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Supporting Student Accommodations

All students who wish to activate their accommodations for a particular course must share an electronic copy of their Accommodations Letter with each instructor each semester. Faculty will receive an email notice when a student requests accommodations for their course. Faculty will log into the Faculty Clockwork Accommodation Portal and review the contents of a student’s accommodation letter. In Clockwork, faculty should review the letter and submit an “acknowledgement.” Each student with formal accommodations has an assigned DSS counselor/advisor who is available to help support both the student and instructor with coordinating accommodations. 

Faculty may need to take action in order to ensure accommodations are provided to students in class. This information may help faculty understand what is needed for some commonly approved accommodations. Faculty may wish to have a private conversation with a student in order to fully understand accommodations but it is not a requirement for either faculty or student as the written accommodations have been approved and should be considered valid without further conversation. If Faculty have specific questions, they are invited to contact a student’s assigned DSS counselor/advisor for more information about responsibilities.

Ability to Audio Record

Instructor is made aware that the student will be recording lectures for access purposes. The student may also be utilizing some form of technology for this purpose.  The student is responsible for creating the recording and also using the recordings for educational purposes only. 

Accessible Course or Classroom Materials

Depending on course content and the nature of a student’s disability, an instructor may need to create and provide accessible classroom materials. 
If an instructor has content that needs extensive accessible material creation they may need to consult directly with DSS to make a plan for content creation. An instructor should reach out as soon as possible to begin this coordination work.

If a student’s accommodation requires “electronic copies of classroom materials” an instructor should note that this means a student needs electronic documents that can be read by some form of assistive technology. A scanned copy of a document will not work as an “electronic copy.”

Accessible Furniture Request

A student will work with the DSS office to secure any furniture needed to make the classroom accessible.  An instructor will ensure any accessible furniture is utilized by the student who needs it and that it seems to be meeting any physical access needs in the classroom environment.

Alternate Formats for Textbooks

A student will work with the DSS office to obtain an accessible format of a course textbook. If DSS cannot locate an accessible copy of course material, the instructor may be asked to partner to locate or create accessible material. DSS will initiate communication about these circumstances. 

Attendance Flexibility Considerations

This accommodation requires a plan in each class and with each instructor each semester.
DSS advisors and counselors seek to support this accommodation by initiating a conversation regarding flexible attendance after a student requests this accommodation in a course. An instructor may receive an email with information about this process.  

The instructor will be responsible to work with the student (with the support of DSS as needed) to develop a plan related to attendance and their specific course. This plan development requires the instructor to review course learning outcomes and syllabus requirements that have attendance essential elements. After this review the instructor and student will work together to determine reasonable flexibility in attendance.

The goal of the plan is to consider the course based answer to: “What happens when this student cannot attend a particular class session?” 

An instructor should attend to attendance flexibility considerations when attending to the GRCC attendance policy and procedures. Prior to initiating a report for non-attendance, review any attendance flexibility plans in place for students with this accommodation. 


In-Class Captioning: DSS will coordinate CART (live transcription) services for a student with this accommodation. To support this accommodation review resources on CART, how it is used and what considerations may need to be made if there is live transcription in the classroom.  

Video Captioning: Best instructional practice is to only utilize video based instruction that already has accurate captioning. If a student in a course has a specific accommodation related to captioned video content, please review the closed-caption information to seek support in getting all course video content captioned. Take note to remember to turn on the captions when viewing video content in-class.

Classroom Assistant

DSS will coordinate and hire a classroom assistant for a student with this accommodation.  An instructor should be aware that there will be a DSS employee in class to support the student. An instructor should continue to interact directly with the student and should not direct their instruction to the DSS classroom assistant. If there are things that the instructor and DSS classroom assistant need in order to coordinate access for the student, this coordination should include the student and the assigned DSS counselor/advisor.

Date or Course Specific

Some accommodations are implemented for a temporary timeframe or in a certain context and an instructor should make note of these details. If these restrictions are not detailed in an accommodation letter all requested accommodation should be implemented for the entire semester starting at the time the request is made.

