The Catholic University of America




Please note that this is not an all inclusive list.  Accommodations are determined on a case by case basis in order to determine what is appropriate for each student.  If you have particular questions, please contact us at 202-319-5211 or


Access to teacher handouts, slides, overheads: Having access to handouts is needed either because a student needs to have the extra time to read them, they may need to be put in electronic format or they may be beneficial to a student who has trouble focusing while listening to the lecture or has trouble with organization.

Additional time on in-class writing assignments:  Some students due to their disability may require additional time on any in-class writing.  DSS recommends that the faculty member and the student work out how to best handle this situation directly.  If there are any questions, please feel free to contact DSS.

Assistive listening device (ALD):  Some students who are hard of hearing may require an assistive listening device. Each device is different.  In most cases, unless there is an audio system in the room that has a built in ALD, the instructor will be required to wear a small device with a microphone so that the student can hear.  It will be important for the instructor to repeat any comments from other members of the class.

Assistive Technology (laptop, notetaking device):  There is a variety of assistive technology available to students with disabilities.  Some students may need to type their tests on a computer with or without special software.  In some cases, students may use their own computer and in other cases, they may need to use a computer on campus.  DSS also has some laptops available for testing purposes.  If you have questions about this, please contact DSS.

Closed Captioned Videos: Students who are Deaf or hard of hearing will need to have all videos shown in class to have captioning.  If the copy being shown is not captioned, please contact DSS to look for alternative solutions prior to the time of the class.

Information on board read aloud for students with visual disabilities:  Students who are either Blind or have limited vision, may not be able to see information that is written on the board.  Therefore, it is important for the instructor to read aloud all information that is written on the board in order to provide the student equal access to the information.

Interpreting/ Transcribing:  An interpreter/transcriber is simply one who bridges the gap between the spoken and Deaf world. When the teacher or a classmate speaks, the interpreter/transcriber translates the spoken words into the language preferred by the Deaf or hard of hearing student.   The student likewise participates in the classroom by signing or typing the information and the interpreter voices it (talks) for the class. The interpreter is not meant to be a participant in the classroom, but a communication facilitator, making sure that communication is easily accessible for the deaf and hearing populations equally.  

Leave classroom when symptoms occur:  Some students with medical conditions may need to leave the class if problems due to their medical condition occur.  It is recommended that students who have issues during class, email or contact their instructor as soon as possible after the incident occurs and then work with the instructor to make up any missed work.  If this happens continuously, DSS recommends that the instructor talk with the student and also talk with DSS to determine appropriate action.

Notetaker:  At times some students have difficulty taking notes due to their disability.  Some students would benefit from copies of course notes from another student in the class.  With the student’s consent, the professor, instructor or teaching assistant can make a general announcement that there are students in the class who have disabilities which preclude them from taking comprehensive notes and that it would be appreciated if other students could give the student with a disability copies of their notes.  If a student agrees to be a notetaker, please have them email Disability Services. We request that you conduct this process in the most confidential manner.  We do not want other class members to be made aware of which student is requesting the service.  For more information on this process, click here.  

Occasional exceptions to the absentee/tardiness policy: The Americans with Disabilities Act, 1990, specifies that case-by-case exceptions should be made to established policy in order to avoid discrimination on the basis of a disability.  To address this, DSS has developed a disability related absence protocol. The student is required to notify the faculty member as soon as possible.  We also encourage them to let DSS know as well. Each faculty member makes the determination as to how many absences in general are acceptable in order to pass the class.  For a student with a disability, we must also look at: What are the essential elements of the course? How many absences would fundamentally alter the student’s ability to experience; or ability to participate in; or to contribute to and demonstrate learning? More information about this accommodations is available by clicking here.

Personal Care Attendant:  Some students with significant physical disabilities may require a personal care attendant to travel with them.  Depending on the needs of the student, the attendant may or may not sit with the person in class.

Preferential Seating: Students who have limited hearing, vision or difficulty with attention, distraction or an ability to focus will need to sit as close to the instructor as possible.

Record Lectures:  Some students may need to be able to record their lectures due to the nature of their disability.  If the material you are presenting should not be indiscriminately distributed due to publishing concerns, copyright concerns or matters of confidentiality, please allow this student to record the class.  A separate agreement ensuring that materials are not circulated beyond the class is provided to the faculty member with the accommodation letters.