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The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 mandate equal access to education, employment, and public services for qualified individuals with disabilities.

Accommodations are tools that grant students with disabilities access to educational opportunities. Accommodations are not intended to alter or lower the standards or expectations of a course or exam; they are designed to assist students in learning the same material and meet the same expectations as their classmates who do not have a disability.

The Office of Accessibility Services (OAS) will partner with students to reasonably accommodate individuals with a disability unless such accommodation would pose an undue hardship, which would result in a fundamental alteration in the nature of the Spalding University activity, program or service or in undue financial or administrative burdens.

Students seeking academic accommodation will need to submit the appropriate documentation to the Office of Accessibility Services (OAS).

Documentation must include:

Request for Accommodation Application – Students are to complete and submit this online form.

Disability Documentation Form for Academic Accommodation – To be completed by the student’s health care provider and returned directly to OAS.

Documentation of the disability – Please refer to our specific guidelines for proper documentation.

NOTE: The presentation of documentation and/or the recommendation of a care provider does not automatically guarantee disability status or specific accommodations.

Common Accommodations Requested:

It is important to note that accommodations vary from person to person and are based on recommendations given by the diagnosing physician or licensed psychologist and/or therapist. The accommodations listed below, are, therefore, not guaranteed for every student who registers with OAS but is a general overview of some of the most common accommodations requested and provided at Spalding University.

Extended time on exams

The student is given additional time to complete any in-class, graded assignment such as a quiz, test, or exam. The amount of extended time is indicated by numerical reference of 1.5x, or 2x, etc. For example, 1.5x means that the student is allowed 1.5 times the amount of time students without disabilities are given to complete the exam. If an in-class test is scheduled for 50 minutes, a student with a disability with a 1.5x accommodation would be allowed an additional 25 minutes (or a total of 75 minutes) to complete the test.

Distraction-Reduced Environment

The student is tested in an environment that minimizes distractions for the student. Each student has different levels of distractibility and different stimuli which may distract them. Instructors should discuss with the student the optimal settings in which the student will take the test. Typically, students need an environment that minimizes both auditory (e.g. copy machines, talking, other noises) and visual distractions (e.g. people walking in and out). A distraction-reduced environment does not necessitate the student’s testing in a private room, nor does it mean that an environment is completely distraction-free.

Enlarged Font Exams

Tests are enlarged to needed font size to enable the student to see and/or better understand the test material.


A person or computer software program reads the test (word for word) to the student.


A person records (verbatim) the answers provided by the student during a test.

Assistive Technology

A variety of software, hardware, and other devices are used to accommodate the student. For example a scanner, computer, text magnifier, etc.

Assignment extensions and modifications – i.e. modifying the length of an essay.

Note Takers

Note Sharers are on a volunteer basis only and students are not 100% guaranteed a Note Sharer for each class. If a Note Sharer cannot be acquired during the course of a session, the Coordinator of Accessibility Services will work with both the student and the professor to come up with a suitable alternative.

PDF versions of most textbooks (actual textbook must be purchased prior to receiving an electronic copy)

Audio-recorded Lectures

The student with this accommodation may need assistance capturing information that is covered in lecture and may audio-record lectures for later use in studying. After presenting the letter of accommodation, students should request permission from the instructor to audio record lectures and review sessions; the student is responsible for providing the recording device and maintaining control over the recordings.

Communication Services

Interpreters are provided to students who have substantial hearing loss which prevents them from hearing the information presented in class. These services are arranged by OAS. After registering with OAS, a qualified student would meet with the Coordinator for Accessibility Services to discuss the level of hearing loss and the needs of the student in class and within their program. OAS does not have sign language interpreters on staff, so contract interpreters must be arranged well ahead of time. Access is provided in the classroom and for other required course work at no additional charge to the student.

Preferential Seating

The student is allowed to sit where they can best obtain the information presented in class. Arranging preferential seating should be a collaborative process between the instructor and the student.

Enlarged Font Handouts

Handouts are enlarged to the font size needed to enable the student to see and understand the handout material.