Saint Louis University

Academic Accommodation FAQ

This page provides information about how to review and implement academic accommodations at Saint Louis University.

I want to read about:
Syllabus Statement

Notification of Approved Accommodations
Viewing Approved Accommodations
Receiving Student Medical Documentation
Students Who Have Not Discussed Accommodations
Mid-Semester Accommodations
Providing Additional Services
Student Disclosure of Disabilities
Volunteer Note-Takers
Testing Accommodations
Testing Accommodations: Pop Quizzes and Labs
Rescheduled Exams
Using the Testing Center
Scribes and Readers
Permission to Leave Class
May Have Medical Absences Accommodation

Syllabus Statement
Disability Services advises faculty to include the following in each syllabus:

Student Support Services
In recognition that people learn in a variety of ways and that learning is influenced by multiple factors (e.g., prior experience, study skills, learning disability), resources to support student success are available on campus. Students who think they might benefit from these resources can find out more about:

  • Course-level support (e.g., faculty member, departmental resources, etc.) by asking your course instructor.
  • University-level support (e.g., tutoring/writing services, Disability Services) by visiting the Student Success Center (BSC 331) or by going to www.slu.edu/success.


Students who believe that, due to a disability, they could benefit from academic accommodations are encouraged to contact Disability Services at 314-977-8885 or to visit the Student Success Center. Confidentiality will be observed in all inquiries. Course instructors support student accommodation requests when an approved letter from Disability Services has been received and when students discuss these accommodations with the instructor after receipt of the approved letter.

Faculty whose syllabi are more personal in tone may wish to use this version:

Student Support Services
In recognition that people learn in a variety of ways and that learning is influenced by multiple factors (e.g., prior experience, study skills, learning disability), resources to support student success are available on campus. If you think you might benefit from these resources, find out more about:

  • Course-level support (e.g., faculty member, departmental resources, etc.) by talking with me.
  • University-level support (e.g., tutoring/writing services, Disability Services) by visiting the Student Success Center (BSC 331) or by going to www.slu.edu/success.


If you believe that, due to a disability, you could benefit from academic accommodations, you are encouraged to contact Disability Services at 314-977-8885 or to visit the Student Success Center. Confidentiality will be observed in all inquiries. I am happy to support student accommodation requests when I receive an approved letter from Disability Services and when you discuss these accommodations with me after I receive the approved letter.

Notification of Approved Accommodations
All accommodations are now visible in INB to communicate accommodations to instructors working with students with disabilities.

If you have questions about accommodations for a specific student, please email Disability Services at disability_services@slu.edu.

Viewing Approved Accommodations
Students' approved accommodations are visible to in Internet Native Banner (INB) and Banner Self Service within the instructor's course roster.  To access INB or Banner Self Service, go to MySLU and select the Tools tab at the top.

Click "Internet Native Banner." To sign in, use the same username and password that are used for MySLU. Typically, the "database" field is left blank.  
Within INB, open the class roster. Any student with an approved academic accommodation will have an asterisk next to his or her name. Click the student's name to see a column that lists any accommodations.

Within Banner Self Service, click the Faculty Services tab.  Here select Class List: Summary to view each roster.  The far column indicates whether a students receives accommodations; click to review the accommodations.

If you have trouble accessing INB or Banner Self Service, contact your department or IT.

Receiving Student Medical Documentation
If a student brings medical documentation but does not have approved accommodations in Internet Native Banner, the instructor should encourage the student to contact Disability Services. The student should be informed that faculty are willing to work with any academic accommodations that are approved by Disability Services; however, they do not determine eligibility for accommodations. This response should prevent instructors from being placed into a difficult situation of storing medical documents or determining reasonable accommodations.

Students Who Have Not Discussed Accommodations
Faculty are not obligated to arrange accommodations until a student contacts them and specifically requests his or her approved accommodations. The student is informed that he or she must must speak with each instructor individually. Students know that faculty are provided with access to their accommodations at the beginning of the semester but may choose to use accommodations in some but not all of classes. Other students try to navigate a class to see if they can complete it without accommodations before electing to use them.

Mid-Semester Accommodations
Instructors should be aware that students may request accommodations at any point in the semester. If a student contacts his or her instructor mid-semester, the instructor should follow the same process for accommodations that is used at any other time. Accommodations are necessary as soon as the student discusses the desire to use them.

Some students attempt to meet the standards of the class without accommodations. If the student decides accommodations are necessary, he or she will then approach their faculty members. Additionally, some students may be diagnosed or otherwise not report their disability to Disability Services until midway through the semester.

Accommodations are not retroactive. The student should not be allowed to redo past exams or assignments.

Providing Additional Services
Disability Services strongly recommends that instructors give students only the academic accommodations they are approved for through this office. If a student seems like he or she would benefit from an additional service but it is unclear whether it is appropriate, please email disability_services@slu.edu.

We recognize that faculty work directly with students and therefore come to know the student academically. Any additional services should not compromise the essential functions of the course. Consider how any accommodation offered might affect instruction or make other students in the class feel. If faculty decide to offer additional services on their own, the student should understands that it will apply only in the class of each instructor.

Student Disclosure of Disabilities
Students are not required to tell faculty the nature of their disability. Students have the right to keep this information private. If a student is asked about his or her disability in an inappropriate manner, it may be considered discriminatory. We suggest asking the student how he or she best learns and if there is anything you can reasonably do to support the student. If they choose, the student may be able to provide information on the functional impact of their disability. The answers should help support work with the student.

