For students who have a learning disability that impacts arithmetic computation, using a simple calculator could be a reasonable accommodation. The academic decision of whether or not arithmetic computation is essential to the course is typically the prerogative of the instructor and/or academic unit involved. However, this decision must be made within legal parameters and in consultation with DAS.

If the instructor is concerned this accommodation is unreasonable because it will lower standards, compromise an essential component of or fundamentally alter a course or program, such concerns should be addressed to DAS upon receipt of the “Notification of Academic Accommodations” email. The determination that an accommodation is unreasonable is an institutional decision that must meet legal and educational requirements. Instructors should not unilaterally render and attempt to implement a judgment that an accommodation is unreasonable.


  • DAS will notify instructors if the student is eligible for this accommodation.

  • The instructor member should contact DAS if they have any concerns regarding this accommodation.

  • If the instructor member believes this accommodation is not reasonable, then the process for an accommodation dispute should be followed.

  • The instructor must complete an Alternative Testing Agreement and should identify the method that will be used to accommodate the disability: the student can use a simple, four-function calculator or instructor will provide information on the type of calculator permitted for the exam.

  • Students must select this accommodation (calculator) when scheduling course exams.

It is important to note:

  • Given the specific analysis for each course, it is entirely possible that the use of a calculator will be allowed for some exams but not allowed for others.

  • DAS will consider requests for use of a simple, four-function calculator on a case-by-case basis.

  • DAS will not approve use of calculators as a reasonable accommodation when using one would be a fundamental alteration of academic standards.


Page updated 08/2022