Disability Services Information for Current Students

Arranging the accommodations available to you

Please refer to your SCTCC Accommodations Plan for a list of the specific accommodations for which you qualify. If you don’t have a plan in place, refer to Getting Started With Disability Services.

To access or use the accommodations for which you qualify, please refer to the following procedures. Each semester the student should share the Accomodation Plan with each instructor.

Accommodations procedures


Contact Information

Judy Jacobson Berg, Counselor for Students with Disabilities
320-308-5096 or 1-800-222-1009. TTY users dial MN Relay at 711


John Bjork, Accessibility Specialist
320-308-5757 |  jbjork@sctcc.edu

    Access Notetaker Services

    Notetaking services are available for qualified students with disabilities to ensure equal access to in-class information.  A Notetaker is another student in your class who volunteers to share and copy his/her lecture notes with you.  Notetaking services are not designed to substitute for class attendance.  You are expected to attend class and take or record your own notes as well. Digitally recording lectures to listen to later can also be a great learning tool. 

    You may find your own notetaker by asking someone in the class that you already know if s/he would copy notes and share them with you.  If you aren’t comfortable with this option you may request a notetaker by completing the following steps.

    To arrange for a Volunteer Notetaker each semester for each class you must:

    • Be eligible for this accommodation - See your Accommodation Plan
    • Present a copy of your Accommodations Plan to your instructor and discuss your need for notes with your teacher.  Perhaps the teacher posts notes on D2L or is willing to email notes to you and a notetaker is not needed. 
    • Work with John Bjork, Accessibility Specialist to facilitate your receiving an emailed copy of your notetaker’s notes.

    The instructor will confidentially identify a potential student who appears to be attentive and taking good notes.  The student notetaker will be referred to meet with John Bjork, Accessibility Specialist (Rm. 1-133). He will instruct the notetaker on the procedures to scan a copy their notes and email them to John at jbjork@sctcc.edu.  John will in turn forward the notes to you. 

    Notetakers are volunteers and assigned anonymously.  Occasionally a student with disabilities encounters problems with class notes.  If a note-taker’s class notes do not meet your needs, inform John or Judy immediately.

    Accessing Notetaker Services   Audio Recording Class Lectures    Alternative Format Textbooks   Special Advising   Testing Accommodations Procedures   Scheduling Sign Language Interpreters   Use of Service Animals

    Audio Recording Class Lectures

    Students with disabilities who qualify, may record instructor's lectures or lab presentations.  A    student needs to bring his/her own recorder.  Digital recorders are recommended as they provide the most flexibility for manipulation and storage of recordings.  Recording information allows for multiple play backs to aid in retention and understanding of difficult material.  It also allows a student the opportunity to take notes at his or her own pace after class and/or to fill in sketchy notes taken during the actual class time.


    • Notify the instructor of your intention to record the lectures.  A student who wishes to record lectures of a class should be allowed to do so if doing so is an appropriate accommodation based on disability needs.
    • Show the instructor a copy of your SCTCC Accommodations Plan to verify your eligibility for the accommodation of Audio Recording Lecture. 
    • You may be asked to discontinue recording during times like classroom discussions in which students are encouraged to share personal stories or information for which there will be no exact recall needed.
    • Recording the lecture should not disrupt the class activities

    Note: A student may be asked to sign a written declaration stating that all taped materials will be used for personal, academic use only and will not be reproduced or publicized in any manner. Forms are available from Judy Jacobson Berg, Counselor. 

    If looking to purchase a digital recorder consider factors such as capability for transferring files to a computer for storage, perhaps through removable card style memory storage, or download capabilities.  Most digital recorders record in MP3 format. Also consider a good microphone system, perhaps something that will even allow for an auxiliary microphone if needed in a classroom. Or a student may consider a Smart Pen system as a recording device.  Smart Pens allow for excellent replay options. 

