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Exam Accommodations

Accommodation plans are developed by Accessibility Specialists (formerly Counsellors) within Student Accessibility Services. The student’s medical documentation, self-reported disability related functional limitations and course objectives/learning outcomes are all considered when developing a student’s accommodation plan.

Generally speaking, it is the role of Exam Accommodations, within the Assessment Centre, to facilitate the exam accommodations approved by Student Accessibility Services, including the invigilation of on-campus exams within the Exam Accommodations area (NDC – D110; EDC – E440).

Student’s eligible for exam accommodations are required to follow processes laid out by Student Accessibility Services and Exam Accommodations.

Note:

“Exam” accommodations applies to all quizzes (including “pop” quizzes), tests, exams, and graded in-class assignments.

Some accommodations may not be applicable in certain classroom environments (e.g., online, in-person)

The following are descriptions of various exam accommodations:

Access to a dictionary

Exam Accommodations will provide the student with a dictionary to assist with spelling during an exam.

Allow stretch breaks during exams

Student will be permitted stretch breaks in the exam room (if in a room with no other students) or permitted to take a short supervised walk during the exam. Access to personal items (cell phone) or course material will not be permitted during such breaks.

Alternate format exams

Due to disability related reasons, a student will require all exams in an alternate format. Examples include:

  • Electronic version
  • Enlarged font – paper based exams (e.g., 16 point font)
  • Font style (e.g., Arial, Calibri)
  • Paper colour (e.g., lilac, blue)

Whenever possible, instructors are asked to create the alternate format and provide it to Exam Accommodations in advance of the test. If you would prefer Exam Accommodations creates the alternate version, please:

  • Provide a MS Word version of the exam (PDF files are difficult and time consuming to alter)
  • Provide the e-version to Exam Accommodations at least 3 business days’ in advance of the exam date
    • All e-versions of exams are deleted once the alternate format has been created.

Calculator

Student is permitted a calculator during the exam.

Computer for short answer/essay questions

For disability related reasons a student may require a computer to complete exam questions rather than hand write their answers. In such cases, students will not have access to the internet or spell/grammar check.

Computer spell checker

The student will complete their exam answers on a computer and will utilize spell/grammar check.

Editing

An Exam Accommodations proctor edits for spelling, grammar, and/or sentence mechanics when those skills are not being graded.

Ergonomic/accessible equipment

Student will be provided with ergonomic equipment, when appropriate. Examples include: height adjustable desk, podium, varidesk, ergonomic chair, padded chair without wheels, ergonomic keyboard, ergonomic mouse, large screen monitor, large font keyboard.

Exam Environment

  • Private room – with no other students (an Exam Accommodations proctor will either be in the room with the student or will monitor the student from outside of the room through a window)
  • Private space – in a regular classroom with up to 3 other students; carrel in D216 (NDC) with up to 11 other students
  • Small group – up to 12 students in a regular classroom; carrel in D216 (NDC) if space is available)

Extended Time

Extended time generally ranges from 1.25 to 2.0X that of the standard quiz/test/exam time.

Extended time is always based on the standard test time (i.e., the amount of time the non-accommodations students are allotted).

Flexible scheduling

Due to disability related reasons, flexibility in exam schedule may be required. Examples include:

  • May need to reschedule exams at the last minute due to symptoms that are episodic in nature. The student will approach the instructor when this accommodation is required.
  • One exam per day. Please work with the student to arrange an alternate exam date/time.
  • Exams to start after a specific time (e.g., 9 am). Please work with the student to arrange an alternate exam time if necessary.
  • Exams to end before a specific time (e.g., 6 pm). Please work with the student to arrange an alternate exam time if necessary.

Formula Sheet

The student is able to refer to a formula sheet during math based exams that is pre-approved by their instructor. The student’s Accessibility Specialist will contact the instructor to develop an implementation plan and will then convey this plan to Exam Accommodations.

Memory aid or Reference sheet

The student is permitted to refer to a memory aid sheet during an exam that is pre-approved by their instructor. The student’s Accessibility Specialist will contact the instructor to develop an implementation plan and will then convey this plan to Exam Accommodations.

Natural Light

Student will require an exam room with natural light.

Noise cancelling headphones

Headphones provided by Exam Accommodations. Headphones will not be connected to any device.

Permitted to take medications when required

Exam Accommodations staff inspect medication bottles prior to the start of the exam.

Pre-recorded music or radio

The student will be permitted to listen to pre-recorded music during exams. The student will be required to access pre-recorded music provided by Exam Accommodations utilizing an Exam Accommodations device. Personal electronic devices are not permitted.

Reader

A proctor will read exam questions to the student following a standardized process established by Student Accessibility Services.

For paper based exams taking place on campus, instructors are asked to provide Exam Accommodations with 2 copies of the exam – 1 for the student and 1 for the reader.

Reading ruler

A reading ruler is a non-technological tool that visually assists a student in reading lines of text. The student may bring into the exam room their own reading ruler or they may request one from Exam Accommodations.

Scribe

A proctor will write/type verbatim the student’s exam answers following a standardized process established by Student Accessibility Services.

For paper based exams taking place on campus, instructors are asked to provide Exam Accommodations with 2 copies of the exam – 1 for the student and 1 for the scribe.

Self-testing for medical conditions when required (e.g., blood glucose)

Exam Accommodations staff inspect testing equipment prior to the start of the exam.

Snacks/juice due to a medical condition

Such items are inspected by Exam Accommodations staff prior to the start of the exam.

Specialized software

For access reasons, a student may require specialized software when completing an exam. For off-campus exams, students will have access to the software on their personal computers. For on-campus exams, Exam Accommodations will provide the necessary software on a College computer.

Examples of specialized software include:

  • Screen reader software (Jaws)
  • Magnification software (ZoomText)
  • Text-to-speech software (Kurzweil)
  • Voice dictation software (Dragon Naturally Speaking)

Note: When a student is eligible to use one of the above listed software programs, instructors are advised not to use a lockdown browser for online exams due to incompatibility with the specialized software.

Washroom breaks due to a medical condition

The student is accompanied by an Exam Accommodations proctor from the exam room to the washroom door and back to the exam room. The amount of time a student remains in the washroom is calculated and noted in the proctor’s notes.

White noise machine

Provided by Exam Accommodations (only for students eligible for a private room).

Important: If you believe a student’s approved accommodation(s) compromise course objectives, please contact the student’s Accessibility Specialist to discuss your concerns.