In light of the recent developments and directives with COVID-19, we recognize that we are all feeling a little bit outside our element. We have come together to provide some special considerations and guidance to support you as you plan for a shift to alternative methods of instruction to ensure alignment with ADA/Section 504. In general, the Accessibility Services Center recommends flexibility with course requirements and consultation with ASC to help address individual instructional, student service, or student needs. Please use these guidelines as you are implementing the online format.
When translating accommodations to the online environment, a key factor is whether faculty will choose to maintain their class schedules while meeting virtually (synchronous online learning) or will they move to flexible schedules that allow students to log in at times of their choosing (asynchronous online learning). When working with the ASC office, please ensure that we have this information.
Statement to Include on Canvas or via Email to Students
With the abrupt transition to the online format, I have made every effort to make this course accessible to all students, including students with disabilities. If you encounter a problem accessing anything in this course, please contact me immediately by email so that I can support you. You may also contact the college's Accessibility Services Center at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Exercise Flexibility During and After the Transition
- During the transition to alternative methods of instruction and while classes are still conducted on-campus, offer flexibility with attendance without specifically authorized ASC accommodations.
- Accommodations that were originally designed for face-to-face courses may need to be adapted/updated for online environments – this may mean creativity in the design and delivery of accommodations.
- Alternative projects/assignments, alternative submission methods, and flexibility with due dates should be considered.
- All adjustments/accommodations will be individually determined on a student-by-student basis (not all students with disabilities will need adjustments or the same type of adjustment).
- If a student who is not registered with our office is communicating disability-related barriers in the online format, please support them to the extent possible and refer them to us for accommodations.
Consider Accommodations for Deaf/Hard of Hearing Students
- We will be corresponding directly with faculty who have Deaf and/or hard of hearing students in their courses to provide more specific support and guidance.
- Online interpreting or live captioning can be provided for Deaf students where indicated.
- All videos or live instruction will need captioning and all audio files will need transcripts when Deaf and/or hard of hearing students are enrolled in a course. Zoom is recommended for live/synchronous streaming videos. For Deaf students or students with significant hearing impairments, sessions can be captioned if a request is submitted in advance. A transcript should be requested for each session and provided to the students. The ASC office will assist Deaf students with these requests.
- All videos and PowerPoint presentations with audio must contain accurate captions. Links to third-party content, such as YouTube videos or documents must be accurate. For assistance with adding captions, click here.
Tips for Creating Accessible Online Course Content
- All instructional materials must be accessible in accordance with legal mandates. Word and PowerPoint formats are recommended over PDF.
- Canvas offers users clear, easy to use accessibility design guidelines.
- Immersive Reader built into Canvas enhances the user experience by improving accessibility and boosting reading comprehension.
- The ASC/IT departments are available to support the conversion of materials into alternate media for students who are authorized for this accommodation. Instructors can assist this effort by ensuring that materials posted online are accessible.
Tips for Online Assessments/Exams
- Canvas has a feature that allows you to adjust a student’s online quiz/exam time corresponding to the amount of extended time authorized by ASC (typically 1.5 times or “time and a half” or 2.0 or “double time”). For information on how to adjust quiz/exam times please refer to tutorial link on how to adjust the time in Canvas.
- Faculty may consider alternate methods of assessment that do not include timed exams.
Note Taking Accommodations
- Provide summary notes for any synchronous lecture or student interaction that is not archived/recorded and available for repeat viewing.
- Post lecture materials on Canvas.
We’re Here to Help You and We Understand
- We have heard from students, experienced it as staff, and understand the position of faculty. This is a stressful time. Adapting quickly to new styles of teaching, new technology, and blending work life and home life has many challenges.
- Be aware that many of our students are not just students, they are parents and care-takers of parents and possibly siblings. They may also have unstable living situations, making it difficult to structure their time and space in a conducive way of learning.
- Keep this in mind during communication with students, as well as when making decisions about class structure and assignments. Students have expressed frustration with finding supportive learning spaces, working through technology issues, and managing home relationships, oftentimes while maintaining employment or lack thereof. Please take care of yourself and have grace for others. Many concerns can be used as learning opportunities through communication between professors and students.
We know that you probably have many more questions, and we want you to know that we are available for consultation via email or Zoom meeting. Please consult the following if you need more information pertaining to the following:
- If you would like to further discuss how to implement accommodations, have questions surrounding your course, or need assistance, contact Michelle Koch and Michelle Shafer at sending an email to email@example.com.
- If you or your students are encountering problems with your device, login issues, or something is otherwise "not working", please contact the IT Help Desk by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Zoom and Canvas have built-in help features. Zoom guides can be accessed at support.zoom.us. Canvas has 24/7 live support that can be accessed by clicking the "Help" option in the left side navigation within Canvas.
- If you have a specific question related to using instructional technology ("how to's" with regards to using G Suite, YuJa, iPads, Respondus, Turnitin, Canvas, Zoom, etc.) you may contact Liz Tate directly at email@example.com for assistance via email or phone, or to set up a 1:1 Zoom meeting for something more in-depth.
- If you have a specific question related to best practices or design when incorporating technology into your course, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. This will send an email to our instructional design team (Sarah Rentz and David Castaneda), who will then assist you via email, phone, or Zoom meeting.
- For instructions on how to add time accommodations for a Canvas quiz or exam, click here.