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Additional Accommodation Information

Assistance Obtaining Class Notes

Some students require note-takers due to the functional limitations of their disability. Students who qualify for a note-taker have the accommodation “Assistance Obtaining Class Notes”. The student must review his/her accommodations with their instructor. If a student requests a note-taker in class, the note-taking system will send an automated email to the instructor. The system will also send an email to the class roster requesting a note-taker. Assistance may be required in locating a note-taker by making an announcement in class without revealing the students’ name. It is critical that a student who requires note-taking services receives this service. Instructors may share their lecture notes as an alternative to a note-taker.

Note-takers may receive priority registration, co-curricular credit (upon request) and may receive compensation based on the services provided.

All note-takers must register at (login required) and follow all instructions carefully.

Extended Time

Extended time means an extension of the time that the class is given, even if the class was given “more than enough time."

Extended time on unannounced quizzes and lab assessments must be available to the eligible student. The most common arrangement for unannounced/pop quizzes is for the student to come to class early every day, so that on quiz days he or she can start before the class arrives. Extended time on a lab can be challenging, but it is important that neither the student nor the lab partner be penalized if they have not been provided with the required time. For help in working out a solution, please contact SDS.

Word Banks and Formula Sheets

Formula sheets are developed by the professor, or by the student with the approval of the professor. The formula sheet must be sent to SDS or the testing center with the test, so it is important the student and instructor discuss this in advance.

Accessible Media

SDS provides students with alternative media such as digital, braille, or large print texts. Professors are responsible for insuring that media used in the classroom is accessible.

If there is a deaf or hard of hearing student in the class, all videos must be captioned. Scott Kantor at the Gainesville campus library can assist in locating a captioned version of the video, and DETI (Distance Education and Technology Integration) on the Dahlonega campus can caption videos that are not available in that format. (All media currently being purchased must be accessible.) If YouTube internet clips will be used, contact either DETI or SDS for assistance with captioning. For more information, see the Faculty Guide for Captioned media.

Disability Related Absences

The disability-related absences accommodation balances the rights and responsibilities of the student, the faculty, and the institution. It requires a fundamental alteration determination for certain courses. Students with a documented disability related absence accommodation are NOT required to provide medical documentation for absences due to a barrier. Students may have this accommodation if they have:

  • Hospitalizations related to a disability
  • Episodic illnesses, such as sickle cell anemia or a seizure disorder
  • Systemic health conditions, such as lupus or cystic fibrosis,
  • Psychiatric conditions, such as severe depression,
  • Co-morbid conditions, such as Crohn’s disease & anxiety disorder
  • Disability-related treatment processes, such as chemotherapy

Fundamental alteration of a course or program

As a professor, you are not required to lower or modify standards for accommodation purposes, or to fundamentally alter the nature of your course. You also cannot unilaterally decide that any accommodation for which a student is eligible will not be provided. The determination as to whether an accommodation fundamentally alters a course must be made through a documented deliberative process within the department.
A determination as to whether disability-related absences fundamentally alter the nature of a course or program requires consideration of the following:

  • Is there classroom interaction between the instructor and students, and among students?
  • Does the course rely upon student participation as an essential method for learning?
  • To what degree does a student’s failure to attend constitute a significant loss to the educational experience of other students in class?
  • Is attendance factored in as part of the final course grade?
  • What are the classroom practices and policies regarding attendance?
  • Is the attendance policy consistently applied?
  • Do different faculty teaching the same course make different “fundamental alteration” determinations, and why?

Absenteeism is not expected to be excessive, but a reasonable amount of time, as needed. SDS does not excuse students with disabilities, nor does it establish attendance policies. Faculty determines the weight and importance of class attendance and participation. Similarly, faculty establishes practices regarding make-up work and missed quizzes and exams, and defines a reasonable number of disability-related absences. Students have the responsibility to inform the faculty member each time an absence is related to his or her disability, and must initiate the discussion of making up tests or assignments. It is the responsibility of the student to communicate regularly with their instructors about absences and make-up work.

A Few Words about Technical Standards

Technical Standards balance the right to accommodation and the right to protect the integrity of programs by identifying their essential elements, both academically and interpersonally. Technical standards address the abilities that must be acquired to effectively enter into a profession. 

Departments should identify the functionalities of each program requiring some sort of field experience.

Deliberative Process

Determine technical standards through a deliberative process. Proper consideration must be given to whether effective alternatives to establish requirements exist that would allow students with disabilities to participate. For information on who must be included in the process, contact SDS.

Individual Assessment

If there is a question about an individual student meeting the technical standards, contact SDS to arrange for an individual assessment with student input.

Informed Decision

Inform students of the technical standards/program requirements so that they can make their own determination. Avoid discouraging students from an academic program, but tell them the facts, provide the accommodations, and allow them to try.

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