Guidelines for Reasonable Accommodations for Spelling

Correct spelling at the university level is expected of all students. However, students with a specific learning disability which impacts spelling may be eligible to receive a reasonable accommodation for in-class assignments and exams. Typical accommodations have included spell-check devices or not penalizing a student for spelling errors. Faculty are responsible for contacting Disability Access Services (DAS) if they are concerned that the accommodation is unreasonable because of a belief that the accommodation will lower standards, compromise an essential component of or fundamentally alter a course or program. The determination that an accommodation is unreasonable is an institutional decision that must meet legal and educational requirements. Faculty should consult DAS before determining an accommodation is unreasonable or not implementing an accommodation. For additional information on reasonable and unreasonable accommodations, please visit the DAS Faculty & Staff Guidelines.

Process

  • DAS will consider requests for use of a spelling aid on a case-by-case basis.
  • If approved, faculty will be notified by the notification letter emailed by DAS.
  • Faculty should contact DAS if they have any concerns regarding this accommodation.
  • For exams and in-class assignments, students must meet with their faculty to identify the method that will be used to accommodate the disability: spell check device or the student will not be penalized for spelling errors.
  • If the student/faculty selects a hand-held spell checker as the accommodation, the student will be held to the same spelling standards as other students.
  • The spell checking device should not provide access to definitions or synonyms.
  • Students must select this accommodation when scheduling exams.
  • Review the guidelines regarding accommodation for spelling.

Page Updated 09/2014