The following are common accommodations. All decisions regarding accommodation requests, including others not listed below, are made in consultation with the student's Program Specialist and in accordance with UNM Policy 2310.
Accessibility Resource Center recognizes that the nature of a student’s disability or medication side effects may result in an unexpected absence. If an absence occurs, the student should contact their instructor and/or program specialist immediately to inform them of the absence. In courses where attendance is determined by faculty to be an essential requirement of the course, minimal absence adjustments may be appropriate. It is important that either the student or the program specialist discuss the impact of absences with faculty early in the semester. The accommodation should be based on the student's individual need, as well as taking into consideration the impact of the absence(s) on other course requirements (i.e., daily homework, quizzes, exams, projects, papers). Indication of a student’s preference on how to initiate attendance adjustments will be effect each semester unless the student notifies ARC of a change to the procedure.
In order to receive a modification of deadlines (extended time on assignments), the student must meet with his or her instructor to determine what will be a reasonable extension period. The student should consult with the faculty in advance about how the student will meet the academic requirement. The student is responsible for ensuring that this consultation takes place. The accommodation will be based on the student’s individual need, taking into consideration the impact of the extension(s) on other course requirements (i.e., daily homework, quizzes, exams, projects, papers).
Reduced Course Load and Scholarships
ARC is designated to certify students with disabilities taking reduced course loads for the New Mexico Lottery Scholarship, Amigo Scholarship, Presidential Scholarship, and any other scholarship accepted by UNM Financial Aid department.
The University of New Mexico may allow course substitutions for students receiving Accessibility Resource Center services, based on strong documentation of a weakness related to the disability in a specific area. A student must write a letter of appeal and meet with the student’s program specialist from Accessibility Resource Center. The letter of appeal or departmental form should contain at least the following:
- The student’s name, address, student identification number, and major
- A description of request
- An explanation of the student’s disability
- Rationale for the request
- Any past history of any previous attempts to complete courses similar to the core curriculum subject
- Any history of similar requests granted by any college, university or high school
A letter from Accessibility Resource Center should accompany the student’s request verifying the disability, date of initiation of services, and an indication of how long the student has had the disability.
Action by the University
The following outlines the procedure for the implementation of a course substitution.
- The student’s academic advisor will review the student’s request.
- The potential impact on the student’s degree and potential substitution course(s) will be determined by the appropriate program.
- All information will be forwarded to the designee of the College Dean.
- The Dean’s office makes the final determination on the appropriateness of the request.
- The Dean’s office will notify the student in writing of its decision.
- If they deny the request, the student may request reconsideration by the Academic Adjustment Policy Committee by writing another letter and providing any new material the student deems pertinent.
- If they deny the request a second time, they will require the student to meet the University requirement. The Academic Adjustment Policy Committee will notify the student in writing of its decision.
- If they approve the request, the Academic Adjustment Policy Committee will notify the student in writing of its decision.
Policy 2310 on academic adjustments for students with disabilities allows for 15 days for a decision to be made.
Access to Class Notes
Access to class notes is critical to learning. There are three ways to accomplish this: 1) audio recording lectures using a smartpen or other device such as an iPad, tablet or computer; 2) instructor slides and overheads in advance of class or available through UNM Learn; and 3) supplemental notes by a peer volunteer.
Digital Recording Lectures and/or Smartpen
Students may use personal digital recorder, note taking app, or smartpen to record lectures. Digital recorders and smartpens are available for loan through Accessibility Resource Center as needed.
Class Notes Provided by the Instructor
Faculty often provide class notes to students and fulfill the need for note taking assistance. A good study strategy for all students is to augment the PowerPoint slides or overheads by taking additional notes during the lectures. This will help you to recall the information as you prepare for exams.
Supplemental Notes by a Peer Volunteer
Students approved for peer volunteer note taking must register with the Accessibility Resource Center (ARC) and provide a class schedule each semester to initiate this option. This should be done before the start of each semester or as soon as the need arises. Students can register for note assistance in person, by phone, or by emailing the Program Specialist.
Students may know or observe someone in class who takes comprehensive notes. A quick way to obtain notes is to ask your peer to serve as a volunteer note taker. If you don’t feel comfortable asking the person, but know the person‘s contact information ARC will contact the student directly. If you are unable to secure a volunteer, every effort will be made to find a qualified note taker within 15 working days of the request as outlined in the University of New Mexico Policy 2310, Academic Adjustments for Students with Disabilities. ARC will ask the instructor to make an announcement in class requesting a volunteer to come forward while maintaining confidentiality of your name.
It is the student’s responsibility to notify ARC if there is a problem with access to class notes or the note taker is not showing up to class. It is mandatory that students using the services of a note taker attend all class sessions as note taking assistance is not a substitute for attendance.
(Download the ARC Note-Taker Agreement here.)
Signed Language Interpreting
Accessibility Resource Center schedules sign language interpreters when it is determined to be a reasonable accommodation. We will schedule signed language interpreters for both academic and University co-curricular activities when the student makes this request. Requests for interpreter services must be made at least one week prior to the event or activity taking place in order for Accessibility Resource Center to have enough time to contact and schedule a qualified interpreter.
Real Time Captioning
A real time captionist is a stenographer similar to those used in court settings. All verbal communication which transpires during the class session is transmitted onto the screen of the student’s laptop computer via a remote real time captionist. When the class is over, the student is given a copy of their class notes. The ARC contracts with a captioning company and services are provided remotely using the lecturer’s microphone, Skype, and a laptop computer.
On occasion it is necessary to employ educational assistants so equal access can be provided. Arrangements are made by Accessibility Resource Center in consultation with faculty. The purpose of the assistants is to perform tasks under the verbal direction of the student with disability due to limited mobility. Lab courses are a typical example of when an educational assistant may be used.