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Services and Accommodations by Disability Type

The following is a list of typical services and accommodations by disability type, followed by links to more detailed information in the AccessSTEM website.

Learning Disabilities are documented disabilities that may affect reading, processing information, remembering, calculating, and spatial abilities. Examples of accommodations for students who have specific learning disabilities include:

  • LD Testing
  • E-text versions of Textbooks
  • Digital recorder for recording lecture.
  • Copy of notes from the instructor or student in class.
  • Captioned videos and films.
  • Extra exam time, alternative testing arrangements.
  • Visual, aural, and tactile instructional demonstrations.
  • Computer with speech output, spellchecker, and grammar checker.

Mobility Impairments may make walking, sitting, bending, carrying, or using fingers, hands, or arms difficult or impossible. Mobility impairments result from many causes, including amputation, polio, club foot, scoliosis, spinal cord injury, and cerebral palsy. Typical accommodations for students with mobility impairments include:

  • Note takers, lab assistant and/or digitally recorded class sessions
  • Classrooms, labs, and field trips in accessible locations.
  • Adjustable tables, lab equipment located within reach.
  • Class assignments made available in electronic format.
  • Computer equipped with special input device (e.g., speech input, Morse code input, alternative keyboard).

Health Impairments affect daily living and involve the lungs, kidneys, heart, muscles, liver, intestines, immune systems, and other body parts (e.g., cancer, kidney failure, AIDS). Typical accommodations for students who have health impairments include:

  • Note taker or copy of notes from the instructor or another student.
  • Flexible attendance requirements.
  • Extra exam time.
  • Assignments made available in electronic format.
  • Use of email to facilitate communication.

Mental Illness includes mental health and psychiatric disorders that affect daily living. Examples of accommodations for students with these conditions include:

  • Note taker or copy of another student's notes.
  • Recording of lectures.
  • Extended time on assignments and tests.
  • A non-distracting, quiet setting for assignments and tests.

Hearing Impairments make it difficult or impossible to hear lecturers, access multimedia materials, and participate in discussions. Examples of accommodations for students who are deaf or hard of hearing include:

  • Interpreter or real-time captioning.
  • FM amplification system.
  • Note taker.
  • Captioned films.
  • Use of visual aids.
  • Written assignments, lab instructions, demonstration summaries.
  • Visual warning system for lab emergencies.
  • Use of electronic mail for class and private discussions.

Blindness refers to the disability of students who cannot read printed text, even when enlarged. Typical accommodations include:

  • Audiotaped, Brailled or electronic-formatted lecture notes, handouts, and texts.
  • Verbal descriptions of visual aids.
  • Raised-line drawings and tactile models of graphic materials.
  • Braille lab signs and equipment labels.
  • Auditory lab warning signals.
  • Adaptive lab equipment (e.g., talking thermometers and calculators, light probes, and tactile timers).
  • Computer with optical character reader, speech output, Braille screen display and/or Braille embosser.

Low Vision refers to students who have some usable vision, but cannot read standard-size text, have field deficits (for example, cannot see peripherally or centrally but can see well in other ranges), or other visual impairments. Typical accommodations include:

  • Seating near front of class.
  • Large print handouts, lab signs, and equipment labels.
  • TV monitor connected to microscope to enlarge images.
  • Class assignments made available in electronic format.
  • Computer equipped to enlarge screen characters and images.