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General Information

The Center for Accessibility Resources & Services Can Help You with:

  • Communicating with your instructors
  • Learning Styles
  • Note Taking Skills
  • Organizational Skills
  • Study Skills Strategies
  • Test Anxiety
  • Test Taking Strategies
  • Time Management

The Center for Accessibility Resources & Services has offices on both the Haverhill and Lawrence campuses and staff are able to meet with you on both campuses. To arrange an appointment call 978-556-3654 or drop by SC111 on the Haverhill campus or L128 or L106 in the Dimitry Building on the Franklin St Lawrence campus.

Meetings can be flexible based on a student’s needs and consist of the following options: Zoom, Phone, In-Person or Email.

Student Accommodations Information

Accommodated Testing Services

Accommodated Testing Services

Students may be eligible for testing accommodations that may apply to in class/on-line exams, midterms, finals, pop quizzes, Academic Assessment, TEAS and other placement exams.

Some examples of testing accommodations include;

  • extended time
  • reader
  • reduced distraction environment. Other testers may be in the testing room. Headphones, earplugs, and sound machines are available to help minimize noise distractions
  • scribe
  • use of assistive technology software or equipment
  • use of a computer/laptop

Other accommodations are determined on a case by case basis. Students may be able to arrange for accommodated testing with the instructor or they can schedule to take an accommodated test at the Center for Accessibility Resources & Services.

Testing accommodations can be arranged at both the Haverhill and Lawrence campuses.

Alternative Textbooks

Alternative Textbooks

For each semester the student is receiving Alternative Textbooks as an accommodation the student should schedule their Semester Accommodations Meeting (SAM) with their Disability Services Specialist soon after registering for classes. This will help ensure the alternative textbook file is available when needed.

A textbook receipt or statement of ownership form is required in order to receive the alternative textbook file.

It is an infringement of copyright laws to reproduce or distribute alternative textbook files.

If this is a new accommodation for the student, the student needs to attend an Alternative Textbook Review with the Assistive Technology Specialist.

Assistive Technology Software/Equipment Usage

Assistive Technology Software/Equipment Usage

Once trained, students may use Assistive Technology software in the labs or at locations where the software has been installed. It is best to reserve time in the assistive technology lab .

Students may also borrow assistive technology equipment from the Center for Accessibility Resources & Services.  Additional training can be requested, whenever needed. The student must return the borrowed equipment at the end of each semester.

Assistive Technology equipment is the property of Northern Essex Community College and students may need to reimburse the college for any loss, damage, theft or failure to return the borrowed equipment.

Audio Recording Lecture

Audio Recording Lecture

In Massachusetts, permission to record a classroom lecture requires consent of the instructor and all members of the class that is being recorded. Instructor and class permission is not required when a student is granted a reasonable accommodation as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The recorded class lecture is for a student’s own personal use and may not be shared, published or quoted from without the consent of the lecturer.

Sometimes the instructor may request the student turn off the audio recording device due to personal matters being discussed in class.

Furniture Accommodation

Furniture Accommodation

If disability documentation supports the request for Furniture Accommodations, the college will make every effort to provide reasonable accommodations.

Sometimes, due to circumstances beyond the control of the Center for Accessibility Resources & Services, the furniture may be moved out of a room after the accommodation is set up. If this occurs, please inform the Center for Accessibility Resources & Services as soon as possible.

Note Taking Support Services

Note Taking Support Services

Based on a student’s documented disability the note taking support accommodation may be approved for a student.

Some examples of note taking support include:

  • audio recording class lectures using
    • digital recorder
    • laptop
    • livescribe pen
    • Glean: special note taking support software

In some instances a peer note taker may be approved for the student.

Online Course Registration Recommendations

Online Course Registration Recommendations

The student needs to have the necessary skills, computer equipment (hardware and software) and assistive technology to meet the requirements of online courses. There are differences in the level of support for online courses compared to classroom-based courses.

Arrangements can be made with the Center for Accessibility Resources & Services staff to discuss certain accommodations/services by email or phone.

The student should discuss their approved online testing accommodations with professors early in the semester.

Please Note:

  • The student may need to come to the campus for certain accommodations and/or services.
  • Paraprofessional staff such as a note taker, reader, or scribe will not be placed in student’s home.
  • The student is responsible for obtaining any assistive technology software needed for their home computer since assistive technology software is installed on Northern Essex Community College computers only.

Refer to: Online Learning Students FAQs for technical support and information for online course/s.

Paraprofessional Accommodations Assistants (Includes Peer Note Takers)

Paraprofessional Accommodations Assistant

The primary role of an Accommodations Assistant is to assist a student, who has a documented disability or is Deaf or Hard of Hearing in class and/or during a testing situation. The classroom situation can create a communication, participation or learning barrier for the student. This type of accommodation is not there to provide an unfair advantage for the student who utilizes it, but rather to assure equal access for someone with a different mode of learning. Training and supervision is provided by the Center for Accessibility Resources & Services.

Note Taker:  A Note Taker is a person who takes notes in class. They can use a special note taker notebook, which has a supply of “No Carbon Required” paper.   This NCR paper allows the student to receive an immediate copy of notes at the end of class. 

A Note Taker can also take notes on their laptop and email the notes to the student.

The Note Taker records whatever information is necessary to capture the important areas that are covered during the lecture, discussion, homework assignment etc.

Scribe: A Scribe writes down what the student dictates either during in-class assignments or during a testing situation.   Like the note taker, the Scribe must not reflect personal opinions in the writing material.   For example, the Scribe must wait until the student instructs him/her to write the response.

Classroom Assistant: A Classroom Assistant assists a student with a physical disability in order to ensure equal participation in a classroom activity.   For example, a Classroom Assistant may help hold an instrument during an in-class lab activity.

Reader: A Reader reads materials to a student, as needed, either for in-class assignments or during a testing situation.  

Visual Assistant:  A Visual Assistant describes objects, diagrams or lab material to someone who has low vision or is blind.   The Visual Assistant may also act as a reader if there is reading material.

Often the types of positions listed above are combined.  (For example, a note taker may also act as a Scribe when both note taking and scribing accommodations are approved.)

For complete information on the accommodations listed above, please contact the Center for Accessibility Resources & Services.

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