Office of Student Life

Disability Services

COVID-19 Operational Changes

This page summarizes our operational changes related to COVID-19.

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Connect Virtually

To promote physical distancing, we encourage students, instructors, and others to connect with us via phone or virtual appointment whenever possible. Access Specialists will conduct all student appointments via phone or Zoom. All in-person visitors and our on-site staff are required to wear face coverings, per university policy.


AU20 Hours of Operation

  • Phone calls and virtual appointments (strongly encouraged): Monday - Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. 
  • In-person drop-ins (not preferred): Monday - Friday, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
  • Exam Services proctoring hours: Monday - Friday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
  • SLDS Computer Lab: Closed.

Accommodated Exams - Operational Adjustments

In order to support the health and safety of our students and employees, we will only proctor exams for students with accommodations that necessitate in-person testing. Modified proctoring hours for AU20 are Monday - Friday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. Students requesting any of the following accommodations may schedule to take their exams at our office:

  • Accessible formats (e.g. braille, large print, screen-free)
  • Assistive technology (e.g. JAWS, CCTV)
  • Private testing room (not "small-group setting")
  • Test assistant (reader or scribe)

The majority of students with exam accommodations are only approved for extended time and a small-group testing space. These students will need to take their exam off-site utilizing Carmen or other virtual assessment method.  We will not be proctoring these exams.

Instructor Role:

For timed exams, instructors/departments may choose to:

  • offer unproctored, open-book exams,
  • proctor the exams themselves via Zoom,
  • utilize proctoring software such as Lockdown Browser or Proctorio, or
  • choose to offer an alternative assignment (such as an essay) in lieu of timed exams, if the student is also in agreement.

For extended time accommodations, instructors are responsible for adjusting time allotted and availability windows directly in Carmen. For paper exams originally planned to be administered in-person, instructors are responsible for creating an electronic version of the exam in Carmen.

Academic integrity measures for an accommodated exam must be equitable to those for the standard exam. For example, if the rest of the class will not be proctored when taking their exam, then students with exam accommodations should also take their exam unproctored.

Exceptions Process:

  • Students who have a disability-related concern about the setup for their exams should contact their Access Specialist to discuss their concerns. Exceptions will be approved on a case-by-case basis.
  • Instructors or departments who have concerns with virtual test administration should contact our Exam Services team. Exceptions will be approved on a case-by-case basis. Concerns about academic integrity or the labor required to convert a test to Carmen will not be considered as reasons for an exception.

New "Managing Accommodation Requests" Page

We now offer a comprehensive how-to page for instructors on managing accommodation requests. These instructions are updated for AU20. Visit our Managing Accommodation Requests page to learn more.


Student COVID-Related Accommodation Requests

The university is committed to supporting students and program participants with COVID-19 based risk factors. We at Disability Services, in conjunction with the Office of Institutional Equity, will work with students who are most vulnerable to complications from COVID-19 to ensure that they have the necessary resources to participate in university life as safely as possible.


Updated Syllabus Statement with COVID-19 Addition

We have updated our recommended syllabus statement to include the process for requesting COVID-related accommodations:

The university strives to make all learning experiences as accessible as possible. In light of the current pandemic, students seeking to request COVID-related accommodations may do so through the university’s request process, managed by Student Life Disability Services.  If you anticipate or experience academic barriers based on your disability (including mental health, chronic, or temporary medical conditions), please let me know immediately so that we can privately discuss options.  To establish reasonable accommodations, I may request that you register with Student Life Disability Services.  After registration, make arrangements with me as soon as possible to discuss your accommodations so that they may be implemented in a timely fashion. SLDS contact information: slds@osu.edu; 614-292-3307; slds.osu.edu; 098 Baker Hall, 113 W. 12th Avenue.


 Requesting/Recruiting Peer Notetakers

Given the diversity of course delivery methods this academic year, we wanted to provide students and instructors with a few clarifications about the peer notetaker request and recruitment process.

  • Peer notetakers are typically not applicable in asynchronous courses. The purpose of a notetaker is to assist students in capturing course content they otherwise would miss due to the synchronous nature of traditional lectures. Therefore, instructors should only recruit a notetaker in their course if it has real-time/synchronous class meetings. Courses that are asynchronous (e.g. pre-recorded lecture modules) typically present no barriers for students to take notes independently. Students who want to request a notetaker for an asynchronous course should first contact their Access Specialist.
  • If an instructor has already identified a note-taker in the class for one student, then that same notetaker should be assigned for any other students who make a request. We are only able to compensate one notetaker per course section. A notetaker's stipend is based on the credit hours for the course and stays the same regardless of their number of assigned students.

Instructors: To review the full notetaker recruitment instructions, visit our “Managing Accommodation Requests” page.