Northland collaborates with and empowers students who have qualifying disabilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act by working together proactively to determine reasonable and appropriate accommodation measures.

Northland is committed to providing students who have disabilities with an equal opportunity to fully participate in its courses, programs, and activities. Students who have a disability and need accommodations in order to attain equal access must register with the Disability Services Office in the Office of Student Affairs.

Requesting Accommodations

Once you have paid your enrollment deposit, you will want to begin the process of requesting reasonable accommodations. Reasonable accommodations are defined as any change in an environment or in the way things are customarily done that enables an individual with a disability to enjoy equal opportunities both in and outside of the academic setting.

Common Accommodations at Northland

Colleges and universities are not required to alter admissions requirements, nor are they required to alter programmatic requirements for students with learning disabilities once they have been admitted. If a course in question is found to be an essential element to the student’s course of study or degree sought, it is unlikely that a waiver or a substitution will be granted. In addition, colleges and universities are not required to provide personal care assistants (PCA’s) for students.

Common Accommodations Include:

  • Note takers
  • Allowing extended time to complete exams (usually time and a half)
  • Providing readers or qualified interpreters (this is a difficult service to provide and takes months of planning). If readers or interpreters are not attainable then comparable arrangements will be made.
  • Quiet, non-distracting area to take tests and quizzes
  • Alternative tests and quizzes such as oral, dictated, or typed
  • Allowing use of tape recording during class
  • Use of a laptop to write out exams, papers, or note taking
  • Use of relaxation devices to decrease anxiety during tests and quizzes (listening to music)

Learning Disorders Commonly Seen

  • Dyslexia: a language-based disability in which a person has trouble understanding written words. It may also be referred to as reading disability or reading disorder.
  • Dyscalculia: a mathematical disability in which a person has a difficult time solving arithmetic problems and grasping math concepts.
  • Dysgraphia: a writing disability in which a person finds it hard to form letters or write within a defined space.
  • Auditory and Visual Processing Disorders: sensory disabilities in which a person has difficulty understanding language despite normal hearing and vision.
  • Nonverbal Learning Disabilities: a neurological disorder which originates in the right hemisphere of the brain, causing problems with visual-spatial, intuitive, organizational, evaluative, and holistic processing functions.
  • Asperger Syndrome: a neurobiological disorder. Individuals with Asperger Syndrome can exhibit a variety of characteristics and the disorder can range from mild to severe. Persons with Asperger Syndrome show marked deficiencies in social skills, have difficulties with transitions or changes, and prefer sameness. They often have obsessive routines and may be preoccupied with a particular subject of interest. They have a great deal of difficulty reading nonverbal cues (body language) and very often the individual with Asperger Syndrome has difficulty determining proper body space. Often overly sensitive to sounds, tastes, smells, and sights, the person with Aspergers may prefer soft clothing, certain foods, and be bothered by sounds or lights no one else seems to hear or see. By definition, those with Asperger Syndrome have a normal IQ and many individuals (although not all), exhibit exceptional skill or talent in a specific area.
  • Attention Deficit Disorder AD/HD: a diagnosis applied to children and adults who consistently display certain characteristic behaviors over a period of time. The most common core features include:
    • distractibility (poorly sustained attention to tasks)
    • impulsivity (impaired impulse control and delay of gratification)
    • hyperactivity (excessive activity and physical restlessness)

Please keep in mind that the exact nature and severity of learning disabilities/disorders vary from person to person.