Academic Accommodations With Descriptions
This page contains an alphabetized list of many of the accommodations that ARC provides, along with brief descriptions. This is not an exhaustive list: accommodations are determined based on the barriers encountered by each student, and ARC provides other individualized accommodations that do not appear on this list.
Extended time to complete an exam or quiz
This applies only to timed assessments, quizzes and tests that must be started and finished in a single testing session. It does not apply to take-home tests or any other type of test that can be paused and then resumed at a later time. For online tests, the accommodation applies only to the test itself, not to the window of time when the test is available to be taken. It is the student’s responsibility to initiate the request through the Accessibility Resource Center. We are available to provide this accommodation if time and space do not permit within the department.
The student needs to listen to music in order to effectively focus and concentrate on completing the test. The student can choose from among a small number of CD’s that have been prescreened and are provided by ARC for this purpose.
The student needs to read the test questions in Braille in order to effectively demonstrate their mastery of the material.
The student needs to use a basic scientific calculator for exam items that do not measure the academic skills of computation. This DOES NOT INCLUDE USE OF:
* Electronic writing pads
* Calculators with wireless access
* Graphing or financial calculators
The student needs to use a computer to compose their responses to short-answer or essay questions. The computers in the ARC Testing Center have no internet access, and no such access will be permitted unless the professor specifically indicates that internet access is allowed.
Students with low vision can use a CCTV device provided by ARC to enlarge the exam to make it readable for them.
The student sometimes needs to look up the definitions of common words. This does not include looking up vocabulary words specific to the subject they are being tested on.
Enlarged copy of exam
The student has low vision and needs the exam enlarged to a specific font, indicated in the accommodation letter.
Mark responses directly on exam
The student cannot effectively fill out a scantron form, so they need to be able to mark their responses directly on the exam itself.
The student needs to hear the test read aloud, needs assistance writing down their answers, or both.
The student needs to take exams in a quiet location outside of the classroom. Typically ARC provides this accommodation through the ARC Testing Center. If a professor chooses to administer the exam with accommodations within their own department, the exam should be administered in a private room without interruptions or distractions, such as ringing telephones or conversations taking place nearby.
The student needs to use screen magnification software provided by ARC to enlarge the exam on a computer to make it readable for them.
The student needs to use screen reader software provided by ARC to have a computer read aloud the text on the screen as they navigate through the exam.
Signed language interpreter
American Sign Language (ASL) is a language which is grammatically distinct from and unrelated to English. When the goal of the assessment/quiz/exam is to test knowledge of course content rather than the comprehension of English, then students who use ASL as their primary language need to have the English test items interpreted into ASL. They may also need to express their answers in ASL and have them translated into written English.
Speech recognition software
The student needs to dictate their responses to short-answer or essay questions using dictation software provided by ARC.
The student needs to compose their responses to short-answer or essay questions using Microsoft Word and its spellcheck feature.
Visual cue card
This is a note card created by the student that contains items to cue the student’s memory, such as basic formulas, vocabulary list, mnemonics, charts, or pictures. Unless otherwise indicated in the accommodation letter, this is a 3x5 card. The cue card specifically does NOT contain answers, because the accommodation cannot alter the fundamental elements of the exam. Before the exam, the student is responsible for preparing the cue card for the instructor to review; the student will ask the instructor to initial the card to indicate that they have approved its use during the exam. On the day of the exam, the student will bring the initialed cue card to the ARC testing center, and a copy of the card will be sent to the instructor along with the completed exam.
The student uses a wheelchair and therefore needs to use a height-adjustable table while completing their tests.
Access to lecture slides in advance
Access to PowerPoint slides in advance of the lecture provides the student an opportunity for independently taking lecture notes, structuring information according to key concepts, and reviewing the material prior to lecture to maximize retention during the lecture.
Adaptation of physical activities
Students with limited mobility may need allowance to adapt physical activities in courses requiring movement.
Installation of adaptive software is necessary for the student to complete course requirements. Accessibility Resource Center will provide the necessary software programs and contact the appropriate departments for installation. Faculty is asked to report problems to Accessibility Resource Center immediately. It is important that valuable class time is not lost due to computer/software failure.
Adaptive transportation device
Students with orthopedic or chronic health disabilities may use a wheelchair, scooter, Segway, or other assistive device to negotiate campus. Please allow the assistive device to remain close to the individual, should the student move from the device to alternative seating.
Additional time between classes
Students with orthopedic or chronic health disabilities may need additional passing time to get to class when they have back-to-back classes. Please allow a reasonable amount of additional time before considering them tardy.
