Accommodation Descriptions

Alternate Testing Accommodations

Testing Accommodations are academic accommodations approved by Student Accessibility Services (SAS) for students with a disability-related need.  Testing accommodations provide access to timed assessments, like exams and quizzes, for students whose disability affects their ability to take exams. Accommodations allow students with disabilities to participate and demonstrate knowledge equitably on exams. Testing accommodations can be facilitated by the faculty member, academic department, or through the SAS Office. Students eligible for testing accommodations should receive testing environments comparable to traditional ones: limited interruptions, appropriate lighting, proper writing space, etc.

While accommodations are provided for disability-related needs, faculty are not expected to lower academic standards or alter essential course requirements.

There are a variety of appropriate testing accommodations dependent on the functional impact of a disability and the nature of coursework. (Please note that students should provide letters to faculty from SAS outlining their approved accommodations.) Below are descriptions of the most common testing accommodations.

Distraction-Limited Environment

A distraction-limited environment means that the testing environment is an area that provides a reasonably quiet and a limited stimulus setting. Complete privacy and silence are not required; students approved for this accommodation may take tests in a space with other students. The setting must allow a student to take their test with limited interruptions and in one sitting. To aid in limiting distractions, SAS can provide noise blocking headsets.

      Examples: conference room, office, reserved classroom or lounge space


A semi-private testing area means that the testing environment is distraction-limited and allows the student to be among only a handful of other students.

Private Testing

A private testing area means that the testing environment is for one student to complete an exam alone with no other students.

Extension of Time for Exams/Quizzes/ Timed Assessments

Extension of time provides an additional allotted amount of time on tests or quizzes that is to be added on to a single session of testing. Typical recommendations are for time and a half; on rare occasions double time is given but must be supported by medical documentation. Extension of time refers to tests, quizzes, midterms, finals, online exams, and pop quizzes. For take-home exams, a student may receive extra time if it is appropriate depending on the duration and nature of the exam.

Accessible Testing Space and Accessible Seating

Students may need seating nearest a door, in the front row, in a wheelchair accessible desk, and/or in a building that is accessible. 

Alternate Format of Printed Text

Converting printed text to an accessible format depending on the disability-related need: readable by text-to-speech software, large print, Braille, etc.

Speech-to-Text Services

Dictation software that allows students to use speech recognition to type exams.

Text-to-Speech Services

Speech output software that reads accessible, printed material aloud.

Permission to Use a Computer

This accommodation can be for students who type essay exams or use technology, such as: print enlargement, text-to-speech software, speech recognition, or a spell-check program. SAS can loan laptops to students with this accommodation. These laptops allow a student to key an exam in a secure environment without access to the internet.

Paper Exams

Paper exams may replace exams administered online in Canvas, on iPads, or other electronic formats as an accommodation.

Scratch Paper During Exams

This accommodation refers to students being given extra, blank paper during exams.