Student Accommodations Policy and Procedure

Definitions and information about policies surrounding accommodation determinations.

CNM strives to create a learning environment that is accessible for all qualified students, including those with disabilities. Where there are barriers to access, CNM will provide reasonable accommodations to students with disabilities in accordance with the requirements under federal law and the standards set forth in CNM’s academic programs. The purpose of this policy and procedure is to enable CNM to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, both as amended. These federal laws require CNM to provide reasonable accommodations for qualified students with disabilities and prohibit CNM from excluding students from or denying them the benefits of CNM’s programs or activities.


Accommodations are defined as any reasonable adjustment required for a student to have equal access to the CNM’s programs and activities, inside or outside the classroom. Examples of potential accommodations include:

  • Extended time for completion of exams or other assignments for a student with a learning disability
  • Ability to use speech-to-text software for a student with dysgraphia
  • Provision of a reduced distraction testing environment for a student with ADHD
  • A class being moved to a space accessible to a student with a specific mobility impairment
  • Providing Braille or tactile versions of course materials for a visually impaired student.
  • Determinations about what constitutes a reasonable accommodation are the responsibility of the Executive Director of Student Support or designee.

Accommodations do not include:

  • Substantial modifications to academic standards,
  • Modification or adjustment of requirements essential to any program of instruction, program or activity, or essential to any directly related licensing requirement, or
  • Modifications or adjustments that result in undue hardship, considering the nature, cost, and impact of the accommodation, and other factors.

Disability is a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activities.

A student is “qualified” if they “meet the academic and technical standards requisite to admission or to participation in the educational program or activity, with or without reasonable modifications to rules, policies, or practices; the removal of architectural, communication, or transportation barriers; or the provision of auxiliary aids and services.” Determinations about whether or not a student is a qualified student with a disability, as defined in 28 C.F.R § 35.104, rests with the Executive Director of Student Support (“Executive Director”) or designee.

Accommodation Determinations

Requests for reasonable accommodations are considered on a case-by-case basis through an interactive process with the student. Students meet with their Accessibility Services Academic Coach to discuss their disability, how it impacts their learning, and what accommodations they are requesting to have equal access in the learning environment. The Academic Coach reviews any documentation that the student provides to determine if the requested accommodation is aligned with the student interview and the documentation about their disability. If the requested accommodation is supported by the interview and the documentation, the Academic Coach approves the accommodation.

Before denying an accommodation request, the Executive Director will seek input from faculty members or others who have specific content knowledge as to whether any academic requirements are essential to the instruction being pursued or to any directly related licensing requirements. The Executive Director or designee will also seek input from the student’s Accessibility Services Academic Coach and other school officials, as necessary, on the feasibility, cost and effect of available alternatives on the academic program. After reasoned deliberation of all documented evidence, the Executive Director or designee will come to a rationally justifiable conclusion

General Guideline for Time Needed to Arrange and Provide Accommodations

Accommodated Testing Requests  5 business days
Adaptive Technology Installation 5 business days
Adaptive Technology Purchase 2 months
Alternative Format Texts 4-6 weeks
Braille (e.g. handouts, PowerPoints) 5 business days
Braille Tactiles 4-6 weeks
Braille Textbooks 4-5 months 
Enlarged Print Hardcopies 2 business days
Furniture in class room 1 week prior to term
Peer Notetaker 10 business days
Signed Language Interpreters for individual requests 5 business days
Signed language Interpreters for ongoing classes 2 weeks prior to start of term
Staff Reader/Writer (for information access in class) 2 weeks prior to start of term