Accessible Learning Services

Faculty Resources

We are committed to working closely with faculty and other administrators regarding various aspects of accessibility, both inside and outside of the classroom.

This page provides resources for supporting students with disabilities, including information on accommodations, how to improve accessibility within course material, and frequently asked questions. We can serve as a resource as you work to incorporate Universal Design for Learning principles and promote inclusivity in your classroom.

Our team is here to support you if you have questions about your role in implementing a student’s accommodations.


Alternative testing locations

  • Students can choose to write with Accessible learning Services instead of in-class, while some opt not to.
  • You will receive a list of students writing with Accessible Learning Services from our office prior to the testing date.
  • All tests will be proctored to ensure students are upholding academic integrity.
  • You must give direct instructions about the test, such as the format and duration of the test, material permitted, etc. We encourage at least 24 hours of notice.

Extra time in tests/exams

  • To receive extra time accommodations, students are asked to register to write tests/exams with Accessible Learning Services .
  • Receiving extra time in class is only permitted if an agreement is established with their professor. This is at your discretion, and it is not a requirement.

Recorded lectures

  • Students are responsible for recording lectures (in class or online) and must ask for permission first.
  • Any lecture recordings are expected to be deleted at the end of the course.
  • Audio recording is permitted solely for the academic purposes of individual students.
  • Students are not permitted to post or in any way make public recordings of parts thereof without your explicit permission as their professor.

Cue/formula sheets

A cue sheet is a document containing information that serves as “triggers” to help a student to recollect previously learned information.

A formula sheet is a document containing formulae that are expressed using symbols, figures, or both

  • The guidelines for cue/formula sheets are provided to students.
  • Student must submit their cue/formula sheet to you for review, approval, and signature at least 7 days in advance of the exam/test/midterm.
  • You are within your right to disallow a student the use of a cue/formula sheet that presents any risk to academic integrity, or if you were not given sufficient time for review.
  • You can also deny parts of the cue/formula sheet if the sheet has essential learning outcomes, full definitions, information on how to use formulas, etc. Students are required to make the appropriate changes and resubmit the sheet to you for review again.

Readers and Scribes

  • A proctor will read and/or scribe for the student during a test/exam.
  • A proctor will not interpret questions or student answers when reading or scribing.

Laptops in tests and exams

Should a student require the use of a laptop for paper-based short/long answer or essay type questions, they are required to shut their internet off and close all programs except for Microsoft Word.

For Acorn tests, students are required to have all programs closed except for the window with Acorn open.

Testing deferrals/rescheduling

  • Students may experience episodic health challenges, learning challenges, religious observances, family responsibilities, and/or other matters making it difficult to write an exam on the scheduled date. While students are encouraged to inform their professor with advanced notice, this will not always be possible.
  • Testing deferrals support students by providing an alternate date for a quiz/test/exam. The student should consult with you to determine an alternate date, which may include a make-up exam date if that is already being planned by you.
  • In the rare occasion a deferral is not reasonable, alternative options may be provided where appropriate such as:
    • Adding the weight of the assessment to the final exam
    • Re-weighting remaining assignments
    • Allowing the student to make up the percentage of the test by submitting an additional paper, project, or report instead
    • Dropping assessments with low impact/low percentage (e.g., the lowest 2 of 5 grades)
  • You should inform Accessible Learning Services of the approval and alternate date by emailing us directly or by copying us in the email communication with the student.

One exam per day

  • Students may have an accommodation of writing one exam per day.
  • The student should consult with you and/or Accessible Learning Services to determine an alternate date.
  • You should inform Accessible Learning Services of the approval and alternate date by emailing us directly or by copying us in the email communication with the student.

Alternate ways of presenting in class

  • Students may experience learning challenges and health challenges that make it difficult for them to present in front of class.
  • Alternative options may be provided such as:
    • Presenting to you individually or in front of a smaller group
    • Allowing the student to do a written assignment/report instead
    • Moving the weight of presentation to the test/exam/assignment

Lecture notes/slides in advance

Providing lecture notes/slides in advance supports students by helping them to feel prepared and less overwhelmed.

We understand that providing lectures notes/slides in advance is not always possible. Students are responsible to coordinate with their professors to establish an expectation for both parties.

Extensions on deadlines

  • All students registered with Accessible Learning Services have the recommended accommodation of extra time on assignments; however, this is not automatically added to their assignments.
  • Students are responsible to notify you directly if they require an extension, and work you on determining an appropriate new deadline.
  • We encourage students to stay on their deadlines; however, this is not always possible. If you notice a student is struggling in any aspect of your course, we have several areas of support for students.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does a student register with Accessible Learning?

The registration process begins by setting up an appointment via disability.access@acadiau.ca and can be completed at any point in the semester/year of study. All accommodations are set based on the assessed needs in their documentation.

What types of accommodations can I expect to see?

While some accommodations may be more common than others each student will have their accommodations set individually. Examples of previous accommodations include: a Note taker, recorded lectures, additional time on assessments (x1.5 or x2), reader and/or scribe during tests, completing assessments in an alternative space, access to lecture notes before or after lectures. While these are more common, these examples do not capture the full breadth of different accommodations that you may see.

What is the difference between a permanent accommodation and temporary accommodations?

A student may receive accommodations on a temporary basis due to a medical reason with an anticipated recovery (surgery, concussion, broken bone, etc). A student may also be given temporary accommodations until we are able to receive up to date documentation that supports permanent accommodations. Permanent accommodations are set once we have documentation from a Medical Professional outlining the accommodations needed to best support the student.

What is the process for students writing tests at Rhodes Hall?
  1. The student emails Accessible Learning Services to notify us of the scheduled test time at least one week prior.
  2. The Exam Coordinator will email each professor the list of students in their course writing in Rhodes Hall and request a copy of the test and instructions to be sent to accessible.learning@acadiau.ca no later than 24 hours before the test is scheduled. We are currently asking all professors to email us an electronic version of the test, unless otherwise specified by the Exam Coordinator.
  3. All tests written with Accessible Learning will be proctored. If the test is on Acorn, students are expected to show the proctor they have submitted the test before leaving the testing space.
  4. The Exam Coordinator will email you when the tests are ready to be picked up at Accessible Learning Services. We can also send tests back to you electronically or through interdepartmental mail.
I see that a student is struggling in my class, but they are not registered with Accessible Learning. How can I refer them to Accessible Learning Services?

Academic performance should always be address confidentially. If you believe a student may benefit from our services, please let them know privately through email or in a meeting. Should they be ineligible for accommodations we may be able to provide academic supports or referrals.

Am I able to talk to other professors regarding additional accommodations for my student?

Academic performance should always be address confidentially. If you believe a student may benefit from our services, please let them know privately through email or in a meeting. Should they be ineligible for accommodations we may be able to provide academic supports or referrals.

Other Resources

Making Your Website Accessible (acadiau.ca)
These tips from the Acadia HUB article can be applied when creating your ACORN page.

Guideline on Accommodating Students with Disabilities in Post-Secondary Institutions
A helpful resource developed by the New Brunswick Human Rights Commission.

Supporting Students with Disabilities | Introduction (unb.ca)
Additional insight into supporting students with disabilities.

Creating a Culture of Accessibility in the Sciences
This book provides research based evidence and advice on integrating students with disabilities into the STEM fields.

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) is considered a gold standard for curriculum development. The focus on developing content that is accessible for all is a great way to ensure you don’t need to adapt your course design at a later date.

UDL At A Glance - YouTube
Check out this short video on UDL for ways to make assessments within your class more accessible.

Making Science Labs Accessible to Students with Disabilities
An article on applying universal design to a science lab setting.