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Academic Adjustments

Academic Adjustments

Below is a list of some academic adjustments provided by the College.  In order to receive academic adjustments, students must provide appropriate documentation that indicates the need for each requested adjustment. The College may deny an academic adjustment if it would fundamentally alter an essential requirement of a course, activity, job and/or program or pose an undue hardship.

Note-Taking Assistance

Notetaking assistance is provided as an academic adjustment for students whose documented disabilities interfere with their abilities to take notes. This service is not considered a substitute for a student’s full participation in each class. If notes are available online or provided by the instructor, notetaking assistance may not be provided.

Oral and Sign Language Interpreters

New students should meet with SAS to determine eligibility for sign language interpreting and to determine if ASL or Oral interpreting is required. New and returning students should provide SAS with a copy of their schedule and request interpreters immediately upon registration for the new semester in order to provide sufficient time to set up services. Inform SAS as soon as possible if there have been any changes to the schedule so that there is sufficient time to accommodate the changes. Students requesting interpreters for additional activities, appointments, or tutoring sessions, must put the requests in writing including the date, time, and room/campus location of the event.

Personal Assistants

Personal Assistants (PAs) work directly for the student with a disability. If a student has been approved for the use of a personal assistant/educational coach by SAS, it is the student’s responsibility to make a contract with that individual. GCC is not responsible for providing services of a personal nature, such as a PA. Students who use PAs are responsible for securing, training, supervising, and paying their assistants. 

Attendance Flexibility

Student Accessibility Services does not have a role in determining course attendance policies. Because attendance may be integral to the pedagogic process, these policies are set by faculty at the college, departmental, or individual level.

In some cases, attendance is fundamental to course objectives; for example, students may be required to interact with others in the class, to demonstrate the ability to think and argue critically, or to participate in group projects. In other instances, faculty may determine that students can master course content despite some or many absences. Rarely, faculty may decide that students do not need to attend classes at all.

Similarly, faculty also determine policies regarding make-up work and missed quizzes and exams. Faculty are not required to lower or effect substantial modifications of standards for adjustment purposes.

SAS can provide students with written verification of their disabilities, based on appropriate medical and/or psychological documentation. These verification letters may be distributed by students to faculty in order to initiate discussions of attendance and make-up policies and procedures. Accessibility Specialists may also e-mail faculty on students' behalf if a particular absence is as a result of a disability.

Alternate Format for Print Materials

Students with disabilities who require alternate access to printed material may receive their textbooks in an alternate format. Eligibility for this academic adjustment is determined on an individualized basis, and students must be able to demonstrate a substantial visual, physical or learning disability, which requires alternate materials. Students approved for this academic adjustment are required to show proof of purchase of the book prior to receiving the book in alternate format due to copyright laws.

Reduced Course Load (PACT students)

Students with disabilities may request to enroll in a less than full-time course load as an academic adjustment to accommodate their disability under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and the regulations accompanying Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. On a case-by-case basis this academic adjustment may be approved. Students are strongly encouraged to discuss full-time course load requirements with their academic advisor and a financial aid counselor prior to requesting a reduced course load.

Tests, Quizzes, and Exams

Reasonable academic adjustments for testing are provided to students based upon the nature and degree of severity of the documented disability. Eligibility to receive testing adjustments is determined on a case-by-case basis. A test, as used in this context, refers to quizzes and examinations.

Academic adjustments for tests are determined on a case-by-case basis and may include:

  • Extended time to complete examinations and quizzes;
  • A reduced distraction environment separate from the class;
  • Special equipment such as a word processor, magnifier, or brailler; and
  • Readers and/or scribes.

Emotional Support & Service Animals

"The BOR has established this policy regarding Service Animals and Emotional Support Animals to facilitate full-participation and equal access in the programs and activities of Connecticut State Colleges and Universities (“CSCU”). This policy applies to students, employees, visitors and members of the public attending, working at or visiting CSCU campuses, and sets forth specific requirements and procedures concerning the appropriate use of and protocols associated with Service Animals and Emotional Support Animals." (Policy 5.10 Animals on Campus Policy) Please click here to view the entire policy.


SAS will work with students who request assistance in learning how to appropriately self-advocate for themselves. Self-advocacy training can include one-on-one meetings on how to discuss a disability, how to talk with a professor and how to present yourself in a professional demeanor. Students interested in developing better self-advocacy skills can schedule a time to meet with an Accessibility Specialist by calling 203-285-2231.

Academic Advisement & Course Registration

SAS strongly recommends that students meet with their academic advisor in order to obtain accurate advisement on courses. SAS is available to review completed schedules with a student in order to determine if the current course load will be manageable.

Referral to campus/community/other resources

SAS works to refer students to the appropriate campus and community resources. SAS works closely with various departments on campus and has established working relationships with various community resources.