[nfbwatlk] Question about Testing Procedures

Mary Ellen gabias at telus.net
Wed Jan 28 05:39:57 UTC 2009

I attended university when SSD offices were still a new idea. Electronic
documents and word processing were still novel concepts, so I used readers
all the time. I'm sure the reason she wants you to use a reader provided by
the office is to protect against cheating. You could offer to take the test
in the presence of a proctor. I often sat in the department secretary's
office who proctored the exam for me. Other than the need to protect against
cheating, I can't even imagine why anyone would care whether your reader was
provided by the office or not. In fact, I would insist on providing a reader
known to me. All readers are not created equal. What if the office provided
a reader who was not competent to read the material in question? You should
absolutely insist on having a reader whom you have worked with before
because it would be a distinct disadvantage for you to have to train a
reader during an exam.
You might want to talk with Jim Marx of Montana. He runs a DSS and could
tell you what the law says as well as suggesting procedures which would calm
the nerves of your professor and the department chair.
Isn't it interesting that it's the special ed department that's giving you

-----Original Message-----
From: nfbwatlk-bounces at nfbnet.org [mailto:nfbwatlk-bounces at nfbnet.org] On
Behalf Of Jedi
Sent: January 27, 2009 9:15 PM
To: nfbwatlk at nfbnet.org
Cc: nabs-l at nfbnet.org
Subject: [nfbwatlk] Question about Testing Procedures

Fellow Federationists:

I would like your advice. I have decided to opt out of the SSD office 
at my university in most cases because it's not terribly efficient in 
helping blind students succeed in a timely and convenient fashion. 
generally speaking, I have been able to arrange appropriate 
accommodations without difficulty. Most teachers have been really 
helpful in providing tests and other homework in electronic format, or 
letting me decide who to work with and under what conditions. Recently, 
i began a class in Special education. The professor uses a test program 
that apparently doesn't allow for electronic tests usable by students 
in any fashion. So, I decided that hiring a reader would be 
appropriate. At first, my teacher agreed providing that I cover myself 
by giving her proof of my blindness such as an eligibility letter for 
voc rehab services. I was fine with that. Tonight however, she sent me 
an e-mail saying that she'd never had a student opt out of using SSD 
offices, so she asked a higher-up in her department if I could indeed 
use my own reader. Apparently, according to her, I cannot. Apparently, 
I am required to use SSD provided readers for this exam. I was under 
the impression that I am allowed to hire and utilize my own readers 
and/or choose not to utilize SSD support in my classes. I can 
understand why she would prefer me to use an SSD reader so as to guard 
against possible cheating. I, however, am perfectly fine not hiring the 
reader who ordinarily reads my textbook to me. i have a few readers to 
choose from. What are my rights in this situation? What are my options? 
What would you do if you were me? Thanks very much for your help.


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