Test Accommodation Process for Students with Disabilities

Some students have disabilities which hinder their timed-test taking abilities. In this blog post, I will explain how the Disabled Students Programs and Services Department (DSPS) has chosen to handle the test-taking accommodation process for online classes.

Although Online Instruction plays a small part in facilitating the test-taking accommodations, all accommodations are provided through DSPS.

Step 1: Student Submits Accommodation Request

Students with disabilities must request testing accommodations through the link provided in the GWC Campus Links box, which is visible on their My Institution page, when they log into Blackboard:

GWC Campus Links Box with Accommodations Request link

Instructors may also provide students with the direct URL:

The student fills out and submits the form, which initiates the process.

Step 2: DSPS Contacts Instructor

After confirming that the student has an active file with verification of their disability, a representative from the Disabled Student Programs and Services (DSPS) Department will email the instructor.

The representative will offer to handle the testing accommodations within the Blackboard course, but will also let the instructor know what accommodations are necessary, should the instructor choose to carry out the accommodations process themselves.

Step 3: Instructor Input is Needed

At this point, there are three potential outcomes:

  1. The instructor replies to DSPS, indicating that they wish to handle the accommodations on their own.
  2. The instructor replies to DSPS, requesting that DSPS handle the accommodations (outlined below).
  3. If the instructor does not reply within a reasonable amount of time, DSPS will handle the accommodations (outlined below), so the student does not fall behind in their coursework.

NOTE:  If tests have not yet been created in the course, accommodations cannot be provided by DSPS.
Please create tests before replying to DSPS’s inquiry.  If you are going to create your tests one at a time, throughout the semester, you will need to notify DSPS after creating each test, so they can edit the settings, or you will need to ensure you apply accommodations to each test you create.

Step 4: DSPS Provides Accommodations

Upon receiving the instructor’s request for accommodations (or if no response is received), the DSPS representative will gain access to the Blackboard course, and edit the Test Options for each available test, adding an exception that will create the proper accommodation for the student.

These accommodations will not affect the other students or be visible to the other students in any way.