Some students with different types of disabilities require special testing accommodations. The provision of appropriate testing accommodations for many students with disabilities is required by law. Depending on the disability-related needs of the students, testing accommodations may include:
- Extended time (usually double time, but may be extended even longer for those with print or motor disabilities)
- Reading or writing assistance
- Alternative formats (braille, large print, and cassette tape)
- American Sign Language interpretation for oral directions about test
- Computer accessibility
- Accessible test site
- Quiet test space
- Completing scantron answer sheets
- Rest period
Faculty who prefer to administer exams in their own office/department are responsible for all scheduling, quiet space, readers, computer access, and proctors, if needed. While there are numerous testing accommodations that may be appropriate or legally required, there are some that may be inappropriate, unfair, or not legally required.
This depends on the type of testing used and how the disabled students can most effectively demonstrate their knowledge. Listed below are some testing accommodations that are not generally recommended unless the method or procedure is offered to or required of non-disabled students in class.
Unlimited time for tests (Extended time such as double time is appropriate, but there is no requirement for unlimited time).
Oral Examinations (Oral exams in which the instructor and student engage in dialogue are not necessarily required. Oral exams differ from written exams that can be taped or read verbatim to the student who is blind or learning disabled.)
Alternative tests for disabled students might require a different grading or evaluation system. For example, different but comparable questions might be appropriate for a blind student who cannot view diagrams or other graphics.
Clarification of Test Questions
- Clarification of test questions, such as cueing, prompting, or coaching, is not required as a disability accommodation. However, if all students in the class receive clarifications about test questions, then disabled students should have access to the same clarification.
Taking Tests at Different Times or on Different Days
- If the instructor is concerned about cheating or the integrity of the exam, it is perfectly appropriate and legal to require the disabled student to take it at the same time as the class, with the recommended accommodations.
- Take-home exams are not required unless this is the evaluation method for other students in the class.