Tompkins Cortland Community College

Baker Center for Learning

Reading the Memorandum of Academic Accommodations

Some academic adjustments are specific for the classroom, others apply to testing or to print materials, and some apply to all areas. Below is an explanation of all academic adjustments that may appear on an Access Plan Memo.

Computer with word-processing for all writing tasks: Computers are available in the BCL for testing. If there is an in-class writing assignment, the student may be allowed to complete the task outside of the classroom using one of the computers available in the BCL, or a students may choose to use a laptop computer or an AlphaSmart® keyboard inside the classroom. (AlphaSmart® keyboards may be borrowed from the BCL.)

Copies of power points, electronic presentations, instructor notes (if available), and blackboard images (if available): If you have prepared notes and/or overheads, please provide the student with copies of the notes at the beginning of class. If you have these available in digital format, discuss with the student whether they prefer a hard copy or an email attachment. If your notes and/or overheads are not available in digital format, but the student needs them in that format, the BCL can help you scan your hard copies and convert them into electronic copies. If you use a Smartboard or tablet technology, capture your “overheads” or whiteboard writing electronically for the student to use after class. These can be emailed to the student directly or uploaded to the Course Management System for general use. Students may also use tablets or smart phones to take picture of notes on whiteboards or blackboards.

Extended time for tests (1.5X or 2.0X): The Baker Center is available during the hours of 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. daily to help you provide this modification; however, you may provide the extended time yourself as well. Please note, though, that the student must NOT be required to move locations during the test (i.e. begin in the classroom and move to an alternate location when class time has ended). If you need help determining how to provide this modification for a student taking an evening exam or taking an exam at the extension centers, farm or Coltivare, consult with BCL staff.

Large print (including tests): In order for students with low vision to see print materials, the materials need to be enlarged. To produce an enlarged, hardcopy of your materials, enlargement can be done on the copy machine at Duplicating or by changing the font size in your electronic file and then printing the material. Electronic materials may also be enlarged using magnification software. These large format or digital versions of the printed material should be made available to the student at the same time that the general student population is receiving the materials. The student or the BCL can provide information as to the necessary enlarging percentage and/or font size.

Reduced distraction testing location: As noted above, the Baker Center is available to provide this modification during our regular hours. For classes at other locations or times, please contact the BCL for suggestions.

Note-taking assistance: Please help the student identify a good note-taker in your class who is willing to share a copy of his or her notes with the student. The BCL will provide NCR paper or a copy card to the student for making these copies. The BCL has a brochure for prospective note-takers.

Alternate format textbooks and/or course materials: Students with print disabilities may receive their textbooks and all course materials in alternate formats. These formats vary by student need and occasionally by preference. Available formats include e-text, Braille, enlarged text, audio text, and more. The Baker Center helps the student obtain their textbooks in alternate formats. For more information, please talk to one of the Baker Center coordinators.

Alternate seating: Alternate seating may involve particular furniture put into classrooms for a student’s use. This furniture should NOT be moved from the classroom or to a different area of the classroom; it is there to address a specific need. Alternate seating may also mean a particular location in the classroom. For example, a student with a hearing impairment who reads lips may need to sit at the front of the room or a student with a back problem may need to sit at the back of the room so that he or she can stand or walk out into the hall as needed.

Speller/Spellcheck: This accommodation can be provided by the use of an electronic speller such as the Franklin Speller or by using a word processor with a spellcheck capability. This must be allowed for in-class assignments as well as tests.

Digitally Read Exams: The Baker Center can help you provide this auxiliary aid. Please email the BCL ( a copy of your test in an accessible digital format in order for us to use our computer text reader software. If you unable provide the BCL with a digital copy of your test and will be providing the BCL a hardcopy, we will need to have the test at least 2 business days in advance of the scheduled test so that there is sufficient time to convert it. If we receive the test with insufficient time for conversion, we may have to reschedule the test, producing a very difficult situation for a student who must be told that the test is not ready after he or she has prepared for it.

Use of calculator for all math tasks: This auxiliary aid allows the student to use a four-function or scientific calculator (as appropriate) for any math task. The student must choose to use this academic adjustment in the Baker Center in order to avoid an awkward situation in the classroom.

Use of recorder in the classroom: Students who use this auxiliary aid will have previously signed an agreement with the Baker Center stating
“…Lectures recorded may not be shared with other people without the consent of the lecturer. Recorded lectures may not be used in any way against the faculty member, other lecturers, or other students whose comments are taped as part of a classroom activity. Information contained in the recorded lecture is protected under federal copyright laws and may not be published or quoted without the express consent of the lecturer and without giving proper identity and credit to the lecturer.”

Voice-input computer/word processor: Students may use Dragon Naturally Speaking in the Baker Center to write papers, essay exams, final exams, etc. Please be aware that this technology requires a certain amount of forethought on the student’s part as he or she must “train” the software to recognize his or her voice before it will work effectively. The training process takes about 30 minutes. Effective use requires practice over a period of time.

Voice-output computer/word processor: This auxiliary aid allows students to use software that will read back to them what they have written. This software is available to all students on all TC3 student-use computers (students must bring their own headphones), but students with this academic adjustment may also use it for testing situations. This software is available to TC3 staff and students to put it on their personal computers as well. See the BCL staff for download information.

Accessible digital format (applies to all instructor-created or provided materials): When a student’s access plan memo specifies ‘accessible digital format’, this generally means providing materials, such as a course outline and other handouts via email attachment or web course posting. Ideally, in order to provide equal access this should be given to the student prior to the class period when the general student body will be receiving the material. If the material is not something which you have access to electronically, the Baker Center staff can help you scan the item and then convert it to a digital file. Scanning facilities are also available through the TC3 Library.

Use of laptop for classroom note-taking: A student may take notes on a laptop or tablet when otherwise prohibited. Faculty may limit a student’s access to other resources (internet, email, etc.) if they otherwise prohibit laptops or tablets in class.

Captioning of all audio and video materials: Faculty will always be notified when we are aware that a hard-of-hearing or deaf student enrolls in their class. At that time we will ask whether you use any audio or video materials during the course. We (along with the library staff) will help you find equivalent captioned versions of these materials when possible and will caption other materials as needed. Be aware that this process takes a great deal of time so please plan ahead and provide the information in a timely manner.

Taped, read or oral exams: This academic adjustment was used extensively in the past but has been replaced with digitally read exams (almost 100%).

Other: This may include variance in attendance and participation policies, specification for some items such as how large “Large Print” should be, the use of sign language interpreters, etc. If you are ever uncertain of the applicability of these or any academic adjustments for your class, consult one of the Baker Center coordinators.

Where can I get help?

Carolyn Boone, Coordinator of Access and Equity Services, 1st Floor Baker Commons, Ext. 4283 

Marilyn Webb, Coordinator of Tutoring and Accommodation Services, 1st Floor Baker Commons, Ext. 4416

Baker Center for Learning, Ext. 4415;



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