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Spelling Assistance on Exams

Spelling Assistance is when a student is allowed to use a dictionary or other spelling-assistive device during an exam.

Spelling assistance allows a student to obtain corrective feedback on their spelling so they can focus their efforts on the content of the exam instead of spending mental energy on spelling. Students may use dictionaries, computers, or teaching assistants for spelling assistance. A student should consult with faculty to decide how the student will receive spelling assistance.



The student has a responsibility to inform the services for students with disabilities office if they think they need spelling assistance, to communicate with faculty about their needs, and to alert the services office if there are any problems obtaining spelling assistance.


Faculty should coordinate with the student to provide them with spelling assistance in a manner that maintains their privacy and confidentiality.


The services for students with disabilities office is responsible for determining a student's need for spelling assistance, for notifying the faculty of a student's right to spelling assistance, and for facilitating communication between faculty and the student.


Related Functional Characteristics

Hearing Loss : Spelling assistance is provided to students who primary language is American Sign Language.

Deafness : Spelling assistance may be needed when the student's primary language is American Sign Language.

Processing Deficit (Visual) : Students who reverse or rotate letters and numbers may need spelling assistance in order to adequately demonstrate their knowledge on an exam.

Processing Deficit (Auditory) : Students with auditory processing deficits may not need extended time but spelling errors may need to be forgiven when they take exams or do writing assignments in class.

Production (Written) : Students who have poor spelling may need spelling assistance so they can focus on the quality of thoughts in their essays rather than the spelling and word choice.

The Building Accepting Campus Communities (BACC) project was funded by the US Department of Education Office of Secondary Education grant #P333A080070-09. The University of Nebraska does not discriminate based on gender, age, disability, race, color, religion, marital status, veteran's status, national or ethnic origin, or sexual orientation.