When appropriate, reasonable academic accommodations will be made. It is generally considered non-discriminatory to adhere to academic standards that are essential to a course of study (i.e.: setting a grade point average requirement for admission to a particular program). Requests for academic accommodations must be made in a timely manner. All requests for services should be made directly to the Office of Accessibility Resources and Services (OARS). Academic adjustments must be supported by the documentation and may include the following:

Classroom Accommodations

Classroom accommodations may include but are not limited to: sign language interpretation; assistive listening devices; accessible technology for note-taking; preferential seating, and accommodated testing. Students receiving in-class support services must attend classes on a regular basis or risk losing those services.

As with all University programs, online learning requires effective accommodations to ensure student accessibility. Students must be connected with OARS to be approved for accommodations. Web-based courses may or may not warrant the same accommodations as traditionally taught courses.

Students requesting accommodations for Web-based courses must fill out the Welcome Form on the OARS Portal. Upon connecting with the office, students should follow these steps in accordance with whether they are on or off campus, if requesting accommodations.

For on-campus students:

  • After registering for an online course, connect with the OARS Team to discuss accommodations.
  • Bring the syllabi and course documents from the online course to the appointment at OARS. Letters to faculty will be written by a professional staff member and the student. Letters will only be written with student input and signature.
  • As always, it is the student’s responsibility to deliver faculty notification letters to those faculty members to whom they wish to disclose their disability and need for accommodations.
  • For online courses, the faculty letter will be emailed to the instructor by OARS.
  • For blind/visually impaired students, textbooks should be sent to OARS via mail. Please follow the text conversion policy.

For off-campus students:

  • Once you have filled out the Welcome Form on the OARS Portal and all documentation has been submitted, arrange a phone meeting with OARS by calling the office at (336) 334-5440.
  • The student should then email the syllabi and course documents to OARS.
  • Letters to faculty will be written by the professional staff member and the student.
  • In an online setting, it remains the student’s responsibility to disclose their disability.
  • Faculty letters will be emailed to the online instructors by OARS.
  • For blind/visually impaired students, textbooks should be sent to OARS via mail. Please follow the text conversion policy.

Degree Requirement Modification

Students are expected to complete all degree requirements for graduation in their major. The ADA requires that universities offer reasonable accommodations to qualified students; however, it does not require the adjustment of standards that would fundamentally alter degree requirements.

If a student deems it necessary to request deviation from the prescribed course of study, the student should consult the dean of the college or school, or the chairperson of the department of the student’s major. Any deviations from the applicable published degree requirements must have the approval of the appropriate departmental chairperson or school dean and the approval of the Dean of Undergraduate Studies.

Foreign Language Accommodations

UNC-Greensboro and the Department of Languages, Literatures, and Cultures (LLC) recognize the importance of providing options and accommodations for students with special needs. For this reason, UNCG offers a Modified Foreign Language (MFL) Program in Spanish and French. Sponsored by the College of Arts and Sciences, the MFL Program is designed to meet the needs of foreign language students who, because of their learning differences or disabilities, are unable to complete their foreign language requirement through traditional means. The MFL Program is intended to assist students with a demonstrated need to achieve their goals and meet their curricular demands by providing more individualized instruction in the target language along with academic advising, close monitoring of progress, and student assistance in understanding specific learning needs.

For more information view the Modified Foreign Language (MFL) Program Website.

Internships and Practicum

If a student will require accommodation, it is the student’s responsibility to request them in advance. Because the student may not fully realize the need for accommodation—they may not have a sense of what the internship setting will specifically demand—the student should initiate a meeting as early as possible prior to placement during which information about internship expectations might be shared and, once better informed, the student might then initiate a request for accommodative planning.

The student, the academic unit, and OARS need to begin early to plan for accommodations. Because it may be difficult to know what accommodations will be needed, early communication with the internship or practicum site involved is strongly encouraged. The nature of accommodations may vary across agencies and academic units may prefer early agency involvement in identifying needed accommodations.

The student, the academic unit, and OARS should identify the accommodations needed, including resources and adaptive/assistive equipment, in advance of negotiations with the placement agency.

The student and the academic unit should seek a placement agency that (1) will provide an appropriate educational experience, (2) will make reasonable accommodations for the student, and (3) will negotiate with the student and the university to provide the services needed.

The student, the academic unit, OARS, the university legal counsel, and the placement agency will develop a plan and negotiate accommodations satisfactory to all parties. Placement agencies are also subject to ADA requirements and may have a contact person who is familiar with the accommodations already being provided to agency employees. The agency ADA contact person (if one is assigned) may be able to provide assistance in making arrangements for student placements.

