Classroom Accommodations

Accommodations are changes in the way requirements are accomplished and should affect only non-essential elements of a course. They are reasonable so long as course standards are not fundamentally altered. If you feel standards would be significantly affected by the authorized accommodation, please contact the Disability Specialist listed on the Accommodation Letter.

Access to Class Notes

Some students with disabilities have difficulty taking notes. For example, a student with an auditory processing problem may take few or unclear notes. Physical and hearing impairments may also limit speed and make note-taking difficult. A note-taking accommodation is intended to provide information that the student would have gotten on his own, if it were not for his disability. The student should present the following note-taker instructions along with their Accommodation Letter:

Copies of notes, from a designated note-taker or volunteer from the class, can be written on NCR (no carbon required) paper, photocopied or shared electronically. While these methods are easy to use, the legibility or clarity of the notes may limit their usefulness. Therefore, many note-takers prefer to use electronic devices and then send the notes electronically.

An instructor can act as the official note-taker in a class and provide their lecture notes to a student prior to the lecture. This allows the student to concentrate on the information given and participate in discussions. For some students, it is helpful to refer to these notes during the lecture.

Accessible Furniture:

Please assist students with furniture accommodations to access the appropriate items. If an item is missing or broken, please contact The Support Services Office . The location of the furniture placement in the room is often a critical part of the accommodation. If you choose to move the furniture during your class period, please return it to the original location when you exit. We greatly appreciate your efforts in this arena.

MOBILITY ASSISTANT (M.A.)

A mobility assistant provides support for physical access in a classroom as needed, such as getting materials out of backpack, setting up desktop, note-taking, and transcribing.

  • The mobility assistant is not a tutor and does not help with understanding the class materials or homework, and is not available outside of class time.
  • The student should speak quietly with their M.A. so they don’t disturb the class.
  • You should notify the Support Services Office or the Disability Specialist at the top of the Accommodation Letter if you have any problems with an M.A. in your class.

Permission to Record a Lecture

Students may be authorized by their disability specialist to record their instructor’s teaching as an accommodation for educational limitations. Recording in an educational environment is defined as using technology to capture sound and/or visual images for later personal use. Recording devices may include phones, smart pens, tablets, laptops, or other mobile devices. Students who are authorized to record have reviewed the following responsibilities with their Disability Specialist.

Student Responsibilities:

  • Provide recording equipment, including recording device, batteries, and storage.
  • Set up recording equipment in a manner that does not obstruct or disrupt the learning environment, or demand an instructor's time and attention.
  • The student should arrive early to class to sit in an appropriate seat for recording, and set up equipment before the onset of class.
  • Only the instructor should be recorded. Recording will be stopped, if students or the instructor share private/confidential material that is not part of graded material.
  • Protect the confidentiality and ownership of the recorded information, which includes: NOT sharing, copying, or releasing the recording with anyone, this includes a prohibition of all downloaded sharing and posting of recordings on the internet.
  • Acknowledging the instructor’s copyright ownership of the content of the recorded material.

Instructor Responsibilities:

  • Allow the student with authorized recording to record all classes from the date the Accommodation Letter was presented to the instructor until the end of the semester.
  • If there are concerns, contact the student’s Disability Specialist.

Personal Attendant

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Service Animals

Federal law has recently changed. Students may, but are no longer required, to have an Accommodation Letter for a Service Dog. The Faculty Guide for Service Dogs can answer many of your questions and concerns, as well as the Districts’ Service Animal Policy. If you have questions and/or concerns about a service animal in your classroom/program area, please contact the DRD Department Coordinator.

Sign Language Interpreters

  1. Please plan ahead… As soon as you learn that a Deaf student will be in your class, make plans to ensure that all media is accessible. First, contact the Media Resource Specialist (521-7927), or Media Services (527-4261) to find out if the videos you plan to show in class are already captioned, or if they’re not, to arrange for them to be captioned. They can also assist with streaming video for online classes, and arrange training on how to use the captioning equipment in your classroom. Providing captioning is a legal mandate and allows Deaf students to participate fully in your class.  Please note that TED talk videos have excellent captions when accessed through the TED talk website (https://www.ted.com/talks), but most You Tube videos are not adequately captioned and will need to be interpreted to be fully accessible. Additionally, most of the SantaRosa.Kanopystreaming.com videos are captioned.
  2. Deaf students can’t watch the interpreter and also take notes, read, or look at the board at the same time. Because of this, the student will need a note taker for your class. Please assist in recruiting a qualified volunteer note taker. DRD has a notetaker recruitment video available on our website.  If you show visual materials, please allow a few moments for students to read or look at the board before you start lecturing. These few extra minutes to digest the material could benefit all the students.
  3. Always speak directly to the Deaf student and avoid the common mistake of saying to the interpreter, “Tell the Deaf student that I said …”
  4. Sign language interpreters are bound by a code of professional conduct and must interpret everything said and signed in class.  The interpreters will not edit comments, omit information or interject their own opinions.
  5. Provide important information, such as assignments and test dates, in writing.
  6. The interpreter will wait 10 minutes for each hour of class for a late student (i.e., 15 minutes for an hour and half class, 30 minutes for a three hour class).  If the student shows up after that time, he or she should contact the interpreting office.
  7. If there is no interpreter available for a private meeting with a student, it is fine to communicate in writing or type your conversation on the computer.
  8. Keep in mind that English is a second language for many Deaf students.  American Sign Language (ASL) is a visual language that has its own grammar and syntax.  For many Deaf students learning English is difficult because they cannot hear the language but must learn it through visual means. 
  9. Take the time to check in with your Deaf students periodically to see how things are going for them in your class.

Testing DRD

DRD is dedicated to the integrity of your exams. Ensuring the Testing Request Forms are completed accurately and tests are delivered in a timely fashion will allow our Support Services team to focus on implementing the exam per your guidelines. Please take a moment to review the testing video and contact us if you have any questions.

DRD encourages instructors to provide accommodated testing in or near your classroom but we understand this is not always possible.

Testing Video (DRD Testing Request Form instructions):