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Frequently asked questions-FAQ

1. What should I do if students tell me they need an accommodation?

Answer: Begin by asking the student if they have received an accommodation letter from Learning Support Services. If the student has not, they should be informed that all accommodation requests are coordinated through Learning Support Services. These requests will be substantiated by appropriate documentation and reviewed by the Professional Staff of Learning Support Services who are trained to examine the documentation and determine eligibility for appropriate accommodations. If students present a current accommodation letter from Learning Support Services, you should discuss with the students how the requested accommodation will be implemented.

 2. How "current" does an accommodation letter need to be?

Answer: All accommodation letters are good for only one semester - the semester for which they are dated.

 3. Do all students with a disability at Linfield University need to register with the Learning Support Services?

Answer: No, it is likely that some students may choose not to disclose a disability. If, however, they seek accommodations from you, they must register with Learning Support Services before they can receive accommodations. 

 4. What if students present their accommodation letter and inform me that they will not need all the accommodations in my classroom? (Example: The student is eligible for a note-taker, but does not want to use this service.)

Answer: Although students may be eligible for an accommodation, they do not necessarily have to make use of the accommodation. Students have autonomy to decide which class they wish to use each accommodation.

 5. What if students send me an accommodation letter for extended test time after they have failed an exam?

Answer: No accommodation is to be provided retroactively. Once students provide appropriate documentation to Learning Support Services, a determination of eligibility will be made. If students are eligible for an accommodation they will receive an accommodation letter. It is the student’s responsibility to meet with faculty in a timely manner to provide faculty members with their accommodation letter.

 6. What happens if students send me an accommodation letter six weeks into the course, do I still have to provide the accommodation?

Answer: Yes, from that point on the student is eligible to receive accommodation(s), which must be arranged within a reasonable amount of time. Sometimes students will attempt to complete a course without having to use an accommodation, or without disclosing to a particular professor that they are eligible for an accommodation due to a disability. If eligible students decide they need accommodations, and the students make a request to receive the accommodation, the university must comply.

 7. If students send me an accommodation letter for extended time on tests (the day before or the day of the exam) am I required to provide the accommodation?

Answer: Not necessarily. When students are provided an accommodation letter for extended time on tests they are also given a Request for Test Accommodation form.  This form must be filled out, signed by the instructor and returned to LSS prior to scheduling testing accommodations. If students have not completed this process, they may be ineligible to receive testing accommodations until the proper paperwork is in place. The issue of timeliness in requesting and arranging for testing accommodations is always discussed with students.

8. How should I implement an accommodation for extended time on tests and quizzes?

Answer: Instructors can either provide the extended time to students or students can arrange to take their tests and/or quizzes proctored by Learning Support Services. Students are required to have the Request for Test Accommodation form filled out and signed by the instructor prior to testing.

9. What if students have an accommodation to use a calculator, but the course requires the students to know how to perform certain calculations?

Answer: The use of a calculator is appropriate only if its use does not fundamentally alter the standards of a course. If students are being tested or are required to know how to calculate a mathematical equation then the use of a calculator is not appropriate.

Faculty members set the requirements and standards needed to complete courses and faculty members are able to make decisions that may prohibit the use of an eligible accommodation when such accommodation/modification will "have an adverse impact on the integrity" of a course.

According to civil rights attorney Salome Heyward, faculty members are not required to make modifications that alter the nature and content of what they are teaching. They are also not required to provide accommodations that have an adverse impact on the integrity of the academic program. However, modifications that essentially provide equal access to students with disabilities must be and should be made. 

10. If my students have an accommodation for tests and quizzes in either an accessible word document format or in Braille, how do I implement this accommodation?

Answer: Time is of the essence in accommodating students who have low vision or blindness because valuable information in the class can be lost quickly with delays in implementing the accommodations. In this case, tests, quizzes, and all class handouts should be provided to the students in a Microsoft Word document format or another format that is deemed compatible with the student’s reader or speech recognition software program. The student’s accommodation letter will address any specialized needs and provide the appropriate format for all documents.

11. What if students have a medical condition or disability hindering their ability to participate in class? Is permission to not participate in classes given as an accommodation and if not, how should these issues be addressed?

Answer: Modification of an attendance policy is not automatically provided as an accommodation at Linfield University, instead such issues are deferred to the specific faculty member involved since they are the ones who set the requirements and standards needed to complete the course. Professionals in the field of disabilities in postsecondary education suggest that attendance policies be established and clarified in advance, instead of retroactively.