Memory Aids

Memory aids are carefully approved by DRS counselors as a disability-based academic accommodation. However, students with disabilities that severely impact processing and/or memory in one or more cognitive domains may qualify for the memory aid accommodation. If a student presents medical documentation, coupled with a completed Needs Assessment which verifies the need for a memory aid accommodation, the student’s DRS counselor notify the faculty member(s) of this accommodation. Depending on the uniqueness of the disability, the content of the course, course expectations set by faculty, and the type of assessments or exams designed by the faculty, memory aids may appear differently.


The purpose of a memory aid is to stimulate memory. It may be helpful to visualize the memory aid as a list of driving directions to the destination (the memory itself). The memory aid is a uniquely designed reference to trigger memory that will not be useful to a student unless the student spends sufficient time learning and processing course material and concepts. A memory aid may be a mnemonic device, diagram, list of personalized cues, or a mind-map, among other examples. The memory aid is created by the DRS student, however, both the size and the content of the memory aid must be approved by faculty in advance of the exam. It is the DRS student’s responsibility to coordinate with their faculty to agree upon a reasonable timeline and procedure for designing and submitting memory aids for approval. We generally recommend a submission timeline of no fewer than three business days ahead of the scheduled exam, to allow for requested revisions.


If you have any questions about a memory aid accommodation, please contact DRS. We are available to assist you and to clarify any aspect of the accommodation process.

Page Updated 11.22.2017