Access Services / Twin Cities CampusAccommodations
Access Services Policy
All students have been accepted by the College based on their ability to succeed academically and are required to meet the same academic and technical standards.
Access Services provides academic support and accommodations to students with disabilities or temporary conditions. Accessing accommodations is an ongoing and interactive process where information can be gathered from the student and from other relevant sources. We ask that students interview with Access Services to discuss their requests. We prefer students to present any documentation that describes their disability and the impact on educational experiences and in the educational environment early in the process. Each student’s requests will be evaluated on an individual basis.
The purpose of documentation is to assist in providing information and understanding how the courses or facilities might present barriers and to what degree the disability affects the student, and to plan for accommodations to facilitate access.
Some Examples of Disabilities
- Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD/ADD)
- Learning Disabilities
- Psychiatric Disabilities
- Autism Spectrum Disorders
- Head Injury/Traumatic Brain Injury
- Physical Disabilities and Systemic Illnesses
- Deafness/Hearing Impairment
- Blindness/Low Vision
- Disabilities that are sporadic or degenerative in nature
- Temporary conditions
Each semester you will need to request a meeting with Mary Ann McCann, Access Services Coordinator, for the classes in which you would like to receive accommodations. You may do that any time after the beginning of the semester.
Access Services can provide notes to the student. This is a confidential accommodation provided by our office.
Having a note taker is not a substitute for attending class. Skipping multiple classes may result in the loss of this accommodation.
If you are concerned about the quality of the notes being provided, please ask your professor to evaluate them. Please notify Access Services if a class is dropped.
Alternate Format Textbooks
Books are available in alternate formats for qualified students to assist them in the successful completion of their classes. Eligible students should meet with the Access Services Coordinator after registering for their classes to determine what books are needed. Students must provide proof of purchase of their books to meet copyright laws of publishers.
Sign Language Interpreters
Access Services will arrange for an interpreter to be present in the classroom and other class-related activities, such as small groups or a meeting with a faculty member. If this is an accommodation that is needed, please contact Access Services prior to the beginning of the semester.
At least 48 hours before the exam, sign up for an exam time with the Student Success Center.
- Come to the Student Success Center and pick up a testing envelope.
- Fill out 15 on the Student Success Testing Form attached to the testing envelope.
- Envelopes must be delivered to faculty prior to the end of class during the last meeting before the exam to ensure that your exam will be in the SSC for testing on the day of the exam. This is the student’s responsibility and failure to deliver the envelope could result in the student testing in the classroom for that particular test. An example would be if you have a M/W/F class and your exam is on Friday, the envelope needs to be in the instructor’s hands on Wednesday, by the end of the class period, to ensure the instructor knows you plan to take the exam in the SSC.
- Tests should typically be taken at the same time as the class unless that time does not allow for extended time in the student schedule. Discuss this alternate time with your instructor. The instructor must approve the alternate time on the testing envelope.
- The student must arrive on time to take the exam. The exams are scheduled in our office for a certain time and that is when we will begin timing the exams. Exceptions to that policy need to be approved by the instructor.
- Students will leave their backpacks, coats, hats, cell phones, and other electronic devices in the SSC office prior to the exam.
- The exam will be administered according to the Testing Accommodations Form completed by the instructor.
- If the student is taking the exam in advance of other students or at a date after the other students, he/she agrees that they will not refer to this exam in any way. If asked by others about the exam, the student agrees to not give out any information or hints regarding it and students may not ask others about the content of the exam.
- Students using assistive technology as an accommodation are only allowed to access the computer programs as designated by the SSC or instructors when granted a computer for test taking.
- Students are monitored through a camera while taking exams in the SSC.
Failure to follow these procedures could result in testing privileges being revoked in the SSC.
Students at Saint Mary’s University are expected to maintain the highest standards of academic honesty. If a Student Success Center staff member suspects a student of academic dishonesty, they will stop the exam and confiscate any questionable materials along with the exam. The instructor will determine the academic consequences for the exam.
Finals Testing (May 2017)
- Sign up for each exam by completing the Testing Accommodations Form. This form will go offline at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 3rd, and you will not be able to take the exam in our area without signing up prior to this time.
- Come to the SSC and get an envelope for your instructors for each exam you plan to take in the SSC. These need to be distributed to your instructors no later than noon on Study Day which is Thursday, May 4th.
- Your finals should be scheduled at the same time the class is testing unless you have three finals in one day. In that case, you need to communicate with your faculty regarding which exam you are requesting to change to another day.
In some cases, students with disabilities may record their class lectures. The student is responsible for the set up of equipment and for the recording of the lecture. Once recorded, it may not be shared with other students. The professor and/or Access Services may stipulate conditions for recording. All files are to be erased, deleted, or destroyed at the end of the semester.
At times, students who are registered with Access Services are eligible for priority registration so that they can establish a class schedule that will accommodate their physical and/or academic needs. Time should be allowed between classes so that exams can be taken with extended time at the same time as the class. You must meet with your advisor prior to registering to obtain your PIN number.
Temporary conditions are conditions such as a broken leg, illness, or hospitalization. They are not disabilities and are not covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act. If you are a student who has been recently hospitalized, had an accident, or had a family emergency, contact Access Services.
Service and Emotional Support Animal Policy
The following link reviews the new policy for animals that provide emotional support and services. It explains:
- Definitions Procedure to Request a Service Animal in University Housing
- Procedure to Request an Emotional Support Animal in University Housing
- Conflicting Disabilities
- Owner’s Responsibilities in University Housing
- Expectations of Faculty, Staff, Students
- Removal of Approved Animal
- Roommate/Suitemate Acknowledgement
Please click on the following link to download a PDF of our current policy.
Discussing Accommodations with Professors
It is expected that the student will initiate a conversation with the professor regarding their needs and accommodations for their classes as soon as possible. Students are responsible for discussing the Notice of Accommodation email with their professor.
Discussing academic concerns or disability related accommodations with professors can be difficult, especially the first time.
Schedule your meeting as early in the semester as possible. Find a time during scheduled office hours, or by appointment, to meet privately with your professor. Arrange the meeting early in the semester.
Start in your comfort zone. If it feels overwhelming to talk to all your professors, start by meeting the ones you are most comfortable around. As you gain confidence, schedule the other meetings.
Organize your thoughts, or even role-play, prior to the meeting. Think about your accommodation requests or any information you may want to discuss.
Let the accommodations be your guide. Focus the discussion on your accommodations, not your disability. You do not need to disclose your diagnosed disability to receive accommodations.
Discuss testing arrangements with your professor. This would be a good time to talk about when and where you will be taking your exams. You will want to discuss testing times if your class schedule does not allow you to take your exams at the same time as the class (i.e. night classes or back-to-back classes).
Be open to suggestions or comments from instructors. Accommodations often require a collaborative effort and instructors are frequently able to offer creative suggestions for implementing accommodations.
What happens if I'm sick on the day of an exam?
Please notify your professor AND Student Central. It will be up to your professor’s discretion if and/or when you are allowed to make it up. Your professor will need to contact Access Services to approve the new time.
What if a test date changes or gets cancelled?
Simply notify Access Services.