    Accessing Notetaker Services   Audio Recording Class Lectures    Alternative Format Textbooks   Special Advising   Testing Accommodations Procedures   Scheduling Sign Language Interpreters   Use of Service Animals

    Alternative Format Textbooks

    Students with print related disabilities may qualify for textbooks and other printed or web based classroom materials in an alternative format. Alternative format material is provided in digital format that is accessible using screen reading software on a computer or tablet. Other format options may be possible depending on individual circumstances.  

    Our role is to provide accessible print material in an alternative format designed to meet your needs.

    • Digital format material is electronic based text read through text-to-speech software technology such as: Natural Reader, Kurzweil, or using other capable e-book readers, i.e. Kindle, I-Pad. Textbook material in a digital format is obtained from the textbook publisher and is strictly intended for student use only. We will help you access the digital format material by installing and reviewing the operation of text-to-speech software. You may also purchase your books in an e-text format through a bookstore.

    Procedures to Obtain Alternate Textbooks or Materials

    Each semester you must:

    • Be eligible for this accommodation - See your Accommodation Plan
    • Purchase your Textbooks.  It may take up to 3 weeks to receive digital formatted copy of the material, so purchase early. (If requesting Braille, the time line will be significantly longer.)
    • Schedule an appointment to meet with John Bjork, Accessibility Specialist
      • Bring your Books for the semester.
      • Bring a copy of your receipt from the purchase of the books
      • Bring your computer or tablet.
    • If you are given written materials such as worksheets, handouts or supplemental reading assignments these can be transferred into audio files.  Schedule an appointment with John Bjork, Accessibility Specialist, to access this service. 

    Try Text to Speech Technology

    It is a good idea to try audio textbooks and e-text prior to attending college so you can learn how to listen and take notes from them. This skill will be beneficial to your success if you have a print access disability.

    Several easy to use, free text to speech, screen reading programs can be downloaded.  Try one or more of them at:

    • http://www.naturalreaders.com/index.htm - this is a free download with good but limited features.  Expanded features are available for purchase.
    • For PDF documents use the built in reader found in Adobe Reader 8 or higher.
    • Open document,
    • click View,
    • click Read Out Loud,
    • click Activate Read Out Loud

    SCTCC is not affiliated with the makers of these programs. We cannot provide technical support or promise that these programs will work for you. If you have problems installing or using any software listed on this page, please contact the makers of the software for assistance.

    Accessing Notetaker Services   Audio Recording Class Lectures    Alternative Format Textbooks   Special Advising   Testing Accommodations Procedures   Scheduling Sign Language Interpreters   Use of Service Animals

    Special Advising

    Special Advising occurs when a student arranges to meet with the Disability Counselor or Accessibility Specialist to discuss issues related to disability needs or barriers. In addition, topics such as reduced credit loads and course/teacher selection each semester can also be addressed.

    To schedule a Special Advising appointment contact:

    Judy Jacobson Berg, Counselor (jjacobsonberg@sctcc.edu, 320-308-5096)
    Or John Bjork, Accessibility Specialist (jbjork@sctcc.edu, 320-08-5757)

    Accessing Notetaker Services   Audio Recording Class Lectures    Alternative Format Textbooks   Special Advising   Testing Accommodations Procedures   Scheduling Sign Language Interpreters   Use of Service Animals

    Testing Accommodations Procedures

    A student with a disability may qualify for testing accommodations. Testing accommodations do not fundamentally alter the intent of the exam or lower the program standards. Testing accommodations are provided to ensure students the opportunity to demonstrate their mastery of the material without the barrier of a disability.

    Types of testing accommodations for which students may be eligible:

    • Tests read
      Students with print-related disabilities may qualify for this accommodation.  Tests are scanned or electronically presented and read aloud to the student using screen reading software.
    • Test scribe/speech-to-text software
      For some students, a scribe is an appropriate accommodation. A scribe is a person who writes or types answers as stated word for word. Speech-to-text software is preferred, if appropriate. To utilize this software, students must schedule a training session in advance of the first test.
    • Extended test time
      For those who qualify, the time limit of a test may be extended, usually to time and a half of the regularly scheduled limit.
    • Alternative test site
      Tests will be taken in a quiet, distraction reduced environment allowing the student an environment for better concentration.

