When a student with a disability faces barriers to independently carrying out manual or visual tasks, the OAE can approve any one, or multiple, of the following accommodations.
Assistant is a general term to describe someone hired by OAE to perform tasks on behalf of the student with a disability (e.g., providing verbal descriptions of images, retrieve supplies or equipment, etc.). These are the most common types of assistants and their specific roles
A laboratory assistant performs tasks to aid students with the physical mechanics and dexterity requirements of lab procedures (e.g., lifting, pouring, etc) that a student may need support in completing. A lab assistant only performs tasks directed by the student; they do not explain or interpret lab assignments/questions and the result of their support should not influence or guide a student in any way.
An exam reader reads aloud any text, exactly as it is written, to the student with a disability. An exam reader will not alter any content, provide interpretation, or engage in a discussion with the student.
An exam scribe transcribes (by hand or typing) a student’s spoken words in real time. An exam scribe will not deviate from what the student dictates, nor influence the student’s response in any way.
A visual descriptionist verbally describes images, media, or activities taking place in realtime.
Once a student has been approved for an accommodation, it is the student’s responsibility to submit a request through OAE | CONNECT as soon as possible since timely notice is needed so we can coordinate this accommodation.
Please feel free to contact the Office of Accessible Education if you have any questions.