Accommodations and Access Technologies
Accommodations are changes to the design of environments, auxiliary aids, and services that allow people with disabilities to access facilities and fully participate in programs at school or work. To determine what accommodations might be appropriate and effective in a class or other educational setting, the student, faculty, and Disability Resource Center staff often work together to identify barriers in the environment. The information included here gives you some examples but is not meant to be exhaustive, since accommodations are applied on an individualized basis.*
General Information on Accommodations
- Job Accommodation Network
- United States Access Board
- DO-IT Center Access College Faculty Room
- National Federation of the Blind Higher Education Accessibility Online Resource Center
Adjustments made to policies and practices that maintain program standards and requirements. Services that enable full participation in programs.
- Exam Accommodations, such as extended test time, distraction-reduced testing space, electronic materials.
- Note-taking Services
- Sign Language Interpreting Services
- CART (Real-time Captioning)
- Attendance Adjustments
- First row, or Close-up Seating
- Residence Hall Accommodations
- Dining Options for Food Allergies
Design of, and modifications to the built environment.
- Accessible Parking
- Wheelchair-Accessible Paths of Travel on Campus with Signage
- Step-free Entrances to Buildings
- Power Doors or Power-Assist Doors (local design codes sometimes have an impact on the availability of these)
- Signs with Braille and Raised Symbols
- Wheelchair-Accessible Restrooms
- Visual Fire Alarms and Alerting Devices
- Accessible Lab and Classroom Furniture
Hardware and software that make environments accessible and help students to do their work.
- Find access technologies through your State Assistive Technology Project
- Learn about access or assistive technology from the DO-IT Center
- Assistive Technology for Computers & Printed Material curated by Kenneth S. Pope, Ph.D., ABPP. A nice review of a wide range of products that might be helpful. Several free products.
- PDF documents should include formatting, tags and other features to make them accessible. WebAIM gives a good overview of PDF Accessibility.
- EPUB is another popular format that publishers are using more and more for books and print materials. Learn about EPUB accessibility at the DAISY Consortium.
Accessible college or university websites designed to enable large print, text-to-speech, contrast, captioning, etc. College communications and publications available in accessible formats.
- CADET - free software for adding captions and audio description to your videos (from the National Center for Accessible Media at WGBH - Boston).
- YouDescribe - free software to add audio description to your YouTube videos
- Accessible Textbooks - Resources for students and Disability Services offices:
- Bookshare - library of literature and textbooks, free membership to disabled students
- Learning Ally - general reading, literature, some textbooks; low-cost membership
- AccessText Network - a free service to DRC offices; Accessible Text Finder for students
- Resources for determining whether your website is accessible
- The Law and Accessible Texts : Reconciling Civil Rights and Copyrights - a White Paper from the Association of Research Libraries and the University of Virginia"analyzes how institutions of higher education can meet their mission of providing all students with equitable access to information within the current legal framework."
* The information on this page is for illustrative purposes only. NCCSD and AHEAD do not recommend any accommodation, nor should this be understood as legal advice. Students and families are encouraged to work with college personnel to address their needs.