How do I get accomodations for test taking?

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Dear Nurse Beth,

Can you please inform me how to get special accommodations? extra-time for taking exams? if one is suffering from anxiety.

What is the procedure? How does one get diagnosed, etc?

Please do share your opinion.

Thank you.

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Dear Anxious,

To obtain special accommodations, such as extra time for exams due to anxiety or any other documented disability, you typically need to follow an official process. Here are the general steps:

Documentation of Disability First, you need to have documented evidence of your disability, in your case, anxiety. A healthcare or mental health professional, such as a psychiatrist or psychologist, typically provides this documentation, but it could also be your provider. It should include a diagnosis, a description of the impact of the disability, and recommendations for accommodations.

Contact Disability Services Office Contact the disability services office or office of student accessibility (or a similar department with a different name) at your educational institution. This is often located within the student affairs or student services division.

Submit Accommodation Request Request accommodation through the disability services office. They will provide you with forms and guidelines for this process. You'll typically need to provide your documentation of disability, complete an accommodation request form, and most likely meet with a disability services counselor to discuss your needs.

Individualized Accommodation Plan The disability services office will review your documentation and request and work with you to develop an individualized accommodation plan. This plan will outline your eligible accommodations, such as extended exam time, preferential seating, or note-taking assistance.

Notification of Professors Once your accommodation plan is in place, the disability services office will notify your professors or instructors about your approved accommodations. They will not disclose your specific diagnosis, but they will inform instructors of the approved accommodations that should be provided.

Implementation Work closely with your instructors to ensure your approved accommodations are implemented. This may include scheduling exams with extended time, providing quiet spaces for tests, or other adjustments as specified in your accommodation plan.

Periodic Review Accommodation plans are typically reviewed periodically, so you may need to provide updated documentation of your disability and meet with the disability services office as required.

It's important to note that the specific process and policies for obtaining accommodations may vary from one educational institution to another.

Therefore, it's essential to contact your institution's disability services office for guidance on their specific procedures and requirements.

If you have not yet been diagnosed with anxiety, you should start by seeking a diagnosis and treatment from a qualified healthcare professional. They can provide you with the necessary documentation to support your accommodation request.

Discuss your symptoms and the impact of anxiety on your academic performance to ensure you receive appropriate accommodations.

Best wishes,

Nurse Beth