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All accommodations and adjustments are determined on an individual basis in consultation with SVSU DS staff who review professional documentation regarding the disability. Students may qualify for an accommodation but may decide not to use it for all courses.  The AIMs system will allow each student to decide which accommodations they wish to use for each course. Remember, you must sign in to your Disability Services account page each semester to print your letters that must be hand delivered to your instructors.

Explanation of Accommodations

Extended Time for Tests typically means that students have time-and-a-half (1 ½x) to take an exam.  This rule does not apply to take-home tests. This accommodation refers to timed tests, quizzes, writing in the classroom, timed online, or in another designated location.  In very rare instances double time for tests (2x) is allowed.  Students should schedule their test 24 hours in advance using RegisterBlast.  Alternatively, students can stop by the Testing Center in Zahnow 308 to get instruction for registering online.  By registering in advance, the Testing Center will have adequate time to secure the test, get instruction from the faculty member and assures we have the space for your scheduled request.  Computers may be used for testing, but no internet or phones are allowed during proctored tests unless directed by the instructor.  Please visit the Testing Center website for testing rules.

Quiet Area for Tests can be provided by the instructor or in the Testing Center.  If provided by the instructor, the quiet area should be in a location of minimal distraction and in which the student can remain throughout the test.  If provided by the Testing Center, the student should schedule their test 24 hours in advance or stop by the Testing Center office and they can show you how to schedule online.

Reading Technology for Textbooks and Exams is software that is loaded onto the Testing Center’s equipment which provides an alternative allowing for easier textbook reading and exam taking. Students should ask for training on SVSU Disability Services’ text-to-speech software before taking their exams in order to be prepared. Students approved for this accommodation may have to take their exams in the Testing Center away from their class, which means access to professors for questions may be sacrificed. Students should ask about this if they are concerned.

Software Testing Accommodation is available for students who may benefit from the use of assistive software during testing are encouraged to speak with Disability Services’ Assistant Director at 989-964-7000, about options that may be best for them. In many instances, different software programs may offer similar assistance; however, each student will have different preferences. We encourage students to preview different technologies in advance to determine which one may be best. 

Students may elect to purchase software at their own cost.  If required for the purposes of test taking, the Testing Center will provide the required software for proctored exams. You must meet with Disability Services’ Assistant Director in advance to determine what software is available and to receive instructions on the use of the software.

Speech to Text Technology or Digital Scribing is most likely to be approved for students with physical impairments that limit use of their hands. Students should ask for training on SVSU Disability Services' speech-to-text software before their exams in order to prepare for testing. Students approved for this may have to take their exams in the Testing Center, which means access to professors to ask questions may be sacrificed.  Students should ask about this if they are concerned.

Flexible Attendance is occasionally allowed if a student experiences complications associated with a disability which impairs his/her ability to attend class.  Flexible Attendance must be discussed directly with your professor.   The faculty member and their department determine what flexible attendance can be accommodated, therefore it is important to have a discussion with your professor as soon as possible.   If the student must miss class, s/he is to notify the instructor and SVSU Disability Services via e-mail as soon as possible. Students should make arrangements with the instructor to complete any assignments due or tests/quizzes given during the missed class.  If an assignment was due or a test/quiz was administered on the day of an absence, the assignment or test will be due on the following class period. 

Reduced Course Load is allowed in rare instances in which a student's health condition will affect his/her ability to maintain full-time status. Students concerned about graduating on time (4-5 years) may take classes during the summer or s/he may decide to extend the time to graduation.

Priority Registration is rarely granted but may be appropriate for students with mobility impairments or medical conditions that require careful planning of rest times.  If requested the SVSU Disability Services’ office staff will contact the student to ascertain the best method for accommodating his/her disability.

Using a Laptop for Exams will be allowed if required for needed technology such as reading software or if needed because of a physical impairment such as a broken arm.  If the student's or Testing Center’s computer is used, internet access will be disconnected during the exam.  Students approved for this may have to take their exams in the Testing Center away from their class, which means access to professors to ask questions may be sacrificed.  Students should ask about this if they are concerned.

Using a Calculator for Exams is not likely to be approved on tests or in classes evaluating calculation skill as it would represent a fundamental alteration. This may be allowed for all students in certain math and science fields because the emphasis is on choosing and utilizing the correct formula, not calculation skill.  Faculty should note when calculators may be used during testing when sending a test to the Testing Center. 

Private Dorm Room is not an accommodation that is granted by SVSU Disability Services.  However, SVSU Disability Services’ staff will work with the student and Residence Life to ascertain the best living environment for the student that will accommodate his/her disability and will give the student the full benefit of the college educational and living experience.  A request for a private dorm room must be done early as room assignments begin early and the residence halls fill quickly.  This accommodation is always based on availability.

