If you have a question that you do not see listed, please feel free to contact our office.
How does DSS justify extra time on exams for students with disabilities?
Various factors account for the need for extra time on exams for students with disabilities. Providing extended time on exams gives the student equal access to show their mastery of the material. In other words, it levels the playing field.
How can I be assured that students who take exams for my classes at the DSS Office are being closely monitored to prevent cheating?
Students who have exams proctored by the DSS Office are monitored regularly by the DSS staff. When a professor fills out the Testing Agreement through the DSS Online Services website, the DSS Office uses the information provided to proctor the exam according to the professor's standards (i.e., no books or notes, but calculators are permitted). The student leaves all materials other than those specified on the Testing Agreement with the DSS staff. During the exam the staff monitors students closely in order to maintain the integrity of the exam. If a student is suspected of cheating, the DSS staff will stop the exam and the professor is immediately notified.
When should I proctor an exam and when should it be proctored by DSS?
If they prefer, faculty may proctor all of their exams as long as they are providing their DSS students with their approved accommodations. Due to the high number of students who receive accommodations on exams, DSS asks faculty to proctor exams for students who receive 50% (time and a half) extended time. The DSS Office will continue to proctor exams for students who need to test on a computer, utilize other forms of assistive technology, or have more than 50% extended time. If you are unsure if you should be proctoring exams, or if your student should be testing in the DSS Office, please contact our office to discuss the individual student. Please remember, if your student will be testing in the DSS Office, then both you and your student will need to submit a Testing Agreement through the DSS Online Services website 7 days before the exam (14 days before finals).
Does a student who identifies him/herself to the university as having a disability automatically receive accommodations from DSS?
Prior to receiving accommodations from DSS, a student must present documentation of a disability, which shows a limitation in a major life activity from a qualified professional. The DSS Office then reviews the documentation and makes a determination of the kind of accommodations the student needs according to the ADA and California law.
Should I refer a student to DSS?
Faculty members are encouraged to refer students whom they suspect may have a disability to the DSS Office. While we do not provide testing for disabilities, we can refer the student to professionals in the area.
How do I verify the eligibility of a student who simply tells me that he/she has a disability and requires accommodations?
Students that are registered with the DSS Office must login to the DSS Online Services website and request that their professors be notified of their approved accommodations. Once verified by DSS, an email will be sent to the faculty's LMU account detailing the student's approved accommodations. If you do not receive this email from the DSS Office, then you should not be providing the student with accommodations.
Will most students with disabilities (who are already aware of their disability) identify themselves to me at the beginning of the semester?
Students who use our services are directed to meet with individual professors during office hours at the beginning of the semester in order to discuss how their disability may have an impact on the specific course. Some students choose not to identify themselves, thereby choosing not to utilize approved accommodations, for various reasons. Other students may be in the process of applying for accommodations and may find they are eligible for accommodations in the middle, or even at the end, of the semester. It is important to realize that any student requesting classroom accommodations must make timely requests for appropriate accommodations.
Do I have the right to know the nature of a student's disability?
The U.S. Department of Justice has indicated that a faculty member generally does not have a need to know what the disability is, only that it has been appropriately verified by the office assigned this responsibility on behalf of the institution. Upon approval of a student's request for accommodations, the university and the professor are required by law to properly accommodate the student. However, a student can sign a Release of Information form, which will allow the DSS Office to share information about his/her disability with a faculty member. These forms are available on the DSS website or in the DSS Office. In addition, if the student decides, he/she can disclose this information to his/her professors directly.
Do I have the right to know which students in my classes have disabilities?
All students have the right to keep their disability confidential. If a student chooses to use their accommodations in your class, they may request that the DSS Office email your LMU account with this information. DSS will only email approved accommodations and will not disclose the student's disability.
Are there any specifications that I need to be aware of when selecting new technology for my students?
Loyola Marymount University has specific Technology Accessibility Guidelines which need to be considered when looking to utilize or purchase new technology. These guidelines are available on the DSS website as well as in a PDF version.