Services for Current Students
Please be advised that accommodations are effective the day the instructor received the accommodation letter; accommodations are not retroactive. The accommodation memo must be delivered as soon as possible at the beginning of the semester. Some accommodations are time sensitive and may be delayed if you are late in submitting your accommodation memo to the instructor.
Additional information about our services is available via the following tabs:
Sign Language Interpreters
Requests for sign language interpreters for classes should be made at least two weeks in advance. Late requests may impact the availability of having an interpreter on the first day of class. If you are utilizing an interpreter and your schedule needs to change, the change should be reported immediately to the DSS Office, which will make changes to the interpreting schedule in a timely manner.
Individual Proctoring Service
As soon as your counselor determines that you will need proctoring services beyond what the Test Center can provide, the Disability Support Services (DSS)/Student Support Services Program (SSSP) Office will notify the Individual Proctoring Service (IPS) by forwarding your accommodation memo.
The DSS/SSSP counselor will check to see if the IPS coordinator is available for an immediate appointment. If the coordinator is not available immediately, an appointment will be confirmed for a later date.
- Scheduling a Test using IPS
- To use this service, you must have already signed a copy of the Procedures for Using the Individual Proctoring Service with your DSS counselor.
- If you need to schedule a test, please use our online request form. Most of the fields on the form are mandatory, so make sure you have the necessary information and follow the format of each field. The form also has the timeline for scheduling tests. If you have problems with the form, please call the Assistive Technology Specialist at 443-518-3266.
After you submit a request, you and your instructor will get a confirmation email listing the information you submitted. If you discover an error, please send an email to the Assistive Technology Specialist, DSStests@howardcc.edu, with the correct information.
Assistive Technology Information
Assistive technology is available for Howard Community College students who are registered for credit classes and have documented physical or learning disabilities. Before the beginning of a school term, eligible students should contact the Disability Support Services Office to make an appointment to talk with a disability counselor.
After talking with a counselor and determining what accommodations are needed, you should contact Cristina Finan at 443-518-3266 to arrange for training on the appropriate technology available. Some assistive computer programs may take time to learn, depending upon how computer literate you are. It is best to learn the assistive technology before starting classes. Basic computer instruction is also available through open entry courses offered in the Office Technology classroom. Occasionally, the Learning Assistance Center has an individual experienced with teaching basic computer skills available. If you are interested in receiving this assistance, call the Learning Assistance Center at 443-518-1320 to make arrangements.
Alternate Format Materials
All students seeking to have course materials in accessible format must first meet with their DSS counselor and have it added to their list of approved accommodations. Also, students must be registered for classes at HCC. The DSS office can only provide accessible materials for HCC classes. Course materials include textbooks, course handouts distributed on paper and/or on Canvas, as well as tests and quizzes.
The accessible formats provided by DSS require the use of special software. Howard Community College uses Firefly by Kurzweil to deliver and read materials in accessible format. Firefly gives our students the ability to access their accessible materials using their desktop computer or tablet. A connection to the Internet is required. You must meet with the Assistive Technology specialist at HCC to set up your Firefly account.
What you need to do:
- If your list of accommodations does not include ‘materials in accessible format’, make an appoint with your DSS counselor.
- Meet with the Assistive Technology Specialist to set up your Firefly account. At this meeting, the Assistive Technology specialist will provide an orientation to the process.
- Several weeks before the beginning of the semester, fill out the Alternative Media Form. The earlier you order your books, the better. Depending on the publisher, it might take time to acquire the files and convert them to the appropriate format. You will this form for course material distributed by the instructor.
- To request books in accessible format, you do not have to have already purchased/rented the books; however, the files for the accessible format will not be made available to you until the you have submitted proof of purchase/rental. Instructor provided material does not require proof of purchase/rental.
- You may submit your proof online to, email@example.com, by taking pictures of the cover, copyright page, and receipt. The pictures need to be high enough quality for the technicians to read the print.
- Alternatively, you may bring the book and receipt to RCF 345 after you have submitted the request form. A technician will have to be available, so it is prudent to call ahead.
- You will access books and materials in accessible format through your Firefly account. For books and materials requested before the beginning of the semester, technicians will move books to your Firefly account during the first week of class--if you have provided proof of purchase/rental. If you submit a request for the accessible format after the start of the semester, the materials will be added to your Firefly account as soon as they are converted--provided you have already submitted proof of purchase/rental.
- Request form for converting materials: Link for ordering accessible materials
- Firefly (requires HCC Firefly user id):
- Desktop (PC or MAC): www.fireflybykurzweil.com
- App (Android or Apple): search “firefly k3000” in the app store
- Kurzweil 3000 installation instructions for desktop/laptop computers (requires HCC Firefly user id):
- If you have any questions, please contact Cristina Finan, Assistive Technology Specialist and Individualized Proctored Testing Coordinator, at firstname.lastname@example.org.