Student communicating with female staff member through assistive technology
A male student communicating via sign language to a female staff member
Dog guiding a visually impaired student

Accommodations and Accessibility

What is Accessibility?

"Accessible" means that individuals with disabilities are able to independently acquire the same information, engage in the same interactions, and enjoy the same services within the same time frame as individuals without disabilities, with substantially equivalent ease of use. A few examples of accessibility are, accessible web pages, accessible instructional materials, accessible apps and an accessible eReader.

Who is it for?  Everyone.

What is an Accommodation?

“Accommodations” are reasonable academic adjustments or auxiliary aids that provide equal access to programs and services on an individual basis. A few examples of reasonable academic adjustments or auxiliary aids are, extended time on tests, taking an exam in a minimal distraction area, recording a lecture and having a note-taker.

Who is it for?  An individual.

What is the difference?

Accessibility is achieved through the use of identified standards to design environments to be used by everyone, including persons with disabilities and oversight is often provided by an accessibility manager and or ADA coordinator.  Accessibility is the responsibility of everyone.

Accommodations are requested by a person with a disability and determined to be reasonable on an individual basis by an appointed representative, often, in a disability services office. Accommodations may be needed beyond an accessible environment for equal access to programs and services because of the individual nature of the disability not due to an environment’s inaccessible design.  Accommodations are the responsibility of the Disability Services Office.

The Accommodation Plan

The accommodation plan is written for an individual based upon documentation requirements.  It is written by an individual coordinator in the Disability Services office for every semester of attendance.  Students provide a copy of their plan to the instructor.  Any questions regarding the plan need to be directed to the Coordinator who wrote the plan in the Disability Services office.

Technology Resources for Accommodations