Supporting student accommodations in the virtual learning environment.

With the rapidly evolving nature of the COVID-19 outbreak, we must exercise as many precautions as are reasonable to reduce the potential of person-to-person transmission of COVID-19. Our students, faculty, and staff are on the front lines of many of the efforts to contain this outbreak.

More information about transferring from a face-to-face course to a virtual online environment is provided on the ITS Academic Continuity Preparation site. There are training guides and how-to videos on utilizing the LMS, Zoom, and other resources for the virtual learning environment.

The Division of Diversity and Innovation also offers important considerations in maintaining equity and inclusion in virtual learning environments.

The library has also provided information on student resources for virtual learning, as well as guidance for obtaining technical support. The information on this site is evolving, please be sure to reference it often.

Please be sure to check in with your students about their access needs around online material. They may have not disclosed these previously if the course was primarily in person. They may need screen reader access, reduced screen time, live transcription, or other measures. The following provides some context and resource planning for students with accommodations.

Do you have students in your class for whom you’ve received an accommodation letter?

Student Ability Success Center (SASC) will continue to provide academic accommodations and services to students who are registered with our office and will continue to accept applications for services. Students are encouraged to email their SASC counselor directly should they anticipate needing additional accommodations based on virtual instruction. There are also a number of resources and guidance for instructors on the SASC website as well.

How do you accommodate virtually?

ITS is working closely with SASC to help streamline the transition of accommodations from face-to-face to the virtual environment. The following individuals are able to assist students and faculty with these specific accommodations:

Deaf and hard of hearing access.

Deaf students vary in communication preferences, and accommodations change across settings and context. When classes move from in-person to online, expect changes in accommodations as well. Accommodations for synchronous (everyone online at the same time) versus asynchronous (at your own pace) style courses will also vary. Students who normally use sign language interpreters should continue to communicate course information, changes, needs, and/or concerns to [email protected]. Instructors, please be sure to coordinate with SASC and the ASL interpreter as appropriate to ensure continuity of instruction. The ASL interpreters will be able to provide valuable insight on how best to support our Deaf and Hard of Hearing students.

LIVE (Synchronous):

  • Requires remote captioning.
  • If live, it is best to use Zoom.
  • Zoom requires a link where the instructor (host) accepts the Captioner.
  • Click on closed caption and assign someone to caption which should be already be in place, coordinated with SASC.
  • Once assigned, the Captioner can join the meeting remotely and control the captioning capabilities in real-time.

SELF-PACED (Asynchronous):

  • Students can access the class on Blackboard (or Canvas if the instructor is in the pilot program) for assignment deadlines and studying at their own pace.
  • Students follow instructions on how to complete assignments and how to submit assignments.
  • There may also be chat rooms for students to interact through online discussion posts.
  • There may also be videos which will need to be Captioned prior to posting.
  • This option does not have a need for remote Real-time Captions.

Students who take accommodated exams.

Due to the campus shift of staff and faculty working remotely, the Test Accommodation Center (TAC) will be closed. TAC staff are currently reaching out to those students and their instructors who have tests scheduled to see to find more appropriate alternative solutions.

TAC has provided guidance on adding extended-time for exams. For more complex examinations, students and faculty are encouraged to coordinate together on an appropriate solution.

For any questions, please reach out to Peter Vu, Test Accommodation Coordinator ([email protected])

Students who use alternative media or assistive technology.

The SASC High Tech Center will also remain open with modified hours for students who require access to alternative media and assistive technology. However, this may change as we receive further guidance from campus leadership regarding any COVID-19 updates. Please be sure to visit the SASC High Tech Center for updated hours of operation.

Encourage students to communicate regularly as needed with their SASC counselor. Students should continue to communicate concerns and/or needs directly to their SASC counselor throughout the remainder of the semester.

If students are unsure of who their counselor is, they should email any requests to [email protected]. Please note, any requests may require a follow-up phone or virtual meeting with their counselor.

Currently, students may schedule virtual meetings with our counselors via SASC Connect. WorkAbility IV, TRIO SSS, and the High Tech Center will also continue services and you may contact the respective offices to schedule meetings or request services. These meetings will potentially be held in a virtual capacity, please be sure to email the offices for further guidance.