At PLNU the scope of accommodations that are provided are based on official medical documentation, availability of resources, personnel, and discretion of the Director of the Disability Resource Center (DRC). In compliance with the University policy, students with disabilities may be eligible for one or more of the following accommodations from the DRC:
Academic support to assess planning, implementation and effectiveness of these services and programs
Academic support to coordinate and administer specialized services, including collaboration with faculty for students with special academic needs associated with their disabilities
Extended test-taking time and separate proctoring
Disability related counseling and Life Skill Coaching
Note taker services
Registration assistance, including priority registration, assistance with application for financial aid and related college services
Transcription services, such as providing Braille and large print materials not available through other sources
Access to assistive technology to support learning needs.
Use of a reader, scribe or assistive technology during proctored exams.
Assistance in determining how best to meet special housing, transportation or dietary needs for residential students.
In general, an accommodation is a change in the learning environment to provide equal opportunity for academic or physical accessibility. The nature of the accommodation is considered individually, utilizing recommendations in the documentation of the disability. Accommodations are to be reasonable, not impose an undue hardship on the operation of the program, and not fundamentally alter the academic and technical standards. Also, accommodations such as note-takers are not in lieu of classroom attendance and participation. Possible accommodations at PLNU may include, but are not limited to:
Some textbooks used in PLNU classes are available in electronic version. Most of the electronic versions are obtained from the Recording For the Blind and Dyslexic organization (RFBD) and Bookshare. Students are encouraged to request books in electronic form 4 weeks before instruction begins. Orders will not be placed within 1 month of the end of classes.
Exams: Alternative Environment
This accommodation is available for students who become distracted when taking exams in the regular classroom. Tests may be administered in a private room by the instructor, or may be proctored by the DRC in a private testing location located in the DRC. For examinations proctored by DRC staff, students may only take appropriate testing materials into the testing room. Any supplemental materials must be approved in advance by the instructor. The DRC staff shall be informed of this approval. Devices such as portable phones, tape players, private laptop computers, handheld electronic devices, etc. are not permitted in the proctor rooms unless otherwise noted by the instructor. The DRC reserves the right to photocopy any written materials taken into a testing room and also reserves the right to inform instructors of any concerns regarding the academic integrity of the testing; disciplinary action may be taken. Before beginning an exam, advise the DRC staff of any personal health needs that will require frequent breaks. Prepare ahead for snacks or medications. Extended time stated on the accommodations letter will be allowed. Students are to remain in the testing room. In case of emergency, the incomplete exam must be returned to the Director of the Disability Resource Center. If a student leaves the room without informing the DRC staff, the exam will be taken and returned to the instructor. Arriving late (up to 30 minutes) will not extend the scheduled ending time for the exam. If a student arrives more than 30 minutes late for a scheduled exam, the DRC may not administer the exam. It will then be the student’s responsibility to go to the classroom to take the test or speak to the instructor about rescheduling the exam.
Exams: Time Extensions
Students with disabilities can receive time extensions (time and a half or double time) to complete examinations. The student must be approved for time extensions for each class in which the accommodation is desired. Students may not qualify for this accommodation in every class. As part of Point Loma Nazarene University’s efforts to provide equal opportunity for scholastic success to students with disabilities, the DRC offers time extensions on examinations to those who are approved for this accommodation. Work, travel or other extra-curricular activities are NOT valid reasons for moving the date or time of an exam or quiz. Once approved, the student will contact his/her instructor and will provide an Exam Accommodations Request Form. This Exam Accommodations Request Form will indicate the amount of additional time that the DRC considers appropriate. To implement this accommodation, the student and instructor may agree to the following:
Have the instructor arrange for administration of the examination under extended time conditions (time and a half or double time). This may include use of departmental resources (e.g. conference room, proctoring by secretary, empty classroom).
Have the test proctored by the DRC. If this option is chosen, the following procedures are to be followed:
The student must submit the DRC Exam Accommodations Request Form. This form must be signed by the instructor and will indicate the standard amount of time given and any special arrangements for the examination (e.g. use of calculator, formula table, open book, etc.). This form must be received at least seven (7) business days before the examination so that a testing room can be scheduled. The student is to take the examination on the same date that the examination is administered, unless otherwise noted by the instructor.
The instructor will indicate on the Exam Accommodations Request Form the desired delivery means for the examination. The examination may be hand carried by the instructor or departmental staff member, may be emailed to the DRC, or may be sent through school mail or hand delivered by the student in a sealed envelope with the instructor’s signature on the seal.
The instructor will also indicate the desired return means for the examination. The options include having the exam hand carried by a DRC staff member (within 1 day of proctoring), returning it using the inter-campus mail system, the instructor personally picking it up from the DRC, or having the examination hand carried by the student in a signed and sealed envelope.
Additionally, should a student claim a special arrangement (e.g. calculator) not indicated on the Exam Accommodations Request Form, the exam will be administered under the requested arrangement but will be returned with a cover letter indicating the administration change, per the student’s request.
Students should notify the DRC of any cancellations, if a test date changes, or if testing accommodations are no longer needed for a class. Please indicate the course, the instructor, and the day and time of the test in all communications.
Students whose abilities impair their ability to take notes may receive note-taking assistance. The instructor will be asked to assist in finding a note-taker by reading aloud the request. It is important that the instructor does not disclose the name of the student who is in need of a note-taker; this is considered a breach of confidentiality. Generally, notes are obtained from another student in the class. The Note-Taker can photocopy all notes using the copier in the DRC, where there will be no cost for copying. The preferred delivery of notes is by email to the Academic Program Support Coordinator. Arrangements for the delivery of the notes will be made with the cooperation of the student, note-taker, and the DRC.
Students with primarily visual impairments may request a reader. Readers will generally be used if the student’s books and/or class material cannot be obtained in alternate media and/or if the student’s need cannot be met by using assistive technology. Readers used during examinations cannot be relatives or close friends of the student. The Reader also cannot be the student's tutor, note taker or personal attendant.
In some cases, students with disabilities may record their lectures. When recording is used, the student is responsible for the set up of the equipment and for the recording of the lecture. The instructor and/or the DRC may stipulate conditions for recording. All recordings are to be erased or destroyed at the end of the semester.
Reduced Course Load
Some students may be eligible to take a reduced course load of classes, but this may affect financial aid or require additional semesters of attendance.
This accommodation is available for students who are unable to perform regular writing tasks. The scribe may function on a volunteer basis. Scribes used for examinations cannot be relatives or close friends of the student.