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Wayne State College
Counseling Center
Student Center, Rm. 103
1111 Main St.
Wayne, NE 68787

Phone: 402.375.7321
Fax: 402.375.7058





Protection of Academic Standards and the Use of Exam Modifications for College Students with Disabilities


Measurement of student learning in the classroom is an essential component of the educational process. However, not all students can be evaluated fairly using standardized testing procedures. For students with disabilities, modifications in general testing procedures may be needed.


Students of average or above average ability may have any of a variety of conditions which substantially impact the usefulness and accuracy of generally used measurement instruments. Disabilities, including dysfunctions of hearing, learning, vision or mobility can interfere with a student's ability to deal with exam instructions, materials or mode of response. For these students, the use of modified testing procedures, adapted for the individual, provide a more fair and accurate means of measuring student learning.

The central issue in the provision of accommodations is that the modifications must not compromise academic standards. Otherwise stated, modifications must not give the student a competitive edge. Rather, the modification must eliminate a competitive disadvantage which results from the interaction of the testing procedures and the student's disability. The objective of appropriate accommodations is to provide the instructor with a means of evaluating the student's understanding of content rather than his or her functional limitations.

At the outset of a semester, both the student and the instructor may be uncertain about how to determine and provide appropriate accommodations; they may even be unsure whether a proposed exam modification is warranted. The determination of exam modifications which are reasonable and mutually agreeable does not lend itself to strict policies and regulations. Specific information about the student's disability, the course requirements, and the method of evaluation must all be considered when designing modifications.


Faculty are encouraged to consult with the WSC Counseling Center staff regarding the need for exam modifications. The Disability Services Counselor is knowledgeable regarding the individual and the disability, has access to the confidential information necessary to make a determination of the appropriateness of an exam modification, has experience in determining/recommending specific modifications and thus can provide approaches which are both fair and equitable.


The following statement is an example of the type of announcement that can be made at the first few class sessions of each semester and can be included in print as a standard part of the course syllabus:

If you need academic accommodations because of a disability, please inform me as soon as possible. See me privately after class or during my office hours for a confidential conversation. To request accommodations, students must first consult the Disability Services Coordinator, Jamie Mackling located in Student Center 103, or by calling 402-375-7321 or email The Disability Services Coordinator is responsible for reviewing documentation provided by students requesting accommodations, determining eligibility for accommodations and helping students request and use appropriate accommodations.

Although it is the student's responsibility to discuss accommodations with the instructor, some students are reluctant to do so. The routine use of this statement may encourage hesitant students to approach the instructor in a timely manner and it also makes the entire class aware that people with disabilities are an integral part of the campus community.


Early identification of students with disabilities is a substantial advantage, allowing faculty, students and support staff adequate time to consult, determine the appropriateness of and arrange any classroom modifications needed. Through the joint efforts of the student, the instructor and the appropriate campus student support staff, fair and equitable accommodations can be arranged which do not compromise academic standards.


Click here to view some Examples of Modified Testing



Ron Vick, MA, LPC
Counselor / Academic Advisor
Int'l Student Advisor




-- Mission Statement

-- Legislation:
   Section 504 and the

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   »Acad. Accomm.

   »Exam Accomm.
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   » Samples

   » Acad. Standards

   » Modified Testing

-- Determining

-- Types/Accomm.

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