Academics

Classroom Accommodations

Alma will provide reasonable classroom accommodations to students with disabilities.

Accommodations are individually determined based upon discussions between the student and the Disability Services Coordinator, a review of the documentation, and input from relevant faculty/staff members (while maintaining confidentiality).

Classroom accommodations at the college level may differ from modifications that were available in high school. Accommodations may not alter an essential component of a course. Some common examples of accommodations that may be approved include:

  • Extended time on tests or exams,
  • Testing in a separate room,
  • Use of adaptive technology,
  • Note taking services,
  • Alternative format textbooks, and/or
  • Advance copies of an instructor’s notes/outlines.

Requesting Classroom Accommodations

​In college, it is up to each student to decide whether to disclose their disability. However, if a student would like to receive classroom accommodations at Alma they must register with the Disability Services Coordinator in the Center for Student Opportunity and provide the appropriate documentation.

1. Request Accommodations

This can be done through the Classroom Accommodation Request Form or by emailing disability_services@alma.edu. Students are encourage to set up accommodations at the beginning of each semester.

2. Submit Documentation

Documentation can be attached to the Classroom Accommodation Request Form.

The documentation must come from a licensed or credentialed professional qualified to diagnose the stated disability and it must include:

  • A clear diagnostic statement that describes how the condition was diagnosed, provides information on the functional impact, and details the typical progression or prognosis of the condition.
  • A description of the diagnostic criteria, evaluation methods, procedures, tests and dates of administration, as well as a clinical narrative, observation, and specific results.
  • Information on how the condition currently impacts the individual and a description of any expected changes in the functional impact of the disability.
  • A description of current and past accommodations, services and/or medications.
  • Recommendations for accommodations, adaptive devices, assistive services, compensatory strategies, and/or collateral support services.

Documentation can include, but is not limited to, a Section 504 Plan, an Individualized Education Plan (IEP), or a letter from the student’s provider.

You can download a printable version of this list of documentation requirements here.

3. Discussion with the Disability Services Coordinator about:

  • How your condition impacts a major life function.
  • Subject areas or times that are particularly difficult for you.
  • Expectations of higher education including anticipated work load, program technical standards, attendance, code of conduct, standards, etc.

4. Determination of Reasonable Accommodations

The Disability Services Coordinator will then determine through conversation with the student and, when necessary, faculty what accommodations are best. This process can take up to 1-2 weeks.

5. Notification of Faculty

  • The Disability Services Coordinator will e-mail PDF copies of accommodation letters to the student’s Alma email account.
  • It is the student’s responsibility to distribute, in person or by e-mail, the accommodation letters to their instructors to notify them of eligibility and desire to use accommodations. This is important in order to protect confidentiality and to promote self-advocacy and independence. A student is encouraged to talk with his or her instructor about the letter and the reasons for the accommodations, but it is not required.
  • Faculty members are aware of the policies and procedures surrounding accommodations in the classroom. If a student feels comfortable talking about his or her needs, an instructor might be able to offer suggestions specific to his or her course and style of teaching that may be more effective than the accommodations alone.
  • Students who are apprehensive about presenting an Accommodation Letter to one or more instructors can talk with Maria Jones for assistance with this task.

6. Continued Interaction

Students are encouraged to work with the Disability Services Coordinator at any point, but especially if they are experiencing any difficulty with their classroom accommodations, have a new diagnosis to share, are experiencing different impacts due to medication changes or ongoing disability-related treatment or progression, or wish to discuss support resources that may be available to aid in their success.

An example of a typical accommodation letter

Click here or other policies and procedures, including our Grievance Policy.