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Home » Student Services » Departments » ARC - Home » Self-Advocacy


Self-Advocacy, or representing your views or interests to others, is an important part of the college experience. It allows you to take charge of your education and your academic goals. Maintaining good communication with your instructors and other campus staff will allow you to better access your approved accommodations and enhance your college experience.

These example dialogues may help you better self-advocate for your authorized academic accommodations.

Services and Accommodations

Informing instructors of your authorized academic accommodations and support services is a helpful way to ensure timely and appropriate access to your accommodations and services. You may show, provide, or email your instructors a copy of your Authorized Academic Accommodations (AAA) letter to help start a conversation about your services. It is also important to familiarize yourself with how to properly access your accommodations and services.

You may say:

“My name is __________. I am a student with the A.R.C. Here is my paperwork, which verifies my A.R.C. services and shows my authorized academic accommodations.”


“My name is __________. I am a student with the A.R.C. I’d like to discuss the approved academic accommodations I plan to use in your class. This includes: __________.”

Notetaking Assistance

Notetaking assistance is a great way to get a set of lectures notes for your personal study use. This extra set of lecture notes will come from a volunteer student in the classroom, who will act as a note-taker. This note-taker will use a no carbon required (NCR) notebook for notetaking, which will automatically create a copy that you can collect at the end of class. You are responsible for providing your note-taker with an NCR notebook, which is available free of cost at the A.R.C. front desk.

You may ask your instructor to confidentially recruit a volunteer note-taker in the classroom. Be sure to bring the NCR notebook with you when approaching your instructor.

You may say:

“I have been approved for notetaking assistance and would like to use this accommodation. Would you please help me recruit a student who takes good notes to act as a note-taker? I have an NCR notebook here for the note-taker to use.”

Audio Recording Lectures

Audio recording lectures is a great way to capture lecture material for personal study use. The A.R.C. has digital recorders you can borrow each semester. They are available in the Assistive Technology Center (ATC) in Building 70-135 (Tech Mall) while supplies last.

You may say:

“I have been approved to audio record lectures and would like to use this accommodation. I will use my recordings for personal study purposes.”

Exam Accommodations

For more information on exam accommodations, including how to use them, visit the Testing Center.

In-person classes:

You may say:

“I have been approved for exam accommodations and would like to use them. Would you please complete and sign my testing accommodations paperwork? I plan to schedule my exams and quizzes with the A.R.C. Testing Center so that my exams and quizzes may be proctored with accommodations. The exam accommodations I plan to use are: __________.”

Online classes:

For online classes, you may wish to inform your instructors of your A.R.C. accommodations and services by e-mail. In your e-mail, you may choose to include a copy of your Authorized Academic Accommodations letter.

For online classes, complete the Request for Accommodations form as outlined in Access. The A.R.C. will email each instructor your testing accommodations paperwork to complete and sign. You will not be asked to complete this step in person. It is recommended that you e-mail your instructors a gentle reminder of your exam accommodations (e.g. extended exam time) one week prior to your online exam.

As an example, you may write:

“Dear Professor __________,

I am sending you this email as a friendly reminder of my exam accommodation of extended testing time (1.5x) for our upcoming quiz/exam on Wednesday, April 16th. Please adjust my quiz/exam time in Canvas to reflect my authorized exam accommodation. Thank you.”


Last Updated: 07/08/2020


Accessibility Resource Center
Phone: (619) 644-7112
Fax: (619) 644-7980

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