About Academic Accommodations

Reasonable accommodations include a range of services, equipment, and course alterations that adjust a course, program, or activity to ensure equal educational opportunities for all students regardless of disability.  Approved accommodations are based on the way a student’s disability currently impacts the student and must be supported by appropriate documentation. 

Common academic accommodations might include:

  • Extended time on exams, tests, and quizzes
  • Proctored testing in a distraction-reduced environment
  • Access to note-taking assistance
  • Assistance with obtaining alternative texts and accessible materials

Guidelines and Procedures for Requesting and Receiving Academic Accommodations

  1. Complete the Registration and Request for Academic Accommodation Form and return it to Student Accessibility and Disability Services.
  2. Review our Disability Documentation Guidelines. Work with your previous school or recent professional health-care provider (where you may have received accommodations or other disability-related services) to request your psychoeducational testing or other disability-related healthcare documentation.  Send professional documentation to Student Accessibility and Disability Services via scan/email or fax (828-641-0653).  While other supplemental information such as IEPs or 504 plans can provide some helpful information, the actual testing or assessment information is what is needed to verify the appropriate accommodations or services.
  3. The Director will review the accommodation request(s) and documentation and respond via campus email to advise the student of approval of requested accommodations and/or any additional recommendations or necessary action.
  4. Arrange to attend a "Welcome Meeting" prior to or early in the semester with the Director of Student Accessibility and Disability Services to discuss specific academic accommodation needs and implementation.  
  5. Upon approval of academic accommodations, an official Academic Accommodation Letter (AAL) will be prepared for students to send by email to their professors.
  6. Students need to make contact with Student Accessibility & Disability Services to renew their AAL each enrolled semester. 
  7. Students should forward their approved Academic Accommodation Letter to each professor early in the semester in courses where the accommodations are necessary.  Accommodations cannot be applied retroactively.  
  8. Work with the Director of Student Accessibility and Disability Services to request and receive specific accommodations such as extended time/separate setting for exams, note-taking assistance, or access to alternative/accessible texts.


Testing Accommodations

Testing Accommodations are approved through the Academic Accommodation Letter.  Students should discuss with their professor arrangements for utilizing test accommodations at least a week prior to the test.  Accommodations may be able to be arranged with the professor, or a student may request to take tests at the ELC Testing Center located in Jones Library.  Students should make arrangements to take tests in the ELC at least three business days in advance with the Director of Student Accessibility.  More advance time may be required to schedule and arrange final exams.  

Students may complete the online Student Testing Accommodation Request Form to initiate the request and to complete arrangements with their professor.  

Students should be aware of the ELC Testing Center Guidelines

Disability-Related Absences Guidelines

A number of conditions that qualify as disabilities may at times cause a student to be absent from class beyond the course’s stated absence policy. However, disability-related absences do not alter the student’s obligation to fulfill class requirements. The Brevard College Class and Laboratory Attendance Policy (see the Brevard College Catalog) reads in part, “Students should expect to be eligible for course credit and Financial Aid only if they attend at least 70% of the class meetings.  Specific attendance requirements for each course are established by the instructor…”.

Students should also be aware of financial responsibilities in the event of the need to withdraw as outlined in the Withdrawal Refund Policy and Financial Aid and Refund located within the Brevard College Catalog.

At Brevard College, attendance is often fundamental to course objectives; for example, students may be required to participate in class discussion, in group projects or labs, or otherwise participate as part of a class participation grade component. The faculty is not required to effect substantial modifications of class requirements for accommodation purposes.  However, for students adversely affected by documented conditions such as those above, faculty may determine that students could master course content and complete course requirements with the accommodation of allowing extra disability-related absences.

For additional details, please review the Disability-Related and Temporary Impairment Absences Guidelines.

Recording Policy

Under Section 504, Subpart E Postsecondary Education, of the 1973 Rehabilitation Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act, institutions of higher education must provide reasonable accommodations to a student’s known disability and may not deny equal access to the institution’s programs, courses, and activities.  For a number of students with disabilities, simultaneously listening to lectures and taking notes is extremely difficult.  Recording class lectures is a reasonable accommodation for students who have registered with the Office of Student Accessibility and Disability Services and whose documentation determine this as an appropriate accommodation.

Typically, students may not use recording devices in the classroom without explicit prior permission from the class instructor and consent from all students present.  However, instructor and class permission are not required when an accommodation notification from the Office of Student Accessibility & Disability Services (OSSADS) has been received by the instructor, which identifies a student that requires the use of a recording device.  Before any such recording can occur, the student must notify their instructor of their plans to record and must sign the Audio Recording Policy.  On this policy, students with the accommodation of audio recording agree to the following conditions:

  1. Recordings of lectures are only for the student’s personal use in study and preparation related to the course.
  2. The student may not share these recordings with any other person without the consent of the lecturer.
  3. The student may not publish or quote the lecture or post the lecture on-line without the written consent of the lecturer.
  4. The student must sign an agreement with the OSSADS before lectures can be recorded and must be registered as a student with a disability.     
  5. The lecturer will be notified beforehand that the lecture will be recorded and that the student has signed an agreement.
  6. The student agrees either to; a) return all recorded lectures to the lecturer by the end of the semester, or to b) destroy all recordings made when they are no longer needed for his/her respective courses.
  7. Students are expected to attend the class that is being recorded.  Recording a lecture is not a replacement for class attendance.

If an instructor objects to audio recording, it is often because they maintain that their right to privacy of information discussed in the classroom is being violated or because there is a concern about a breach of copyright.  The instructor’s right to privacy or concern over copyright does not override the student’s right to accommodation.  One of the responsibilities of the Director of Student Accessibility & Disability Services is to see that the instructor’s concern for privacy and copyright protection is respected and addressed while still assuring the availability of appropriate accommodations for students.  This is addressed in the Audio Recording Policy.  The Director is available to work with any instructor who wishes to have an agreement between instructor and student that details the specific limited use of the recordings and arranges for their disposal when the purpose of the recording has been fulfilled.

Occasionally, instructors object to the use of a recording device in classes that involve a great deal of self-disclosure in class out of concerns that recording would inhibit students from freely sharing.  The use of a recording device is designed to address the student’s struggles with note-taking.  When open discussions are not appropriate subject matter for any student to be taking notes, instructors may limit the use of any recording device in specific situations when it is determined that recording would inhibit free discussion and the free exchange of ideas in the classroom.

Recording devices are considered auxiliary aids and as such must be allowed or provided to qualified students who do not have their own device.


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