Testing Accommodation - Disabled Students Programs and Services

DSPS Test and Quiz Request Policy

All test and quiz requests must be submitted 1 week prior to each scheduled test and/or quiz to allow adequate time for processing and scheduling an appointment with a DSPS test proctor.

Failure to notify the DSPS testing accommodations office 1 week prior in advance may result in the student needing to take the test and/or quiz in the classroom with the rest of class.

There are several reasons that a student might submit a late request including that the instructor has not informed the student in adequate time to meet the deadline. Most instructors outline the dates of tests on their syllabus, therein allowing the student to submit requests for testing accommodations in advance. This is the recommended practice.

If a student submits a test or quiz request less than 1 week in advance:

  • When a student submits a request with less than one week notice, the request is considered late. The DSPS testing accommodations office follow the protocol for late request that includes a number of steps. For example (in no particular order as each circumstance is different):
    • The student is told that his/her request may not be processed based on the late notice. If this is the first time the student submits a late request, the student is warned of the consequences of submitting late requests. The DSPS office will process the request and work with the instructor to ensure that the student is able to be provided the accommodation.
    • If the student continues to submit late requests, the student will be referred to the DSPS Director. The Director will work individually with the student to find out the reasons why he/she is consistently late and may make referral to the DSPS counselor.
    • The third time a late request is submitted and there is no valid reason for the late submittal or no other special circumstances, the student may be suspended from receiving testing accommodation services. The student can appeal the suspension.
  • If the student demonstrates a pattern of submitting late requests further intervention, including being suspended from services for a longer period, is considered. Each situation is unique and each student need differs.
  • Students who have a disability that includes their inability to remember to turn in their test and/or quiz request on time, will be referred to the DSPS Director or DSPS Counselor to discuss time management, organizational skills and discuss any other challenges the student may be experiencing.
  • At the start and/or during the semester, the DSPS Director and DSPS Counselors facilitate workshops for DSPS students to provide them with tools that assist with organization and their responsibilities for following district rules.

The majority of DSPS students needing testing accommodations follow procedures. The small percentage of student who struggle with testing procedures are monitored and provided with assistance that includes the instructor, the DSPS accommodations office, the DSPS Director and DSPS Counselor.

If you have any questions about a student taking their test in the DSPS testing office, please contact  JoyDawn Olla, Accommodation Services Specialist 510-569-6513 or jolla@ohlone.edu or Kelly Wilmeth, Director, Interpreting and Accommodations Services 510-659-6271 or kwilmeth@ohlone.edu

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. Is it really necessary to take extra time if you understand the material?

Many students with disabilities use readers, scribes, or assistive devices, which slow test administration. For some, the disability slows mental processing or the ability to write. By law, the college must make adjustments so that these conditions do not preclude a student from completing course requirements.

Q. Does a faculty member need to rewrite their test or allow a different measure of achievement?

In most cases, a faculty member will not need to do either. Accommodations are most often achieved by adjusting the manner in which the student takes the test. In some cases, arrangements for alternatives may better meet the student’s needs while adequately meeting course objectives. For example: accepting student work on tape or restating the question in different words. These are individualized decisions best reached through consultation with the student and their DSPS Counselor or LD Specialist. In all cases, the test must maintain course integrity and measure student achievement and performance. In no case would a fundamental alteration of the course content be required.

Q. Does a faculty member need to provide an alternative test if it is not possible for the student to take the test at the same time as the class?

This is an option to be used at the instructor’s discretion. Due to scheduling conflicts, it is not always possible for the student to take the test at the exact time as the class, though it is preferable.

Q. What should faculty do about quizzes and pop quizzes?

When planning to give a quiz or pop quiz to the class, please know that DSPS testing accommodations, including extra time and/or taking the quiz or pop quiz in the DSPS testing office, do apply to all quizzes and pop quizzes.

We are happy to work with you on how to arrange the testing accommodations for the DSPS student in your class. Examples of some questions we may need to discuss with you are:

  • How frequent are your quizzes or pop quizzes?
  • How long are the quizzes or pop quizzes?
  • Are the quizzes or pop quizzes given at specific time during the class (beginning of the class session, middle of the class session, end of the class session)?
  • Are the quizzes or pop quizzes discussed immediately after the quiz is turned in?
  • Proximity of your classroom to the DSPS Testing Office (to allow for walk time, so the student does not miss any lecture)
  • Options for the DSPS student to take the quiz or pop quiz before or after the class session
  • How to provide a last minute quiz or pop quiz to the DSPS Testing Office and how to notify the student to take the quiz or pop quiz in the DSPS Testing Office.

Before planning a quiz or pop quiz, please contact JoyDawn Olla, Accommodation Services Specialist at 510-659-6513 or jolla@ohlone.edu or Kelly Wilmeth, Director, Interpreting and Accommodation Services 510-659-6271 or kwilmeth@ohlone.edu

Q. Isn't it unfair to allow some students extra time when other students have to work within a time constraint? All students would like to have extra time?

Some students with disabilities require extra time in order to level the playing field and to demonstrate what they have learned. The time limit for tests is often set by the class period and is not critical in the actual measurement of learning or performance.

Q. What if a student asks for a test accommodation the day before an exam?

The college must provide the student with appropriate accommodations required under the law, regardless of when the student requests those accommodations.

If a student is having trouble remembering to turn in their test and/or quiz request on time, the student will be referred to the DSPS Director or a DSPS Counselor to discuss time management, organizational skills or any other challenges the student may be experiencing.

