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Students with Disabilities Services

Students With Disabilities Services




STUDENTS  »  Accommodations and Services  »  Classroom


Classroom Accommodations


• Access to Overheads or Power Point Presentations

Students with disabilities may request that an instructor make course materials displayed on overhead projectors or Power Point slides available for review. Instructors are not required to create new materials. Instead, instructors might post the materials using Blackboard software, make copies of the materials and distribute these copies to students or place copies of the material on reserve in a library. Students will work with instructor(s) to determine an appropriate timeframe for viewing materials.


• Accommodation Memos

SDS communicates a student's approved accommodations with letters to instructors. The Memo of Accommodation includes all of the classroom accommodations that are approved for an individual student. In order for students registered with SDS to have access to accommodations, students must:

1. Be registered with SDS and have accommodations approved by a Coordinator.

2. At the conclusion of the Drop/Add period for a given semester, students should visit AccessSDS and log-in using their regular NetID and Password.

3. Thru the AccessSDS website, students will be able to download and print their Memos of Accommodation as PDF documents.

4. Students should deliver their Memos to each individual instructor and discuss accommodations as appropriate. SDS recommends that students meet with instructors during office hours or by private appointment to discuss any necessary accommodations or essential elements of the course.

5. Students must repeat steps 1-4 each semester.

6. PLEASE NOTE: After receiving an accommodations letter, instructors have up to 5 business days to provide the approved accommodations. This is to allow time for any administrative planning that may need to occur. Thus, students should request, pick up and deliver accommodation letters well in advance of class exams.

7. These letters contain confidential material and should be handled and filed accordingly.


• Alternative Text

Students may require course materials in alternate formats. Common alternate formats include enlarged texts, recorded texts, electronic texts or brailed course materials. SDS works with the student and the professor to provide an appropriate format for the student. Because alternative text production is sometimes a time consuming process, an SDS staff member may ask an instructor for information about course materials several weeks (or months) in advance. SDS also offers the training and resources necessary for students to convert their own materials.


• Braille

While most course materials can be made available to students with visual impairments in electronic or audio formats, it may be necessary to provide key passages, handouts or diagrams in Braille. SDS can provide limited Brailing services and/or refer a student to appropriate resources.


• Copies of Class Notes

Students needing note-taking assistance may approach an SDS Coordinator for suggestions regarding how to acquire a copy of course notes. While students may ask a professor or TA for a copy of the instructor's notes, the note taking accommodation ensures that a student will receive a copy of notes from a fellow student. If a student approved for note taking accommodations and the instructor are experiencing difficulties in obtaining notes, it is the student's responsibility to contact SDS.


• Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services

Students seeking assistance with interpreters, captioning or CART (computer aided real time transcription) services should contact the Coordinator of Services for Students who are deaf and hard of hearing at pkledzik@usf.edu.


• Missing Class Due to a Disability

Students with disabilities may be more prone to missing class due to medication concerns, chronic illness, transportation issues, mobility difficulties or other disability related circumstances. Students registered with SDS should provide documentation supporting the request of flexibility with course attendance. SDS coordinators will meet with students to discuss the potential implications of missing class (i.e. missed notes, greater difficulty in understanding the material); flexibility does not mean that attendance policies do not apply. The instructor and the student determine the specifics of a flexible attendance policy, using the Attendance Clarification Form provided by SDS as a guide. If the student or instructor wishes, the student's SDS administrator can serve as an additional resource to discuss this form and/or options related to accommodation issues.


• Permission to Leave or Move About in Class

For some students with disabilities, sitting for long periods of time and/or remaining in the same position for the duration of a class period can exacerbate symptoms of the disability. Similarly, some students may need to leave class for brief periods to attend to medications or other medical needs. SDS encourages these students to move around or leave class in the least disruptive manner possible. Students should discuss seating arrangements and the timing of breaks with their instructors.


• Permission to Record Classes

Students with disabilities may request permission to record class lectures and discussions. Recording class materials in audio or video format is allowed when the student provides notification of the accommodation to the instructor. The student must provide his/her own recording device and may discuss with the instructor the best placement of the recording device. SDS can serve as a resource for questions regarding the recording accommodation.


• Preferential Seating

Students with disabilities may request an instructor's assistance in obtaining appropriate classroom seating. While reasons for accessible seating vary widely, common disability-related requests include seating near the front of the room, seating near the board or overhead projector, seating near an interpreter or microphone, seating near (or away) from windows, seating near the door and seating on the entry-level of a multi-level classroom. SDS staff can assist with any modifications to classroom furniture, that are necessary due to an accessible seating request.


• Use of a Laptop for Taking Notes

Students who, because of a disability, have difficulty taking notes by hand may request permission to use a laptop in class. Laptops allow for greater speed in taking notes and thus may allow a student to keep pace with others in the class.