Assisting Students with Disabilities

Assisting Students with Disabilities


The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Indiana Civil Rights Act, and Indiana University policy prohibit discrimination in educational programs against students with disabilities. Disabilities may include medical, auditory, visual, learning, psychological, mobility, or neurological problems. It is the policy of Indiana University to provide reasonable accommodations in a timely manner and on an individualized basis while maintaining institutional standards of performance. These accommodations are designed to counter the effects of disabilities where they may pose a barrier to the education process; they will not give the student an easy grade or an advantage over other students. 

Students must provide to the Office of Disability Services for Students documentation of their disability and how it limits their participation in University activities. This documentation should come from appropriate professionals licensed to diagnose that disability. The Office of DSS makes the determination of whether the student is eligible for accommodations under the ADA. Then DSS staff and the student will discuss what assistance is needed, and, if requested, DSS staff will provide information to relevant faculty members and/or the academic unit verifying the disability and indicating the nature of the accommodation required. Common accommodations for test-taking include:

  • Extended time
  • Quiet, distraction-reduced setting
  • Use of a simple calculator
  • Enlarged print tests
  • Permission to record answers directly on the test instead of on a Scantron answer sheet
  • Written instructions

Alternate classrooms can be found by calling Classroom Scheduling (855-2489). If you do not have an associate instructor who can proctor in an alternate location, DSS can provide payment for proctors at $6/hour provided that the DSS Tests Coordinator (855-3508) is contacted with at least one week advance notice. Students with unusual needs may take a test in DSS in Wells Library W302 (double time, private setting, test reader, word processor for essay exams, scribe).


Instructors may be interested in “Applications of Universal Design in Postsecondary Education,” a collection of ideas and resources to ensure that education is accessible to all students. 

The Adaptive Technology and Accessibility Center provides specialized technologies to help with reading, writing, studying, and information access.

For More Help or Information

CITL consultants can help instructors develop approaches to improving the accessibility of their course materials.