Academic Accommodations

Academic accommodations are determined on an individualized basis through an interactive process that involves student self-disclosure, documentation of disability, and an initial meeting with a Disability Specialist.

Renew Accommodations for the Current Semester

Students who are already approved for academic accommodations must renew them at the start of every new semester. This process gives students the chance to review their accommodations and decide which accommodations to activate for each of their current classes. Completing the Semester Request also sends a notification to their course instructors and allows them to review and sign the students’ accommodation letters. Complete your Semester Request through the MyWeingartenCenter student portal.

How to Submit a Semester Request

Request an Additional Accommodation

Students who are already approved for accommodations can request additional accommodations at any time during their Penn career by completing a Supplemental Accommodation Request. An additional accommodation may be needed when a student’s disability or medical condition changes over time, or when a new course presents unique accessibility barriers or challenges. Complete a Supplemental Accommodation Request through the MyWeingartenCenter student portal. After completing the Supplemental Accommodation Request, the student should also schedule a 25-minute follow-up appointment with their Disability Specialist to discuss the new request.

Testing Accommodations

Students who are approved for test-taking accommodations should speak with their course instructor early in the semester about how to handle these accommodations. Some course instructors prefer to arrange a place and time to give their exams with accommodations themselves. In many cases, it is preferable for the student to test through Disability Services. 

Students who wish to take their accommodated tests through Disability Services must schedule each quiz, test, or exam at least eight days in advance through the MyWeingartenCenter student portal. All tests proctored through Disability Services will take place in the Center for Accommodated Testing, located in the Holman BioTech Commons (3610 Hamilton Walk). The Center for Accommodated Testing is located one floor down from the main entrance on the blue level. Students are encouraged to visit the center prior to their first exam.

How to Schedule a Test

Disability Services offers drop-in hours every Monday – Friday, 10am – 4pm in the Weingarten Center (Stouffer Commons – 3702 Spruce St., Suite 300) during the fall and spring semester. Students can stop by and speak with a graduate assistant for test-scheduling assistance and questions.

Note: Students in Penn Law, Penn Dental, Penn Vet, Perelman School of Medicine, Penn Engineering Online, or Wharton MBA programs should make all arrangements for test accommodations with their School’s Disability Services liaison.

Note-Taking Accommodations

Disability Services offers an array of note-taking support options to eligible students. All student who are approved for note-taking accommodations should monitor their emails for communication from the note-taking services team. Students must reply to the email from the note-taking services team before the Disability Services staff will take any action.


If you have any questions or want an update on the status of your request, please contact us.

There are three options to fulfill your note-taking accommodations. 

Option 1: Note Taking Express

  • Note Taking Express allows students to use a mobile app or laptop browser to audio record their class lectures, submit these recordings, and receive professionally curated notes 48 hours after the lecture.
  • Students receive notes created for them in a timely manner. It also allows students to oversee their own notetaking process, as they can communicate through the help chat with their notetaker. Notetakers are assigned based on their specialty in that subject.
  • Note Taking Express is the fastest and easiest option for note-taking support.

Option 2: Peer Note Taker

  • Disability Services recruits and hires another student in the class to share their notes.
  • The process is anonymous. The note taker uploads their notes to the MyWeingartenCenter student portal for the student to access.
  • The recruitment and hiring process for peer note takers can take up to several weeks to complete.

Option 3: Note-Taking Technology

  • Disability Services offers note taking technology tools to support the student in being more independent with their own note taking.
  • A Live Scribe pen is a digital audio recorder that synchronizes the audio file with written notes.
  • To play back a selection from the recording, simply tap the written note on the paper.
  • The Notability app features the same note taking support for a tablet and stylus. OneNote offers the same capabilities on a laptop.

Note: Students in some professional school courses (Law, Vet, Dental, etc.) cannot utilize Note Taking Express.

Sign Language Interpreting and Real-Time Transcription

Students who are approved for sign language interpreting or real-time transcription for communication access will receive these services through Disability Services. Disability Services staff will request the student’s class schedule at least one month in advance of the start of each semester and find coverage for each class meeting through one of the university-approved agencies. Requests for one-time events that require sign language interpreting or real-time transcription for a student can be directed to the Disability Services email account.  

More information about the university’s guidelines for communication access can be found on the Web Accessibility website.