It is our mission to remove barriers and ensure equal access for all qualified students
In support of this mission the goals of the Office of Accessibility Resources are
Services to students with disabilities are designed to level the playing field for
those students and to ensure access by providing accommodations. Accommodations are
provided when deemed necessary and reasonable for a particular student and are determined
on a case-by-case basis through an interactive process between the student and OAR.
How to Register with the Office of Accessibility Resources
It is your responsibility as a student to disclose your disability and to request
academic or physical accommodations. You should make your request in a timely manner
to the Office of Accessibility Resources (OAR) and every reasonable effort will be
made to provide services. Requests for accommodations or services can be made at any
time. However, some accommodations may take time to put in place, so it's best to
make your request as early as possible in the semester. Accommodations are not retroactive
and cannot be made for events or exams that have occurred prior to the request.
The process for obtaining accommodations is as follows:
- Make an appointment with the Office of Accessibility Resources (OAR).
- Complete a Registration and Request for Services Form.
- Provide current documentation of your disability (see Documentation Guidelines for more information on appropriate and acceptable documentation).
- Once a Registration and Request for Services Form and documentation are received and
reviewed, you will work with OAR to determine necessary accommodations and initiate
an Accommodations Plan.
- OAR staff will write Accommodation Letters for your instructors.
- OAR staff will sign the letters. You will sign the letters.
- You are then responsible for delivering the letters to your instructors and discussing
your accommodation needs with them.
- OAR staff will be available for consultations with faculty and meetings with students
and faculty upon request.
- Accommodations must be reviewed and new letters generated each semester in which the
student is enrolled.
Each student requesting accommodations must provide current, comprehensive documentation
of a disability by a qualified professional (which may include, depending upon the
nature of the disability: a physician, psychologist, audiologist, speech-language
pathologist, Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor, physical therapist, optometrist,
or learning disabilities specialist).
The Federal definition of a person with a disability is a person who (1) has a physical
or mental impairment which limits one or more major life activities; (2) has a record
of such impairment; or (3) is regarded as having such impairment. The determination
of whether an individual has a disability under the law is not based on the name or
diagnosis of the impairment but rather the impact of that impairment on the life/learning
of that individual (the functional limitations).
Please remember that documentation serves two purposes: 1) to establish that a student
meets the definition of a person with a disability; and 2) to describe functional
limitations in order to support the need for and reasonableness of specific accommodations.
All documentation provided is reviewed in light of these purposes.
In general, documentation of disability should be typed on letterhead stationary or
be in a report format and should include the following:
- A clearly stated diagnosis;
- A description of the diagnostic methodology used;
- A description of the student's current functional limitations in an academic environment;
- A description of the expected progression or stability of the disability;
- The signature, printed name, title, professional credentials, and contact information
of the evaluator; and
- The date of the most recent evaluation.
Other points to remember:
- Because provision of accommodations and services is based upon the current impact
of the disability, it is in your best interest to provide the best, most recent documentation.
- Documentation should be current within three-five years. However, each case is evaluated
on an individual basis and exceptions may be granted depending upon circumstances
and the disability.
- Keep in mind that assessments done in childhood may not be sufficient documentation
for an adult college student.
- Should you need a current assessment, assistance will be given in identifying resources
where necessary testing can be provided. OAR does not pay for nor provide testing
- Documentation should address your ability to function in an academic environment and
may include recommendations for accommodations. OAR is not obligated to provide specific
accommodations as recommended by evaluators. All accommodations are determined on
a case-by-case basis in collaboration with the student and in consideration of that
student's unique situation.
- A school plan such as an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) does not alone constitute
documentation of disability but may be included in a student's overall assessment.
- A physician's prescription pad note is not acceptable as documentation of disability.
- Submission of documentation does not complete the process. You must meet with OAR
to discuss and plan services.
Information regarding a student's disability is not obtained through the admissions
process. Disability-related information and records are maintained separately from
academic records. Therefore all documentation of disability should be sent directly
Accommodations Plan/Accommodations Letters
Accommodations Plans are created collaboratively with the student and OAR. From that
plan, Accommodations Letters are generated for each class and specifies appropriate
classroom accommodations, which may include (examples):
- alternative testing arrangements,
- extended time,
- reduced-distraction testing rooms,
- alternative format materials (such as handouts and textbooks in PDF or Braille),
- use of a word processor,
- captioning of videos,
- interpreters, or assistive technology.
Accommodations Letters inform instructors of approved modifications. It is your (the
student's) responsibility to deliver the letters to your instructors and to initiate
discussion about your accommodations. OAR staff will be available for consultations
with faculty and meetings with students and faculty upon request. Accommodations must
be reviewed and new letters generated each semester in which you are enrolled.
Students with documented disabilities are sometimes entitled to alternative testing
accommodations. These accommodations are designed to adjust testing conditions to
validly measure what the student with a disability has learned rather than measuring
the impact of that person's disability.