Deadline Extensions

Review the details of any accommodation related to deadline extensions. Contact DSS to address any concerns related to assignments in which deadlines cannot reasonably be extended because of the nature of the learning objectives in a course.

DSS Borrowed Equipment

A student will work directly with DSS to secure the correct equipment. No instructor activity is needed.

Online Courses

All requested accommodations should be considered approved regardless of class modality. Some accommodations might not need to be utilized with an on-line class due to the extra flexibility already built in. Reach out to the DSS counselor/advisor for clarification of what might be needed.

Peer Note Taker

A student may wish to remain anonymous from their peer note-taker and so this accommodation requires the support and engagement of the classroom faculty.

Instructor will help identify a volunteer in class who can provide a copy of their own class notes to the student.

The instructor will also facilitate the sharing of these notes.

This can be done with this type of statement to the class: “In this class, I am looking for volunteers to provide a copy of any notes taken during instruction for use by fellow students. Your volunteering will help support collaborative learning in this class. Please email me directly sometime this week if you are willing to do this.”

In most cases a volunteer note-taker can take their notes as they typically might in class and then capture a copy of those notes to share with the instructor in an electronic format.  

Best practice is to create an easy system for the volunteer to share notes. This could be through creation of a discussion board on Blackboard that all students can access or by creating a shareable Google Drive folder.

DSS has peer note taking materials to help make electronic sharing of notes easier. 

Short Breaks as Needed

A student with this accommodation may leave class to attend to a disability related matter. An instructor should take note of this accommodation and can also determine any considerations that may need to be made to allow a student’s breaks to be as distraction free as possible (for example, considering seating location or navigating a locked door). 

Sign Language Interpreting

The DSS office will work to identify and schedule ASL interpreters for a course. 

There are many resources available related to best practices related to interpreters in class. The National Deaf Center has lots of helpful resources including this Sign Language In the Classroom PDF

An instructor should notify DSS directly of class schedule changes to help the DSS team cancel or re-schedule ASL interpreters for a course.  

ASL interpreting can be provided live in-person, live with a virtual interpreter (who joins class via technology) or through a virtual platform like Zoom.  DSS, often in coordination with Media Services, will support the in-class set up of any technology needed to support in-class virtual interpreters. 

Technology in Classroom

The accommodation will state the type of technology allowed in classroom. Allow student to utilize listed technology for access purposes. The student is responsible for the provision and operational knowledge of their technology. Each student is aware of the purpose of this accommodation, as well as, the need to continue to follow the Student Code of Conduct while utilizing these devices.

Testing Accommodations

Tests should be adjusted for a student with testing accommodations to meet the requirements of accommodations details.

The DSS Testing Center can proctor classroom tests with accommodations in order to support instructors and students in providing for most testing accommodations.

If a student would like to take a test with accommodations in the DSS Testing Center, the student will initiate a request through Clockwork to reserve a time in the DSS Testing Center.

Instructor will receive an email notifying them of student test request and the instructor should take next steps to complete the test organization process as outlined in directions from the DSS Testing Center.

Instructors will use Clockwork to provide instructions for proctoring and materials to the DSS Testing Center.

Instructors may create testing dates and submit testing materials in Clockwork for the whole semester. When test dates are created in advance, a student will be able use this pre-populated information in Clockwork to schedule their tests.

Review DSS Testing Center information for detailed information about this process and to connect to DSS Testing Center staff directly.


Because lived experience with disability is very unique there can be accommodations that are very specific to a specific student. An instructor should read the details of all accommodations and seek support or clarification as needed. 

College Policies

The following policies may be especially relevant for faculty working with students with disabilities:

  • 8.8 Attendance Policy
  • 3.8 Audiovisual Captioning Policy
  • 3.2 Non-Discrimination on the Basis of Disability Policy
  • 14.10 Service Animal Policy
  • 8.23 Late Semester Hardship Withdrawal Policy
  • 15.2 Web Accessibility Policy

See the college policies page for details on each, as well as a full listing of all policies.