Temple and DRS policies
DRS policies on documentation and accommodations
As a faculty member, you may receive an accommodations letter from a student at the beginning of the semester, but you may not know how that letter came about. It represents the final product of a well-defined and strictly observed procedure established by DRS to:
- document the student’s disability;
- evaluate the effects that disability may have on his/her academic performance; and
- devise meaningful and reasonable ways to give that student full access to a Temple education, in light of her/his functional limitations.
Registration and decision-making process
To receive accommodations and services, students must register with Disability Resources and Services.
The student must provide DRS with a completed Student Intake Form and recent disability documentation.
The student will participate in an intake meeting with a DRS Coordinator who specializes in the type of disability involved. The coordinator will assess the documentation and interview the student. If the documentation of the disability is adequate and up-to-date, the intake coordinator and the student will discuss accommodations the student has received in the past, strategies that have helped the student succeed, and accommodations that might be effective in the Temple context.
Based on all the available information, the coordinator will decide what accommodations, if any, would be appropriate. He or she then drafts the letter to reflect that decision.
Documentation of disability defined
Documentation is an evaluation, assessment, or detailed letter from a doctor or other qualified professional from the appropriate field of concern and not a family member of the student. This documentation will establish eligibility for services and will support requests for specific accommodations.
DRS uses an individualized process to establish reasonable accommodations on the basis of a meeting with the student and a review of all supporting information provided.
Documentation that a student submits to DRS when requesting accommodations should be current and relevant to higher education and answer the following questions:
- What is the disability or condition for which the student is seeking services?
- How does the disability impact the student in a higher education environment?
- What evaluations, tests or assessments were used to diagnose the disability and/or demonstrate its impact?
- What accommodations have been recommended or used in the past?
Some examples of documentation that may support a student’s request for accommodations include:
- Psycho-educational evaluations
- Medical evaluations
- Speech or hearing evaluations
- IEPs or 504 plans
- Other professional evaluations that are specific to the disability
The accommodations letter is the basis for implementing accommodations in a given course. DRS recommends to each student that s/he hand-deliver the letter to each professor and engage in a discussion about the student’s needs. For suggestions about how to handle this discussion, students can watch the Access TU Videos.
A professor need not retroactively provide academic accommodations in a situation where a student did not provide the accommodations letter earlier.
If a student’s needs change, DRS may modify the accommodations letter after consultation with the student.
Accommodations never necessitate that faculty change the essential requirements of the course.
Test taking accommodations
Students who benefit from extended time, distraction-reduced settings and/or assistive technology may be approved to take their tests at DRS.
Main Campus test taking services availability
Monday - Friday
8:00 AM to 5:00 PM
Students taking evening and/or weekend classes
Any students taking evening and/or weekend classes that require test taking accommodations outside DRS office hours should make arrangements with faculty to take the test at an alternate location.
Students taking exams on other campuses
Students taking exams on campuses other than Temple Main Campus should refer to the DRS liaisons page to identify the appropriate contact person for that location.
Procedures and responsibilities for test taking accommodations
To be effective, efficient, fair, and secure, testing accommodations at DRS require the collaboration of the student, the instructor, and DRS staff members.
- Give your professor your accommodation letter as soon as you receive it.
- Initiate discussions with your professor about your exam accommodations.
- Schedule tests at least seven days in advance using MyDRS online tools.
- Arrive at DRS at the scheduled time to begin the test. If you are late, the length of the delay will be deducted from your overall time.
- Abide by policies related to academic integrity and academic misconduct as outlined in the university’s Code of Conduct.
- Confirm and edit test details on MyDRS after the student schedules the test.
- Submit the test to DRS three (3) business days before the test date by uploading to MyDRS.
- Contact DRS if you need to make alternative arrangements. Either you or a designated colleague can hand-deliver the test. Under NO circumstances can students deliver their own tests to DRS.
- Contact DRS by telephone 215-204-1280 or email email@example.com to notify your student of changes to the test content prior to or during test period.
- Try to be available by telephone or email during the test should the student require clarification of any aspect of the test. Please provide the best contact method to the student.
- Collaborate with faculty to ensure that all tests we proctor are administered in an environment respectful of the students’ needs and the academic integrity of the testing process.
- Meet with the student and make disability-related testing recommendations via accommodations letters available in a timely manner.
- Respond to all requests for clarification about our testing procedures within 24 business hours of receipt of inquiry.
- Ensure that all test materials are provided to students in an accessible format.
- Protect the academic integrity of tests by:
- Only accepting changes to test administration forms in writing from faculty;
- Ensuring that students do NOT deliver their own tests to or from DRS;
- Providing secure proctoring services;
- Reporting any suspicion of violations of the Code of Conduct to appropriate faculty.
- Return tests to faculty within 24 hours of completion via TUSafesend or instructor pickup.