Definition of Reasonable Accommodations, Academic Adjustments, Auxiliary Aids, Services, and Modifications
A frequent term students will hear when working with disability services is reasonable accommodation.
A reasonable accommodation is any modification or adjustment that will enable a qualified student with a disability to participate in a course, program, facility, activity or service and includes adjustments to assure that a qualified individual with a disability has rights and privileges equal to students without disabilities. Reasonable accommodations may include academic adjustments, auxiliary aids, services, or modifications for facilities.
A reasonable academic adjustment is an academic modification or adjustment that minimizes or eliminates the impact of a disability, allowing the individual to gain equal access and have an equal opportunity to participate in the University's courses, programs, services, activities, and facilities.
Examples of reasonable academic adjustments: extension of time for tests, course substitution of non-essential requirements, priority registration, etc. (this is not an exhaustive list).
A reasonable auxiliary aid might include adaptive equipment, assistive technology, FM systems, electronic textbooks or books in alternative formats, computers for testing, etc. (this is not an exhaustive list).
A reasonable service may include a reader for tests, note-taker for a course, test proctors, sign language interpreters, real-time captioning etc. (this is not an exhaustive list).
A modification may include the removal of architectural barriers. See Penn State's University Access Committee for further information on Penn State's efforts in removal of architectural barriers: University Access Committee web site.
Title II of the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA) of 2008 and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 dictates that an institution must make reasonable academic adjustments, provide auxiliary aids and/or services for those individuals with a qualified disability who self identify. To determine reasonable adjustments, auxiliary aids and/or services, the disability services office will seek current documentation of the student's disorder/impairment, as well as, information from appropriate University personnel regarding essential standards for courses, programs, services, activities, and facilities. A reasonable academic adjustment is one that does not require a substantial change in the curriculum or alteration of any essential elements or functions of the course, program, service, or activity. Academic adjustments, auxiliary aids, and/or services are determined on a case-by-case basis and course-by-course basis.