Frequently Asked Questions

  • What is meant by "extended test time?" 

    Extended test time usually means time and one-half. For example, if class is normally 1 hour long, extended time would equal 1 ½ hours. 

    What are accommodations letters? 

    The PSLD provide letters for students to hand to their professors. These letters disclose the fact that the student is legally entitled to exam accommodations.

    Can I get a reader for exams? 

    Depending on professional recommendation, when a student signs up for a test in the Center, s/he may request a reader at this time, and one will be provided on the day of the test if adequate lead-time has been given by the student.

    Can I have a quiet room for exams? 

    Quiet rooms are available for enrolled students in the PSLD Center.

    If I need a tutor, how do I get one? 

    Students may visit the PSLD Center located in the A.J. Palumbo Academic Center suite 1022 and sign up for a tutor.

    Do I need to tell my professors if I need extended test time? 

    The student first needs to give his/her professor a letter of notification or request for testing accommodations. Once the professor has the letter in hand and the student has spoken with him/her about what accommodations are needed, the student may request extended time using the form provided in the PSLD center.

    Do I have to inform a postsecondary school that I have a disability?

    No. However, if you want the University to provide an academic adjustment, you must identify yourself as having a disability. Also, you should let the school know about your disability if you want to ensure that you are assigned to accessible facilities. Your disclosure of a disability is always voluntary.

    What academic adjustments must the University provide? 

    In providing an academic adjustment, your University is not required to lower or effect substantial modifications to essential requirements. For example, although your school may be required to provide extended testing time, it is not required to change the substantive content of the test. In addition, your postsecondary school does not have to make modifications that would fundamentally alter the nature of a service, program or activity or would result in undue financial or administrative burdens. Also, your school does not have to provide personal attendants, individually prescribed devices, readers for personal use or study, or other devices or services of a personal nature, such as tutoring and typing. 

    What if I want an academic adjustment, what must I do? 

    You must inform the University that you have a disability and request an academic adjustment. Unlike high school, your postsecondary school is not required to identify you as having a disability or assess your needs. 

    The University may require you to follow proscribed procedures to request reasonable accommodations. You are responsible for knowing and following these procedures. Contact Christy Samuelson at 814-871-5326 for more information.

    When should I request an academic adjustment? 

    You should request it as early as possible since some academic adjustments and/or accommodations may take more time to provide than others.

    Do I have to prove that I have a disability to obtain an academic adjustment? 

    Yes. The University requires students to provide documentation that shows you have a current disability and need an academic accommodation. 

    What if I don't disclose my disability to my professors and I do poorly on an exam? May I disclose then and ask for a re-take of my exam?

    No. Students cannot re-take an exam by disclosing their disability after the fact.

    What documentation should I provide? 

    You are required to provide documentation prepared by an appropriate professional, such as a medical doctor, psychologist or other qualified diagnostician. The documentation should include the following: a diagnosis of your current disability; the date of diagnosis; how the diagnosis was reached; the credentials of the professional; how your disability affects a major life activity; and how the disability affects your academic performance. The documentations should provide enough information for you and the University to decide what is an appropriate academic adjustment. 

    Although an individualized education program (IEP) or Section 504 Plan may help identify services that have been effective for you, it is not sufficient documentation. This is because post secondary educations present different demands than high school. In some cases, the nature of a disability may change. You may need a new evaluation in order to provide the required documentation. Your state's vocational rehabilitation agency may help arrange for funding of a new evaluation. 

    Find your state's addresses and websites at: 

    http://www.workworld.org/wwwebhelp/state_vocational_rehabilitation_vr_agencies.htm 

    *U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, Students with Disabilities Preparing for Postsecondary Education: Know Your Rights and Responsibilities, Washington, D.C., 2007. 

    What are the hours of operation for the disability office?

    Monday to Friday from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.