Services to Students
Due to the functional limitations of their disabilities, some students require a note taker to augment or supply their classroom notes. MacMurray College subscribes to the "self-recruitment service model" which reinforces the goal of empowering students to develop skills that lead to greater independence and self-advocacy. After they have registered with the Disability Support Services Office and their accommodations have been verified, students are expected to make an appointment with their instructors to discuss their needs. This is a good opportunity to talk about your classroom teaching format, the use of electronic media, power points, and availability of instructor notes.
Some students, usually those who have been at the College for a couple of semesters, find their own note takers among their classmates while others will ask your help in selecting competent, reliable volunteers from the class. These students will give you two forms: the first is an Announcement by Faculty to Recruit a Note Taker in Class that you may use and does not identify the student; the second is a Note Taker Sign-Up that you may circulate to generate volunteers.
After the list is circulated, faculty should assist the student in selecting a note taker. If no one volunteers by this method, the faculty is encouraged to privately ask a student he or she believes would be a good note taker if that student would be willing to accommodate. Faculty may ask DSS to assist if there are no suitable volunteers.
The Note Taker Sign-Up form with the name and contact information of the selected note taker is returned by the student to the Disability Support Services Office. The volunteer is contacted by DSS and scheduled for note taker orientation.
Notes are often handwritten and photocopied and sometimes they are typed and emailed. Some students with this accommodation prefer anonymity and receive their notes once or twice a week in the DSS Office. Others receive them directly from their note takers. Either way is acceptable; DSS will check periodically for satisfaction of both the note taker and the recipient; feel free to do the same. If there are issues, it is best to identify and resolve them quickly.
Note takers who miss class are instructed to find a substitute note taker, and recipients of notes who miss class without an excused absence are not entitled to receive them. Having a note taker is never a substitute for attending class and faculty should notify DSS if an attendance issue is present.
Upon request, the Disability Support Services (DSS) Office assists faculty by providing proctored testing accommodations for MacMurray College students who have documented disabilities, who are eligible for testing accommodations, and who are registered with the Disability Support Services Office.
Disability Support Services Responsibilities
- DSS will ensure secure and conducive testing environments for the following proctored testing accommodations.
- Extended Time Testing: There are situations in which a reasonable test accommodation dictates extended time so that the student can complete a test. For many students with disabilities, taking tests within the normal class time may not result in a fair evaluation. The rule of thumb for adequate extended time is time and a half, but, under some circumstances, double time may be warranted.
- Distraction-Reduced or Minimum-Distraction Testing: For some students with disabilities, the distractions in an average classroom testing environment impedes their ability to complete exams. For these students, a distraction-reduced or minimum-distraction testing setting provides the accommodation they need. Instructors sometimes provide this accommodation and extended time testing in a room on site, or they will request assistance from the Disability Support Services Office if needed.
- Testing with Scribes and Readers: Students who have specific physical or cognitive disabilities may require someone to physically write, type, or read their exams to them. This accommodation is almost always provided in the Disability Support Services Office with DSS or Student Life staff.
- Upon receipt of the exam, DSS staff will attach the completed Test Accommodations Request to the printed exam and secure it in a locked cabinet. After the exam is completed by the student, it will either be returned as instructed or secured until picked up by the instructor or designee. Exams will not be returned via campus mail.
- Upon receipt of a Test Accommodations Request form (electronic or paper) from the student, the faculty and student will need to confirm the test date and time. Faculty will identify approved test aids (e.g., calculator, texts, notes) to be used during the testing session.
- If machine-scored forms or blue books are to be used, the type must be noted as different academic departments use different types. They are available in the DSS office and are supplied by the individual departments.
- The faculty will complete their portion of the form and submit it to the Disability Support Services Office at least five (5) days prior to the scheduled test. The lead time is necessary to ensure available proctors and the appropriate space for the student's specific accommodation.
- It is critical that DSS receives the exam at least 24 hours prior to its administration. The lead time ensures staff is available to retrieve, download, copy, and secure the exam.
- Exams may be delivered to the Disability Support Services Office in one of several ways. They may be
- emailed as an attachment to dss(at)mac(dot)edu;
- faxed to the secure line in the Disability Support Services Office: 217-479-7172;
- dropped off in a sealed envelope at the Disability Support Services Office on the first floor of the Education Complex Room 107.
Sign Language Interpreters in the Classroom
You may at some point have a student in your class that uses a sign language interpreter. Sign language interpreters are contracted professionals who are hired by the College to help you and your students who are deaf or hard of hearing achieve access. You may find the following information helpful to you as an instructor.
- A sign language interpreter's role is to facilitate communication and convey all auditory and signed information so that both hearing and deaf individuals may fully interact. This includes not only lecture material but all the comments, jokes, noises, distractions, etc. that occur in any environment.
- The interpreter's job is to faithfully transmit the spirit and content of the speaker, allowing the student and speaker to control the communication interaction. To achieve this, the interpreter is usually positioned near the instructor in such a way that the student can see both in a single line of vision. The interpreter may stand or sit depending on the situation. Talk to the interpreter and the student to determine the best arrangement for any particular class.
- Faculty should not ask the interpreter to perform other tasks, as it may interfere with the quality of communication provided and compromise the role of the interpreter. For example, interpreters are not subject tutors, classroom aides, or note takers. Any questions a student may have related to course content, test, and materials should be directed to the instructor. Conversely, any communication with the student should be directed to the student, not to the interpreter.
- Students have specific responsibilities toward their interpreting services. Click here to view student expectations.
- The faculty should inform the Disability Support Services Office as soon as possible if experiencing any problems with interpreting services.
- If additional interpreting services are needed, such as for a student conference, please request them at least 72 hours in advance by contacting the DSS Office at 217-479-7176 or via email.
- Faculty is encouraged to select and use or assign only caption-ready video materials in order to ensure access for deaf and hard of hearing students in your class. If you are uncertain whether or not they are accessible or if you want to locate captioning resources, contact the DSS office.