Student Services

Main Content

Test Proctoring

Students are encouraged to discuss testing arrangements with their instructors during the first week of the semester. Faculty are notified of students' eligibility for testing accommodations in the form of accommodation cards, which students deliver. Students must follow testing procedures and methods of faculty notification. Faculty may revise testing procedures when doing so is consistent with their fundamental objectives for the course.

Typical accommodations include:

  • Use of computers
  • Extended exam time
  • Proctors
  • Enlarged print tests | Electronic tests | Brailled tests
  • Reading or writing assistance
  • JAWS, Dragon Naturally Speaking, Kurzweil 3000, ZoomText, and other computer software

Note Taking Services

Increasingly, faculty members are able to provide notes for students either on the web or utilizing classroom technology. When faculty members are unable to provide notes, DSS can loan students a Livescribe Smartpen so they can take notes and playback parts of the lecture from their notes.  DSS also recruits individual note takers, ideally other students in the classes. Faculty are notified of students' eligibility for note takers through the accommodation cards, which students deliver. 

DSS does not share information about students' disabilities with note takers, but contact information is exchanged.  If you need an alternative arrangement, including receipt of note taker services without disclosing your identity to a peer, see DSS staff. Students must make their own arrangements to acquire course notes and materials during absences.

Text Conversion & Accessible Course Materials

Students with visual impairments, mobility impairments, learning disabilities and/or Attention Deficit Disorder might be eligible for textbooks and other course materials to be provided in an alternative format such as electronic text, enlarged text, or Braille and raised graphics.

Since this process requires advance planning, students should register for classes as soon as possible. This allows DSS sufficient time to order textbooks through from publishing companies and accessible book repositories, or scan and convert them to an alternative format.

For DSS to assist in the acquisition of alternative materials, students must be eligible for this service and bring or ship their books to the office as soon as possible, consistent with text conversion procedures. Procedures are listed on the DSS website at

DSS employs text conversion staff to convert textbooks not available from other sources. Students who are physically able to manipulate textbooks and computers can receive training on how to convert their own materials. This training is designed to promote independence in both academic and future vocational settings.

Lab Assistants

Students with mobility or visual impairments might be eligible for lab assistants to assist with physically manipulating equipment and projects in lab settings. Requests for this service must be supported by appropriate, professional and reasonably current documentation.

Housing Assessments

DSS coordinates with University Housing to recommend accessible housing for students choosing to live on campus. Students should list all accessibility or other housing needs on their housing contract. It is recommended that students be timely in completing contracts and making requests for accommodations so that DSS can assist when there is still good room availability.

Many students with mobility disabilities who require modified on-campus housing live in the West Campus/Thompson Point area, which is centrally located and offers automatic doors, roll-in showers, and many other accessibility features. Accessible housing is also available at Wall & Grand Apartments and Evergreen Terrace.

Students with visual or hearing disabilities who need visual fire alarms, visual door knockers, Braille signage or other modifications to their residence hall rooms should list those needs when completing their housing contracts. Additional requests for modifications or special provisions, such as single rooms, emotional support animals, etc., are addressed on an individual basis. Service and Assistance Animal Procedures can be viewed here.

Students needing modifications still make their own room selections during appropriate room reservation periods, but University Housing closely monitors them to assure compliance with DSS recommendations. More information on University Housing can be found at

Interpreters & Speech-to-Text

In addition to our general services, DSS offers comprehensive services to students who are deaf or hard-of-hearing. Several staff members are fluent in ASL and are available to assist students who are deaf or hard of hearing.

Qualified interpreters and speech-to-text services are readily available at SIU Carbondale. Interpreters and speech to text typists are placed according to student language preferences, the complexity of the content, and type of communication involved.

View general procedures here: Interpreting & Speech to Text Typists

To request interpreting or speech to text services for guest lectures and events complete a request form found here: Interpreter Request Form

Requests should be sent to Kimberly Berger at


DSS offers captioning services to students who are deaf or hard-of-hearing. Captioned media provides equal access to videos, converting spoken language and sound effects to a visual format. Students should discuss their need for captioned videos during their initial meeting with a DSS coordinator. Because captioning can be very time consuming to complete, any changes to student schedule should be reported as soon as possible to ensure timely delivery of this service.

Assistive Technology

DSS provides training and access to a wide variety of assistive technologies. Eligible students will receive free access to assistive technology software on campus. Though DSS does not conduct full assistive technology assessments, free consultation about available technology options and training can be provided through our office. In some cases, assistive technology equipment can be loaned to enrolled students. 

Route Familiarization 

DSS offers route familiarization training for new and returning students as needed, helping them become familiar with the campus setting and the location of classrooms, key departments, and other student locations.  

Transportation Options

In addition to Saluki Express routes, Rides Mass Transit provides accessible transportation for Southern Illinois University.  Riders need to call Disability Support Services to establish eligibility for this service.