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Faculty FAQs


Please click on a question to review the response below:

If you have a question that you do not see listed, please feel free to contact our office.

How does DSS justify extra time on exams for students with learning disabilities?  

Various factors account for the need for extra time on exams for students with learning disabilities.   These include: a) speed of processing; b) difficulty with the mechanics of spelling, punctuation and syntax; c) visual perceptual deficits; and d) reading comprehension deficits. Rather than providing learning disabled students with an unfair advantage over other students in the class, extended time for exams allows these students to demonstrate their level of mastery of the course objectives, rather than reflecting their learning disabilities.   In other words, it levels the playing field. Return to the top

How can I be assured that students who take exams for my classes at the DSS Office are being closely monitored to prevent cheating?
Students who have exams proctored by the DSS Office are monitored regularly by the DSS staff.  When a professor fills out the Request for Proctoring Services form completely, the DSS Office uses the information provided to proctor the exam according to the professor's standards (i.e., no books or notes, but calculators are permitted). The student leaves all materials other than those specified on the Request for Proctoring Services form with the DSS staff while testing.  During the exam the staff monitors students closely in order to maintain the integrity of the exam. If a student were to be caught cheating, the exam would be discontinued immediately and the professor notified. Return to the top   

When should I proctor an exam and when should it be proctored by DSS?
If they prefer, Faculty may proctor all of their exams as long as they are providing their DSS students with their approved accommodations. Due to the high number of students who receive accommodations on exams, DSS is asking the faculty to proctor all exams for students who receive 50% (time and a half) extended time. The DSS Office will continue to proctor exams for students who need to test on a computer, utilize other forms of assistive technology, or have more than 50% extended time. If you are unsure if you should be proctoring the exams, or if your student should be testing in the DSS Office, please contact our office to discuss the individual student. Please remember, if your student will be testing in the DSS Office, then both you and your student will need to submit a completed Request for Proctoring Services form to the DSS Office 7 days before the exam (14 days before finals). Return to the top

Does a student who identifies him/herself to the university as having a disability automatically receive accommodations from DSS?

Prior to receiving accommodations from DSS, a student must present documentation of a disability, which interferes with a major life activity from a qualified professional. The DSS Office then reviews the documentation and makes a determination of the kind of accommodations the student needs according to the ADA and California law. Return to the top

Should I refer a student to DSS?
Faculty members are encouraged to refer students whom they suspect may have learning or other disabilities to the DSS Office. While we do not provide testing for disabilities, we can refer the student to professionals in the area. Return to the top

How do I verify the eligibility of a student who simply tells me that he/she is disabled and requires accommodations?
Students that are registered with the DSS Office are directed to present their professor with a Reasonable Accommodation form, which is signed and stamped by the DSS staff, to verify their eligibility to receive services. If a student does not have this form, the student should be referred to the DSS Office. Return to the top

Will most students with disabilities (who are already aware of their disability) identify themselves to me at the beginning of the semester?
Students who use our services are directed to meet with individual professors during office hours at the beginning of the semester in order to discuss how their disability may have an impact on the specific course.   Some students choose not to identify themselves, thereby choosing not to utilize approved accommodations, for various reasons.   Other students may be in the process for applying for accommodations and may find they are eligible for accommodations in the middle, or even at the end, of the semester.   It is important to realize that any student requesting classroom accommodations must make timely requests for appropriate accommodations. Return to the top

How are accommodations determined for a student with a learning disability?
Accommodations are determined on an individual basis after considering the specific learning disability, the course requirements, and past academic experiences. Accommodations are designed to provide an equal educational opportunity, not to give the student an advantage. Return to the top

Do I have the right to know the nature of a student's disability?
The information regarding a student's disability should be shared only when there is compelling reason for disclosure.   The U.S. Department of Justice has indicated that a faculty member generally does not have a need to know what the disability is, only that it has been appropriately verified by the office assigned this responsibility on behalf of the institution. Upon approval of a student's request for accommodations, the university and the professor are required by law to properly accommodate the student. However, a student can sign a Release of Information form, which will allow the DSS Office to share information about his/her disability with a faculty member.  These forms are available on the DSS website or in the DSS Office. In addition, if the student decides, he/she can disclose this information to his/her professors directly. Return to the top

Do I have the right to know which students in my classes have disabilities?
All students have the right to keep their disability confidential.   However, in order for students to receive accommodations in a class, they need to identify themselves to the professor as a registered student with the DSS Office. Return to the top

Are there any specifications that I need to be aware of when selecting new technology for my students?
Loyola Marymount University has specific Technology Accessibility Guidelines which need to be considered when looking to utilize or purchase new technology.  These guidelines are available on the DSS website as well as in a PDF version. Return to the top

How can I access more information about working with students with disabilities?
The DSS Office has an e-book entitled "ADA for Non-Disability Student Services Personnel: What Does it Mean for Me?"  This text includes chapters dedicated to providing insight on topics such as Admissions, Athletics, Career Services, Financial Aid, Libraries, Residence Life, Student Life/Student Activities, and Academic Advising.  If you are interested in accessing this e-book please email the DSS Coordinator. Return to the top