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Reasonable Accommodations for Disabled Players

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This page is a draft which has yet to be reviewed by the Tournament Committee. When it is complete, its contents will be moved to the page on Special needs and this page will be redirected to that one.

The Tournament Committee maintains this list of reasonable accommodations for disabled players, handicapped players or players who otherwise have special needs affecting their ability to play according to regular SCRABBLE rules.

Applying for an Accommodation

Players who are unable to play SCRABBLE games according to the regular rules may apply to the Tournament Committee for an accommodation. If a player was awarded an accommodation by the NSA, the Tournament Committee will honor that accommodation. Otherwise, the Committee will consult with the player to determine a reasonable accommodation and list it below. Players who are dissatisfied with the accommodation offered by the Committee may appeal the Committee’s decision to the Advisory Board.

Director Responsibilities

Directors are responsible for choosing venues which do not pose undue obstacles to any of their players. For example, barring unusual circumstances, clubs and tournaments should be accessible by wheelchair.

Directors are responsible for full and accurate disclosure of any accessibility issues in their club or tournament advertising.

Directors are responsible for implementing their part of any accommodation described below, such as stationing a player at a fixed table throughout a session.

Directors are responsible for explaining accommodations to the opponents of players with special needs.

Directors are responsible for ensuring that players with special needs are treated with respect and without discrimination at their clubs and tournaments.

Player Responsibilities

Players are responsible for alerting their directors in time their accommodation status to be verified with the Committee.

If a player is accommodated by being granted permission to bring an assistant or special equipment, the player is ultimately responsible for ensuring the presence of the assistant or equipment, even though most directors will do their best to help provide them.

Accommodation List

Players may request that they not be identified by name below, but may find it convenient to be listed so that directors can verify their status.

If an accommodation involves an assistant or special equipment, a player is entitled to remain at the same table throughout a session, except when playing another accommodated player.

If an accommodation involves an assistant, then a player’s instruction to an assistant is considered equivalent under the rules to the player performing the instructed action. The assistant must be approved by the director.

Category Accommodation Players
Auditory disability (moderate) ?  
Auditory disability (severe) Player may require opponent to announce scores by entering them into a calculator provided by the player; opponent is entitled to two extra minutes of clock time if this accommodation is made.  
Cognitive disability (mathematical, moderate) ?  
Physical disability (mobility) Player will be assigned to the same table throughout a session; the table will be as close to the exit or toilet as possible. If the player cannot easily able to move to a word judge laptop, staff should adjudicate all word challenges in the player’s games.  
Physical disability (manual dexterity) An assistant may perform any necessary actions. If the disability is partial, a player may be granted up to five additional minutes of clock time per game.  
Religious restrictions (observes Jewish Sabbath) An assistant (shabbos goy) may perform any necessary actions. Player may keep score by moving two bookmarks in a book approved by the director (“Dr Spock’s Baby and Child Care” is acceptable, but OSPD4/OWL are not). Blank designation and tile tracking may be performed using a separate set of scrabble tiles, clearly different from those used in the game; a tile is set aside to designate a blank.  
Visual disability (moderate) Player may use high-contrast or large-print tiles regardless of opponent’s preference. Player may bring own light source, or be stationed at the table with the brightest available light. A player who is not able to clearly view the entire board may be granted up to five additional minutes of clock time per game.  
Visual disability (severe) Player may use Braille tiles, Braille board and Braille writer. Player may be granted up to five additional minutes of clock time per game. Staff should adjudicate all word challenges in the player’s games.