COVID-19

Providing Accommodations and Access

On March 17th, all UCA classes moved to an online format. The DRC has received questions from faculty, staff, and students about accommodations and access. As we strive to provide quality support during this unprecedented time, we hope this page provides assistance and guidance.

Accommodations

Many of the barriers that exist in the traditional classroom setting may no longer be present when classes are online; therefore, fewer accommodations may be necessary to provide equal access to the student. 

Below are examples of how commonly approved accommodations may and may not apply in online classes. Please note this is not an exhaustive list. Instructors should review the accommodations listed in the students’ accommodation letter and discuss what accommodations may still be needed and how they can be provided. Accommodation letters are emailed to instructors. It is key for students and instructors to communicate regarding accommodations and barriers they may experience. As always, DRC staff are available to consult with students and instructors. Please email drc@uca.edu or call (501) 450-3613 to speak with a DRC staff member.

Classroom Accommodations

Note-Taking (including peer notes, 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 lecture content is presented through audio/video recordings and all course materials are posted online, then some note-taking accommodations may no longer be necessary. The DRC typically does not assign note-takers for online courses, unless there is a lecture component. If you have any questions about note-taking accommodations, please contact DRC Note-Taking Coordinator, Ms. Latosha Mitchell at lmitchell16@uca.edu.

Accessible Course Documents: Accessible course documents include textbooks, articles, scanned copies of books and any other assigned reading material. An electronic book/handout doesn’t necessarily mean it is accessible. An important reminder is to only copy one page of a book at a time. Double pages are typically very difficult to make accessible for students. Many electronic texts/documents are unfortunately not very keyboard friendly or accessible and may be in a proprietary format that cannot be accessed by blind students or students with specific types of motor impairment. For more information on accessible course documents please follow this link. If you have any questions about online course materials, please reach out to the Center for Teaching Excellence or Assistive Technology Specialist, Ms. Rachel Meredith at rachelm@uca.edu.

Attendance Accommodation: If online course assignments can be done in a self-paced manner, this accommodation may no longer be relevant. However, if 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. If you have questions about this accommodation, please contact DRC Director, Ms. Doris Pierce at dpierce@uca.edu

Extended Time: If a student has extended time for testing, this may also apply to activities in class, such as timed modules. 

In Class Breaks/Preferential Seating/Access to Food and Drink: These accommodations are no longer relevant since students create their own learning environment.

Transcription Services: If there is a student in your class that uses transcription services, and if you intend to host virtual live classes for the rest of the semester, the student will likely continue to use their transcription services. Please contact DRC Associate Director and Deaf/Hard of Hearing Coordinator, Ms. Robyn Smith for questions regarding Interpreting and Transcription Services at rsmith@uca.edu.

Captioning Videos: If you intend to show videos during class, including online, check to make sure the video has closed captions. Videos that are shown in online courses should have captioning, not just for the hearing impaired, but for everyone. When creating recorded lecture videos, faculty members should upload those files to either Kaltura or YouTube. This will allow students to stream the video and not have to download the entire file, which helps students with slow internet connections. Even though these video platforms create captions automatically, it is not a perfect solution. Captions created automatically are intended to be a base for creating accurate captions. Please use the following instructions when editing captions in Kaltura. Use this resource for captioning your YouTube videos.  

Testing Accommodations

University Testing will not be proctoring exams for DRC registered students with only Extra Time testing accommodations. If a student has extended test time (1.50x or 2.00x), exams and quizzes must be adjusted accordingly. Blackboard allows instructors to extend exam/quiz time for a particular student. Please follow this link for instructions.

Distraction Reduced Environment: If students are allowed to create their own testing environment, this accommodation may not be relevant. All currently registered DRC students received the following information about how to prepare their new testing environments. Please feel free to share this information with other students in your classes:

  1. Designate a testing space.
  2. Put up a “Do Not Disturb” sign.
  3. Set up space 15 minutes before start time to allow for technical issues to be resolved before test time.
  4. Know the rules of the test.
  5. Use a clock near your computer so you can track how much time you have.
  6. Utilize a lockdown browser if you are prone to checking other sites while online.
  7. Most importantly, contact your instructor if you have issues with or do not understand the above!

No Scantrons: Not relevant if Scantrons are not being used.

Online Access

As instructors develop their courses online, it is important to remember that UCA is still obligated to ensure that classes are accessible to students with disabilities. Instructors who need assistance or who have questions about moving courses online can contact the CTE and should utilize resources created by the University. Instructors are encouraged to review the Center for Teaching Excellence (CTE) resources and DRC resources when creating accessible online content.

Additional Resources Available for Faculty and Staff: