How do I create accessible and inclusive course material?
Your best resource is GT Center for Inclusive Design and Innovation (CDI)! However, visit or Accessible & Inclusive Instructional Material Checklist page for more for some suggestions.
What does Disability Services do to support faculty?
The Office of Disability Services is here to serve you – we are your partner and resource in delivering equitable access to course material for our students with disabilities by approving and implementing reasonable academic accommodations.
You can help us and your students in the following ways:
- Referring students to the Office of Disability Services when support may beneficial
- Creating inclusive instructional material
- Implementing academic accommodations
Do you recommend a statement to include on my syllabus?
The statement you include in your syllabus is your first opportunity to convey the value of diversity in the classroom, and thus the availability of resources and accommodations for students with disabilities. For statement examples please visit our Supporting Students with Disabilities page.
What is a disability?
According to the Americans with Disabilities Act, a disability is a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one of more major life activities. Major life activities related to education include, but are not limited to walking, sleeping, eating, learning, reading, writing, processing, hearing, etc.
What is an accommodation?
An accommodation is an adjustment made to a policy and/or academic environment to ensure students with temporary or permanent disabilities have equal access to course material, information, activities, programs, housing, and other campus facilities.
How do I ask a student about their disability?
Asking a student for more details regarding their disability is not permitted as the confidentiality of medical information must be maintained. It is an individual’s choice whether to disclose the nature of their disability.
What is my legal obligation?
Relevant academic faculty and staff will be asked to implement approved accommodations and maintain student’s confidentiality. The Office of Disability Services will generate a Course Accessibility Letter that details the approved accommodations of a particular student. You are responsible for the timely implementation of those accommodations.
How does a student receive accommodations from ODS?
First, a student must complete the ODS New Student Accommodation Request and submit documentation from a qualified healthcare professional. Then, ODS engages the student in the interactive process to determine reasonable accommodations.
Does Disability Services provide tutorial services?
Disability Services does not provide tutorial services. However, the Success at Tech provides 1-1 tutoring, drop-in tutoring, and 1-1 academic coaching.
Is there a charge for receiving accommodations from Disability Services?
There is no charge for receiving accommodations.
What are the differences between K-12 and Postsecondary Education?
Congratulations! We are excited to welcome your student to Georgia Tech and look forward to providing them the support and resources they need to succeed. This is a very exciting time for you and your student, but the transition may bring up concerns for all involved, especially around disability services and accommodations. We are here to help! Learn more about the legal rights and responsibilities for college students on our Parents and Family page.
How does a student receive accommodations?
The Office of Disability Services collaborates with students, faculty, and staff to create a campus environment that is usable, equitable, sustainable, and inclusive of all members of the Georgia Tech community. ODS views disability as an aspect of diversity that is integral to society and our campus community. ODS staff works with admitted Georgia Tech students to ensure equal access to the Institute’s academic programs and services.
Please know it could take 1-5 weeks to get started with ODS. This timeline is based on a number of potential factors, including but not limited to: the nature of the accommodation or auxiliary aid, the submission of appropriate supporting documentation, and the availability of intake appointments during peak semester times.
• Newly admitted students are advised to start this process once they have confirmed admission to the Institute.
• Georgia Tech students already enrolled should engage with ODS as soon as possible once they have identified a barrier or need.
Accommodations are not applied retroactively. Therefore, it is imperative you plan ahead to allow for the necessary time to complete the Online New Student Accommodations Request. This application is for a new student to indicate their disability or disabilities, and how their disability impacts them as a student. New students will also upload their supporting documentation to this application.
Can I request accommodations for my student?
All requests for accommodations must come directly from the student.
Can I speak with Disability Services on behalf of my student in regards to their accommodations or situation?
Your experience as a parent or guardian will be different. At the high school level, the relationship was between the school district and the parents or guardians; at the college level, the relationship is between the college and the student. Your student will be responsible for requesting accommodations and seeking the support they will need to be successful.
What type of documentation is required?
In order to establish disability status and eligibility for disability services, institutions of the University System of Georgia require documentation from a qualified evaluator that:
- attests to the presence of a disabling condition as defined by the ADA and
- demonstrates substantial limitations impacting performance in the academic environment when compared to most people in the general population.
Documentation is used to determine eligibility for disability services, as well as to inform accommodation decision-making.
General documentation guidelines pertain to all disabilities. The following are provided to guide evaluators, students, and family members as they seek to document a disability under the ADA: Acquired Brain Injuries; Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder; Autism Spectrum Disorders; Communication Disorders; Learning Disabilities; Mobility Disorders; Other Disabilities; Psychological Disorders; Sensory Disorders; Systemic Disorders.
When is the earliest I can sign up for an exam?
We encourage you to sign up for your exams at the beginning of the semester. If that is not possible, exams must be scheduled at least 3 business days in advance. Final exams must be scheduled at least 10 business days in advance. Schedule your exams through AIM: https://bear.accessiblelearning.com/gatech/.
NOTE: The Disability Services Testing Center is open Monday - Friday, 8:00 am - 5:00 pm. Students are expected to take their exam at the same time as the class, unless doing so impacts class attendance for another course or the exam time falls outside of the Testing Center's operating hours. If a conflict exists, students must discuss this with their instructor prior to scheduling the exam with the Testing Center.
I have an exam tomorrow that I forgot to sign up for. Is it too late to schedule?
Yes, it is too late to schedule this exam. We do not schedule any exams the day before. There are no exceptions to this policy, even if the instructor approves the request. The latest you can schedule an exam is two (2) business days before the exam using your late pass.
I have scheduled an exam with the Testing Center. When does my time start?
If you arrive on time to your scheduled exam or up to 10 minutes early, your timer will start at your arrival time. If you are up to 20 minutes late, you may still take your exam, however, your allotted exam time will be reduced by the length of tardiness. If you are more than 20 minutes late to your appointment, you may not test until we receive approval from your instructor.
What is a late pass?
All students are allowed to use one "late pass" per semester. A late pass allows a student to schedule an exam two (2) business days in advance, instead of the typical three (3) business days. Once a late pass has been used for the semester, students will not be permitted to schedule any additional exams after the deadline.
My professor announced in class that we would be allowed to use our notes on the test. Will I be allowed to use these in the Testing Center?
Yes, as long as the instructor provided us with those instructions. The instructor must specifically notify the Testing Center of what materials are allowed. We cannot use the syllabus as evidence that materials are allowed.
Campus was closed due to bad weather, and my exam was rescheduled. What do I need to do?
Create a new appointment in AIM if the new exam date is at least 3 business days away. Otherwise, contact the Testing Center immediately to discuss rescheduling options.
What can I bring to the Testing Center when I have an exam?
You can only have materials your instructor has approved.
Materials NOT allowed include:
- Any electronic devices, including cell phones, iPads, iPods, smart watches
- Purses or backpacks
The Office of Disability Services reserves the right to check for any restricted materials brought to the Testing Center. If you bring any of the non-approved items with you to the Testing Center, you must place the items in a designated area. If leaving a cell phone, so not to disrupt others, students are asked to turn off the phone. You will only be allowed to retrieve these items once you have submitted the exam to the staff.
Any incident of a student observed utilizing an unauthorized resource during an exam will be reported to the Office of Student Integrity.
Testing Center staff members may enter the testing room at any time to perform a random integrity check. The Testing Center may also utilize cameras to monitor test takers.