Learn about how to implement student accommodations and facilitate an accessible learning environment.
Questions about accommodations and accessibiliity?
The ACSD can help. Contact us for more information, or an individual consultation.
Exam accommodations are reasonable changes to the testing circumstances that allow students to demonstrate their academic ability and fulfill bonafide course requirements.
For example, students may have extra time, access to a computer or assistive software for writing, a scribe or specialized furniture.
All exam accommodations adhere to the Concordia Academic Code of Conduct and students are expected to fulfill learning goals in each course.
The ACSD will send you letters of accommodations (LOAs) at least once a month. You can also access these LOAs from your faculty portal (select “Access Centre Faculty”). Letters of accommodation will provide you with a list of students registered with the ACSD in each of their courses, along with individual students’ accommodated times.
Questions about exams? Contact the ACSD exams team at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 514-848-2424 ext. 3525.
Professors, course lecturers and instructors are asked to provide the ACSD Exams Team with their upcoming exams information, excluding for finals. Exam information includes the submission of date(s) and time(s) of tests, quizzes, and midterm exams.
This new process is more equitable for students registered with the ACSD.
To submit your exams information:
Complete the Exams Information Form at least 10 days before the exam date. The form gives you the flexibility to add as many tests as you would like and submit all the information simultaneously.
After you submit the form, you will receive an email confirmation from the ACSD Exams Team explaining the further steps, including options for submitting exams and ways to receive the completed exams.
Students who write their exams with the ACSD are often concerned that they might not have same the opportunity as other students to ask questions to their professors during their exams.
We ask you to consider dropping by during the exam to answer any questions that the student(s) may have. Alternatively, you could provide your contact number in the exam information you submit online, or, for classes with TAs, ask your TA to stop by.
- For SGW Tests: Please pick up test/exams at GM-300. Alternatively, exams will be delivered to your department in 6 working days.
- For Loyola Tests: Please pick up test/exams at AD-130. If Loyola tests are not picked up, the ACSD will expedite your test to your faculty office in approximately 3 working days.
At least once a month, the ACSD sends out automated letters of online exam accommodations to faculty informing them of students registered with the centre in their classes.
We ask that you adjust test times to accommodate students with disabilities for Moodle-based exams, or exams on department-specific software. This can be accomplished by changing individual students’ test times, or by extending times for the class as a whole.
To set up students’ accommodated time on online exams:
You can configure the limits by following the steps outlined in this video. The detailed version of the video is provided by the Centre for Teaching and Learning. Below is a grid outlining how much extra time a student would receive based on different accommodated times.
|Duration of quiz/test/exam||25% extra time
|33% extra time
|50% extra time
|75% extra time
|100% extra time
|1 hour 15 minutes||20||25||40||60||75|
|1 hour 30 minutes||25||30||45||70||90|
|1 hour 45 minutes||30||35||55||80||105|
|2 hours 15 minutes||35||45||70||105||135|
|2 hours 30 minutes||40||50||75||115||150|
Accommodations are applied by the COLE team, who receive the extra time information from the ACSD on a weekly basis. The ACSD exams team works as a quality control for COLE exams to assure every ACSD student has the correct extra time. Faculty are not required to add any accommodations.
Accommodations are applied by the eConcordia team who receive the extra time information from ACSD. Faculty are not required to add any accommodations.
How does this accommodation work?
Students meet with an ACSD advisor to discuss their academic barriers and to review their documentation. If this accommodation is pertinent based on the information provided, it may be added to the students’ accommodation plan.
Students are informed about the following conditions of the accommodation:
- Extensions are requested occasionally, on a case-by-case basis.
- Students are encouraged to share their Letter of Accommodation (LOA) with their instructors and to inform them about their accommodation plan at the beginning of the term and when requesting an extension.
- Extensions should be requested as soon as possible, before the due date.
- Students and professors will agree on the length of the extension. Typically, it is between 1 and 5 days depending on the students’ needs and on the course requirements and goals.
Concordia is committed to the inclusion and participation of students with disabilities. Instructors should receive the students’ request in good faith.
- The accommodation request should not be refused unless it significantly interferes with the academic standards of the course.
- Students are not required to present documentation to instructors or to disclose their disability to receive accommodations. If instructors have any questions or concerns, they should contact the student’s ACSD advisor.
Who receives this accommodation and why is it important?
- Students with a chronic medical condition with symptoms that fluctuate, leading to unpredicted periods of exacerbation. Examples: Chron’s Disease, Cystic Fibrosis, multiple sclerosis, cancer, etc.
- Students who undergo medical treatments that leave negative side effects. Examples: Medications, surgery, and other medical procedures.
- Students with psychiatric disabilities with symptoms that worsen during some periods of time. Examples: Major depressive disorder, bipolar, schizophrenia, panic disorder, etc.
- Students who work with service providers or assistive technology that need time to be set up, used, or coordinated. Examples: services of a scribe, interpreter, dictation software, etc.
During periods of crisis or flare ups, students may experience fatigue, low stamina, pain, cognitive impairment (inability to concentrate, slow information processing, difficulty reasoning, poor memory, etc.) physical discomfort, and feelings of acute distress, among others.
Proving flexible deadlines allows students to show their capacities and mastery of the course material without being penalized for the effects of their disability conditions. This practice cultivates inclusivity and equal opportunities for students to succeed.