Instructors are only required to be informed that a student is registered through Disability Services and is approved for the accommodations outlined in Internet Native Banner (INB). If a faculty member needs more information about the student's approved accommodations, is unsure whether or not a question is appropriate to ask, or believes a complicated situation requires more information, he or she should contact Disability Services.

Volunteer Note-Takers
When a student is using a volunteer note-taker, the instructor should first ask the student is if he or she is willing to be in contact with the note-taker or would rather retrieve notes anonymously.

Following the meeting with the student, faculty can make an anonymous announcement to class. We suggest something like, "A student in this class has requested the use of a volunteer note-taker. If anyone is willing to share a copy of their notes, please speak with me after class." It might be less specific and merely request that a student be willing to share a copy of his or her notes. Instructors normally do not have trouble getting a volunteer, but please let Disability Services know if no one has come forward after several requests.

If the student agreed to meet with the note-taker during the accommodations discussion, it may be helpful to the students for the instructor to facilitate the first meeting between them. The instructor can also look over the notes at least once to ensure quality. After that, it is the student's responsibility to obtain copies of the notes and to come to Disability Services with any questions about the accommodation. If the student would prefer to remain anonymous, then he or she will be able to obtain a copy from the instructor.

Testing Accommodations
The student is informed that he or she must contact his or her instructors in a timely manner prior to the need for testing accommodations for each exam. Disability Services advises students to do so at least one week in advance. Instructors may accommodate the exams themselves or elect for the student to use the Testing Centers. In this case, the student will ask for assistance in completing an Out-of-Class Testing form that must be turned in one week prior to the exam date.

If the student's schedule allows, students who request extended time on exams (without separate room testing) may test in the classroom, in an area near the classroom, or an office.

The accommodation listed as "test outside of the classroom" indicates that the student should test in a different classroom, some other space nearby, or at the Testing Center. No more than 6-8 students should test in the alternate location at once. This will facilitate a distraction reduced environment for the exam.

The "take test alone" accommodation specifies that the student should test in a room without the presence of other students.

If a student first approaches a faculty member to request accommodations less than 1-2 days before the exam, the instructor has the right to explain that the implementation requires time and apply the accommodation on the next exam. Disability Services will support instructors in most cases if it is clear that the student did not fulfill required time responsibilities.

Testing Accommodations: Pop Quizzes and Labs
Most students use accommodations for exams, but few students use them for pop quizzes or labs. The student must request accommodations for pop quizzes and labs. In specific cases, the student may need to work with the instructor to facilitate accommodations for quizzes.

Some alternative options to pop quizzes may be: to offer extended time to the whole class or to give the quiz at the end of class and allow students with extended time to stay after, if their schedule allows.

Labs are not always covered by testing accommodations. In specific cases, the student may need to work with the instructor to facilitate accommodations for labs. Please contact disability_services@slu.edu with specific questions.

Rescheduled Exams
The Frost Campus Testing Center in 108 Beracha Hall offers individualized rescheduled exam proctoring services to instructors when unusual circumstances, such as illness, scheduling conflicts, or athletic events, prevent a student from taking an exam in the classroom.

Using the Testing Center
If an instructor notices any errors or omissions on the test during the student's testing time, please contact the appropriate campus Testing Center immediately.

Please be sure to provide all the necessary exam materials at least 24 hours prior to the exam.

Exams and materials will be returned to the instructor within 24 hours in the method requested by the instructor. Typically, Testing Center staff prefer to leave the materials with an administrative assistant in the instructor's department, rather than placing them in an instructor's mailbox.

Scribes and Readers
If a student is eligible to use a scribe or reader for an exam, the person either writes exactly what the student asks or reads exactly what is written. Neither scribes nor readers supply help during the exam.

Permission to Leave Class
Students with permission to leave class typically have a disability that impacts their ability to remain seated for long periods. They may need to use the restroom, get a drink, remove themselves from a large group, or otherwise leave for medical reasons. Please understand that the student does not intend disrespect.

May Have Medical Absences Accommodation
This accommodation can be very challenging because it is intentionally vague due to the wide variety of classroom policies and procedures. Though some students with medical absences have symptoms that are present every day, most have disabilities that have related flare-ups (ex. fibromyalgia or lupus). In some cases, these students may be physically unable to attend class for several days due to severe pain, illness, or other medical issues.

The primary implication is: students with this accommodation have documentation on file within our office and should not be asked for a doctor's note for every absence.

If a student has this accommodation, we encourage them to contact instructors immediately to discuss options related to the attendance policy in case of a possible absence. The accommodation indicates only that their faculty must consider an alternative.

The Office of Civil Rights within the Department of Education provides the following questions to consider when determining whether attendance is an essential part of the course:

  1. Does classroom interaction occur between the instructor and students and among students?
  2. Do student contributions constitute a significant component of the learning process?
  3. Does the fundamental nature of the course rely upon student participation as an essential method for learning?
  4. To what degree does a student's failure to attend constitute a significant loss to the educational experience of other students in the class?
  5. What do the course description and syllabus say?
  6. What method is used to calculate the final grade?
  7. What are the classroom practices and policies regarding attendance?

Additionally, we suggest considering how attendance might be addressed for students with other situations, such as a car accident, a death in the family, or an athletic event.

Students who are absent are still responsible for the work from that class. The student is not excused from any pop quizzes, tests, participation, or important due dates. Neither extensions of deadlines nor making up in-class tests and work are included. These are up to the instructor's discretion. We encourage faculty to work out a plan with the student during their first discussion, rather than wait for a situation to arise.

If you would like a structured conversation, please see the Attendance Accommodation Form.


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