    Student procedures to use testing accommodations

    Accommodated tests must be scheduled in advance. Test dates are usually specified in the class syllabus provided by the instructor. Neither the instructor nor the Accoessibility Specialist will remind a student of the need for a test accommodation. It is up to the student to use information provided by the instructor to make test accommodation requests every time they are desired.

    • Share your Accommodations Plan with your instructor early in the semester and discuss your intentions of using accommodations on your tests.
    • At least 3 days prior to your test please contact John Bjork, Accessibility Specialist, to schedule an appointment time to take the test. 
    • On your exam day, please arrive prepared and on time. Plan to leave all book bags, cell phones, coats, hats, textbooks and any other personal belongings outside of the test rooms.

    You are responsible for notifying your instructor and Accommodations Specialist, John Bjork, if you need to cancel or change the time/day of a scheduled exam. Exams are returned to instructors on the scheduled exam day. If you miss a scheduled test, contact your instructor to determine if rescheduling is possible. You will need to reschedule your testing appointment as well.. If there has been a problem with test accommodation arrangements for a test you’ve taken, make an appointment with Judy Jacobson Berg, Counselor for Students with Disabilities immediately to discuss the problem.

    Accessing Notetaker Services   Audio Recording Class Lectures    Alternative Format Textbooks   Special Advising   Testing Accommodations Procedures   Scheduling Sign Language Interpreters   Use of Service Animals

    Scheduling Sign Language Interpreters

    Students with disabilities who qualify for sign language interpreter services will be provided with a qualified interpreter during course/college related activities.

    To schedule interpreter services, students must:

    • Have a SCTCC Accommodations Plan documenting eligibility for the service. If no such plan is in place, refer to "Getting Started with Disability Services"
    • At least four weeks before the beginning of the each semester provide a copy of your class schedule to Anne Rhodes, Interpreter Coordinator, arhodes@sctcc.edu Rm 1-454.  Services cannot be guaranteed for late requests.  If you make any changes in your schedule, you must notify the Interpreter Coordinator immediately of the changes so that arrangements for interpreter services may be changed.
    • Schedule an appointment to meet with Anne prior to the start of the semester to discuss your interpreter needs.
    • To Schedule an Interpreter for events outside of your regular class time please use  this link: https://webapps.sctcc.edu/placement/cgi-bin/interpreter/main.pl

    Additional Interpreting Needs:

    Out of Class Testing: You may qualify for Test Accommodations and you may request to have your tests interpreted outside of the classroom. Interpreter services must be prearranged with the Anne Rhodes, Interpreter Coordinator and your testing time must be scheduled with John Bjork Accessibility Specialist at least 3 days prior to your test.

    Additional Class/Lab and Tutoring Hours: Some classes require additional lab hours or you may wish to meet with a tutor in the CAS.  You must request an interpreter one week in advance for these additional hours by contacting the Interpreter Coordinator.

    Special Requests: An interpreter will be provided for college-related activities. To schedule an interpreter for such events you must notify Anne Rhodes, Interpreter Coordinator and request an interpreter for additional hours at least one week in advance of the specified activity. Some examples of college-related activities are special presentations, meeting with teachers, workshops, field trips graduation.

    Student No-Shows: If you are late or you do not plan to attend a class, please contact your interpreter as soon as possible.  If you do not notify your interpreter of your tardiness, the interpreter will wait for 10 minutes only and then will leave:

    Interpreter No-Shows: If the interpreter does not show up for class:

    • Wait ten minutes
    • Leave the classroom and contact the Interpreter Coordinator or Counselor for Students With Disabilities
    • Return to class.  Every effort will be made to make arrangements for a substitute interpreter. This is usually not possible on short notice, Attending class could benefit you through written notes and demonstrations.

    Interpreter's Role: The interpreter will sign everything the speaker says and speak everything that is signed in the manner which the speaker or person intended.

    Interpreters will not answer questions for the student. The student should direct all questions to the instructor.

    Interpreters will keep all information obtained while interpreting confidential. (Exception: If a student is planning to harm self, others or College property, the interpreter will report this to the Counselor to Students with Disabilities.)

