Support Services Frequently Asked Questions

Accommodation Letters

There are no more purple papers. This was an older system where accommodation letters were printed on purple paper and the students hand-delivered their letters to their instructors. Accommodation letters are currently sent via email as a PDF from Support Services.

It is the student’s responsibility to renew their letters by emailing each curriculum semester or any classes in which they register. At their initial interactive process with Support Services, they are informed of this process and receive an Expectations Checklist with this renewal process as a reminder. They are encouraged to request renewal as soon as they register to avoid a lapse in accommodations.

Yes. Talking to the student about their letter confidentially is encouraged. Many instructors may choose to reach out with a personal email to acknowledge receipt of the letter and to let the student know they’ve adjusted their timed tests, for example. Some instructors may have more questions about the best way to provide accommodations for the student. Disclosing that the student receives accommodations to others and/or asking the student about their disability is not appropriate and may result in legal repercussions.

It is the student’s right not to request accommodations. Not all students identify as being part of the disability community and even if they do, they may choose not to have accommodations. If you think a student may benefit, remember that 1 and 4 adults have a disability (visible or not), so it would benefit your entire classroom to remind all students that if they could use accommodation support, to contact Support Services. This would be an inclusive practice and would avoid singling any student out.

Assistive Technology Questions

Read&Write (R&W) is a text-to-speech software. Support Services provides free licenses to students eligible for this accommodation. Info and download instructions for R&W can be found at Assistive Technology.

Screen Readers are designed for use by a person who is visually impaired and text-to-speech software is designed for someone who may need auditory support reading. These tools may take a lot of practice for the user to learn and navigate but are essential for access to information.

Smart Pens & digital recorders are checked out for audio recording class lectures. Students are responsible for returning or renewing at the end of each term or a hold is placed on their account at the Business Office. Note: Laptops are checked out through Locke Library.

Deaf/Hard of Hearing Questions

Yes. Though closed captioning (CC) is often intended for those who cannot hear the audio, it also supports many students with challenges in auditory processing, and focusing, and/or for whom the language spoken is not their primary language. Equal access means equal for all students to be able to access all of the information in a course at the same time.

Yes. Our NCCCS representative recommends that if instructors cannot provide closed captioning for everything that is provided or suggested to students, they should take it down. Equal access means that it would not be fair for some students to be able to gain additional information on a topic when other students who are equally motivated to learn cannot access this same information.

Cart Service means Communication Access Realtime Translation Service. CART Service provides instantaneous translation of what is being said into a visual print display so that it can be read (instead of heard). The instructor must establish a Zoom meeting link that is consistent for every class so the provider may log into the link.

Sometimes the mic you may be asked to wear works directly with a student’s hearing aid. Or it may be so that the CART Service provider is able to hear you more clearly for translation through the Zoom link the instructor has established (especially if the instructor moves around the room).

Limited Attendance Adjustment

Formerly known as Flex Attendance, a new protocol is modeled after other universities and colleges called Limited Attendance Adjustment (LAA). LAA may be appropriate for students who have a chronic physical or mental condition/disability with brief, periodic fare-ups that are unpredictable and legitimately impact course attendance on occasion. LAA provides limited flexibility to allow for equivalent alternative opportunities and removes point penalties. Students remain accountable for all academic activities and evaluation standards specified on the syllabus. Upon request from Support Services, faculty completes an LAA course-specific plan with Support Services staff. Refer to the LAA Protocol for further information.

Note Taking Support

Eligible students who may need an accommodation with note taking receive their own user account with an online company, Habitat Learn, contracted by Support Services. Class lectures are audio recorded directly in the student’s Messenger Pigeon account through an app and notes are provided within 24 hours.

Due to challenges with staffing and coordination, Messenger Pigeon service has proven more successful and dependable thus replacing live note-takers. Students are encouraged to network with peers in the classroom for additional notes and study group support.