The most common testing accommodations include: extended time (time-and-a-half or
double time); a reduced-distraction testing environment; use of a reader or text-to-speech
software; use of a computer; use of a scribe or speech-to-text software; or exams
given using alternate materials (such as Braille or large print).
Many times your instructor can provide the accommodations you need (such as extra
time or a quiet environment). However, there may be times when the instructor does
not have the space or time to do so. In those cases, you will need to schedule to
take your exams with OAR.
Test Proctoring Request Procedure
How to submit a test proctoring request:
Proctoring requests must be received in our office THREE (3) business days before
Email your proctoring request (one per test) to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Type in the subject line of the email: Test Proctoring Request
Type the following information as formatted below in the body of the message:
- Your first and last name
- Your 92#/Student ID
- Class prefix and number (e.g. PSY 150)
- Your instructor's first and last name
- Date and time the class will take the test
- Date and time you will take the test, if this is different from when the class will
take the test. (You may need to schedule a different time if you have a class immediately
- List the accommodations you will need for this exam, such as: extra time (indicate
time-and-a-half or double time); reduced-distraction environment; reader; scribe;
alternate format test (such as Braille); computer and/or other equipment. (Specific
accommodations must be listed in your letters and agreed upon ahead of time.)
You will be sent a confirmation email within one business day of the receipt of your
request (Friday requests will be confirmed on Monday). If you do not receive confirmation,
please contact OAR at (828) 227-3886.
IMPORTANT: IF YOU DO NOT FOLLOW THIS PROCEDURE, OAR may not be able to proctor your exam and
you will have to take your exam with the rest of the class. In this case, the instructor
might not be able to provide your accommodations for that exam.
- Do I have to take my exam with OAR if my instructor can give it to me with the extra
- No. If your instructor can administer your exam with your approved accommodations,
then they should do so.
- I gave my accommodations letter to my professor at the beginning of the semester.
Doesn't that mean they have to schedule my exams with OAR? Can't I just show up to
OAR on the day of my exam?
- It is the student's responsibility to schedule individual exams and you must do so
at least three business days in advance of your exam. Follow the procedure described
in the section: Test Proctoring Request Procedure.
- OAR will then contact your instructor for details.
- What happens if I forget to schedule my exam with OAR until the day before?
- If you do not schedule your exam with OAR using the proper procedure (as described
in the section: Test Proctoring Request Procedure), OAR may not allow you to take
your exam in our office. You will have to take your exam with the instructor and the
rest of the class.
- What if I am sick on the day of my exam or if I forget to come take my exam? Do I
just reschedule with OAR?
- No. You must contact your instructor and discuss it with him/her. Once you agree with
the instructor on a make-up date/time, we are happy to administer the exam. We will
not administer a test other than at the originally scheduled time without explicit
approval from the instructor.
- I am approved for a reader. Can I bring someone with me to read for me or can I request
a particular reader?
- In order to maintain the security and integrity of testing, OAR will not allow you
to bring your own reader.
- OAR assigns readers based upon availability of our staff and cannot guarantee a particular
person to read. In some cases, OAR may use Assistive Technology for reading exams
- I have not used testing accommodations all semester. Can I still take my final exams
- Yes, if you have met with OAR, received your Letters of Accommodation, and given them
to your instructors. To schedule exams you must follow the procedure outlined in the
section: Test Proctoring Request Procedure.
- If you have not picked up your Letters of Accommodation or have not given the letters
to your instructors, then you must take your exams with the rest of the class without
- I have an exam scheduled for the first day of finals but I'd rather take it on the
last day, to give myself more time to study. Also, I have to work that day. Is this
- No. You must take your exam on the same day as or near the same time as the rest of
the class unless you have multiple finals on the same day and have made prior arrangements
with your instructor. Only your instructors—not OAR—can approve changes in your exam
schedule. Work, travel, or other extra-curricular activities are not valid reasons
for moving the date of an exam.
- I have an exam scheduled for the last day of finals but I'd rather take it early because
my parents are coming to move me out of the dorm. Can I do this?
- Only your instructors—not OAR—can approve changes in your exam schedule. Work, travel,
or other extra-curricular activities are not valid reasons for moving the date of
- My exam begins at 8:30am. I have double time. Since that gives me 5 hours to take
my exam, can I just come at 9:30am or 10am? Or can I come at 8am and sit in the room
to study for a few hours?
- No. You must begin your exam at the schedule start time. If you wish to begin more
than 15 minutes before or after the scheduled start time, OAR must have approval from
- If I'm tired and have plenty of time, can I lie on the floor and sleep in the testing
- No. If you are not taking an exam, we will assume you are finished and collect your
- Can I take my things into the testing room?
- You may only take items that are approved by your instructor (i.e. calculator, book,
notepaper, etc). You may have a drink or snack with you, if you like, but please do
not spread out and make yourself a picnic.
Absolutely NO cell phones/smart phones/tablets are allowed in the testing rooms.
OAR staff are available to provide support and advocacy to address the unique personal
and academic issues of students with disabilities. OAR does not provide therapy, counseling,
or psychological evaluations, but we can refer you to appropriate sources as needed.