The student has allergic reactions to certain foods and/or food-based products. ARC will email the instructor with specific details about what is needed from them. For example, we may ask the instructor to announce to the class that certain food items cannot be brought into the classroom.
Allowance to close eyes
The nature of the student’s disability requires that they be able to close their eyes periodically during class. This is a physiological response to a health condition; it is not related in any way to the student’s ability to attend to the material being presented in class.
Allowance to leave class
The nature of the student’s disability or medication side effects may require allowance to briefly step out of class to attend to health-related needs. Attention should not be called to the student, nor should the student cause a disruption to the flow of the lecture while exiting and reentering the classroom.
Allowance to sit during class/lab
The nature of the student’s disability requires that they be able sit during class/lab as needed.
Allowance to stand during class
The nature of the student’s disability requires that they be able to stand during class as needed.
Allowance to wear sunglasses
The nature of the student’s disability requires them to wear sunglasses indoors in order to prevent specific health complications.
Allowance to wear ear buds
The nature of the student’s disability requires that they be able to wear earbuds to limit their exposure to certain sounds. The earbuds are managing a physiological response to a health condition; they have no impact on the student’s ability to attend to the material being presented in class.
Students may require alternative chairs, tables, lighting, etc. provided by ARC and distributed to appropriate locations by UNM movers. Please assist ARC in ensuring the alternative furniture remains in the assigned room and location. Feel free to notify ARC should the furniture go missing.
Alternative to group work
The nature of the student’s disability interferes with the student participating effectively in groupwork. Therefore, if group projects are a part of the course, we recommend that the instructor discuss alternatives with the student. Possible alternative assignments include an individual presentation in a private location, an individual written report, or some other type of assignment that accomplishes the essential learning goals of the group project but can be done individually. We are available to discuss this accommodation and provide additional information if needed.
Alternative to oral presentations
The nature of the student’s disability interferes with their ability to complete oral components of the class. Therefore, if making oral reports, reading aloud in class, or responding to tests orally is a part of the course, we recommend that the instructor discuss alternatives with the student. Possible alternative assignments include a one-on-one presentation in a private location, a pre-recorded presentation, or a written report. We are available to discuss this accommodation and provide additional information if needed.
Assigned seating - back row (near exit)
The nature of the student’s disability requires that they sit in the back row near an exit, as they can learn most effectively from this location. Students are encouraged to arrive early to class to maximize their chances of claiming their desired seat. However, if that is not possible, then we ask that the instructor help arrange for the student to procure the seat they need (as unobtrusively as possible).
Assigned seating - front row
The nature of the student’s disability requires that they sit in the front row, as they can learn most effectively from this location. Students are encouraged to arrive early to class to maximize their chances of claiming their desired seat. However, if that is not possible, then we ask that the instructor help arrange for the student to procure the seat they need (as unobtrusively as possible).
Assistance during emergency evacuation
Students with limited mobility may not be able to evacuate the building during an emergency when elevators are not available. The student is the best authority on what kind of assistance they need. Typically, the student moves into the closest stairwell or area of evacuation indicated on the building floorplan. Faculty or other designee informs the rescue personnel of the student’s location.
The nature of a student’s disability includes symptoms which could exacerbate unexpectedly, causing them to miss class. This accommodation is intended to create reasonable adjustments to classroom attendance policies stated in the course syllabus; it is not an attendance waiver. The accommodation is initiated by the student; therefore, the student is responsible for informing their professors throughout the semester when they need to use the attendance adjustment accommodation.
Generally speaking, a reasonable accommodation for attendance adjustment is the allowance of 50-100% additional absences to what is stated in the syllabus. The amount of attendance flexibility that would be considered reasonable for a given course will depend on the role that attendance and participation play in the learning process. For example, if class sessions involve little student interaction, are mostly lecture-based, and the lectures cover content available in the text or from instructor/peer notes, then more flexibility with excused absences/participation points is reasonable. On the other hand, if class sessions involve more student interaction, include lectures that cover material not duplicated anywhere else, or are primarily based on experiential elements such as discussions, groupwork, or role-plays, then less flexibility with excused absences/participation points is reasonable.
For additional details about the accommodation, please refer to the Attendance Adjustment/Deadline Extensions page on our website, available at the following link:
The student needs additional opportunities to review the lecture, enhance their notes, or clarify information by listening to an audio-recording of the lecture. Recording the lecture, including equipment and setup, is the student’s responsibility; we ask the instructor’s cooperation in allowing the recorder to be placed in a location that maximizes sound and clarity.
ARC will contact faculty with the language to include in a class announcement.
