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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 an adaptive computer, specialized equipment or software, readers, writers, an alternative test format, additional test time, and/or a separate distraction-reduced testing room in order to take course-related tests and quizzes (both scheduled and unannounced), placement tests, and standardized tests. 

Services for Students with Disabilities (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 any test accommodations.

Accommodating test-takers with disabilities is a shared responsibility among faculty, students and the SSD office.

Protocol for Test Accommodations & Monitoring of SSD Testing Rooms for Nonstandard Course-Related Tests and Quizzes

The SSD office has testing rooms available on a limited basis, and SSD staff can serve as administrators 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. 

All testing should be by appointment and must be scheduled no later than 48 hours prior to test time, and may not correspond to classroom test time. Testing may occur with more than one student per room, but surveillance will continue for all.  The SSD testing rooms are all equipped with security cameras for monitoring students while they are taking tests.  Students are monitored for any signs of academic dishonesty via computer.  The cameras will be monitored by staff members primarily from within the SSD office. Digital video can be replayed, snapshots can be taken and used as evidence if necessary.  

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.

For Course Tests:


  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