Accommodations Guide

Accommodations and other support services for students with disabilities exist to equalize the student’s access to courses, programs and activities by way of reasonable academic and environmental adjustments or accommodations. The intention behind determining and implementing accommodations should always be to “level the playing field,” not to provide an advantage for some students over others. (See “Disability and Higher Education FAQs” for more information on this concept.)

Some support services are provided by Disability Support Services (DSS), and others are the responsibility of students and instructors. In general, DSS provides auxiliary aides like audio recorders, text-to-speech software, and sign language interpreters while students and their instructors arrange classroom accommodations, like extended exam time.

Only students who have met with DSS to complete the registration process and have followed the procedures for requesting services will be provided support services and accommodations. These students must discuss their Accommodation Letter each semester with each instructor from whom they would like to receive classroom accommodations that semester. Any changes to the accommodations in the letter must be made in agreement with the student, instructor, and DSS.

It is important to maintain a collaborative relationship between students, instructors, and DSS when implementing support services and accommodations so that the student’s accessibility needs can be met within the parameters of the technical academic standards and disability statutes. Below are the written policies for specific services and accommodations. They are generalized intentionally so that they can apply in most academic settings. Students and their instructors should use this as a guide to plan how accommodations will be met each semester:

Exams – Extra Time

Allowed extra time beyond the amount of designated time for completion of any and all in-class exams and assessments (tests, quizzes, & graded assignments).

  • For a time and a half (1.5x) accommodation, this means that if the instructor gives the class 20 minutes to complete a quiz, students with this accommodation can take up to 30 minutes to complete that same quiz.
  • For students with a double time (2x) accommodation, the student would have 40 minutes to complete a quiz regularly scheduled for 20 minutes. 

Both student and instructor should make efforts to plan extended exam time at least 7 business days in advance, but it is ultimately the students’ responsibility to ensure that the instructor is aware that they will need extra time well before the next scheduled exam. Some common arrangements made by students and instructors are to have the student come to class earlier, stay later, or meet with the instructor another time to take the exam.

Sometimes instructors may be unable to provide this accommodation to students due to time and resource constraints. In these cases, students may take their exam in Main with DSS, instead of with the instructor. Students who are approved for this accommodation, as well as the separate testing space accommodation, may need to take their exams with DSS regularly in order to ensure that both testing conditions are being met. Students should enter their test request here. Faculty must enter associated information for the student test here.

Exams that require interaction with the instructor (i.e., foreign language listening exercises) or high-monitoring of the examinees should be administered by the instructor. All students are expected to follow the Trinity Honor System and maintain academic integrity regardless of their location or exam proctor.

For Nursing students: This accommodation can also be provided when you take the TEAS and NCLEX on campus. Please contact DSS if your instructor or exam proctor needs confirmation of approval or assistance with setting up this accommodation in the testing menu.

For Education students: For those students who need to take the Praxis, please contact ETS in which to complete all paperwork. DSS must sign off on certain paperwork if students with documented disabilities wish to use accommodations on the Praxis. This is a lengthy process; therefore, students must plan accordingly to  ensure that they have enough time to submit all paperwork prior to sitting for the exam.

Return to Top

Exams – Separate Space

A separate space for taking any and all timed in-class exams and assessments (tests, quizzes, & graded assignments). Hallways and busy offices would not be appropriate alternate locations, but an unoccupied classroom or office might suffice.

Both student and instructor should make efforts to plan separate space accommodations at least 7 business days in advance, but it is ultimately the students’ responsibility to ensure that the instructor is aware that they will need a separate space well before the next scheduled exam.

  • Taking the exam before the class arrives or planning to stay in class later to receive this accommodation must be well-planned to ensure that the entire testing time will be undisturbed by incoming and outgoing traffic.

Students with this accommodation may opt to regularly take ALL of their exams with DSS to ensure appropriate examination conditions. It is also understood that some instructors are unable to provide this accommodation to students due to time and resource constraints. In these cases,  students may take their exam in Main  with DSS instead of with the instructor. Students should enter their test request here. Faculty must enter associated information for the student test here.

Exams that require interaction with the instructor (i.e., foreign language listening exercises) or high-monitoring of the examinees should be administered by the instructor. All students are expected to follow the Trinity Honor System and maintain academic integrity regardless of their location or exam proctor.

Return to Top


DSS provides these students with access to Kurzweil 3000, a web-based reading and writing software, on their home PCs and/or designated library computers while attending Trinity. Students with this software can listen to their textbooks in audio format and use various other features for writing assignments.

Students are provided access to a copy of the software, user training, and a log-in ID that allows them to use the program at home and on campus. Students who are approved to use this software must sign a user agreement and submit their textbooks and other course materials to DSS for conversion to audio (or read-along format). Students must purchase the copy of the textbooks that are submitted to DSS and provide proof of purchase to DSS. Installation assistance and technical troubleshooting for Kurzweil is available from DSS staff upon request.

Return to Top


DSS can train these students on usage Speech-to-Text options. Students with either program can train it to recognize their speech, allowing them to self-dictate all written work.

