Letters to Professors

The purpose of Letters to Professors (LTPs) is to:

  • provide confirmation to the professor that you are registered with DSS
  • outline required academic accommodations you will need 
  • and state the deadlines you must meet in order to receive exam accommodations through DSS.

You are advised to request Letters to Professors as early each term as possible, for each class you are enrolled in.

Once you submit your request you will be emailed your LTPs. Although not required in order for you to receive academic accommodations, we recommend you print your LTPs and deliver them to your instructors in person, as early in the term as possible.

By law, DSS is unable to send LTPs directly to instructors.

Instructors looking for information regarding accommodations for students should refer to the Instructor Handbook.

Academic Accommodations

When you register with DSS, you may receive a number of academic accommodations such as:

  • classroom changes
  • extensions to assignments
  • recording of lectures
  • permission to be absent from class occasionally

Exam Accommodations

The Exam Accommodation service assists students who require exam support.

Requesting an Exam Accommodation

There are time constraints involved with providing exam accommodations so make your request as early in the term as possible. Before the Deadlines for Requesting Exam Accommodations you must:

  1. Register with DSS.
    It may take some time to gather the proper documentation, but only needs to be done once unless your disability has changed significantly.
  2. Request your Letters for Professors
    Request at the beginning of each term. The letters will be emailed to your mail.usask.ca email address within 48 hours. Print the letters and take them in person to your professors as early in the term as possible.
  3. Fill out an Exam Accommodation form*
    Complete form for each exam you wish to write through DSS, before the applicable deadlines listed below.
  4. Confirm that your exam arrangements have been made
    Log back into the Exam Accommodation form. You will see a chart that lists all the exams you have requested to write through DSS this term. Once the exam status is set to “Scheduled” your exam arrangements have been finalized. At that point, please note the date, time, and location of your exam(s).

You may see these exam status “codes” on your exam chart:

Submitted: Your request was received by our system.
Pending: We require more information before proceeding and have contacted you or your instructor.
In Progress: We are working on your accommodations.
Scheduled: The accommodations are made. Please note the time and location of your exam(s).

Fall & Winter Session
Exam TypeDeadline
Non-final exams 2 weeks (14 days) prior to the scheduled exam date
December final exams November 19
April final exams March 19
Spring & Summer Session
Exam TypeDeadline
Non-final exams 1 week (7 days) prior to the scheduled exam date
Final exams 2 weeks (14 days) prior to the scheduled exam date

The types of accommodations a student uses depends on the recommendations made by the student’s physician or psycho-educational assessment. Typical accommodations include:

  • Extra Time
  • Quiet Space: quiet space, shared with a few other students
  • Scribe: a person who works one-on-one with the student, to write the answers to exam questions verbatim
  • Reader: a person who works one-on-one with the student, to read the questions and/or the student’s written answers aloud
  • Computer: a non-networked computer or laptop.

Cannot Accommodate:

  • Laptops for open book exams.   Laptops are not permitted in open book exams unless the instructor is allowing everyone in the class to bring a laptop or if the exam question sheet or the instruction sheet instructors fill out for us specifically states that it is permissible for the student to do so.

There are issues of fairness to consider (e.g., it’s much faster to search electronic notes than hard copies; and there may be additional material stored on the laptop that would be beneficial).  If you are certain the prof will allow all students in the class to use their laptops, feel free to bring yours along. Otherwise, please print out your notes and bring the hard copies to your exam.

Other types of accommodations are available, as well, and are determined by a student’s medical documentation or psycho-educational assessment. For more information, contact DSS.

Non-finals

If you must defer an exam, notify your instructor as soon as possible and ask if you can write the exam at an alternate date and time. If you have difficulties negotiating a new date and time with your instructor, please contact the DSS Exam Office. If your instructor grants permission, and you will be writing the deferred exam through DSS, please remember that you need to submit an Exam Accommodation form at least 2 weeks prior to the exam date.

