Faculty Tips for Providing Accommodations and Instructional Continuity In an Online Platform

Instructors should review students’ accommodations and have an interactive discussion with students regarding applying for accommodations online. Please contact Student Disability Services by calling our number at 210-458-4157 or emailing us at disability.services@utsa.edu if you have any questions regarding the applicability of accommodations in different classroom platforms.

How do I make my online course accessible?

It is important to remember that UTSA is still obligated to ensure that classes are accessible to students with disabilities on all online platforms. The good news is that many of the barriers that exist in face-to-face classes may no longer be present when classes are online, so fewer accommodations may be necessary. Instructors who need technical assistance or who have technical questions about designing an accessible online course should contact the Academic Innovations Accessibility Team at  DigitalAccessibility@utsa.edu or https://odl.utsa.edu/enhancing-accessibility/

How do I apply the accommodation of “notetaking” online? (e.g. including volunteer note-takers, copies of PowerPoints, using the laptop for taking notes, and audio recording lectures)

Depending on the structure of the online course, these accommodations may no longer be applicable. If the course content is audio/video recorded and all material is posted online for use and review, then individualized accommodations may no longer be necessary.UTSA uses UTSA Panopto primarily, and we offer caption support services for free. Students can also utilize free captioning services such as YouTube captions http://bit.ly/3aLSPnK, which allows students to potentially create and download a transcript. If instructors are not sharing materials with all students, they may still need to share PowerPoints, handouts, etc. with students individually.

How do I apply the accommodations of Deadline Extension?

This accommodation is still applicable for online courses. Instructors will need to determine which assignment deadlines may be able to extend and what is a reasonable amount of extension based on the individual accommodation. SDS 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 (e.g. emailing completed assignments, etc.).

How do I apply the accommodation of Attendance Flexibility?

If online work can be done in a self-paced manner, this accommodation may no longer apply. However, if the 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 the material. The Absence Leniency Policy Tool (attached to the Accommodation Letter) may serve as a useful reference for guiding these discussions.

How do I apply for the accommodation of Extended Time?

If a student has extended time for testing, quizzes, or in-class work, this may also apply to activities in class, such as timed modules. Discuss options with Academic Innovations and the Blackboard Team on how to adjust time limits in Blackboard. Instructors are responsible for extending test times for students who qualify on Blackboard for quizzes/exams. Please consult with Blackboard Learn Video Resources https://utsa.hosted.panopto.com/Panopto/Pages/Viewer.aspx?id=e3297ee7-25f5-40c4-b3d6-abbb00d21ae5 or consult with Academic Innovations on how to extend time on an exam. More Blackboard resources could be found at  https://help.blackboard.com/Learn/Instructor/Original/Tests_Pools_Surveys/Test_and_Survey_Options#exceptions

How is Captioning/Sign Language Interpreting done in an Online Format?

SDS works with campus partners to determine how to provide language access to Deaf/Hard of Hearing students in online classes. If faculty have videos as part of your online content, please ensure they are captioned or transcripts are available. Discuss options with Academic Innovations Department at DigitalAccessibility@utsa.edu.

How do I apply breaks/seating accommodations/access to food and drink?

These accommodations may no longer apply in an online platform since students will need to manage their own learning environment.

How do I apply for a Reader for Exams?

The purpose of a reader is to ensure that the test-taker with a disability has the same opportunity as test-takers without disabilities to access the testing content. SDS recommends that instructors who have a student with a “test reader” as accommodation could audio record the test questions and ask for assistance from the Adaptive Test Center staff. However, if the test content is technical (e.g. calculus, physics, anatomy, languages, etc.) SDS recommends that the instructor or an appropriate designee serve as the reader.

How do I provide a Scribe for Exams?

For scribing, the process that SDS recommends is that a student is allowed to respond verbally to the test question for a scribe over the phone or through a zoom meeting. Faculty may ask for assistance from the Adaptive Test Center staff. If the test content is technical (e.g. calculus, physics, anatomy, languages, etc.) SDS recommends that the instructor or an appropriate designee serve as the scribe. The scribe writes the response on paper and then confirms the response. The student and scribe may want to review the response as typed on the screen, which is either emailed to the professor or completed in a real-time, online format.

Note: If faculty are not using scantron tests, “scribe for scantron” accommodations may not apply

How do I apply a “Reduced Distraction Environment?

These accommodations may not apply if students are taking online quizzes/exams from their own environments since they can choose their location and manage distractions themselves.

How do I apply for a “Computer for essays” accommodation?

These accommodations may not apply if students are taking online quizzes/exams using their own devices.

How do I apply “Adaptive Equipment for Testing?”

This accommodation may not apply if students are taking online quizzes/exams using their own devices. **It is important to ensure the format of the exam is accessible. SDS staff are available to consult if needed.

Note: These FAQs do not address all approved accommodations for students with disabilities. If students or instructors have questions about how to provide an approved accommodation within an online class, please contact disability.services@utsa.edu or call 210-458-4157.

Instructors who need assistance with creating online content should contact Academic Innovations at 210-458-2700