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 email@example.com.
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 (Virtually)!
Our Testing Office is closed, but our staff are continuing to work virtually. We are available during normal university hours: 7:30-5:00pm Monday-Thursday and 7:30am- 12:30pm on Friday.
In-person appointments are not allowed. If you prefer to meet “face-to-face,” let us know and we can set up a Zoom or Microsoft Teams meeting.
Reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Note: If you are an Instructor or a student in a summer course that has been approved to meet face-to-face by the Provost and need assistance in testing on campus, contact us.
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 email@example.com to request any new accommodations. We will contact you right away to begin discussions.
Requesting Your Accommodation Letters
You will need to request your accommodation letters be sent to your instructors for the Summer 2020. Log into your AIM account through ULink to do this.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you need assistance.
Remote Testing Accommodations
Summer semester accommodations: ODS will not be proctoring exams while the University’s instruction remains remote only. Please communicate with your instructors to discuss your exam accommodations in their courses.
- Some instructors may opt for alternative assessments (e.g. essays, untimed exams) which would not require exam accommodations.
- If your instructor is creating online timed exams, please notify your instructor if you will need extended time. Instructors are responsible for setting up extended testing time in Moodle.
ODS is available to instructors and students to consult about unique circumstances.
Fall semester accommodations: As long as the university is holding face-to-face classes, the ODS testing center will be open to students who need testing accommodations.
- Remember to schedule your exam with ODS via your AIM account through ULink at least 3 days prior to the test.
Students will schedule exams per normal procedure but we will be adjusting the seating in our testing center for social distancing.
- Students will not be allowed to congregate in the lobby of the testing center. Please wait outside of the testing center to check-in for your test. There will be a check-in desk with someone who provides instructions.
- You will be required to wear a mask in our office and in the testing center.
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 email@example.com and she will work to provide accommodations.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org).
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.
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
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 email@example.com.
Please stay safe and healthy,
Office of Disability Services