- Resources for Accessibility in Online Classes
- Mask Requirements and Accommodations
- Accommodations in Online Classes
- Classroom Accommodations
- Testing Accommodations
Resources for Accessibility in Online Classes
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Mask Requirements and Accommodations
Wearing a recommended protective face mask at all times when inside university buildings will be mandatory except when alone in a private office, eating in a campus dining facility or when students are in their own residence hall rooms. A recommended protective face mask while outdoors is encouraged.
Students who are unable to wear masks because of a physical or mental health condition should contact Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD). SSD will work with students to identify options for them to participate safely in UT’s programs and services. An exemption from wearing a mask is not considered a reasonable accommodation due to the threat to the health and safety of others.
Instructors should be familiar with UT’s guidance on regarding mask requirements and non-compliance.
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Accommodations in Online Classes
Below are examples of how commonly approved accommodations may and may not apply in online classes. Please note not all accommodations are listed below. Instructors should review students’ accommodations (available via the SSD Instructor Portal) and discuss with the student what accommodations may be needed and how they can be provided.
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Notetaking Accommodations (including copy of notes, access to slides, using laptop for taking notes and audio recording lectures): Depending on the structure of the online course, these accommodations may no longer be relevant. If course content is audio/video recorded and all material is posted online then individualized accommodations may no longer be necessary. If instructors are not sharing materials with all students, they may still need to share slides with students individually. Some instructors have created a folder in UT Box and shared the link with students and SSD’s notetaking platform is still available for students to use.
Flexible deadlines: This accommodation is still relevant for online courses. Instructors will need to determine which assignment deadlines may be able to be extended and what is a reasonable amount of extension. SSD is able to offer guidance if needed. If online submission platforms close on the deadline, instructors will need to offer students alternate ways of submitting work (such as emailing completed assignments).
Flexibility with attendance: If classes are asynchronous, this accommodation may no longer be relevant. However, for synchronous classes where content is not recorded and available for viewing later or if there is an interactive component to the class instructors will need to work with students to discuss options for making up work or gaining access to material. The Attendance Policy Addendum (attached to the Accommodation Letter) may serve as a useful reference for guiding these discussions.
Extended time: If a student has extended time for testing, this also applies to activities in class, such as timed modules. See this link for how to adjust time limits in Canvas. SSD has also created a PDF with instructions to add extended time for students in Canvas Quizzes for this process. Extended time does not apply to assignments/exams that take place over several days.
If there is a student in your class that uses live transcription services (CART), and if you are hosting virtual live classes, the student will likely continue to use their CART services. For classes held on Zoom or any other video conferencing platform, the student should pass along the conference link to their captioning provider, and the captionist will participate as a student would to receive audio. The captionist will then provide live captions to the student privately through the chat screen.
If you intend to show videos during class, including online, check to make sure the video has closed captions. If they are not and captioning is needed, there is a captioning department on campus that transcribes materials such as videos and podcasts. To get this material captioned you will need to fill out a request form (found on their website: https://captioning.lib.utexas.edu/ ). You should let them know that this is for a Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing individual and an ADA request. They prioritize these requests and there will be no cost to your department. Please keep in mind that their turnaround is between 2-5 business days.
Sign Language Interpreting
If there is a student in your class who uses sign language interpreters to communicate, the student will use interpreter services during live lectures. For classes held via Zoom or any other video conferencing platform, the student will pass along the conference link to their interpreters, and the interpreters will participate as a student would to receive audio. The interpreters will then interpret the lecture through the conference video screen.
Breaks/seating accommodations/access to food and drink: These accommodations may not be relevant in online classes since students can manage their own learning environment. Be aware that students may turn off their cameras to facilitate these accommodations on their own.
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**In the interest of prioritizing the health and safety of our faculty and students, whenever possible instructors should have students take exams remotely/electronically or give take-home exams. To reduce the spread of Covid-19, the SSD office will only be proctoring tests on a case by case basis. To inquire about arranging in person accommodated exams with SSD, instructors should contact email@example.com. More information on fall 2020 exam guidance.**
Instructors will need to provide relevant testing accommodations to students via the online testing platform they are using. Information about creating online assessments can be found here. See below for which accommodations may still be relevant for instructors to provide.
Reduced distraction environment: This accommodation is not relevant if students are taking online quizzes/exams from with their own environments since they can choose their location and manage distractions themselves.
Extended time for testing: All activities with a time limit need to have extended time (1.5x or 2x) adjusted accordingly. Extended time does not apply to assignments/exams that take place over several days. Canvas allows you to adjust the time limit for specifics students. See this link for how to adjust the time in Canvas. SSD has also created a PDF with instructions to add extended time for students in Canvas Quizzes for this process.
Computer for essays: This accommodation is not relevant if students are taking online quizzes/exams using their own devices.
Adaptive equipment for testing: This accommodation is not relevant if students are taking online quizzes/exams using their own devices. **It is important to ensure the format of the exam is accessible. SSD staff are available to consult if needed.**
No Scantron: This accommodation is not relevant if Scantrons are not being used.
Breaks/Food and Drink: These accommodations may not be relevant if students can manage their own testing environment. However, if tests are using a proctoring service instructors will need to account for breaks as part of the approved accommodations.
This page does not address all approved accommodations. If students or instructors have questions about how to provide an approved accommodation within an online class, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Instructors who need assistance with creating online content should utilize the resources provided by the University: https://facultyinnovate.utexas.edu/instructional-continuity
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