What is the difference between CAR and CAE?
The Center for Accessibility Resources (CAR) is completely separate from the Center for Academic Excellence (CAE). The two sometimes get confused as they both offer spaces for students to take proctored exams. CAR provides space and proctors for students that need accommodations for their exams. CAE provides testing space for students to take make up or Independent study exams. They have different processes for submitting exams.
How will I know if a student needs accommodations?
You will receive the Semester Accommodations Letter via email and/or in person from each student requiring accommodations. The form will identify the specific accommodations for which the student is eligible. Students are encouraged to discuss their accommodation needs at the beginning of each semester.
How are testing accommodations arranged?
Students who wish to take their exams in CAR initiate the process by completing the Test Accommodation Request form in person at the CAR suite, or on line at the CAR webpage www.metrostate.edu/msweb/pathway/academic_success/disability/index.html. Once the form is completed and submitted, CAR will contact the instructor about the requested arrangements. Instructors can send the test to CAR via email, inter-campus mail or in person. Instructors have the right to choose the date and time the test should be administered.
Are there other testing arrangements available to students and faculty?
Various testing accommodations can be arranged. CAR encourages students to discuss with their instructors possible ways to provide their testing accommodation. Most students prefer to take their test in the CAR testing room. However, faculty can arrange with students to take their test at other locations, only if the accommodation requirements are fulfilled. Please be mindful of confidentiality of the student when making such arrangements. Students who take their test with the class have the advantage of being able to ask questions and to learn about exam changes.
What if I am unable to accommodate the student?
Requested accommodations must be provided. If you have concerns about your ability to provide certain accommodations, please contact CAR (651-793-1549 or email@example.com) immediately.
May I provide accommodations to a student who is not registered with CAR?
If a student asks for an accommodation and you have not received a Semester Accommodations Letter, which verifies eligibility for accommodations, please contact CAR immediately. Faculty are strongly advised not to provide accommodations to students who do not follow university procedures for obtaining accommodations by registering with CAR. Similarly, if a student asks you for an accommodation, and that specific accommodation is not listed in the letter, you are not obligated to provide it. If you are uncertain about your obligations, please contact CAR.
Do I have to provide the accommodations listed in the accommodation letter if they do not fit with my belief system or teaching style?
Yes. Federal, state mandates and Minnesota State Board policy 1B.4 requires that eligible students have equal educational opportunities; accommodations eliminate or lessen the barriers a student experiences while participating in courses, activities and services offered by the university. Students who are registered with CAR are entitled to the accommodations listed in the accommodation letter. However, some accommodations do not fit with a particular course, i.e. providing a note taker for an on-line or independent study course. Providing reasonable accommodations is a shared responsibility between CAR and the faculty.
What accommodations are appropriate?
Accommodations are determined on a case-by-case basis and are based on student self-report, accommodation history and documentation from an appropriate medical, mental health, or other professional. CAR determines eligibility for accommodations after a careful review of the documentation and discussion with the student to determine which accommodations are reasonable and appropriate for the student. Faculty will be consulted on a class-by-class basis to ensure the requested accommodations do not fundamentally alter essential curriculum components. All students, including students with disabilities, are expected to meet the requirement of each course.
May I talk to students about their disability?
Some students may wish to keep specific disability information confidential, while others openly discuss their diagnoses and all related information with you. The decision to disclose disability information is made by the student. In most cases, you can best accommodate students by asking about their needs related to learning and fulfilling the requirements of your course. Most students appreciate professors’ efforts to accommodate their learning needs.
If I think a student has a disability that she/he has not disclosed do I request the student go to Disability Services?
No, students must contact CAR voluntarily. However, it is appropriate to refer a student to CAR if they request an accommodation or consideration due to their disability.
What if a student's behavior disrupts instruction in the classroom?
All students, including students with disabilities are expected to adhere to the university’s student conduct code. If disruptive behavior occurs, the instructor should give the student fair warning, if the behavior persist, contact the Judicial Affairs Officer, Dean of Students or a member of the BIT. Additionally, feel free to contact Student Counseling Services at 793-1528 or CAR if you have questions or concerns.
Are there any instructional strategies I might consider to make my course more accessible?
- Provide lecture notes in electronic format. Text in electronic form can be paired with screen-reading software, which makes printed material accessible for students with various learning disabilities, visual impairments, or limited mobility. Additionally, students who qualify for use of note-takers can access electronic notes independently, instead of relying on classmates to make copies of notes.
- Provide clear copies of handouts. When handouts are copied clearly, they can be easily converted for use with screen-reading software.
- Include information about obtaining accommodations on your syllabi.
- It is Metropolitan State University’s obligation to inform students of CAR. See list of sample statements for options.
- Consider students’ diverse abilities and learning styles when developing lectures and assignments. Any or all of your classes may include students with learning disabilities, visual or hearing disabilities or other functional limitations or weaknesses. You can contribute to the success of your students by imagining the obstacles an assignment may present to a student with a disability.
Why doesn't CAR tell me the student's disability?
Information about the specifics of a disabling condition is personal and treated as confidential by the University. However, to participate in ensuring that accommodations are effective, you need to know what accommodations have been determined to be reasonable. If you have specific questions about a student, please contact CAR.
Why would student's choose to not use accommodations that are available to them?
Most students with disabilities prefer to have the same academic experience as their peers. It can be embarrassing to ask for different treatment, and student report feeling their instructors think they are less capable if they use accommodations. The desire for a similar experience means students may experiment at the beginning of the semester, taking a test without accommodations or taking their own notes to see if they will be successful. They will then only request accommodations when their general access or ability to demonstrate their learning is negatively impacted by the course design or requirements.
If you’ve designed your course in ways that incorporates flexibility and supports for all students, you may find that fewer of your students need to use accommodations. For example, if you grade students based on take-home exams or projects, they will not need to request test accommodations, and if you post class notes to a website, note-taking as an accommodation won’t be necessary.