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Test Accommodations

According to Federal law and UW System policy, students with disabilities must be provided with reasonable testing accommodations when the disability documentation provided supports this request. Test accommodations may be appropriate when students with disabilities need special equipment, readers, writers, an alternative test format, additional test time, and/or a separate room in order to take course related tests and quizzes (both scheduled and unannounced), placement tests, and standardized tests. 

For Course Tests:

Accommodating test-takers with disabilities is a shared responsibility among faculty, students and the Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) office. 

SSD has primary responsibility for determining eligibility for test accommodations and making recommendations to students and faculty regarding equitable assessment processes.  Faculty members are responsible for the educational activities of the institution, including the assessment of student learning in their courses.  Thus, faculty are expected to work with students to provide reasonable accommodations for assessments. 

Accommodations that fundamentally alter the nature of the course are not required. 

Students are responsible for timely notice and following established procedures for this service.

The SSD office has testing rooms available and can serve as an administrator for nonstandard test accommodations for students with disabilities, who have approved testing accommodations on their Verification of Individual Services and Accommodations Form (VISA) for the current semester. Examples of such situations may include a student needing an adaptive computer, specialized software, other assistive technologies, etc. which cannot be made available in the department.  SSD may also be a resource to assist faculty in administering nonstandard tests those students needing a distraction-reduced testing room and/or extra test time.  In these cases, faculty should contact SSD staff to discuss alternatives.  SSD has cannot guarantee the integrity or security of the testing process within the confines of limited resources.  Risks associated with SSD administered testing exist (e.g, potential for academic misconduct, test delivery issues, etc.). 

The campus expectation is that all students take tests/quizzes within each department. Coordinating test administrations ( including accommodated tests and quizzes) within the departments maintains test integrity and ensures test security.

  1. Review disability documentation and verify student eligibility for disability-related services.
  2. Indicate appropriate disability-related test accommodations on the student's Verification of Individual Services and Accommodations (VISA) form.  Approvals for test accommodations are determined by SSD staff based on the student's disability documentation, functional limitations, history of test accommodations, recommendations from health care or educational specialists, and other relevant factors.
  3. Assist with converting exams to alternative formats when required.
  4. Assist faculty with nonstandard test accommodations (e.g. adaptive technology, specialized software, etc.) or if exceptional circumstances arise.

  1. Meet with the student to review approved accommodations on the student's VISA and reach agreement on the implementation of appropriate test accommodations for course exams and quizzes. 
  2. Sign student’s VISA Addendum to indicate agreement has been reached.
  3. Provide approved accommodations as agreed.  Consult the SSD website for the most current Testing Accommodations for Students with Disabilities - FAQ’s and for additional relevant information.
  4. When necessary, contact SSD to discuss nonstandard test accommodation administration or for assistance with exceptional circumstances.   Allow sufficient time to devise reasonable alternatives. 
  5. Maintain a student's confidentiality.  Avoid discussing a student's test accommodation arrangements in front of others.

Students who register for University administered standardized tests (e.g. CLEP, PPST, GRE, etc.) must request testing accommodations by the required deadline stated in the registration materials for each test.

Procedures for Obtaining Test Accommodations

To receive accommodations for testing the student must first:

  1. Provide the Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD) office with appropriate documentation that supports the request.

  2. Meet with the SSD Director, or the SSD Academic Coordinator, to discuss and agree upon what accommodations are appropriate. A "Verification of Individual Services and Accommodations (VISA)" form will be completed at that time. This form is kept by the student and is required for each accommodation being requested.

Students who register for University administered standardized tests (e.g. CLEP, PPST, GRE, etc.) must request testing accommodations by the required deadline stated in the registration materials for each test.For University Administered Standardized Tests:

Students planning to take exams such as the PPST, GRE, or MCAT should contact Academic Testing to get the information and forms required for requesting test accommodations. The student should note carefully all deadlines for registering to take the test and for requesting test accommodations.

The SSD Office can provide disability documentation information and/or verification if necessary. To obtain this information and/or verification, the student must schedule an appointment with either Vicky Thomas, Director, or the SSD Academic Coordinator. The student must bring all necessary guideline information and forms with him/her to the scheduled appointment.

If you have any questions concerning this process, contact Services for Students with Disabilities at (715) 836-5800, or by email

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