Disability Services Accommodations

For all forms including alternative text, alternative testing, note taking request, release of information, and request for information please visit the Academic Resource Center in Taylor Hall 302 or email disability@western.edu.

Scheduling Exams
  1. The student should obtain a yellow proctor form from the Academic Resource Center and take it to their instructor and complete the form with their instructor.
  2. The student should then return the proctor form to the Academic Resource Center located in Taylor Hall 302 to schedule their exam at least one week in advance of the scheduled exam time.
  3. The ADA coordinator will be notified by office staff that an exam has been scheduled and the ADA coordinator will then send the instructor an exam reminder email the day before the scheduled exam to remind the instructor to send the student’s exam to the Academic Resource Center prior to the student’s scheduled exam time either by dropping it off in person, by fax, or by email.

Testing Policy

The Office of University Testing and Disability Services is committed to providing timely and secure testing services for students and faculty. In order to serve the needs of our students and faculty members, we adhere to the following guidelines for implementing test accommodations:

  1. The student must be registered with the Office of Disability Services and have the current semester's letter of accommodation on file.
  2. Students should notify their instructor(s) in advance of the scheduled exam for which they plan to use an approved testing accommodation. Instructors should communicate to their students how much notice is required. Students should refer to the course syllabus or contact the instructor if they are uncertain of the instructor's expectations.
  3. Identifying an appropriate time for testing is a shared responsibility between the student and the instructor. Generally, we cannot offer the option of taking an exam outside of the scheduled class time without approval from the instructor. Recognizing scheduling conflicts may arise. University Testing will proctor exams at other times upon notification from the instructor. A phone call or email from the faculty member will suffice as proper notification.
  4. All exams must be scheduled at least one week in advance of the test time/date. Students may schedule their exam time if they are testing simultaneously with the regularly scheduled class.
  5. Faculty, or designated staff, are responsible for ensuring the test is delivered to University Testing. Delivery may be in person, via email (disability@western.edu), or exams may be faxed to 970.943.3409. If assistance is needed, please call 970.943.7056.
  6. Students should arrive at least 15 minutes before their scheduled exam to ensure that the student will be seated and can begin the exam at the scheduled time. Students who are unable to make their appointment are expected to notify their instructor and University Testing as soon as possible.
  7. Students must show a valid ID in order to take their test(s).
  8. Cell phones, smartwatches, fitness bands/trackers and all devices with recording, internet, or communication capabilities that are 1) not related to approved accommodations; or 2) are not approved prior to the exam by the instructor for the purposes of the exam; are prohibited in the Testing Lab and private testing rooms. A space in the hallway of the testing center is provided for storage of these and other personal items (including but not limited to hats, purses, backpacks, food, and drinks) during testing. This policy is in place to protect the student(s) and the integrity of the testing process and will be strictly enforced. Students may also be asked to remove all loose items from their pockets and place them in their bags and/or purses.
  9. Students are not allowed to take books, book bags/backpacks, notes or any class related material into a testing area unless their instructor has provided written permission on the proctor form.
  10. Missed exams may only be rescheduled with approval from the instructor.
  11. Tests may be scheduled during the following times: Mondays between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.; Tuesdays between 11 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Wednesday-Friday between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. If a student schedules an exam during a timeframe that does not allow for the full amount of allotted time, the student will forfeit the portion of the extended time that occurs after 5 pm. The Academic Resource Center operates on the university calendar.
  12. Students will NOT be allowed to deliver or return their own exams so as to maintain exam integrity throughout the testing process.

Testing Center Check-In Policy

The following items are prohibited in the test lab and private examination rooms:

  1. Cell phones, smartwatches, fitness bands/trackers and all devices with recording, Internet, or communication capabilities that are:
    1. Not related to the approved accommodations; or
    2. Are approved prior to the exam by the instructor for the purposes of the exam; but are prohibited in the test lab and private examination rooms.
  2. A space is provided in the common hallway of the Academic Resource Center for the storage of personal items (including but not limited to: hats, purses, backpacks, food, and/or drinks) during testing.
  3. All electronic devices must be completely powered off prior to storing them.
  4. Please use the restroom prior to beginning the exam.
  5. Please have your photo ID ready. You will take your ID with you to the test lab or examination room.
  6. If you are taking a standardized exam, please have your receipt ready.

These are designed to protect the student and to ensure the integrity of the examination process. This policy will be strictly enforced.

Western provides note taking services as an academic accommodation for students with a disability. Note taking services are typically for students who cannot physically write notes due to an impairment such as limited mobility of the arm or hands, visual impairment, hearing loss, or dysgraphia. Students who have difficulty taking notes due to an inability to focus or organize their notes are strongly encouraged to consider using a Smart Pen as an accommodation to help them develop effective note taking skills that are necessary for academic success. For more information about Smart Pens, please click on the Technology tab.

Note taking services are provided by peer note takers who are in the same class as the student who have a vested interest in taking notes. Peer note takers are recruited on an as needed basis from the Disability Services Coordinator upon request. To ensure the privacy of students with disabilities, note takers send their notes to the Academic Resource Center who will then share the notes with the student with a disability. The note taker does not know who they are taking notes for and the recipient does not know who is taking notes for them.