Per Assignment Extension

Per Assignment Extension (PAE) is a new protocol modeled after other universities and colleges. Like Limited Attendance Adjustment (LAA) it’s an approved accommodation for students with chronic physical or mental condition/disability with brief, periodic flare-ups that are unpredictable and legitimately impact course participation on occasion. PAE provides a limited flexibility to allow for equivalent alternative opportunities to address the impact of a brief, periodic health or medical experience that may interfere with a student meeting a deadline. PAE does not automatically apply to all assignments and is not intended to be applied retroactively. Students approved for PAE remain accountable for all academic activities and evaluation standards specified on the syllabus.

If a student is PAE eligible per their accommodation letter, PAE provides students 24 hours and up to two additional days and is not applicable for lengthy assignment extensions. Refer to the PAE Protocol for further information.

Testing Questions

The Testing Center is a full-time testing site in the Simpson Building. They proctor some exams for students with accommodations referred by Support Services. They receive a copy of the student’s accommodation letter each semester to track who has been referred. If the Testing Center is recommended, follow the Testing Center’s faculty instructions on the Faculty Resources & Procedures page.

Refer to Distance Learning’s tipsheet (DOC). If you need technical support, contact Distance Learning through Track-it.

Remind the student to contact to schedule a proctored exam at the Support Services office at least 1-3 weeks prior to the test. The Testing Center does not proctor any alone testing accommodation at this time, so Support Services schedules within their regularly scheduled business hours and operations.

Yes. The student may not need to use the extended time, but if they’re eligible for this accommodation, it should be available to them for every test and quiz.


Many sources including: Welcome to Disability Support Services!, New Student Orientation (NSO), brochures, High School Counselors, tabling at campus events, campus closed-circuit TVs in lobbies, ACA classes, and faculty/staff referrals.

Yes, however, it’s important to provide the eligible accommodations as outlined in their letter. Accommodations are not special treatment, but there is such a thing as over-accommodating what is not stated in their letter that may set a precedent for some students to expect that same treatment for all their other classes. Always abide by the Code of Conduct for all students and reach out to the Support Services office for consultation, concerns, or questions at any time.

  1. Complete the Student Intake Form. If a paper copy is needed, email or pick one up at the Bailey Student Service Center.
  2. Meet with a Support Services Advisor in person or via Zoom.
  3. Provide documentation of the disability or disabilities that may impact your college experience. For examples, refer to Eligibility and Documentation Guidelines. The disclosure of this information is voluntary and is not used for admission purposes. You may bring your documentation to Bailey Student Services or email
    If a student doesn't have documentation, still encourage them to contact us so we can review their options.

If the student follows the steps above, this process generally takes about a week. Sometimes the disabilities and accommodations are more nuanced and may take more time or supplemental documentation. However, it is not uncommon for a student to reach out and submit the paperwork but then never complete the process by scheduling the mandatory interactive process meeting with the Support Services Advisor.

We do not want documentation to become another barrier to a student needing accommodations, so it’s always important for the student to still meet with the Support Services Advisor to discuss options. We often write provisional accommodation letters for students while they’re waiting to get a letter from their provider. However, the more nuanced the accommodation needs may be, documentation is necessary to determine what accommodations will be more helpful in supporting the student.

Yes. Common ineligible accommodations may be around test anxiety or time management issues. Oftentimes, we may offer coaching to these students who could benefit from exploring strategies, advisement on course load options, and/or refer them to the Writing Center for Academic Coaching or some personal counseling at A-B Tech to build on coping strategies.

Disability support services in higher education do not currently have an accrediting process, but we do have the Association on Higher Education And Disability (AHEAD), an international, multicultural organization of professionals committed to full participation in higher education for persons with disabilities. The Association is a vital resource promoting excellence through leadership, education, communication, and training. A-B Tech Community College is a member of AHEAD and Heather Pack is on the board for our local NC AHEAD chapter. Association on Higher Education And Disability

This award has a long history here but was last given to an honoree in 2011. In 2022-2023, Disability Support Services brought it back and invited the student disability community to nominate a staff or faculty member who has made significant contributions towards advocacy, support, encouragement, and equitable access. The nominees were considered by Support Services and a faculty/staff was then chosen based on the students’ testimonies.