Resources for North Island College Students Learning in the Digital World
Learn Anywhere

Exams for Students with Disabilities

If testing/exams accommodations are a requirement, it will be important that students organize these accommodation considerations at the beginning of each semester. Testing accommodations are an integral component for mitigating disability impact within the digital learning environment


  1. Prior to booking the accommodated test/exam the student should ensure that their Instructor has received a copy of their Accommodation Letter.
  2. Students requiring digital exam accommodations are required to book their test/exams by submitting an Accommodated Exam Request form either online or in person. DALS review all accommodated test/exam requests and reach out to both students and instructors to facilitate accommodations.
  3. A copy of the electronic Accommodated Exam Request form can be found at The completed form can be email to the student’s DALS Faculty member.
  4. Students must complete an Accommodated Exam Request form and submit it to the DALS office a minimum of ONE WEEK prior to the test date

The following are a sample of testing accommodations for students with disabilities to consider with their DALS Faculty member:


Extra Time

Description: Having extra time on an exam

Considerations: Wherever possible, instructors will be required to manage the additional time accommodation as per the student’s accommodation letter. Digital testing platforms (such as Brightspace) have built in functions for increasing or removing testing time limits.


Proctoring Platforms

Description: Respondus Lockdown, Canvas, Proctorio, etc.

Considerations: Online proctoring platforms are not fully accessible and are not compatible with the provision of some disability-related accommodations (the ability to stand up/move around the room or some adaptive software). To address this, DALS may need to work with the student and instructor to adjust the standard invigilation procedures or explore alternative platforms, test formats and or evaluation methods. In some cases, it will also be necessary for specific exams to be invigilated by DALS.


Private space or distraction-reduced environment

Description: Many students with disabilities require an environment in which they can concentrate without outside stimuli for distraction.

Considerations: In general, students are responsible for finding a suitable space in their home or alternative to write. It may be worth considering that many students with disabilities will find it difficult to find somewhere to write an exam in an environment which mitigates the functional impact of their disability -sustained attention, anxiety, ergonomic, etc. Alternate forms of assessment may be warranted to ensure that students are tested in a way that accounts for that.  That may mean that face-to-face invigilation with DALS is required.


Students requiring in-person supports

Description: A reader, scribe, interpreter, or mobility assistant

Considerations: This level of testing accommodation will need to be worked out on a case-by-case basis. A scribe or reader could also be utilized via BlueJeans, Zoom, or face-to-face invigilation with DALS.


Adaptive Technology

Description: Numerous possibilities: voice input, screen readers, magnifiers, captioning, etc.

Considerations: Students will need to work with DALS on a case-by-case basis to determine functionality in the specific testing environment.  Students who require adaptive software have usually received access through the Canada Student Grant.


Take Home Exams

Description:  Where students are given more than a day to complete the exam.

Considerations: The accommodation of extended time does not typically apply to these cases. Students who believe that they would still require additional time will need to connect with DALS to review testing needs.


Other Possible Accommodations


  • calculator
  • MS Word -with spell check or not penalized for spelling errors
  • adjustable desk
  • own device
  • noise cancelling headphones
  • white noise machine/music
  • supportive chair
  • magnifier
  • ergonomic keyboard
  • sensory reduced room
  • food permitted
  • enlarged font
  • C-Pen

Considerations: If the student does not have the necessary supports in place, they should contact DALS.


Proximity to Washroom

Description:  Giving students close access to washroom during an exam.

Considerations: If the instructor is invigilating the digital exam, when the student requires a washroom break during the exam they should send a private chat message to the invigilator. Given individual student accommodation needs, it may also be necessary for specific exams to be invigilated by DALS either through video or face-to-face.


Scheduled Breaks

Description: Students having breaks during the exam.

Considerations: In general, students who need scheduled breaks would be afforded this time within their accommodation of ‘Extra Time.’


Multiple Scheduled Testing Sessions

Considerations: If the exam is presented in multiple, discrete sections, the instructor could ‘load’ the testing in separate sections for the student for separate sittings. If not feasible, an alternative evaluation may be needed.

Photo by Hope House Press – Leather Diary Studio on Unsplash

%d bloggers like this: