Before Class


Memory Aid Accommodation


Memory aids are testing accommodations that support students with documented cognitive issues related to a disability. It is a tool used to trigger information that a student has studied but may have difficulty recalling due to cognitive processing deficits.  This can be due to a variety of reasons, such as memory deficits, traumatic brain injury, medical treatment (e.g. chemotherapy and medications). 




Memory aids give students equal opportunities to demonstrate their knowledge in a testing situation by lessening the impact of their disability. It is not intended to provide students with the answer. This accommodation is not intended to reduce academic requirements or alter the standards by which academic performance is assessed.




The contents of a memory aid are at the instructor’s discretion and should not reduce academic requirements or alter the essential requirements of the course. Only the instructor can determine whether a memory aid compromises the integrity of the course.




What is Memory Aid?


A memory aid is due to the discretion of the instructor.  Every instructor is different and may decide what constitutes a memory aid.  Here are some examples of memory aids:


Pictures                       Video clips                   Index cards                  Notes                                                Classwork


Textbook                     Charts                          Formula sheet              Instructor-made memory aid (most popular)






What is the Memory Aid Accommodation Process?




1) In the beginning of the semester, when the student and instructor sit down to go over all of the accommodations, they will discuss:

    • If the instructor will be creating a memory aid for the student
    • Or if the student will be creating the memory aid, they will discuss:
      • What type of memory aid would be appropriate for the class (e.g. one side of 3x5 index card, one page double spaced, one page from reading passage, novel, etc)
      • What type of content is allowed on the memory aid (e.g. pictures only, formulas only, acronyms only, etc)
    • How many days the student will submit the memory for approval (e.g 5 days before exam)
      • At this point, the instructor may request edits and have the student resubmit it by a certain deadline

2) Once the instructor approves the memory aid:

  • A picture or word copy of the approved memory aid will be emailed to the DRC proctoring team at as soon as possible – preferably 3 days before the proctor appointment, so that we can print it out for you.  If it is on an index card, we still would like a copy in case the index card gets lost.  It is highly recommended that you also cc your professor in this email! 
  • OR the student will give the professor the approved memory aid and the instructor will attach it to the exam when they deliver it to the DRC.  (However, it is highly recommended that a picture of the memory aid be taken by the student in case the memory aid is lost in transit). 

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