Common Course Accommodations

It is the responsibility of students to meet with you, preferably in your office during office hours or by appointment, to discuss accommodations to assist with their successful completion of the course. These accommodations may include in-class supports. Listed are some common accommodation types and general best practices to follow.

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  1. Tests and Exams
    • Includes: All class tests and Registrar or instructor exams
  2. Online Quizzes
  3. Pop Quizzes
  4. Group Exams
  5. Written Assignments
    • Includes: Individual essays, reflections, projects, and undergraduate thesis
  6. Group Work/Projects
  7. Labs
  8. Participation
    • For: Class, tutorials or seminars
  9. Peer Evaluation
  10. Attendance
    • For: Class, tutorials or seminars
  11. Presentations
  12. Experiential Learning
    • Includes: Field labs, practicum, community-based experiential learning
  13. Performance-Based Evaluations
    • Includes: Musical performances, theatre performances, clinical activities, OSCE or bell-ringers
  14. Portfolios
  15. Graduate Program Specific Evaluations

Important Notes:

  • Where possible, instructors should always follow principles of Universal Instructional Design. See the MacPherson institute for more information.
  • This resource is specific to common course requirements and assignments. It does not address course textbooks or broader course planning. Please refer to the MacPherson Institute or Student Accessibility Services for more information on Universal Instructional Design and course planning.
  • The following list of academic accommodations are common examples of what an instructor might expect to receive for any given student.
  • Instructors should not independently implement any of these accommodations for any student, without first receiving a formal Student Accessibility Services accommodation notification.
  • The following examples of common course requirements and assessments are not organized by any degree or field of study.
  • This is not an exhaustive list of possible assessments or course requirements; nor is this an exhaustive list of possible accommodations.
  • These examples of common accommodations are not dictated by a particular disability; individual students may require accommodations not listed here.
  • The University has a duty to accommodate students. Instructors should plan to accommodate students; students should not be required to forgo other academic requirements in order to meet a specific course expectation (e.g. miss a class, have another instructor change their test time).
  • All accommodations directly below apply to undergraduate, graduate, AND continuing education courses unless otherwise specified.

Tests and Exams

  • Scheduling of extra time for test/exam
  • Scheduling of one test/exam per day
  • Scheduling a day break between test/exam sittings
  • Use of technology (e.g. computer with adaptive software)
  • Use of ergonomic equipment (e.g. chairs)
  • Individual room
  • Small group room
  • Sensory adjustments: modified lighting, noise-cancelling headphones, earplugs, listening to music
  • Alternate time of day for test/exam sitting
  • Use of a reader or scribe
  • Accessible format (e.g. text format, Kurzweil, test copy printed on coloured paper

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Online Quizzes

  • Scheduling of extra time for the quiz
  • Scheduling of one test or exam per day
  • Scheduling of a day break between tests or exams

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Pop Quizzes

  • Scheduling of extra time for the quiz
  • Advance notice of quiz
  • For additional accommodation options, see Tests and Exams (some or all may apply)

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Group Exams

  • Write individual test component ahead of time in order to be able to join the group during the group component
  • Specific individual accommodations considered on a case by case basis
  • For additional accommodation options, see Tests and Exams (some or all may apply)

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Written Assignments

  • Extension
  • Consideration for spelling, sentence structure and grammar
  • Early receipt of questions
  • Receipt of feedback in alternate forms
  • Ability to submit draft work for feedback

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Group Work/Projects

  • Extension of time for group based upon individual student confidentiality
  • Complete work or project individually based upon individual student confidentiality
  • Specific or structured component assigned to each student in the group
  • Advanced communications with instructor
  • Invitation to students with accommodations to discuss group work accommodations

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Labs

  • Extensions (Where an extension is not possible, the provision of an alternate lab with different questions)
  • Breaking up or ‘chunking’ the lab activities
  • Online labs, where possible
  • Consideration to physical environment (e.g. height adjustable lab bench, alternate furniture)
  • Assistance of a lab partner or attendant
  • Preferred location with proximity to required lab equipment (e.g. sink, fume hood)
  • Emergency evacuation and safety plan
  • Where group components to the lab, see Group Work

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Participation

  • In alignment with Universal Instructional Design, consider alternate forms of evaluation in lieu of class participation (e.g. submission of discussion questions, written reflections based on tutorial discussion or readings)
  • Distribute discussion questions in advance

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Peer Evaluation

  • Alternate form of evaluation in lieu of peer evaluation

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Attendance

  • Notetaking or notetaker
  • Use of Echo360
  • Distribution of slides and handouts in advance
  • Alternate form of evaluation in lieu of class attendance (may include the alternate of evaluation of in-class response systems)
  • ASL or CART services

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Presentations

  • Distribution of questions in advance
    • Written evaluation in lieu of presentation
    • Structured notes to use during the presentation
    • Use of video in lieu of the presentation
    • Closed format (e.g. private meeting with instructor)

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Experiential Learning

  • Adjust start or end time, and provide extensions as needed
  • Breaks as needed
  • Preferred locations for these activities
  • Designated site selection for specific disability-related reasons
  • Excluded from lottery
  • ASL services
  • Personal attendant support
  • Transportation assistance
  • Quiet setting, assistive technology, ergonomic furniture, as needed
  • Specific, regular and advance notice for schedule
  • More frequent check-ins with supervisors, preceptors, etc.
  • Advanced accommodations planning

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Performance-Based Evaluations

  • Individualized plans for specific accommodations
  • Closed-session or individual offering (e.g. individual OSCE)
  • Breaks where necessary
  • For performances, video recording of performance
  • Consideration of scheduling (e.g. time of day, number of assessments on a given day, breaks between assessments)
  • Where a combined written and practical component, consideration to separation of these elements into separate days
  • Extension of time
  • Receiving questions in advance (not typically applied to OSCE or bell-ringers)

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Portfolios

  • Individual plans for specific accommodations
  • Extension
  • More frequent feedback
  • Alternate means of presentation (e.g. digital or hard-copy)

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Common Graduate Program Specific Evaluation Accommodations

Important Notes:

  • For graduate course accommodations (including tests and exams), see the course accommodations above.

Oral Exams

  • Structured notes to use during the exam
  • Receiving questions in advance
  • Use of paper and pen to take notes
  • Closed format (e.g. private meeting with instructor)
  • For additional accommodation options, see Tests and Exams (some or all may apply)

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Comprehensive Exam

  • Extend the time-frame for the exam preparation
  • For additional accommodation options, see Tests and Exams (some or all may apply)

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Thesis

  • Additional or more frequent drafts for feedback and review
  • See oral exams
  • For additional accommodation options, see Essays, Written Assignments and Undergraduate Thesis (some or all may apply)

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Supervisory/Committee Reviews and Meetings

  • Alternate time of day
  • Greater frequency of committee reviews
  • Greater frequency of scheduled supervisory meetings
  • Guidelines, expectations and conduct for supervisory relationship and communication
  • Receiving questions in advance
  • Preparation of a structured agenda
  • Both oral and written feedback

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Last Updated: August 9 2019