- For more information about inclusive teaching practices, you can read about Universal Design for Learning (UDL)
Students who need extensions on assignments for other reasons, such as difficulty staying organized, managing their time, or having challenges with the course material, are advised to contact Learning Services or their ACSD advisor.
ACSD frequently asked questions
If the take-home exceeds the expected completion time by 100% then no additional time is required. It would be important to clearly explain to students that the exam duration includes their accommodated time.
For example, if you assign a take-home exam that is designed to be completed in 3 hours, and the entire class is given 24 hours to complete it, additional time would not necessarily be provided. The 24-hour window already encompasses the extra time. Please ensure that this is clearly communicated to all students. If a student requests an extension due to their disability, please feel free to consult the student’s advisor for more information.
No, this form must be filled out only for in-person midterm exams, tests or quizzes.
No. For finals, the ACSD will get the list of exams from the Exams Office. Based on that information, we will make the exam booking(s) for ACSD registered students automatically and inform the students about their upcoming exams.
Once you submit the form, the ACSD Exams Team will create the test in our system, and make the exam bookings for ACSD-registered students. You will receive an email confirmation from the ACSD Exams Team explaining the further steps, including options for submitting exams and ways to receive the completed exams.
You can either submit the exam online after logging to your Carrefour portal, going to “Faculty and Staff Services” and then to “Access center Faculty” and following the steps from there.
The details can be found in the email you will receive after we finalize the exam bookings. You can also send the exam to the ACSD Exams Team at email@example.com, or submit it in person at the ACSD office in either GM-300 or in AD-130 depending on the location of the exam.
If the amount of time provided to all students exceeds the expected completion time by the maximum percentage of accommodated time, then no additional time is required. It would be important to explicitly explain to students that the exam duration includes their accommodated time.
For example, if you administer an exam that is designed to be completed in 2 hours, and the entire class is given 5 hours to complete it, additional time would not be provided. The 5-hour window already encompasses the extra time. Please ensure that this is clearly communicated to all students.
Yes. For exams with a timer, extra time must be added to the expected completion time (duration of the exam) no matter how long students are given to write it throughout the day.
For example, if you administer an exam that is designed to be completed in 2 hours without extra time, but the students can take it anytime within a 24-hour window; additional time would need to be added to the two hours, as per individual student accommodations. If the timer, however, is set to include the maximum extra time requirement of all your students, then no additional time is required.
General ACSD FAQ
One of the most common academic accommodations includes extra time for exams, which typically ranges from 25% to 50% depending on the barriers the student is facing. Other accommodations include the use of a computer for exams, transcription services, or attendant care. Most accommodations are established and administered by the ACSD.
We do not send detailed information outlining all accommodations for each student. We will inform professors of extra time accommodations should they apply; you will receive a Letter of Accommodation via email with this info. The ACSD encourages self-advocacy and supports students in communicating their academic needs to faculty, which may include disclosure of other accommodations.
If you would like to learn more about the barriers your student faces and the academic accommodations they receive, we encourage you to reach out to your students about this. Additionally, you are always welcome to contact the student’s advisor.
The university is committed to providing an equitable learning experience for all students.
To learn more about this, please read Concordia’s Policy on Accessibility for Students with Disabilities.
It is at your discretion whether to share their slides or to allow students to record their lectures. However, many students experience barriers related to note-taking. As such, we encourage you to consider sharing their slides with their students.
For synchronous classes where lectures are delivered via Zoom, consider recording the class so that students can have access to the lecture at a later time.
Please be informed of Concordia’s Policy on Audio and/or Video Recording of Lectures and its respective procedure.
Universal Design for Learning is a research-based educational framework that considers learner variability when developing curriculum. UDL aims to reduce barriers to learning by designing flexible learning environments. Visit our Universal Design for Learning page to learn more.
Faculty can consider incorporating principles of UDL in the design of their class. Examples include providing closed captions for videos, incorporating extra time on tests for all students, allowing students various ways of participating in class discussions (e.g. discussion board, in person, written on a cue card), or allowing flexibility with assignment formats (e.g. video presentation vs. written essay).
For more information about UDL or how to incorporate its principles in your classroom, don’t hesitate to contact us.
You can learn more about how to build more inclusive and accessible courses by reviewing the eAccess online instructional modules. You will learn how to transform your class materials into accessible formats, identify accessible web resources, and create inclusive learning environments.
The ACSD employs transcribers, professional note takers, and in-class attendants to reduce barriers to learning for certain students. The employees that we hire are well trained and are unobtrusive in the classroom.
The ACSD is committed to maintaining academic integrity and enforces:
The ACSD consults with the Office of Rights and Responsibilities when responding to instances of student offences.
We encourage all professors conducting classes over Zoom to enable closed captioning in support of varying learning styles.
You can follow these steps to set up live closed captioning on your Zoom account.
If you need more details about Zoom and how to use it for online teaching, please visit the Centre for Teaching and Learning for more information.
Yes. The ACSD has procedural transparent masks for professors, instructors, course lecturers, and lab or tutorial leaders that would like them for use while teaching. The masks are Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) approved and are in line with return to campus guidelines.
Feel free to reach out to an firstname.lastname@example.org. We will do our best to get them to you within a reasonable amount of time.
Related registration and ACSD information
Learn about academic accommodations and services including individual planning, referral services, drop-in sessions, and more.
Find Concordia’s policies relating to accessibility and the rights and responsibilities of the university community.
Connect with the Access Centre for Students with Disabilities (ACSD) team — find our contact information here.