Academic Accommodations Process
Student Disability Services (SDS) engages with each student and reviews requests for accommodations on a case-by-case basis. Depending on the nature of a student’s documented disability, the student may be eligible to receive academic accommodations.
The following are essential to consider your request for accommodation:
- Provide documentation of your disability by upload, email, mail (3001 S. Congress Ave., Austin, Texas 78704), or in-person (Moody Hall 155).
- Attend an intake appointment with a disability counselor. This is an opportunity to discuss how your disability impacts your college experience, how to obtain qualifying documentation, and how the accommodation process works.
Types of Accommodations
SDS collaborates with the Facilities Department to provide equal access to classrooms. Alterations may include relocation of classes or class-related activities, classroom modifications or structural alterations.
Use of Audio Recorder
Recording lecture in audio format is allowed when the student qualifies for this accommodation. The student must provide their own recording device and should inform the instructor prior to using an audio recorder in their class as an approved accommodation. Faculty may request that a student who has been approved for use of recorder sign a statement acknowledging appropriate uses of the recorded material.
Computer for Note Taking
Use of a laptop or tablet is allowed but should be limited to disability related access, including word processing and access to assistive technology (video captioning, audio recording, digital format of course materials). The student must provide their own device and should inform the instructor of their intention to use their device in their class as an approved accommodation.
Photos of Board
Photos are allowed if a student needs a visual record of course content during a lecture and the professor is not providing this content to the class at large. The student must provide their own device and should inform the instructor of their intention to use their device in their class as an approved accommodation.
Access to Slides/Handouts
When a record of course content/outline during or after a lecture is needed and the professor is not providing this content to the class at large, the student must notify the professor of their need for this accommodation and discuss how course materials will be provided on a regular basis.
Qualifying students will need to engage with SDS at the beginning of each term to identify courses in which a peer note-taker is required. SDS will support faculty, students and peer note-takers in the process of note-sharing:
- Coordinating recruitment of a volunteer note-taker
- Identifying appropriate level of note-taking support in each class
- Building note-taking strategies
- Supporting file-sharing between the student and the note-taker as needed
- Peer Note-Takers
- Providing guidelines for peer notes
- Offering verification of student's volunteer activity and commitment to diversity
Alternative Format Class Materials
Submit a Request for Alternative Textbook Form and upload (i.e. picture, screenshot, etc.) your proof of purchase (receipt) to the form. Requests for alternative format of your textbooks (pdf, audio, braille, or other) should be made directly to SDS. You must provide documentation of a print, vision, hearing, and/or mobility-related impairment before your request will be considered.
Other Classroom Materials
SDS works in collaboration with students and faculty to provide timely delivery of materials. The most common types of alternative format are:
- PDF (image or searchable)
- Text enlargement or specific font size
- Video captioning
The Office of Instructional Technology has a library of resources to assist faculty with these requests and offers training to faculty regarding the accessibility of class and web materials.
St. Edward's University has an institutional membership with Bookshare so qualifying students can access reading materials 24 hours a day. Students can also sign up for free with documentation of a print disability.
Learning Ally provides a library of downloadable audiobooks and educational content for people with print disabilities. To sign up, students must submit documentation of a print disability and pay an annual fee to Learning Ally.
Students with chronic medical conditions and/or psychological disorders may qualify for flexibility with course deadlines, attendance, tardies and/or breaks during class. Learn about our flexibility accommodations. (Box Link TBD)
Extended time on exams and quizzes in an alternate space can be provided in the SDS Testing Center located in Moody Hall 155, or by the professor in an alternate location.
Testing accommodations for qualifying students may include:
- A 4-function calculator on exams in keeping with the academic integrity of the course.
- Exams/quizzes read aloud or scribed by a SDS staff member
- Exemption from using a scantron test sheet
- Use of a computer for exams or quizzes containing short answer and/or essay questions
- Breaks during exams due to a medical condition
Reduced Course Load
Part-Time Course Load, Full-Time Status
Unlike part-time status, authorization for a reduced course load permits a qualifying student to register for a course load that is less than full-time, while still being considered a full-time student. Students will only be billed for courses in which they are actually enrolled.
- Undergraduate students must be registered for a minimum of nine (9) hours and a maximum of eleven (11) hours; twelve hours (12) is considered to be a full-time course load.
- Graduate students must be registered for a minimum of six (6) hours and a maximum of eight (8) hours; nine (9) hours is considered to be a full-time course load.
SDS works through the following 4-step interactive process to grant a reduced course load accommodation based on disability condition (severity and duration), history of accommodation, academic record and non-academic commitments.
- Register with SDS or make an appointment with your disability counselor.
- Provide documentation of the disabling condition and specific rationale which supports the accommodation of a reduced course load.
- Complete the Reduced Course Load Request Form.
- SDS will contact students upon receipt of forms, review the application and notify the student of the decision.
Students who are approved for the accommodation of a reduced course load need to understand the implications of this status.
- Students are advised to meet with their Student Financial Services advisor to discuss their student account and financial assistance.
- Students are advised to meet with their success coach and/or academic advisor to review academic progress.
If a student intends to register for a full-time course load in future semesters, the student must deactivate the accommodation of reduced course load by contacting SDS prior to registration.
To establish eligibility for a course substitution, students must take these steps:
- Compete and submit the Course Substitution Request Form to SDS.
- Submit the following to SDS by email or fax to (512) 464-8830.
- Record of previous history taking a modern language or math (quantitative reasoning) course
- Documentation of a learning disability (psycho-educational or neuropsychological) or other related disability (see documentation guidelines for requirements) if not already submitted to SDS
Students who are approved will choose from these pre-approved course options:
- Modern Language Substitution (3–6 Hours) Alternate Courses
Modern Language Alternate Course List
- Quantitative Reasoning (Math) (3 Hours) Alternate Courses
PHIL 2303 (Logic) or PSYC 2317 (Statistics)
Students who are denied approval will have the option to submit additional information and/or documentation.
Services for Students Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing
Students who are deaf or hard of hearing may use a variety of services including interpreting services for all academic activities (e.g. class lecture, group work, tutoring).
All interpreters are selected based on an assessment of interpreting skills and the ability to handle the level of discourse common in a university setting. All interpreters are certified as Texas BEI, Level 3 Flash Advanced or higher, and NIC.
If you are registered with Student Disability Services and would like to request interpreting services please fill out:
- On-Going (Semester) Request for Interpreting Services
- Single Event Request for Interpreting Services
To modify or cancel an interpreter, please email SDS as soon as possible.
St. Edward's University provides technologies to facilitate equal access to educational materials for users with a variety of print, vision, hearing and/or mobility-related disabilities.
Assistive technologies are ever-changing and are delivered in a variety of formats across devices. Students should consider their specific circumstances (devices owned, budget, preferences, etc.) when choosing the technology that best fits their needs.
SDS has created the following list of assistive technologies on campus to help you get started: