Services and Accommodations

Services and Accommodations

Counseling and Advising

The Disability Support Services staff provides disability-related counseling and advising. The focus is on addressing issues impacting the student’s academic performance and their general college experience at Indiana University South Bend. This includes assisting students with strategies, resources, and advice to enable them to be successful. A primary objective of our counseling and advising is the development of the student’s self-advocacy capabilities. The DSS office also works closely with the Student Counseling Center. Academic scheduling and advising is provided by the student’s academic advisor. It is strongly recommended that students specifically schedule counseling/advising appointments. A service dog can be of a variety of breed or size.

Testing Accommodations

Testing accommodations are provided to ensure that the student with a disability has equal opportunity to demonstrate his/her knowledge of test content. A student may qualify for a variety of testing accommodations. Once approved by DSS, testing accommodations are identified in the Letter of Accommodation that the student delivers to the course instructor. The student is expected to discuss with the instructor how the testing accommodations will be provided. The approved testing accommodations may be provided by either the instructor or DSS.

Extended Time

Extended time is typically 1.5 times the standard test time, although some students may qualify for double time. Completely untimed testing is not an approved accommodation.

Distraction-Reduced Testing Location

Distraction-reduced testing refers to a test administered in a location apart from the standard classroom. The intent is to minimize distractions to the test taker in the form of noise and the presence of other students.

Assistive Technology

A student may be approved for taking tests with the aid of technology that permits access by means of enlarged print, having the test aloud, or voice recognition. Students may also be approved to use a computer to answer test questions rather than hand writing answers.


A scribe may be provided to mark answers on the test or answer sheet or to write a student’s verbatim oral response to a question. A scribe does not assist a student with composing answers or explaining or clarifying questions.

Brailed or Large Print Tests

Tests can be provided in Braille or large print formats.

Alternate Format

In some cases, a student’s disability significantly impacts the taking of tests in a particular format. It may be possible in such instances for the instructor to provide an alternate format test. Any such alternate format test must equally assess the learning objectives measured by the standard format test. Although any discussion of alternate format testing will necessarily involve the student, the faculty member, and the DSS office, it is the faculty member who ultimately determines whether an alternate format test is possible.

Class Capturing

A variety of class capturing options may be approved for a student depending upon his/her disability. You will need to request such an accommodation from DSS. DSS will determine if this is a reasonable accommodation given the functional impact of your documented disability. If so, this accommodation will be indicated on your Letter of Accommodation. Class capturing options include:

  • ASL interpreter or CART transcriptionist
  • Assistive Listening Equipment (FM device)
  • Captioning for video presentations

Copies of instructional materials

This may include PowerPoint presentations, class handouts, and instructor notes when available and in a format that is pedagogically useful. Such materials can be provided in alternate formats as necessary.

Audio recording

Approval for the use of an audio recorder in the classroom is subject to the conditions listed below:

  • The class recordings are only for your personal use in study and preparation for that class.
  • You may not share these recordings with any other person, whether or not that person is in your class.
  • You acknowledge that the recordings are sources, the use of which in any academic work is governed by rules of academic conduct.
  • You agree to destroy recordings when they are no longer needed for your academic work and no later than the conclusion of the course.
  • You understand that failure to adhere to these provisions may result in the loss of permission to use a recorder in future classes.
  • You are required to sign an agreement to abide by these provisions.
  • Disability Support Services has a limited number of digital recorders available to students on a semester loan basis.

Note taking assistance

The procedure for obtaining this assistance is described below:

  • Give your Letter of Accommodation to your instructor and discuss your need for a student note taker. There are several options for securing a note taker.
  • You may contact a student in the class directly to request note taking assistance.
  • You can request that the instructor make an announcement to the class that a note taker is needed, without identifying you specifically. You can then identify yourself to the volunteer note taker at a more convenient time.
  • If you cannot obtain a note taker by the above means, contact DSS and we may be able to help you secure a note taker.
  • The DSS office can provide your note taker with a carbonless duplicating notebook.
  • It is your responsibility to work with the note taker to coordinate how and when you will receive the class notes.
  • Use of a note taker is not a substitute for class attendance. The note taker is not obligated to provide notes for a class you missed. If you miss class for a disability-related reason, you should discuss this with your note taker.
  • The notes provided to you by the note taker are for your personal use only. You are not to distribute the notes to other students.

Alternate Format Materials

Educational materials, such as text books or supplemental materials, which would otherwise be difficult or impossible to use by the student with sensory or processing disabilities, can be converted to an alternate, accessible format.

Working with the Adaptive Technology Center (ATC) of Indiana University at Bloomington along with our in-house processing, we are able to offer the student several different formats for their materials.


This is a book available through electronic means. E-text can come in many different forms, such as Microsoft Word, Kurzweil, or Acrobat Reader (pdf), and in some cases, MP3 files. This is done through a scanning process and subsequent conversion to the desired format.

A staff member will check with the online database to see if an already converted copy is available. If it is, the student’s book will not be needed and it can be returned to the student. If the book is not available, the student’s book will then be taken to be unbound for the scanning process. Once the book has been scanned and processed, the text will be transferred to a CD or flash drive in the student’s desired format. Books that are scanned and converted will be rebound once the conversion process is completed. This process can take up to three or four weeks during high volume times. DSS and ATC will make every effort to complete the request in a timely manner. However, depending upon when the book was received for scanning, it may need to be completed in installments. Other handouts, the course syllabus, or additional text materials can be converted as well.

Some E- texts are now directly available from the publisher. The Office of Disability Support Services has a list of links that may be useful for the student interested in acquiring their texts in this format.


The ATC in Bloomington is able to convert both textbooks and any other class materials to Braille, both Grade One, and Grade Two. This is also a time consuming process, and a lead time of at least a month is desirable for this process as well. The student would bring their books into the DSS and they will be forwarded down to ATC for processing.

Please note: Requests for alternate media materials should be requested from DSS as soon as possible to ensure timely delivery. The Office of Disability Support Services will make every effort to convert materials in a timely manner and in the specific format requested. However, consideration will be given to the most expedient manner and format available in the fulfillment of student requests.

Adaptive Technology

Disability Support Services assists students with a variety of adaptive technology hardware and software tools.


JAWS is a screen reading program that enables the blind or low vision student to access the internet, e-mail, databases, and most other types of documents that can be made available in an electronic format.

Window Eyes

Window Eyes is a screen reader program with capabilities similar to JAWS.


ZoomText is a screen magnifier particularly useful to the visually impaired student. It is also a screen reader.

Kurzweil 3000

Kurzweil 3000 is a program that, among other things, reads electronic text. The student sees the content on the computer screen while it is being read. This is particularly useful for students with print disabilities.

Dragon Naturally Speaking

Dragon Naturally Speaking is a voice recognition program that enables the student to write text by speaking into a headset microphone.

Closed Circuit Television (CCTV)

CCTVs are available for the video magnification of print materials.

ComTek Auditory Assistance System

The ComTek device is a wireless FM system that functions as a remote microphone for the hearing impaired user.


Flat-Bed scanners are available for student use.

Large Monitors

Large (22”) monitors are provided for adaptive technology software workstations.

Adaptive Furniture

Adjustable height tables are available for classrooms, computer labs, and any adaptive technology work station on campus. Chairs with padded seats and backs and with lumbar support are also available for students whose disability makes it difficult to sit comfortably in standard classroom seating. Students must specifically request adaptive furniture at the start of each semester.