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Student Disability Resource Center

Instructors and Alternative Testing

Help accommodate your students before the test begins!  Learning the steps to follow in advance of testing will help you, your student, and the SDRC work together smoothly. Students approved for testing accommodations have options for testing. Students can take exams: with their class without their testing accommodations, in class with appropriate testing accommodations arranged by the instructor, or proctored by our staff in the SDRC Test Proctoring Suite.

Instructor Guidelines

The guidelines below offer instructors instruction, recommendations, and insights into the Alternative Testing Process for registered Student Disability Resource Center (SDRC) students who request to take their exams at the SDRC Test Proctoring Suite. 

1. Review Faculty Notification Letters: Thoroughly review the students' notification letters from the SDRC (sent via email). These letters outline the approved classroom and testing accommodations and serve as the foundation for your planning.

2. Determine Accommodation Provider: Based on the testing accommodations listed, decide who will be responsible for providing them. This could involve Teaching Assistants (TAs), the SDRC Testing Center, or arrangements within your department. Accessibility is everyone’s responsibility.

3. Complete Alternative Testing Agreement: If students intend to utilize the SDRC Testing Center for their exams, then the instructor must complete the Alternative Testing Agreement for their course. This Agreement communicates your rules and expectations to students testing in the SDRC Testing Center. Ensure that this agreement applies to all sections of the course.

4. Provide Accurate Exam Dates: Provide students with accurate exam dates at the beginning of the term in the course’s syllabus. Regularly communicate any updates or changes promptly to both the students and the SDRC staff to avoid confusion.

5. Address Late Arrival Penalties: Remind students of the penalties associated with arriving late for their exams. Communicate the consequences and the impact on their allotted exam time.

6. Create Accessible Exams: Instructors are responsible for designing their exam content for students with these accommodations. Such design changes include: enlarging the font or ensuring the exam is compatible with screen readers as needed for the student.

7. Upload Exam Materials to SDRC: Instructors are reminded to upload all exam materials by 12 PM on the day prior to the exam date. Any delays should be communicated to the SDRC immediately.

The test proctoring staff encourages instructors to familiarize themselves with the above information as it ensures a smooth testing experience for registered students. If you have any questions, please refer to the Instructor FAQs or contact the SDRC Test Proctoring Suite staff.

Blackboard Accessibility

Blackboard is USC's online course and learning management system available to the entire USC community. The following resources will provide you with some insights on how to accommodate students who may require exceptions when using the tool.

  • Blackboard Test Exceptions
    A video about Test Options and how to set exceptions (e.g. extended test time) for specific students.
  • Blackboard Test Options
    Blackboard article about adding extended test time to online tests for students that receive that accommodation from our office

Alternative Testing FAQs for Instructors

We aim to ease this alternative testing process for you.  To better understand all pieces of this, please review instructor frequently asked questions (FAQs) below, 

Alternative Testing is defined as an accepted accommodation for students with certain disabilities. Testing accommodations feature extended test time, exams in accessible formats (enlarged font, text-to-speech, and speech-to-text), and the use of certain adaptive equipment such as word processors or a scribe.

No. Testing accommodations provide access to the testing materials- they do not change what the student is being tested on, nor what they are to demonstrate knowledge of.

Students with disabilities/ accommodations are required to learn the same content at the same level of proficiency as students without disabilities/ accommodations.

Students have 15 minutes to arrive at the Testing Center before they are marked as a No Call-No Show (NCNS). If a student arrives after 15 minutes, the Testing staff will refer to the instructor’s instructions stated in the Alternative Testing Agreement. The student may receive clearance to test; however, instructors may insist they stop at the specified time. Instructors must be clear in communicating this policy in their course’s Testing Agreement. 
Instructors are responsible for clearly communicating all approved materials to the SDRC Testing Staff. This can be done by email, phone, or by edits on the course’s Testing Agreement.

NOTE: The Testing staff will contact you for approval. If we cannot reach the instructor, the Testing coordinator will evaluate the situation and use their best judgment.  
Email the updated exam to, then notify the Testing coordinator at 803-576-8457 
Yes. The Testing Agreement can be modified throughout the semester. Instructors can login to Faculty AIM login to make those changes. The updated Agreement will be emailed to both instructor(s) and students.  
  1. Upload the exam via the Instructor’s AIM portal or the link sent in the reminder email. Reminder emails are sent out two (2) days in advance of the exam date. Note: If you are unable to upload the exam, please email the Test Proctoring account at Please indicate if there are different versions of the exam. 
  2. Drop off the exam at the Testing Center or the Disability Resource’s Main office. Exams should be dropped off before the end of business hours (5 pm). We are located in the Close Hipp Building in suite 203 and 102, respectively.
  3. Email the exam to the Proctoring account at SDRCTEST@ Please indicate any specific instructions in the email. Please note that professors must provide their exams in an accessible format, if needed. 


Submitting exams on time would naturally ensure that accommodations are prepared for our students. Some exams also require conversion into alternative and accessible formats for students (e.g. braille).

Of course, an on-time submission aligns with the expectation of equal access for all students. It also helps in our process as we plan for the next day. Receiving exams at the last minute increases the potential of errors occurring due to the reduced time to review and prepare exams for students with specific testing accommodations.

A proactive approach provides a reduced stress level for students, instructors, and Testing Staff We ask that instructors communicate any delay with the SDRC Testing Staff.

Instructors may proctor a registered student directly. The Testing Center provides proctoring services because faculty cannot accommodate the exam(s) and/ or students elect to utilize this option. Formerly, some instructors make arrangements for students to test during office hours, in class with extended time, or in a separate testing location. The student makes the decision on their preferred testing environment. 

We request that you fill out the Alternative Testing Agreement, even if your course is online. This allows students the opportunity to still "schedule" their exams with our office, and you will receive notifications and reminders about their approved accommodations.


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