Q. Can I authorize unlimited time for a test?

Never offer unlimited time on tests as an accommodation. Never offer untimed tests. If extra exam time seems like a necessity for accommodation, offer it as extended time. It may seem like semantics, but the words “unlimited” and “untimed” suggest that the student can tell you when the test is done. Extended time puts the time limit in your hands.

Q. May I require that a student start the exam at the same time as the class? How can I know that the questions will not be shared

Ideally, proctored exams are scheduled at, or close to, the time when the rest of your class is being tested. Sometimes a student must take the exam at a different time or date. You can help by including test dates/times on your syllabus, or announce in class when you will be giving the test. You will be notified of all dates and times for proctored exams before the test is taken. Unfortunately, we cannot prevent students from asking others in the class about the test. But, such conduct is a violation of the Student Conduct Code and can result in sanctions by the College Disciplinarian. Some instructors use alternate versions of exams to reduce security problems. Alternate versions are useful, as long as they are comparable in difficulty.

Q.I'm an “evening/ weekend” instructor. How can I get an exam proctored? Won't the student have to take the exam either a day before or after the rest of the class?

Proctored test services are available through Disabled Student Services Monday through Friday during business hours only. For students who are in evening or weekend classes, we prefer that they take tests during the weekday, when the test-proctoring room is open. Arrangements can be made to have an evening or weekend proctor with advanced notification.

Q.If I give the whole class extra time for a test, do I still need to give extended time for the student with a disability?

Yes, civil rights laws specify that you must do so.

Q. What about cheating?

If you have any concerns, such as: Is it possible for a DSPS student to cheat on the test?  What if DSPS students are be able to see the test before the rest of their classmates?  What if a DSPS student is taking the test later than their classmates and receives answers from one of their classmates?  We are happy to meet with you to discuss your concerns. You may Contact JoyDawn Olla, Accommodation Services Specialist, 510-659-6513 or jolla@ohlone.edu or Kelly Wilmeth, Director, Interpreting and Accommodation Services 510-659-6271 or kwilmeth@ohlone.edu

If you suspect cheating has occurred, an instructor is always welcome, regardless of a student's disability status, to investigate such matters, though we do recommend that DSPS be involved to help prevent any feeling of discrimination the student may have and keep the focus on the dishonesty, not the disability

Quizzes and Pop Quizzes

When planning on giving a quiz or pop quiz to the class, please know that DSPS testing accommodations of extra time and taking the quiz or pop quiz in the DSPS testing office does apply to all quizzes and pop quizzes.

We are happy to work with you on how to arrange the testing accommodations for the DSPS student in your class. Examples of some questions we will discuss with you are:

  • How frequent are your quizzes or pop quizzes?
  • How long are the quizzes or pop quizzes?
  • Are the quizzes or pop quizzes given at specific time during the class (beginning of the class session, middle of the class session, end of the class session)?
  • Are the quizzes or pop quizzes discussed immediately after the quiz is turned in?
  • Location of your classroom to the DSPS testing office (to allow for walk time, so the student does not miss any lecture)
  • Options of the DSPS student to take the quiz or pop quiz before or after the class session?
  • How to get a last minute quiz or pop quiz sent to the DSPS office and notify the student to take the quiz or pop quiz in the DSPS office.

Before planning a quiz or pop quiz, please contact JoyDawn Olla, Accommodations Specialist 510-659-6513 at jolla@ohlone.edu or Kelly Wilmeth, Director Accommodations Services and Interpreting 510-659-6271 at kwillmeth@ohlone.edu

Test Security

We take test security very seriously.  Students are visibly observable by a DSPS test proctor the entire time they are in the DSPS testing office.  Tests taken in the DSPS testing office are “distraction reduced” so a student is often in a room by themselves but we have window access to all testing rooms. Our main testing room has a video monitor with sound that we can carry with us if we are going to be away from the windows (this is particularly important when we have students from the same class taking a test at the same time). Our testing computers are monitored via a software, which allows us to see exactly what is being done, and screen shot the computer in use at any time. We also have the ability to remotely control the computers and close any unapproved screens or programs after a screen shot is taken.

We have a separate room where students are asked to put all of their belongings, including their cell phone. We watch students put their belongings away and they are not allowed to leave the testing room unaccompanied, even to the bathroom.

Use of scratch paper is monitored and provided by our DSPS test proctor. The scratch paper is signed off by the DSPS test proctor to verify it was blank. Often the scratch paper is a specific color or has print on the back side, as further proof that the scratch paper came from DSPS. We count and record how many sheets of scratch paper is given to a student to assure that the same number of sheets are turned in at the end of the test. We do not allow students to throw away any used or unused scratch paper as extra security to prevent any students from taking it from the trash can for later use.

We always take very good notes regarding each individual test situation. Anything that happens during an exam that we consider suspect or out of our control is always reported to the instructor – no matter how insignificant it may seem. We follow all instructions provided by the instructor.

Rules regarding test security measures are posted throughout our office and students must sign the test request form that states they understand the rules before each exam

If you have any concerns such as, Is it possible for a DSPS student to cheat on the test? What if DSPS students are be able to see the test before the rest of their classmates? What if a DSPS student is taking the test later than their classmates and receives answers from one of their classmates? We are happy to meet with you to discuss your concerns. You may Contact JoyDawn Olla, Accommodation Services Specialist. 510-659-6513 or jolla@ohlone.edu or Kelly Wilmeth, Director, Interpreting and Accommodation Services 510-659-6271 or kwilmeth@ohlone.edu

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