Faculty and Staff

Notification of Accommodations

At any time during the semester, per a student’s request, faculty may receive a Professor Notification Letter (PNL) email which allows the student to access their disability accommodations. This document notifies the faculty of a student’s approved classroom accommodations and it will be emailed directly from the DRC. Faculty are responsible for providing approved accommodations upon receipt of the PNL.

Faculty Responsibility for Providing Accommodations

  • Ensure that students who request accommodations for disability related reasons are referred to the DRC if they are not already registered with us. You can do this by including a simple statement on your syllabus.
  • Provide and implement only approved accommodations listed on the student’s Professor Notification Letter.
  • Contact the DRC if you have concerns about an approved accommodation or how to implement it. The staff at the DRC is prepared to assist faculty by answering questions about a specific accommodation and/or providing instructions on how to implement them.
  • Maintain the student’s privacy by not sharing information about a student’s accommodations with anyone.
  • Provide handouts, videos, and other course materials in accessible formats.
  • Verify all digital media is accessible — including all Canvas courses.

Overview of Commonly Accessed Accommodations

Disability Related Absences

The student is approved to miss double the number of allowed absences listed on the syllabus without penalty. Although in certain circumstances it may not be possible, it is the student’s responsibility to notify you and their disability specialist prior to the class that they will miss.

The purpose of this accommodation is to provide greater flexibility to students that have episodic conditions which may prevent them from coming to class. It is still the student’s responsibility to obtain any missed information from the day of the absence. If a student misses an exam or quiz, they can schedule to take a make-up in the DRC. 

Disability Related Extensions

The student may request extensions on assignments or test dates as needed. Generally, extensions should be between 1-3 days, although they can be longer at your discretion. It is the student’s responsibility to notify you and their disability specialist prior to the deadline of the assignment to work out an alternative deadline. 

The purpose of this accommodation is to provide flexibility to students that have an episodic condition that can impact their ability to complete an assignment on time. If there are extenuating circumstances, such as a hospitalization, the extension may need to be beyond the 1-3 day timeframe and notification prior to the deadline may not be possible.  

There may be certain times in the semester or certain assignments that cannot be extended due to the nature of the class. Such assignments could be group projects or final assignments that are due at the very end of the term. Please contact the DRC for information about how to proceed in this situation.

Notetaking Services

The student receives notes from a notetaker hired by the DRC. No action is required on your part unless we contact you for assistance finding a suitable notetaker (typically this is a student who is already enrolled in the course). The DRC notetaking coordinator may also contact you for assistance in finding alternative class support in lieu of peer notes.

Extended Time for Exams

The student receives additional time on all timed, graded assessments. The DRC is available to proctor exams that extend outside of class time during our business hours. Faculty will receive an email notification that the student will take the exam at the DRC and must subsequently complete an Exam Accommodation Form (available here) and send it, along with a copy of the exam, to the DRC at DRC@northeastern.edu.

The DRC can provide assistance for extending times on online exams using Canvas. For remote exams, the extended time must be added manually. Instructions on how to do so on Canvas can be found here.

Reduced Distraction / Private Room

The student may take all exams in a reduced distraction or private room test setting, available at the DRC. Faculty will receive an email notification that the student will take the exam at the DRC and must subsequently complete an Exam Accommodation Form (available here) and send it, along with a copy of the exam, to the DRC at DRC@northeastern.edu.

Captioning Services

If the student has a CART accommodation (Communication Access Realtime Translation) there is nothing you need to do initially. The DRC will reach out to you with more information and will handle the implementation of this accommodation.

For the captioned media accommodation, the DRC will request that you provide us with all auditory media that you plan to use in your curriculum in advance of the beginning of the semester. We will request that you send us all videos that you show in class, including any lecture recordings, as video files or public Youtube/Vimeo links so that we can have them captioned and returned to you. This process can take two to three weeks, so we ask that you plan accordingly.

Northeastern’s office of Academic Technology Services is also available for more information and resources about how to provide accessible, captioned media in your course. The DRC is available at any time for assistance.

Recording Device in Class

The student can use a recording device in class (their own or software provided by the DRC). Please announce to the class at the start of the term that recording will be taking place, without naming the student. If any student objects to being recorded, or if your course involves confidential information protected by HIPPA, please contact the DRC for guidance.


Emotional Support Animals (ESAs) are not permitted in any campus buildings other than residence halls. If a student brings an emotional support animal to class, please contact the DRC.