Example of informing students of Multiple Chemical Sensitivity accommodation:
The University of New Mexico supports sustaining healthy indoor air quality. In the interest of promoting the health and safety of the University, we are requesting this class to be a perfume-free environment. Some individuals at UNM have been identified as having Multiple Chemical Sensitivity, listed under the Americans with Disabilities Act as a physical disability. Individuals with this diagnosis are sensitive to many products that we wear each day. Please refrain from using perfume-scented personal care, laundry, and cleaning products. Thank you for your consideration of others in providing an environment in which every person on campus can feel safe and comfortable.
Clarification of assignment directions
The student may need an opportunity to ask for clarification of directions or to ask for them to be repeated.
Clear view of speaker’s lips
The student is relying on speech reading to access spoken English.
For videos, students who are deaf or hard of hearing need to be able to read from the screen what each person in the video is saying in order to understand the material being presented.
Course materials in accessible electronic format
The student requires an accessible electronic version of all course readings in order to access them using software that reads the text aloud. ARC converts all textbooks for use by the student. We are also available to convert printed materials if they cannot be provided to the student electronically as a readable PDF or .rtf file.
The nature of the student’s disability includes symptoms which could exacerbate unexpectedly, causing an inability to complete an assignment prior to the due date. The accommodation is initiated by the student; therefore, the student is responsible for informing their professors throughout the semester when they need to use the deadline extensions accommodation.
Generally speaking, an extension of 24-48 hours for a daily/weekly assignment, or up to a week extension for larger assignments, is appropriate. If modifying exam dates and deadlines would not substantially impact the flow or design of the course, then more flexibility with exam dates and deadlines may be reasonable.
For additional details about the accommodation, please refer to the Attendance Adjustment/Deadline Extensions page on our website, available at the following link:
The student needs handouts enlarged on 11 x 17 paper or font size a minimum of 45 point to access printed materials. It is equitable for the student with a visual disability to have access to enlarged handouts at the same time as other students. Accessibility Resource Center is available to convert handouts if arrangements cannot be made within the department.
FM listening device
The student may require use of an FM assistive listening device to enhance hearing. This requires the faculty member to wear a microphone that transmits to a receiver worn by the student.
Independent lab work
There are occasions when stressors related to group or teamwork exacerbate symptoms related to a student’s disability, and independent rather than team/group work is appropriate.
A lab assistant helps the student with tasks such as physically handling materials and reading printed text. When appropriate, other students may act as a partner to handle materials or read printed text. In intensive one on one lab courses, it may be necessary to employ a student lab assistant. Contact Accessibility Resource Center under these circumstances so arrangements can be made.
Notetaking service provided by ARC
ARC will arrange for a notetaking company to produce notes for the student, either by accessing audio- or video-recordings of the class made by the student, or by providing a live notetaker to take notes during each class.
A real-time captioner 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 captioner. When the class is over, the student is provided with a copy of the class transcript.
Individuals at UNM are not required to register with ARC in order to bring a service animal on campus. Please ask others to refrain from petting, feeding, distracting, or startling the animal. Bring animal behavioral concerns to the attention of ARC. Dogs and miniature horses are the only species allowed to be service animals. The student can only be asked two questions about the animal: (1) Is the service animal required because of a disability? (2) What work or task has the animal been trained to perform? Please refer to UNM Policy 2295, Service Animals.
Signed language interpreter
ARC will provide signed language interpreters. The interpreter’s responsibility is to facilitate communication between students whose primary mode of communication is American Sign Language (ASL) and those who do not know or use ASL, whose primary mode of communication is spoken English.
Use of computer to take lecture notes
The student needs to use their computer or tablet to take notes during class.
Use of smart pen provided by ARC
The smart pen is a tool to assist students with taking complete and accurate notes in class. The pen audio-records the whole lecture, and every time the student writes a note on the special paper that goes with the pen, the pen creates a kind of bookmark in the audio recording. This way, when the student reviews their notes later, they can use the pen to click on a note that they wrote, and the pen will go right to that point in the audio recording, so that the student can hear exactly what was said when they were writing that note. This way, the student can fill in what they missed, so that their notes are complete.
The student needs additional opportunities to review visual aspects of the lecture, enhance their notes, or clarify visually-presented information by reviewing a video-recording of the lecture. For in-person classes, recording the lecture, including equipment and setup, is the student’s responsibility. If a class is meeting remotely via Zoom or a similar platform, the student cannot video-record the lecture due to FERPA provisions; in such a case, we ask that the instructor consider video-recording the lectures and posting them for the class to access.