The student must be an active participant throughout the process of identifying a placement agency and identifying and negotiating accommodations.

Testing Accommodations

Initiating the testing accommodation procedure is the responsibility of the student. Testing accommodations may include extended time, scribe, computer for written exams, use of a spell checking device, calculator, readers, and accessible test formats such as Braille and enlarged print. Unless there is a time conflict, tests will be scheduled at the same time as the rest of the class. A student who misses a test or exam scheduled with OARS will be required to notify the faculty member. OARS is not able to reschedule exams. Rescheduling of exams is the responsibility of, and should be initiated by, the student in consultation with the faculty member, and a faculty member must approve the rescheduling. A student who is late for a scheduled exam must finish the test in the time remaining (extended time will be calculated from the scheduled time of the test, not the time of arrival). Final exams will only be rescheduled in accordance with university policy.

Students may schedule their testing appointments in the UPL or OARS, via The TracCloud platform

For detailed instructions for scheduling a test, please visit The University Proctoring Lab.

Text Conversion

Students connected with OARS who wish to have alternative access to printed material may use office equipment to convert text or request materials be converted. Eligibility for this text conversion is determined on an individualized basis.

OARS will make every attempt to provide materials promptly or train the student in how to independently convert text materials. In the event that students can not secure materials in an alternative format, OARS will either train the student in text conversion, assist in requesting text conversion or will provide converted text. Typically, 4-6 weeks notice is required to obtain alternate formats of the text. Late requests will result in a delay in providing materials. However, consideration will be given to the most expedient manner to obtain materials. Please note: All alternate format materials are intended for a student’s individual use and should not be shared with others. Any duplication of materials is prohibited. The following formats are available:

  • Determine which books you will require. This information can be obtained by calling or emailing the faculty member of the course or by contacting the UNCG bookstore (this should be done as soon as you register for classes and/or 6-8 weeks prior to the beginning of the next semester. You will need to have the following information about each book: title, author, publisher, edition, ISBN number, and/or any other information listed on the publishers page of the manuscript (the page behind the title page in most texts).
  • Using this information, search the publisher’s website to find out if the book is already available in e-text format. If the e-text format of the book is available it should be purchased by the student directly from the publisher.
  • If you are requesting an audio format, contact Learning Ally to determine if any of your books are available.
  • Audio books may also be available from the Library of Congress
  • National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped (NLS)
  • Book Share

If you are unsuccessful at obtaining the book using the above proceeding steps, contact the OARS Team for the next steps

Modification of Course Policy Guidance

Modification of Course Policy should condition warrant

Guidance from the Office of Accessibility Resources & Services (OARS)

What does “should condition warrant” mean?

The occasional Modification of Course Policy (MCP), as relates to assignment deadlines, exam dates, and attendance requirements may be engaged when students with a disability experience a debilitating manifestation of their disability and are unable to meet a deadline, take an exam at the scheduled time, and/or attend class. The use of these accommodations must always be directly linked to the student’s disability. Additional extensions and absences may be needed only when the student experiences a disability related flare-up, preventing attendance or timely completion of work.

Students requiring extensions for all/most assignments should explore options such as a reduced course load. Planning, preparing work, and meeting deadlines is part of the expectation for college-level students. Unexpected illness or injury, recent diagnosis, onset or change in condition may warrant a withdrawal from a course or when indicated, an incomplete grade.

  • Communicate with instructors. Contact instructors (by phone, email, or in person) as soon as possible when needing to engage these accommodations. Include information as to when you should be able to make up the work and any information you missed.

Example:  Hello, Dr. Yinsom, I will be missing (or missed) your Biology 123 class today due to a manifestation (or flare-up) of my disability. I plan to get notes from one of my classmates and follow-up with you for clarification as needed.  The assignment that is due today is attached (or, “will be completed by…”, or “will be brought to your office by…”). Please consult with OARS (copied) should you have concerns regarding the Modification of Course Policy accommodation. Thank you for your support! 

  • Complete all required course workMissed class material/participation may equate to missed course work in classes where participation is part of the grade. In some cases, an alternative assignment might be considered relatively equivalent, but must be requested. Discuss with OARS.
  • Be aware of the potential for snowballing. When deadlines and exam dates are delayed, remember that other assignments that may be due around the same time.  A need to delay due dates may result in significant amounts of work due within a short time frame. In some cases, an incomplete or withdrawal may be necessary to allow opportunity for improving health.
  • If overwhelmed, contact OARS as soon as possible to discuss options; 336/334-5440, or oars@uncg.edu
  • Class grades based on attendance may be impacted even with a modification accommodationAttendance and participation are important parts of learning class material.  Missing classes may prevent participation in activities that cannot be made up.  Missing vital class activities or a number of class sessions may result in a grade reduction. For some classes (such as labs), attendance may be a fundamental requirement.  When an accommodation would result in a fundamental alteration of course requirements, for which there is not a reasonable alternative, the accommodation may not be reasonable.  Be aware of any percentage of the course grade that may be based on active participation.  For some classes, excessive absences may result in the need to seek an incomplete (if the work can be made-up) or a withdrawal.
  • If physical attendance is a consistent concern, consider taking online classes/programs.