Service animals, however, are allowed in classrooms. If a service animal is being disruptive in class, please contact the DRC for further instructions.  For more information on service animals, please view our Service Animals Guide

Personal Care Assistants

For more information about how to support students with a Personal Care Assistant (PCA) in the classroom, please read our guide on the topic here.

For Advisors

Students may request that their advisor be notified of specific accommodations, via an Advisor Notification Letter sent out by email from the DRC. For information on these accommodations, please see below or contact our office with any questions:

Reduced Course Load

Student may take a minimum of 3 four-credit courses.

Foreign Language Substitution

Student may take three approved culture courses to replace foreign language requirement.

FAQs for Faculty & Staff

A student asked for an accommodation not listed on their PNL, or I think they need additional accommodations. What should I do?

Please refer the student to the DRC for information on how to request additional accommodations. Do not grant them additional accommodations unless you would grant those same requests to the entire class. Following the accommodations listed on their Professor Notification Letters helps maintain fairness and consistency for all students.

I have a student who is approved for a 1-3 day extension on assignments. Is that automatic for every assignment?

No, students approved for this accommodation typically have unpredictable and episodic conditions. When a flare up occurs, they should notify their instructor and copy their DRC specialist to propose a new assignment due date. If you notice this happening very frequently or if you have other concerns, please reach out to the DRC and we can put you in contact with the student’s specialist.

I have a student who wants to take an exam before the start of class. Do I need to allow this?

It is not uncommon for students with extended time to start early so they can get to their next class on time. You can check with the student to make sure that is the case. The DRC is also open for exam proctoring until 7pm most evenings and we can help facilitate a discussion about how best to accommodate the student’s schedule.

Where can I find resources for creating accessible materials?

Both the DRC and Northeastern’s Academic Technology Services (ATS) can provide guidance on creating accessible course materials. Please contact either office with questions: DRC@northeastern.edu or AThelp@northeastern.edu.

For information specifically about planning accessible events on campus, see our flyer here.

How do I provide extended time on Canvas exams?

For online exams administered through Canvas, faculty will need to make the adjustment themselves for each individual student. Students are asked to remind you a few days prior to the exam, and Academic Technology Services is available to assist. You can find more information about their services here

Does extended time apply to take home exams?

Yes, if it is a timed exam. However you are not required to extend the length of a take home exam past 24 hours. If the test is available for fewer than 24 hours, you should adhere to the student’s regular extended time accommodation and adjust their given time accordingly.

How long does the DRC review process take?

The DRC uses a multi-source process to determine accommodations and for this reason it can take two to three weeks to gather and review all the required documents. In some cases this process can take even longer if we need to request additional information from the student, so we suggest you start working with our office as soon as possible.

A student with a service dog is being disruptive in my class what can I do?

Service dogs are not allowed to be disruptive in classrooms or any other part of the university. If a dog is causing trouble, we suggest you talk with the student first (preferably after class or during a break) and discuss the specific behaviors the dog is exhibiting and why they are not appropriate. If this continues please speak to the DRC about other options.

Emotional Support Animals (ESAs) are not permitted in any campus buildings other than residence halls. If a student brings an emotional support animal to class, please contact the DRC.

How will I know if a student is taking my exam with the DRC?

Students are responsible for submitting a Room Reserve Request form for each exam they wish to take in the DRC testing center. This request will send an automated email to the course instructor alerting them and asking that the exam and all proctoring instructions be submitted to the DRC by email prior to the exam. Students are asked to provide at least a week’s notice for all exams.

What do I do if a student presents me directly with disability documentation?

If a student presents documentation to you please direct them to bring it to our office or email us at DRC@northeastern.edu. We have a process that protects faculty and students by ensuring an equitable and fair determination of accommodations and we are available to meet with students throughout the day.

A student in my class is struggling. How do I know if the DRC is the right place to send them?

If the student has not disclosed a disability, you could ask: “Have you had this type of difficulty in the past?” If the student mentions having extra time or a 504 or IEP plan, you can ask if they’ve heard about the DRC. This is preferable to asking directly about disabilities, as it doesn’t put the student on the spot or make them feel like they need to disclose details about their disability. The DRC can help guide them to the resources that they need.

I have a student who receives the notetaking accommodation. What do I have to do to implement this accommodation?

There is no action required on your part to implement the notetaking accommodation. The DRC will find and train an in-class notetaker to supply notes for the DRC student. If we have any trouble finding a notetaker, we may reach out for your assistance, but there is nothing else required of you initially.