Accommodations are tools that help students with disabilities access educational opportunities. Accommodations remove barriers and are designed to assist students in learning the same material and meet the same expectations as their classmates who do not have a disability. Accommodations are not intended to alter or lower the standards or expectations of a course, exam, or class work. ADS will partner with students to identify reasonable accommodations. Accommodations are not considered reasonable if they pose an undue hardship, result in a fundamental alteration in the nature of the Pierce College activity, program, or service or create undue financial or administrative burdens.
Accommodations in the Classroom
Academic accommodations are determined for each student on an individual basis through an interactive process between ADS and the student. Accommodation requests must be supported by the functional limitations of the disability. Following are some common accommodations available through or provided by ADS. This list does not include all accommodations, and the accommodations listed will not apply to the impact of every disability.
- Accessible Furniture in Classrooms
- Accessible Instructional Materials
- Accessible Videos and Audio
- Alternative Testing Services for Students
- Audio Recording Lectures
- Classroom Relocations
- Disability Related Absence
- Foreign Language Culture Course Substitution
- Interpreting and Real-Time Captioning
- Notetaking Services
- Priority Registration
- Reduced Credit Load
What Are Not Accommodations in Higher Education
Access and Disability Services works to ensure access for students with disabilities by designing and implementing accommodations. Often students will have received accommodations in high school that are not appropriate in the college setting. These are some of the things that are not considered accommodations in higher education; this list includes, but is not limited to:
- Individualized instruction
- Personal care attendant
- Modifying curriculum/workload
- Requiring a professor to change a teaching style
How to Use Approved Accommodations
Once a student has been approved for accommodations by ADS, the student will receive a Student Eligibility Letter via our myADS system along with necessary next steps. Students can use the myADS system to select which approved accommodations they want to use in a course. Be sure to request accommodations each quarter. Once the request is received myADS will send instructors a Notification Letter explaining the student's accommodations. Quarterly accommodation requests need to be done in a timely manner. See our Services Request Timeline for more information. Remember, accommodations cannot be applied retroactively.
Once instructors have been notified a student need to meet with them to discuss the details of how each accommodation will or can work in course. In some circumstances requested accommodations may not be reasonable in specific courses, if this happens ADS will work with the student and the instructor to determine what is reasonable. In cases where, based on the nature of the course, a requested accommodation is not reasonable ADS may explore alternatives if an access barrier still exists.
How to Request Additional Accommodations
Accommodations are approved initially by ADS in the Access Planning Meeting and are based on the needs and access barriers the student is experiencing at that time. However, ADS knows that needs and barriers can change as a student progresses through an academic program. If a student encounters new barriers or needs, or would like to change their current accommodation plan, they can request a modification of their current accommodation plan. All the student needs to do is contact ADS and reengage the interactive process.
If your accommodation request is not approved, you may seek a reconsideration of your request.
Accommodations Beyond the Classroom
Clinicals, Clerkships and Internships
Are you thinking about or planning to do an internship, clerkship or clinical? If so, are you wondering what accommodations you may need, or are unsure if you may need them at all? Set up a time to consult with the District Director at least a term before you start. As accommodations can take multiple weeks to coordinate for non-classroom or off campus internships working with your ADS early is important to your success.
Field Courses and Field Trips
Does your program have field courses or field trips as a part of a course or the larger program? Connect with your ADS as soon as you are aware of these so we can work with the department to ensure accessibility is considered and additional accommodations for access are explored.
Study Abroad Accommodations
If you have not thought about doing a study abroad experience now is the time to get curious! Check out the Pierce College Study Abroad site and see what possibilities await you in the numerous excursion opportunities. Remember, you can request accommodations from ADS for your study abroad program, but those must be submitted two months before you leave.