Westfield State University is committed to providing a learning, working and living environment for students, employees and other members of the University community, which values the diverse backgrounds of all people. The University is committed to assuring that the “university experience” is one that challenges, empowers, supports and prepares its students to live in, work in, and value our increasingly global and diverse world.
Achieving full participation and integration of people with disabilities requires the cooperative efforts of the departments, offices and personnel. To this end, the University will continue to strive to achieve excellence in its programs and services and to assure that its services are delivered equitably and efficiently to all of its members.
Disability Services is committed to supporting students as they learn to self-advocate and negotiate the campus and academics at the University. The program provides a wide array of reasonable, appropriate accommodations for students with learning, physical, psychological, or medical challenges. Students are expected to provide current documentation of their disabilities.
To request reasonable accommodations, students should make an appointment with the access advisor, Laura Cummings and provide her with the Reasonable Accommodations Request Form filled out. You may fill this form out at the appointment, before the appointment and drop it off in the Banacos Academic Center, or submit it via email to Laura Cummings.
If this is your first time requesting reasonable accommodations, please register with the office by filling out the Registration Form and scheduling an appointment with the access advisor. Please provide the access advisor with documentation to support all requests for reasonable accommodations. The documentation should meet the documentation guidelines. At the appointment, the access advisor will review the documentation, registration form and requests with the student to determine appropriate and reasonable accommodations. Further documentation will be requested where needed.
The examination room is designed to provide reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities. Students with various disabilities may be entitled to a distraction-reduced environment, extended time for testing, readers, scribes or assistive technology to complete their in-class assessments such as quizzes and exams. In order to maintain this environment, we ask your cooperation as follows:
Use of the exam room and its proctor service is limited to students with disabilities (permanent or temporary) who are registered with the Banacos Programs (Disability Services or Learning Disabilities Programs).How to register
It is students’ responsibility to submit a request for each exam they intend to take in the exam room.
Make sure that you have consulted with your program or access advisor each semester to confirm that your requested exam related accommodations have been approved for your courses.
Banacos staff will not assist students with exam material EXCEPT to reproduce the exam material into another format. Staff may only read, repeat, copy, write, type or put into an electronic format information from an exam or a student’s answers to an exam. To maintain academic integrity in accordance with Westfield State University’s Academic Honesty Policy, staff may not explain, define or interpret words and sentences.
Use of the exam room is limited to students with disabilities (permanent or temporary) who are registered with the Banacos Programs (Disability Services or Learning Disabilities Programs). If you are unsure whether a student is entitled to use the exam room, please contact the exam room staff.
Please fill out the exam room instructions form in order to ensure the exam room staff has the following information regarding how the delivery, proctoring and return of exams will occur for your courses. If you are to communicate instructions in a different manner, the exam room staff will confirm your instructions through email. They will need to know the following information concerning each exam:
In addition you may want to inform the staff
On-line exams may be taken in the exam room; however, please keep in mind that if other students are not proctored for an on-line exam, that proctoring students who need accommodations could be seen as treating students differently simply because they need accommodations.
The time allotment for on-line exams in Socrates and Plato must be extended by the professor who administers the exam. This may be done through the help of Joe Axenroth (x5664) or Lisa Clark (x8130) at CIT. They will be happy to take you through the steps to extend the time for individual exams.
Making Accommodations: The Legal World of Students with Disabilities, Academe Online, v. 87, n. 6. Nov.-Dec., 2001 http://www.aaup.org/AAUP/pubsres/academe/2001/ND/Feat/gross.htm
Exam room email: examroom_@_westfield.ma.edu
Exam room phone: (413) 572-8378
Exam room fax: (413) 572-8774 (Please notify exam room staff when you transmit a fax so that they can be on the look out to retrieve it.)
Suggestions for ensuring quiz administered during class time is accommodated
Other suggestions for accommodations
Considering the purpose of the exam
Suggestions for alternate ways to assess
Cautions when making accommodations
Accommodating quizzes can be a challenging situation because the requirement to provide extended time, assistive technology or other reasonable accommodation applies to all “in-class assignments, quizzes and examinations.” This includes pop quizzes, short quizzes, in-class writing assignments, listening quizzes and any other in-class assessment. If a student will be graded or otherwise assessed on work done in class, then appropriate reasonable accommodations must be provided. Pop quizzes are inappropriate for some including those who have a processing deficit and may need more time than one or two days to process and articulate information learned.
We have worked successfully with faculty to find ways to retain the integrity of the assessment process and ensure the student receives reasonable accommodations. Commonly, faculty have arranged with the exam room staff for the student to begin the quiz or pop quiz before the class begins and have time to finish it and bring it to class at the prescribed end-time for the rest of the class.
Below are some suggestions, considerations and cautions regarding accommodating the in-class assessment. These have been gathered from our staff and disability services providers at other post-secondary institutions.
First, many faculty have found it helpful to review the purpose of the assessment to determine either how best to accommodate students or whether to change the format of the assessment. Faculty may want to provide the students with time to practice and perform course material or they may want to assess the following:
Second, it can be helpful to think about a) whether it is more important to assess how well students know, articulate and apply the information to be assessed or b) that students provide this information in a short response time.
Third, is there an alternate way to do the assessment for the entire class?
Informing students in the beginning of class and in the syllabus that there will be pop quizzes or assignments throughout the semester will allow students to adjust how they learn information so they can be better prepared.
*Blackboard Learn has been recognized by the National Federation of the Blind as an accessible online course management system. If you are using another platform or website, please make sure that it is accessible. Look for a link to "accessibility" on your website. If it is not accessible, you can create a backup plan for making sure students are able to access the content of your course. Banacos staff will be happy to help you develop a plan. CIT will be happy to transfer your course to Blackboard for future semesters.
last updated 5/20/14, sel