Students and/or instructors should communicate with OARS when either have concerns about this or any accommodation or its implementation.

Please communicate with OARS as soon as possible if absences and/or extensions exceed the above and/or if you believe this accommodation may be a fundamental alteration of course or program objectives/technical requirements. It is not reasonable or expected for faculty to fundamentally alter, waive, or lower essential course requirements, academic standards, or educational experiences/outcomes when attempting to accommodate extension requests. OARS should be consulted regarding course-specific adjustments.

Students and/or instructors should communicate with OARS when either have concerns about this or any accommodation or its implementation.

Students are expected to be present at all regular class meetings and take examinations for the courses in which they are registered. Each faculty member is responsible for setting the policy concerning the role of the attendance in determining grades for their classes.  It is the responsibility of the students to learn and comply with the policies set for in each course’s attendance policy, as explained in the course syllabus.  Students should be aware that when a course policy allows for a specific number of absences with no penalty, that number typically includes absences for any reason (including those with documented justification).  For many courses, absences beyond the allowed number mean that the student has not completed the same work as the other students in the class and therefore will receive a grade reflecting that.

Attendance is important to your academic success, but OARS understands that there may be disability-related reasons for missed classes. Therefore, OARS can request a consideration for possible flexibility from a faculty member’s attendance policy.  This is determined on an individual basis in collaboration with the student and with review of his/her documentation.  It is important to discuss contingency plans before absences occur to ensure the repercussion of absences are clear and/or to develop a plan .  This is NOT intended to allow for unlimited absences and does not alleviate the student of their responsibility for assignments, class participation, and exams.

According to the general attendance policy in the Undergraduate Bulletin, three absences are excused, unless otherwise stated in the syllabus. Generally, if a student with a disability has three or more absences in one class a meeting will take place with the faculty member, the student, and a staff member from OARS.  It will be the student’s responsibility to notify OARS when the third absence has occurred to develop a plan on how the missed work will be completed. The Office of Civil Rights (OCR) suggests considering the following questions when determining whether attendance is essential for a course:

  1. Are there classroom interactions between the faculty member, student, and among the students in the course?
  2. Do student contributions constitute a significant component of the learning process?
  3. Does the functional nature of the course rely on student participation as an essential method for learning?
  4. To what degree does a student’s failure to attend constitute a significant loss to the educational experience of the other students in the course?
  5. What does the course description and syllabus say about attendance?
  6. What are the classroom practices and policies regarding attendance?

Where the answer is yes for the first 4 questions, it is important for the faculty member to give the student an idea of how many absences would fundamentally alter the nature of the course, while taking into consideration that the number may be higher than for non-disabled students. This number gives the student a clear guide to use in deciding whether to remain in the class.  If the answers to the questions above are such that additional absences do not threaten the integrity or essential requirements of the course, the student should not be penalized for additional absences.  However, if additional absences become excessive then another meeting with the faculty member, student, and a staff member from OARS may need to occur to have a more detailed plan put in place.

Should issues regarding class attendance arise, make an appointment with OARS as quickly as possible.

Study Abroad Accommodations

In order to determine what accommodations might be possible abroad, the interested student, OARS, the study abroad advisor, and the host institution will need to work together to assess the student’s needs and the possible accommodations. It is the responsibility of the interested student to contact the International Programs Center and OARS as far in advance as possible regarding their accommodations.

  • Students should consult with the International Programs Center with regard to their interest in studying abroad.
  • OARS and the International Programs Center will gather access information and contact the host institution. Reasonable and appropriate accommodations will be provided after all parties have discussed the options available.
  • If additional accommodation needs arise while the student is at the host institution, the student will need to contact their study abroad advisor, the host institution and OARS. A decision will be made to determine if the additional accommodation is reasonable and appropriate.
  • When students return from studying abroad OARS requests that they provide feedback regarding their experience and make suggestions to be used for future study abroad experiences.

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OARS Portal

Contact Us!

OARS is located on the second floor of the Elliott University Center (EUC) in Suite 215.

OFFICE HOURS: 8:00 am- 5:00 pm, Monday-Friday
VOICE: 336.334.5440
FAX: 336.334.4412
EMAIL: oars@uncg

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