Frequently Asked Questions for Students With Learning
What is the Academic
Access Program and where is it located?
The Academic Access Program is a service-oriented program for
students with learning disabilities.
- Selection for admission of learning-disabled students
whose testing, academic record, and motivation promise success with a
- Two hours weekly of individual tutoring with learning
specialists for those participating in the full, for-fee program;
- Accommodations for full participants as well as those not
in the Program who have submitted appropriate documentation of learning
- Informative talks about learning disabilities and teaching
issues for faculty;
- Learning workshops open to all students at the college.
The Academic Access Program is housed in the Ruth Smadbeck
Communication and Learning Center, Department of Communication Sciences
and Disorders located on the 7th floor of the Main Building directly
opposite the elevators. Diana Nash is the Director of the Program. Her
phone number is 212-774-0724; her e-mail is email@example.com.
What accommodations can any students with learning
In addition to taking a reduced course load, students may request:
- Permission to tape record lectures or discussions.
- Extended time for class examinations (Time and a half to
double time maximum).
- Separate testing accommodations.
- Authorization and reimbursement of a student note taker for
- Use of laptop for written exams.
- Use of oral quizzes to supplement written exams.
- Early submission and critiques of drafts of essays.
- Allowance for clarification of exam questions, annotation
of multiple answers.
- Oral or taped presentation to supplement written work.
- Use of calculator and partial credit for use of correct
formula in math or statistics courses beyond Developmental Math (Math
- Use of Kurzweil 3000 software at the Access workstation or
at Shanahan Library Workstation.
The first three accommodations listed are fairly standard and accepted
as reasonable. However, often judgments are made on a case-by-case
basis. Oral presentations or oral testing are at the discretion of the
faculty member in consultation with Diana Nash, Director of Academic
ACcess and Disability Services.. Separate
testing must be proctored and under a double time maximum limit. The
program arranges for separate testing near its offices.
Are faculty members required by law to grant these
Yes and no. The student must submit current
documentation (within three years) to the Diana Nash, the Director of
and Disability Services. Once approved the Director will inform faculty
via email as to the accommodations to be provided for the student. A
verbal claim of Learning Disabilities by a student is not considered
proof and faculty
members should not independently grant accommodations without
How will the completed tests be returned to the professor?
Completed tests will be returned to the professor who must provide the
Director of the Academic Access Program and ODS with his/her office
location, building, floor, and room number, or general division office
mailbox information. Tests will not be left in basement mailboxes. The
professor may also pick up the test from the Access office.
What if the student with learning disabilities requests
extended time and separate testing the day of the final?
It is the student's responsibility to submit his/her request for
accommodations at the beginning of the semester. If the student
requests accommodations at the eleventh hour, the faculty member who is
not given reasonable notice is within rights to deny the request.
Should a faculty member grant accommodations to a student they
think has learning disabilities?
If a faculty member discerns difficulties above and beyond poor skills
and lack of preparation, the student should be referred to the Director
of Academic Access and Disability Services for assistance and possible
Do faculty members modify the course difficulty for students
with learning disabilities?
Students in the program are required to meet the same course
standards as any student at MMC and faculty should grade them
using the same standard they apply to other students. Faculty may,
however, consider modifying the mode of fulfilling assignments, e.g.,
oral mode vs. written for some assignments or tests if they feel it
does not seriously alter the level and requirements of the course. Time
extensions on assignments are not standard accommodations.
Isn't extra time for testing for students with learning
disabilities an unfair advantage over other
Many variations of learning disabilities affect the
at which individuals can recall and then present what they know in
written form quite apart from measured intelligence. These include slow
processing, word-finding difficulties, and attentional issues that
affect concentration and memory. The student with learning
disabilities is attempting to cope
with such subtle handicapping conditions, sometimes in a few very
specific areas. For example, he/she may be conceptually fluent orally,
but need more time to transmit these same ideas in written form. In
addition, he/she must put in the study time and effort required of all
Time and a half or double time is intended to remove a disadvantage,
not to give unfair advantage. Separate testing is proctored, and
students cannot produce information or ideas they have not absorbed, no
matter how long they take.
What is an Early Progress Report?
At the beginning of each semester, the Academic Access Program contacts
the faculty members to request an early, brief, informal report of the
student's participation, attendance, and performance on assignments and
tests. Faculty are urged to promptly e-mail a response so that the
program and student can address any difficulties.
Do all students with learning disabilities participate in the
Academic Access Program?
Not all learning-disabled students participate in the for-fee Academic
tutorial support program, but they are still eligible for
accommodations with proper documentation. The Academic Access Program
accommodations for learning disables students not enrolled in the full
When should a faculty member refer a student who has not
presented authorization to the Academic Access Program and OSDS?
If a professor senses a student has organizational,
attentional, writing, listening or reading comprehension problems,
especially which he/she reports as long-standing, the student should be
referred to Diana Nash by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
or by phone at
212-774-0724. The faculty member should give some details
nature of the student's difficulties after the student's permission has
obtained. Many students who have a history of learning disabilities and
have received special services in high school are unaware of the
availability of accommodations in college.
These students can also obtain referrals for full evaluations at
reduced fees. The fee for the Academic Access Program is $2000.
Students admitted to the Program work closely with their
learning disability specialist 2 hours a week. They are required to
participate for 2 consecutive semesters, although they may choose to
What are the procedures for obtaining accommodations for
students not enrolled in the Academic Access program?
Students must obtain and complete an Office of Disability
Services and Registration and Release Form from The Office of Academic
Access & ODS. They must also submit current (within 3 years)
documentation of AD/HD or other learning disability to the Director,
who will then contact the professors. Students with documented need
may also arrange for note taker services. The professor may assist the
accommodated student in identifying a qualified note taker.