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COVID-19 Response & Updates

We are experiencing truly unique times. To keep you updated, we would like to share the following information concerning our office regarding your accommodations related to COVID-19 and remote learning.

We are following guidance from the Association of Higher Education and Disability while planning for the summer and fall semesters. The health and safety of our students, employees, and visitors are of the utmost importance to the University.

If you have questions about how the Office of Disability Services is handling safety for COVID-19, email us at disability@louisiana.edu.

Visit the University's COVID-19 response website for more information about how the University is responding to the COVID-19 pandemic and ensuring the health of all students and employees.

We Are Open!


FALL 2020 OFFICE PROCEDURES:

We have installed plexiglass shields at both counters.

Due to the size of our waiting room, we are asking only one visitor at a time in our lobby. If you need to speak to someone face to face, please wait outside of the main office door until you notice the lobby is clear. You can also call us at 482-5252 to let us know you are waiting or if you prefer to wait in the larger lobby of the building. Someone will come out to greet you. Alternatively, you can access the “Let Us Know You’re Here” feature in ULINK under the academic tab (Disability Servies section).

We are still available to meet with students by appointment and can conduct meetings over ZOOM, TEAMS or via phone. Please email disability@louisiana.edu if you wish to schedule a meeting.

All other accommodation requests, scheduling of exams, note taker accommodation, and requests to send accommodation letters will be handled via our AIM program, per usual.

ACCOMODATION LETTERS:

You may now go into the AIM portal to request your accommodation letters be sent to faculty. Though you make the request today, they will be released to faculty at the end of the week. Remember, faculty are not required to provide accommodations until they have received your accommodation letter.

TESTING CENTER PROCEDURES:

Due to health and safety regulations, the current mandate from our Governor, and the available space for use at ODS, we can only allow 12 students to test in a single time block. Students will be booked on a first come first served basis.

The allotted time blocks are as follows:

Monday-Wednesday-Friday:

8:00-9:15, 9:30-10:45, 11:00-12:15, 12:30-1:45, 2:00-3:15 and 3:30-4:45

Tuesday & Thursday:

8:00-9:55, 10:00-11:55, 12:00-1:55, and 2:00-3:55

For as long as we are required to reduce the number of students in the testing center, we will be open on Friday afternoons for testing.

Exams will need to be scheduled with ODS via your AIM portal 3 days in advance due to testing center limitations. We recommend scheduling your exam as soon as you know the date and time.

If you are unable to acquire a seat in the testing center at the time of your scheduled exam, please book the next available seat that works with your schedule.

Arriving To Take Your Exam:

When you arrive to Agnes Edwards Hall, for your scheduled exam:

Use your phone to access ULINK. If you do not already have the UL Lafayette app on your phone, you may want to install it as it makes it easier to get to ULINK.

Go to your ULINK under the Academics tab to access Let Us Know You’re Here (under the Disability Services Section)

Complete the information

Wait for us to contact you via your preferred contact method

Enter the office immediately once you receive confirmation to enter.

When you are called into the lobby, you will check in at the front counter per usual.

We will have a cart and small basket for you to leave your cell phone and book bag. Book bags and cell phones will be moved to the exit area of the office once you go back for your exam.

We will relay all pertinent exam information to you at that time (time allowed for the exam, permitted materials, etc).

You must have all necessary materials with you to take your exam. Please bring with you everything you need (pencil, pen, blue book, calculator, scantrons, etc). We will be unable to loan or provide you with these materials.

There will be assigned seating and your exam will be waiting for you on the desk. You must be seated in the designated area as the testing center will be modified to account for social distancing.

All areas of the desk will be wiped down prior to your exam and once you leave the table.

You will enter the testing center through the main door (per usual) BUT you will exit through the side door nearest the computer lab. We will have signs to direct you. Once you walk down the hallway, we will have a desk set up with a staff member to collect your exam and get your belongings back to you.


FINAL EXAMS (Saturday November 21-Wednesday November 25):

As you know, the dates for final exams have been moved to November (see above). We will conduct final exams in the Student Union per our normal process. More information with details will be sent out to you as the date gets closer.

We are in critical need of students to SCHEDULE final exams with ODS as soon as you know the date and time. This information should be on your syllabus. If not on your syllabus, please consult with your professor. Now more than ever, we need these numbers so we can make arrangements with the student union staff as space is critical and we need to account for social distancing. You will receive several emails from our office asking you to schedule your exams.

