Correct spelling at the College level is expected of all students. However, students with a specific learning disability which impacts spelling may be eligible to receive a reasonable accommodation for in-class assignments and exams. Some such accommodations or aids may include the use of spell-check devices or not penalizing a student for spelling errors. The academic decision of whether or not spelling is essential to the course is typically the prerogative of the faculty and/or academic unit involved. However, this decision must be made within legal parameters and in consultation with DSS.
The use of an accommodation for spelling and grammar-related course work would be reasonable so long as the accommodation does not lower standards, compromise an essential component of (or fundamentally alter) a course or program. Faculty should contact Disability Support Services (DSS) if they are concerned that the accommodation is unreasonable because of a belief that the accommodation will lower standards, compromise an essential component of or fundamentally alter a course or program.
If the student/faculty selects a hand-held spell checker as the accommodation, the student will be held to the same spelling standards as other students. In addition, the spell checking device should typically not provide access to definitions or synonyms.
Phone: (815) 921-2371
Fax: (815) 921-2379