Though Trinity does not provide students with a copy of the speech-to-text software, it is available on campus for approved students students to places where they can purchase the Windows Vista/7 upgrade (Speech Recognition program is automatically built-in). There are also some other options that may be helpful in this situation.

Return to Top

Recordings & Class Notes

There are several methods that students can use to capture course material in the classroom: instructor notes, recordings (for personal review), and recordings (for notetaking service use (Notetaking Express (NTE)). These students may be accommodated through one or a combination of these methods to increase their modes of access to verbally-delivered course material.

1. Access copies of the instructors’ posted materials (i.e., PowerPoint, handouts, visual aides), most often via Moodle, or professors can email these to students. Instructors may also have additional notes and materials that they are willing to provide the student to supplement the posted materials.

2. Students may use their own recording device to record class lectures. Students must notify their instructor that they will be recording the lecture.


Return to Top

Sign Language Interpreting

Sign-language interpreters facilitate communication between people who are deaf or hard of hearing and people who can hear. Sign-language interpreters are fluent in English and in American Sign Language (ASL), which combines signing, finger spelling, and specific body language. DSS schedules sign language interpreters for all University activities of students, personnel, and visitors who have identified themselves as needing this service.

Visitors and personnel requiring sign language interpreting services should notify Human Resources and contact DSS to make specific arrangements.

Students requiring only sign language interpreters must still complete the DSS registration process and complete an interpreter request form.

In order to provide appropriate and professional interpreting services, the following guidelines have been established for students:

  • For a class or extended event: Students should request interpreters four (4) weeks in advance of first day of the class or event.
  • For one-day: Students should request interpreters two (2) weeks in advance of the meeting or event.

Every effort will be made to fill late requests.

After you have made your request to DSS, (a) qualified sign language interpreter(s) will be hired and scheduled for your class or event. Please contact DSS immediately if an interpreter that Trinity scheduled is not providing you with adequate services so that a replacement can be assigned as soon as possible.


Sign Language Interpreter Request (Web)

Return to Top

Extension on Graded Assignments (Take-Home Work)

All students are expected to review their syllabi at the start of the semester and plan for timely completion of all assignments and exams that are to be done outside of the classroom. However, in some cases, students may be granted an extension accommodation, which provides a way for them to work with professors to develop an extended timelines for work submission. 

Students with extension accommodations must communicate with professors to determine a reasonable approach and timeline to using their accommodation for take-home assignments. This must be done in advance of the assignment deadline and agreed upon by professors. Please contact DSS with any questions.

Return to Top

Absence from/leaving Class

All students are expected to attend classes and adhere to their instructors’ attendance policies. If students have  a disability that they believe will require them to miss more classes than is allowed, they must discuss the matter with that instructor and advisor as soon as they become aware of the issue. 

Students who have an accommodation for unexpected absence, leaving class early, arriving late, or taking breaks during class are responsible for staying in communication with faculty members, in order to ensure clear understanding of missing class due to disability and accommodation-related matters. An attendance accommodation does not override class attendance policy or expectations. Please contact DSS with any questions.

Should an emergency situation arise requiring students  to miss class, they must contact their instructor to discuss the matter. If it is related to the students’ documented disability, they should also inform DSS for record-keeping purposes.

Return to Top

Adaptive/Assistive Technology (AT)

Some students require the use of adaptive (also called assistive) technology (AT) to increase their access to class material and/or ability to communicate on campus. AT can be in the form of an external device/hardware or a software program, and it can also be categorized as low-tech or hi-tech, depending on its complexity. Examples of AT broadly include items like wheelchairs, audio recorders, word processors, aided communication devices, ergonomic keyboards, vibrating alarms, text-to-speech programs, and voice recognition systems.

Students may use their own AT or borrow available equipment from DSS for the semester for use in the classroom and/or their dorm room. In the classroom, students cannot use AT that is disruptive to other students (i.e., “talking” dictionaries) and should mute volumes unless the purpose of the device is to communicate with the class. The Accommodation Letter will indicate if the student will be using classroom-specific AT so that the instructor is aware. For example, the letter would list an audio recorder, but it would not list a motorized powerchair. Instructors are not responsible for providing any AT listed on the letter. Trinity cannot purchase AT for students to own, but DSS may be able to assist students in obtaining AT funding from state vocational rehabilitation programs.

Available AT for Semester Loan

  • Text-to-Speech software (Kurzweil 3000)
  • Audio Recorders
  • Four-Function Calculators
    Note on calculators: Some students may be approved to use a four-function calculator in class and during exams to speed up their basic calculation processes and reduce minor errors. A four-function calculator can add, subtract, divide, or multiply and is an accommodation that students can request on national standardized tests. Since these calculators are unable to perform the processes being taught in a typical college-level math course, it is not considered to be an extra advantage for the student. Use of a scientific or graphing calculator when they are not permitted by the instructor is not an acceptable testing accommodation. When enrolled in a math course at Trinity, students with math-related disabilities should also speak with their instructor or advisor about using MyMathLab.

Return to Top