    Qualified Interpreters: Students have a right to a qualified interpreter. If you feel your needs are not being met, you should work with your interpreter and the Interpreter Coordinator in establishing a plan to improve services. If you feel your needs are still not being met, you should communicate with the Counselor to Students with Disabilities, Judy Jacobson Berg.

    Accessing Notetaker Services   Audio Recording Class Lectures    Alternative Format Textbooks   Special Advising   Testing Accommodations Procedures   Scheduling Sign Language Interpreters   Use of Service Animals

    Use of Service Animals

    St. Cloud Technical and Community College recognizes and supports the assistance a trained service animal can provide a student with a disability. In order for a service animal to be allowed on campus the following guidelines must be adhered to.


    Service Animal: Service Animal is defined as any dog that is individually trained to do work or perform tasks for the benefit of an individual with a disability, including a physical, sensory, psychiatric, intellectual, or other mental disability. (Other species of animals are not service animals for the purposes of this definition.)

    Work or Tasks: The work or tasks performed by a service animal must be directly related to the handler's disability. Examples of work or tasks include, but are not limited to, assisting individuals who are blind or have low vision with navigation and other tasks, alerting individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing to the presence of people or sounds, pulling a wheelchair, assisting an individual during a seizure, retrieving items such as medicine or the telephone, providing physical support and assistance with balance and stability to individuals with mobility disabilities, and helping persons with psychiatric disabilities by preventing or interrupting impulsive or destructive behaviors. The provision of emotional support, well-being, comfort, or companionship do not constitute work or tasks for the purposes of this definition.

    Individually Trained: The animal must be trained to respond to an individual's needs thus distinguishing it as a service animal. The process must have two steps: Recognition and response. For example, if a service animal senses that a person is about to have a psychiatric episode and it is trained to respond by nudging, barking, or removing the individual to a safe location until the episode subsides, then the animal has indeed performed a task or done work on behalf of the individual with the disability, as opposed to merely sensing an event. The provision of emotional support, well-being, comfort, or companionship, does not constitute work or tasks. The difference between an emotional support animal and a psychiatric service animal is the work or tasks that the animal performs.

    Control: A service animal must be under the control of the handler at all times. The college reserves the right to remove a service animal from the premises if:

    • The animal is out of control and the animal's handler does not take effective action to control it
    • The animal is not housebroken
    • The presence of the animal constitutes a fundamental alteration to the nature of the service, program, or activity of the college.

    If the college properly excludes a service animal it shall give the individual with a disability the opportunity to participate in the service, program or activity without having the service animal on the premises.  Effective alternatives will be examined with the student to accommodate access.

    The college is not responsible for the care or supervision of a service animal.

    Request Procedures

    Requests for the use of service animals at SCTCC will be reviewed on case by case basis.

    Contact Judy Jacobson Berg, Counselor for Students with Disabilities with your request. A request needs to be made in advance of the attendance of a service animal in a classroom. Upon determination of eligibility, contact will be made with the instructor(s) to notify them of the appropriate accommodation.

    The following factors will be considered in regard to the individual's access to programs and services.

    • if the animal is required because of a disability
    • what work or task the animal has been trained to perform.

    The college will not make these inquiries about a service animal when it is readily apparent that an animal is trained to do work or perform tasks for an individual with a disability (e.g., the dog is observed guiding an individual who is blind or has low vision, pulling a person's wheelchair, or providing assistance with stability or balance to an individual with an observable mobility disability).

    This guideline is adapted from The Federal Register, Sept. 15, 2010, "Guidance on Revisions to ADA Regulation on Nondiscrimination on the Basis of Disability in State and Local Government Services,'' Sec. 35.136 Service animals. and Section- By-Section Analysis and Response to Public Comments, pages 56192-56195.

    Accessing Notetaker Services   Audio Recording Class Lectures    Alternative Format Textbooks   Special Advising   Testing Accommodations Procedures   Scheduling Sign Language Interpreters   Use of Service Animals