Finals

Within three business days of the scheduled final exam date, notify your professor and the Dean’s Office of the college you are enrolled in. You will be required to fill out an application to write a deferred final examination. The application must be submitted to your Dean’s office, along with medical documentation in the form of a doctor’s note written on a prescription pad. The note simply has to say that you were unable to write the exam for medical reasons. Your disability or specific medical information does not need to be noted. You must also include a fee with your application:

  • $40.00 for each regular deferred final (written on regular deferred exam date scheduled for all university deferred exams)
  • $80.00 for each special deferred final (written on a special date mutually agreed on by the course instructor and the student)

If your application is approved, you will need to visit the DSS Exam Accommodation Office in person, to fill out a paper Exam Accommodation form at least two weeks prior to your exam date. If you have been approved for a regular deferred final, you will receive a letter from your Dean’s Office, advising you of the date of your exam.

If you are using the Notetaking Program please know that notes are not kept on the site, past the current term. Once the term is over, the notes are taken off, due to lack of space on the web server. If you have a deferred exam and have not downloaded the needed notes, please contact the Notetaking Program who will try and get the notes to you.

Changing an exam date

DSS will not change an exam date without the instructor’s permission. If you have medical documentation that supports spacing your exams, or if you have two finals in one day, you may be able to change an exam date. It is your responsibility to talk to your instructor to negotiate a new date and time before submitting your exam accommodation forms. DSS is unable to change exam dates once the original deadline date has passed.

If you will not be coming to write an exam you requested, you must cancel your arrangements with DSS. If you do not cancel at least 24 hours in advance, we reserve the right to charge a $35 administrative fee. Once the fee is charged, you will not be able to access the online exam accommodation form until the fee is paid in full.

As of January 2014 Law students registered with Disability Services for Students (DSS) are required to give paper copies of their Letters to Professors to their instructors; and email PDF copies to the Associate Dean, Academic.

This does not affect the way confidential numbers are assigned in the College of Law, for final exams. You still get your confidential number, and you still attach it to your exam. Exam materials will be removed from our envelopes and passed to the appropriate person for marking. Therefore, although your instructor knows you are registered with DSS, they will not know which exam is yours.

DSS is aware of all University exam policies, including those exclusive to the College of Law; and we adhere to all applicable policies while invigilating your exam(s).

Distance Education Unit (DEU) - If you are taking a class through DEU and require exam accommodations please ensure that you fill out both the DEU's Application for Final Examination and the Exam Accommodation form required by DSS within the applicable deadlines.

When writing exams through Disability Services for Students (DSS), you are expected to adhere to both DSS and University of Saskatchewan examination policies. As a reminder, those policies are:

  • In general, all books, bags (including handbags), outerwear (including hats), and electronic items (cell phones, PDAs, iPods, etc.) must be left with the person invigilating your exam. Exceptions will of course be made for open book exams and for students who require adaptive technology.
  • If you are using a computer, your exam invigilator may check the drives on that computer at least once during the course of the exam.
  • Do not bring tree nuts or peanuts – or nut products – to your exams. Please refrain from wearing colognes when you are writing exams.
  • Only short breaks are permitted. Do not leave the building you are writing your exam in. If you need to eat while writing an exam, bring your food with you. If you leave the exam room for more than 15 minutes, you may not be allowed to continue writing the exam on your return.
  • There must be overlap between the time students write with DSS and the time the class writes. If there is no overlap, students must get permission from their instructors to write at an alternate time.
  • U of S policy stipulates that students cannot enter the exam room once more than ½ hour has passed since the start of the exam. If, for example, your exam is scheduled for 9:00 am, you must enter the exam room by 9:30 am or you will not be permitted to write the exam.
  • DSS starts evening exams early. During final exam periods, exams that begin at 7:00pm in the classroom will start at 3:30 (double time); 5:00 (time and a half); or 6:30 (no extra time) at DSS. University policy requires that students do not hand in their exams and leave the exam room prior to 1/2 hour past the start time of a final exam – which in this case is 7:30pm. If you believe you will finish prior to 7:30, please bring something to do OR please contact DSS in advance to arrange for a different start time.
  • DSS and the U of S take instances of academic dishonesty very seriously. If academic dishonesty is suspected, DSS will file a report with a student’s instructor and dean’s office.

Disability Services for Students Blog

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