty with testing accommodation arrangements, we have produced a pamphlet to explain, in more detail, the testing accommodation process.
We’ve also developed a Testing Accommodation Checklist that may be completed by the student and the faculty member, so that both are in agreement with the terms of the accommodation arrangements for each test.