If you are interested in becoming a peer note taker for the Academic Resource Center, the general requirements are a 2.75 cumulative GPA, consistent class attendance, and the ability to take clear, legible, and well organized notes. Note takers are paid a $50 stipend at the end of the term. However, if a request is made late in the term after midterms have passed, the stipend is reduced to $25 per class. To be considered as a peer note taker, please contact the Office of Disability Services within the Academic Resource by email at disability@western.edu, by phone at 970.943.7056, or stop by Taylor Hall 302 for more information.

** Note taking services are NOT automatic and must be requested at the beginning of each semester. Due to the variance in course layout and content, it is may not be feasible to hire note takers for every course offered. Students who need note taking services should meet with the Disability Services Coordinator to request note taking services and complete a request form as early in the semester as possible.

*Students who receive note taking services as an accommodation are not eligible to become a peer note taker for other students.

Assistive Technology

The Academic Resource Center at Western has purchased assistive technology to encourage a more equitable and inclusive learning environment for students with disabilities.

LiveScribe Echo Smart Pen

The LiveScribe Echo Smart Pen is a specialized writing utensil that records audio and what is written simultaneously. This smart pen is used with desktop software that allows students to organize notes and convert hand written notes to text that is legible. This software will also assist in organizing notes, has audio playback for recorded lectures, and uses “bookmarks” to help the student review recorded lectures and notes for upcoming quizzes and exams. This may be helpful for students who have difficulty focusing and organizing notes for future review.

The smart pen also utilizes the LiveScribe Echo Desktop software that can be downloaded here. Click on the appropriate software version for your computer and follow the steps to install the software. This software is available for both Mac and Windows. Please do not register the pen under your personal name and information. The smartpen has already been registered with the University. If you have any technical issues, please contact the Disability Services Coordinator.

Bug Fix for Mac Users

Echo LiveScribe has released a bug fix for Mac users who have updated to the new High Sierra OS who may have difficulty renaming the LiveScribe data folder on their personal devices. For steps on how to address any issues, please read below:

201220 - ECHO/PULSE - Mac - Renaming the Livescribe data folder

How do I rename the Mac Livescribe data folder so I can re-transfer my smart pen data?

Renaming the data folder and transferring everything from your smart pen to Echo or Livescribe Desktop once more can usually resolve data transfer/corruption issues that may be causing problems with the Desktop software.

NOTE: This will only transfer notes and sessions still on your smart pen. If you have deleted anything from your smart pen this process will not recover the deleted data.

If you have archived notebooks from your smart pen, see 80404 - Archiving a notebook using Livescribe Desktop, before starting the rename process please export each archived notebook to your Windows desktop.

If you are using Echo Desktop, please see 80960 - ECHO/PULSE - Sharing Echo Desktop pen casts and notes.

If you are using Livescribe Desktop, please see 80504 - Exporting pages and audio as a pen cast file using Livescribe Desktop.

Exporting your archived notebooks will allow you to import them back into the Desktop software after the renaming process is finished so that you don’t lose them.

NOTE: There are two Livescribe folders on your computer.  If you do not follow these steps exactly you may end up renaming the wrong one.

To rename the data folder follow these steps:

  1. IMPORTANT: If it is running, shut down Echo or Livescribe Desktop by holding down the keyboard *control* key, clicking the Desktop icon on  the Dock, and selecting “Quit”.
  2. Activate your “Finder” menu by clicking somewhere on an unused area of your desktop.
  3. Yosemite, Mavericks, Mountain Lion and Lion - Hold down the keyboard option key and from the menu options at the top of your
  4. desktop (Finder, File, Edit, View, Go, etc.) select “Go > Library > Application Support”. Snow Leopard and Leopard - From the menu options at the top of your desktop (Finder, File, Edit, View, Go, etc.) select “Go > Home > Library > Application Support”.
  5. Click on the “Livescribe” folder located in “Application Support” and press “Return” on your keyboard.
  6. Rename the “Livescribe” folder to something else (for example “Livescribe - Old”.  This way you can keep the files as a backup in case you need to access them later).
  7. Dock your smartpen.
  8. Open Echo or Livescribe Desktop.
  9. Name your smartpen and click the “Name and Transfer” button.

All of the files on your smart pen should now transfer.

Depending on how full your smart pen is, this could take several minutes to a few hours, so please make sure to leave the smart pen docked until the transfer finishes. When the transfer has finished, the static transfer icon on your smart pen OLED will change back to show the time.

If you exported any archived notebook(s) prior to starting the rename process, you can re-import the notebook(s) now.

  • For Echo Desktop, run the software and from the top menu bar select “File > Open…” to import each notebook into the “Livescribe PDFs” area on the left.
  • For Livescribe Desktop, go to your Mac desktop and double-click on each file to import it back into the Livescribe Desktop “Imported Pencasts” notebook section (top of the viewing pane on the left).

If you are still having issues, please contact the Disability Services Coordinator.


eBooks are provided to students who have a print disability that prevents them from being able to read standard textbooks. eBooks are typically provided in accessible PDF format from the publisher that can be paired with a screen reader to have the textbook read aloud to them. This is especially beneficial for students who have dyslexia, reading comprehension disorders, as well as students who are blind or have low-vision.

Dragon Diction Software

Students who have difficulty writing or drafting papers or essay responses for exams may use Dragon Diction Software. The student can verbally dictate their responses via microphone and the Dragon software converts spoken word to text format within Microsoft Word. The student can then utilize the grammar and spelling correction in Microsoft Word to help them correctly format their text. This is helpful for students who may not be able to physically write or type papers or essay responses for exams as well as students who may have dysgraphia.