A FINAL WORD:

As we learned in March, things can change in a heartbeat. All of the information listed above is subject to change at any moment. We will be sure to communicate any change in our policies or procedures as soon as we make them. Please reach out to us if you have any questions or concerns about your accommodations as soon as they arise by emailing us: disability@louisiana.edu.

 

Information for Students

Registering with ODS

To request accommodations for your disability, please continue to register with ODS using our online application. We are still taking documentation and will be scheduling phone/Skype appointments for accommodations meetings.

Requesting Additional or New Accommodations

For some students, the switch to remote instruction will create barriers and will require new accommodations. If that is the case for you, you can request new accommodations.

Go to your AIM account through ULink and fill out the "Additional Accommodation Request" form OR email disability@louisiana.edu to request any new accommodations. We will contact you right away to begin discussions.

Receiving Notes from Volunteer Notetakers

You may find that you no longer need a note-taker in your remote courses. For example, lectures that are prerecorded videos can be watched at your own pace. On the other hand, some instructors may still opt for scheduled class meetings with real-time communication.

Regardless of your decision to continue receiving notes, all established note-takers will receive priority scheduling.

We know and understand that there will be unique circumstances for some of you depending on your disability, approved accommodations, and changes in instructional methods. This situation is new to all of us. We will handle each situation as it arises and we ask you to be patient as we work through them. The best way to communicate with ODS staff at this time is via email and/or phone.

Captioning & American Sign Language Interpreting

If you need remote ASL interpreting services or Captioning please let Dr. Landry know immediately at carol.landry@louisiana.edu  and she will work to provide accommodations.

COVID-19 Resources

In the wake of COVID-19, we've developed the following resources for you:


Information for Faculty

Disability Services Information for Faculty

We acknowledge the significant effort required to quickly adapt your courses to online instruction. We want to collaborate with you to ensure that access for students with disabilities is maintained through this transition. Some students may encounter disability-related barriers with online instruction or assessment (e.g. students who use assistive technology, students with medical limitations on screen usage). ODS staff are available for consultation regarding best practices and accessibility. (Phone: 337-482-5252; Email: disability@louisiana.edu).

Below are some tips to keep in mind as you are creating virtual course content (adapted from DO-IT):

  • Use clear, consistent layouts and organization schemes for presenting content, and make instructions and expectations clear for activities, projects, and assigned reading. 
  • Offer outlines, scaffolding tools, and adequate opportunities for practice to help students learn.
  • When selecting new materials, try to find videos that are already captioned, and articles that are available in a text-searchable format (meaning you can highlight and search the text within the document).
  • Images can be made accessible to blind and low-vision students by providing captions or inserting alt text into the image. Use large, bold fonts on uncluttered pages with plain backgrounds and color combinations that are high contrast. 
  • Provide flexibility and understanding as this experience may cause disruption to the student’s home life and available resources – which may negatively impact a student’s disability symptoms.

View another resource for designing accessible online courses.

Exam Accommodations & Proctored Online Exams

Extended time on exams as an accommodation generally only applies to traditional, time-limited exams. If you decide to offer alternative means of assessment (e.g. essays, non-timed exams, project work), then a student’s extended time may no longer be applicable. We encourage you to speak with registered students if that is the case.

ODS will only administer exams due to disability barriers with no virtual accessible option.This will be decided on a case by case basis. Please communicate with your students to discuss your exam accommodations in your courses.

Extended Time on Moodle Exams

View Instructions for extending time on Moodle exams.

Prior to setting the time, please consult your accommodation letter for each student which states how much time the student is approved for. Most students have time and a half, however, some students are approved for double time.

Allowing Students to Register & Request Accommodations

As long as we are conducting classes (face to face or remotely) we are required to allow students to request accommodations. Our registration process will look a little different at this time but it’s possible you will continue to receive an accommodation notice from a student who has just signed up for services. 

We know and understand that there will be unique circumstances for some of your students depending on the disability, approved accommodations, and changes in instructional methods.  So much of what we do is determined on a case by case basis under ordinary circumstances and will especially be the case during this time. We will handle each situation as it arises and we ask you to be patient as we work through them.

The best way to communicate with ODS staff at this time is via email at disability@louisiana.edu.


Please stay safe and healthy,
Office of Disability Services