Exam accommodations provide an equal opportunity for students with documented disabilities. According to the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act (1990), the university is responsible for providing reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities. CU-Boulder does not have a “testing center”. Instead, individual faculty members, departments, and Disability Services (DS) share the responsibility of providing exam accommodations. It is recommended that faculty include the campus-wide Disability Task Force Preferred Syllabus Statement. If exam accommodations have been determined by DS to be reasonable, faculty cannot deny a student’s right to them.
Exam Accommodation Process
After DS determines reasonable exam-related accommodations for a student:
- The student is responsible for requesting official letters from DS that list specific exam accommodations.
- The student is then responsible for giving the letter to their faculty and for discussing exam arrangements;
- The faculty member is responsible for making arrangements with the student for how exam accommodations will be provided.
Faculty Proctored Exams
The manner in which exam accommodations are provided is extremely important as the provision of exam accommodations is a legal mandate. On the CU-Boulder campus, individual faculty or academic departments proctor exams when the accommodation is extended time (1.5), a distraction reduced environment, or both. Although faculty may encourage students to submit documentation in the first two weeks of the semester, students may bring in letters at any time during the academic year. Faculty proctoring exams should be aware of the following:
- Faculty must be prepared to provide students with the exact amount of time indicated on the letter from DS. If a student arrives late to the arranged start time, the arranged finish time need not be modified.
- The testing environment is critical, regardless of whether or not there is a specific accommodation for reduced distraction. For example, a busy hallway, lounge or other areas accessible to the public are never appropriate for test taking;
- A distraction-reduced environment (DRE) is defined as an examination setting which provides reduced auditory and visual stimuli and minimal interruptions. For example, a small group setting can be appropriate for DRE. DRE must be maintained during the entire period of the exam accommodation.
- In the event that faculty attempt to provide the accommodations, but exhaust all resources (including departmental support), DS should be contacted as soon as possible for proctor assistance.
DS Proctored Exams
DS is responsible for providing exam accommodations such as use of a reader, scribe, interpreter, word processor, double time, or private room. DS also proctors exams when faculty are unable to do so. In these cases:
- The student must call the DS Office at 303-492-8671 to make a proctor reservation no less than 5 business days before the exam.
- The student obtains an Exam Proctor Request Form from DS and completes the student section.
- The student asks the professor to complete and sign the professor section of the form. Critical information about exam specifics, as well as delivery and return of the exam is requested on the form.
- The student returns the completed Exam Proctor Request Form to DS by the date of the proctored exam.
DS prefers to proctor exams within regular business hours.
- During finals, students begin exams at either 8:00 or 1:00 depending on professor preference.
- DS proctored exams are generally taken on the same day as regular classroom exams, although there may be exceptions.