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Accommodation Request Guide

Download the Accommodation Request Guide in PDF

First step for all accommodations

Send course access letters to your instructors every semester. Upon request, letters will be sent to your instructors via email, and you will receive a copy to your email.

If you have printed materials in PDF or Word format

  • At least 6 weeks before classes start, get a materials list from VolBooks or your instructor. Request any needed materials and upload receipts.
  • Generally, E-books and Inclusive Access books are already in the needed format, but contact altmedia@utk.edu if you have questions or concerns.
  • You will receive an email with instructions for accessing your materials as they are ready.

If you have note taking services

  •  Note taking services are typically approved for in-person classes and for synchronous online classes that are not recorded and provided to students. Students may use recorded lectures to take notes at their own pace.
  • Within the first week of classes or your Welcome Meeting with SDS, confirm the classes for which you require a note taker. Notes are generally not needed for lower level discussion-based ENGL, PYED, FYS, or Labs courses. However, please contact your SDS Coordinator if you have questions or concerns.
  • Once a note taker is recruited and hired, view notes in the Student Portal on a regular basis. Contact notetaking@utk.edu right away if you have any concerns about your notes.

If you have sign language interpreting or transcribing

  • Request your accommodations 30 days before the start of the semester, as feasible, to allow SDS time to locate a service provider.
  • Email interpreting@utk.edu with any changes to your schedule (location, time, dropped, or added class) or if you do not need a service provider.
  • Request a service provider for additional events (meeting with a professor/final exams) in the Student Portal by choosing Communication Access and completing a Custom Request (48 hours advance notice for events shorter than 3 hours or preferably two weeks’ notice for events longer than 3 hours).
  • Discuss all concerns related to a service provider with the Coordinator for Interpreting & Speech-to-Text Services.

If you have testing accommodations

    • Testing accommodations apply to quizzes, tests, and final exams (QTFs).
    • Contact your instructors to verify they received your course access letter and to discuss the logistics of your testing accommodations.
      • Students are generally expected to take their accommodated exams on the same date and time as the class.
      • Discuss alternative testing times with your instructor if, due to accommodations, your QTFs will conflict with other classes or with the SDS Testing Center hours of operation. They will work with you to identify an alternate time.
      • Online QTFs generally do not need to be taken in the SDS Testing Center, since most accommodations can be provided online. Please contact your SDS Coordinator if you have any questions or concerns.
    • Instructors may provide accommodations themselves, but they will typically expect you to take your QTFs in the SDS Testing Center. Submit exam requests for your QTFs in the Student Portal, accordingly. SDS will notify you via email when an exam request is approved.
    • Quizzes and tests must be scheduled at least 7 days in advance, and finals must be scheduled at least 4 weeks prior to Study Day. Late requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Repeat the above steps each semester, as needed. 


Best practices

  • Review course syllabi carefully to understand course requirements and determine which accommodations you plan to utilize.
  • Contact your instructors at the beginning of the semester to introduce yourself and discuss your accommodations and how they will be provided in each course.
  • Utilize campus resources such as tutoring, academic coaching, the
    Writing Center, and the Counseling Center.

Contact your SDS coordinator if you:

  • Have any questions.
  • Have concerns about receiving your accommodations.
  • Need assistance communicating with instructors about your accommodations.
  • Feel your accommodation needs have changed.
  • Hint: You may find your Coordinator’s name and contact information on the lower left side of your dashboard in the Student Portal