Study Guides are an accommodation that may have been granted in K-12 but are generally not appropriate in higher education although on occasion individual instructors do provide them. Tutoring is available through SVSU Center for Academic Achievement which is located on the second floor of Zahnow Library.  We encourage students to utilize this service early in the semester for maximum benefit.  All schedules and appointments are done directly with the Center for Academic Achievement.

Extended Deadlines on Assignments, Projects or Papers are considered an alteration of an essential element of a course, so they are not allowed by SVSU Disability Services.  Given the condensed nature of college courses as compared to high school (16 weeks vs. a school year), timing of assignments, papers, projects, etc. is extremely important.  Allowing an extension on a paper will likely overlap with the start of other coursework which would in turn further delay the student's ability to complete that assignment and perhaps the course.  A student with a disability should discuss this with his/her instructor.  Some faculty are open to extensions on a limited basis; others are not.  Students who have difficulty in meeting deadlines may decide to reduce the course load with the understanding that time to graduation will be extended.

Alternative Assignments, Reduced Assignment Length, Reduced Reading Load are considered alterations of essential elements of a course and are not allowed by SVSU Disability Services. The student may discuss with his/her instructor if any of these are a possibility but this is not covered as an accommodation.

Assistance with Assignments in the form of editing, proofreading, and organizing is considered a personal service, which higher education institutions do not have to offer.  Help with writing is available to all SVSU students through the SVSU Writing Center which is located on the second floor of Zahnow Library. You should contact them directly for assistance.

Alternative Testing Methods such as changes in form (essay to multiple choice or vice versa) are generally considered fundamental alterations of a course and are not allowed by SVSU DS. Minor changes such as "no Scantron" are allowed but such changes cannot interfere with the content that the instructor is trying to assess.

Electronic Text/e-Text is available for eligible students. The following are the steps for accessing your Electronic Textbooks.  

  • If you are purchasing your books from the SVSU book store or any online site, you should be sure you purchase the electronic format, if available. 
  • If not available through bookstore, you must search on your own first.  Try the following sites:,, and (this site will require a documented disability to use).  Books will be listed on your syllabus or you may have to contact your instructor for the list. 
  • If you have searched each of these sites and have not found your book(s), and there is no audio version available, you must complete the process below to request the assistance of Disability Services.   
  • In the Disability Services AIM's system: 
  1. Under “My Accommodations” on left side of screen, click on “Alternative Formats”
  2. Choose your Format Preference
  3. Add in book information under “Reading Materials” (try to include as much information as possible, it is your responsibility to provide all the information we need on your books required). 
  • In order for us to begin work on your alternate format, you are required to provide us with a copy of your purchased book receipt. Copyright laws require students to purchase their book first and then provide the receipt of this book to Disability Services enabling the office to proceed with your request.   
  • Disability Services is required to keep a copy of your purchase on file as proof of your purchase and right to the alternate format.  You can scan and email Scott MacLeod a copy of your receipt to  Alternatively, you can drop off a copy, or bring your receipt into our office so we can scan it for our records.  Remember, your Alternate Format order is on hold until you provide us with this information.   We recommend you act immediately. 
  1. Click “Submit Request”.  Once you have selected your accommodations, Disability Services is automatically notified of your need.   We will then continue the search from our end once we have received a copy of your receipt.
  2. It is your responsibility to check with us to get the alternative format of your books 

Please contact Scott MacLeod, (989) 964-4054 or email him ( for updates.  In the email, please provide the name of the book and the title of the class you are taking. 

Attendance Policy Class lectures, discussions, demonstrations and all other associated educational experiences are critical to the learning process. It is the expectation of the University that students attend and arrive on time to all classes, laboratories, shops, practicums, and clinical experience sessions.  Students are responsible for accounting to their instructors any absence and should contact the faculty member following any absence to determine if work may be made up.  Habitual tardiness may, at the discretion of the instructor, be considered in computing attendance.

For Flexible Attendance, each instructor has the right to determine their own individual attendance policy and state this policy in her/his syllabus.  Instructors who have received a Notification to Instructor Accommodation letter stating that a student with a disability has a medical condition which may affect attendance is not required, by law, to waive the attendance requirements.  The statement is merely to inform the instructor that the absence(s) may be related to symptoms or treatment of the condition. If a medical condition may significantly impact attendance, it is imperative that this possibility be discussed with the instructor as soon as possible.

Contact Us


Ann Coburn-Collins,
Director of Academic Support Programs

Wickes 260

Scott MacLeod
Assistant Director of Disability Services & Academic Support

Wickes 260

Deborah Rickert
Office Coordinator

Science East 201/Wickes 260