Frequently Asked Questions & Definition

Frequently Asked Questions

I think I may have a learning disability. Where do I go?

If you want to be tested, or if you want to know about how to register for academic accommodations during your studies at AUP, you should make an appointment with the Learning Accommodations Coordinator in the Academic Resource Center at the start of the semester – and ideally at the beginning of your studies. We work with off-campus specialists who are qualified to conduct widely accepted testing in American higher educational environments.

What if I'm not sure if I need accommodations this semester?

It’s better to be registered, and for your professor to be aware of your eligibility from the beginning of the semester, even if you decide not to request exam accommodations.

How do I go about discussing my learning disability with my professor?

Your professor will already have received a notification from the Student Guidance Counselor regarding your eligibility for accommodations, so this discussion will be welcome. Most likely, professors have had other students with similar requests in their classes before you. We highly recommend you discuss these accommodations during your professor’s office hours because this will allow for adequate time to go over the entire semester’s logistics: the dates of exams, the use of a laptop for class notes or exams, or applying the extra time on exams.

In addition, you can talk about your general academic strengths and weaknesses to determine if there is additional support your professor can provide.

My professor cannot personally administer my accommodations for an exam, what can I do?

An exam accommodation form must be filled out by the student to request (Academic Resource Center) support for exams. If according to your registered documentation, you are eligible for extra time, a laptop, or a separate location as part of your accommodations for exams, you should complete the aforementioned webform no later than two weeks before the anticipated exam date. Last minute requests for exam accommodations cannot be honored. Please, plan ahead!

Once I've submitted my completed exam accommodation request form, when will I know the confirmed arrangements for my exam?

Someone from ( Academic Resource Center) will send an email to you and your professors after they have processed your request. Contact the ARC if you haven’t been contacted at least 48 hours before the exam.

I feel awkward approaching my professor regarding my paperwork - What should I do?

Remember that AUP professors are happy to work with you, and they see exam accommodation forms as a tool to best measure the knowledge you acquire in a course rather than your disability. Since your accommodations are based on personalized testing, they will be considered seriously by professors at AUP. Give your professors a chance to provide guidance and advice early in the semester. Don’t put off these conversations.

Terms to Know


A reasonable adjustment to make a program, facility, or resource accessible to a person with a disability

The Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA)

A comprehensive federal law that prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in employment, public services, public accommodations and services operated by private entities, and telecommunications.

Breaks as Needed

The student may need to leave class, or an exam for a short amount of time.


“A person with a disability” is “any person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities. Major life activities include, but are not limited to, caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, seeing, hearing, eating, sleeping, walking, standing, lifting, bending, speaking, breathing, learning, reading, concentrating, thinking, communicating, and working. A major life activity also includes the operation of a major bodily function, including but not limited to, functions of the immune system, normal cell growth, digestive, bowel, bladder, neurological, brain, respiratory, circulatory, endocrine, and reproductive functions.”  – Americans with Disabilities Act.

Distraction Reduced Testing Area

An area which is separate from the rest of the class, but could contain a small group of students.

Electronic Copies

All handouts should be provided to the student in an electronic format which can be used with assistive technology.

Enlarged Font

All handouts (including tests, exams, and quizzes) should be provided in an enlarged font (font size determined by the faculty and student together).

Extended Time 2.0x (100%)

The student is allowed twice the amount of time given for any in-class exams, quizzes or timed essays. (Ex. The student receives two hours for a one-hour exam)

Extended Time 1.5x (50%)

The student is allowed one and a half times the amount of time given for any in-class exams, quizzes or timed essays. (Ex. The student receives one and a half hours for a one-hour exam)

Food as Needed

The student needs flexibility to eat or drink in class (provided that does not pose a safety issue).

Mainstreaming, Inclusion

The inclusion of people with disabilities, with or without special accommodations, in programs, activities, and facilities with their non-disabled peers.

Major Life Activities

Functions such as caring for oneself, performing manual tasks, walking, seeing, hearing, breathing, learning, working, and participating in community activities (Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990)

No Handwritten Papers

The student requires the use of a laptop to type their papers.

Note Taker

The student may hire an external note taker to take notes in class.

Physical or Mental Impairment

Any physiological disorder or condition, cosmetic disfigurement, or anatomical loss affecting one or more of the following body systems: neurological; musculoskeletal; special sense organs; respiratory, including speech organs; cardiovascular; reproductive; digestive; gentio-urinary; hemic and lymphatic; skin; and endocrine; or any mental or psychological disorder, such as mental retardation, organic brain syndrome, emotional or mental illness, and specific learning disabilities. (Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990)

Qualified Individual with a Disability

An individual with a disability who, with or without reasonable modification to rules, policies, or practices, the removal of architectural, communication, or transportation barriers, or the provision of auxiliary aids and services, meets the essential eligibility requirements for the receipt of services or the participation in programs or activities provided by a public entity. (Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990)

Reasonable Accommodations

a change or adjustment to the way things usually are in order to attend the needs of individuals with disabilities. The reason for a change of adjustment is to ensure individuals with disabilities have the same opportunities as others. 

Staggered Exams**

This accommodation can be used to move an exam, (major project, or presentation) if 2 or more are scheduled for the same day. To use this accommodation students must notify faculty 2 weeks in advance to coordinate and agree upon a new arrangement. Students contact one of the professors and ask that the date be moved to another day.

**It is important to note, this accommodation cannot be used as an extension. If an extension is needed, please contact your professor and/or class dean for assistance.


There are four kinds of accommodations that are not considered reasonable: (1) It is not a reasonable accommodation if making the accommodation or allowing participation poses a direct threat to the health or safety of others; (2) It is not a reasonable accommodation if making the accommodation means making a substantial change in an essential element of the curriculum (educational viewpoint) ;  (3) It is not reasonable if making the accommodation means a substantial alteration in the manner in which you provide your services; and (4) It is not a reasonable accommodation if it poses an undue financial or administrative burden.

Use of Calculator

The student is allowed the use of a calculator on an exam where simple math calculations are required, but are not an essential learning objective of the course. Faculty can determine the type of calculator which is appropriate.

Use of Laptop

The student is allowed to use a laptop to take notes during class, or to type answers to an exam or quiz.