Office of Student Life

Disability Services

How to Implement Accommodations

After receiving a student's Course Accessibility Letter, instructors should follow the applicable steps outlined below. Please contact SLDS with questions.

These instructions have been updated to reflect the University's shift to virtual learning. SLDS also encourages both students and instructors to review our Virtual Instruction FAQ

Navigation Links (Accommodations): 

Navigation Links (General Guidance):


Update Log:

3/28/20:

  • Clarified instructor responsibility to adjust availability windows for Carmen quizzes so as not to conflict with students' extended time.
  • Added guidance for accommodating students approved for alternative formats, test assistants, or assitive technology for exams.
  • Added section on new accommodation group: "COVID-19 Temporary Approval". 

3/21/20: 

  • Updated to reflect the University's shift to virtual learning.

Accessible Media  

Students approved for accessible media require course materials in alternative formats, such as electronic text or captioned videos. 

With the move to virtual instruction, the SLDS Accessible Media team is proactively working with instructors to ensure that Deaf/Hard of Hearing students have captions for prerecorded videos and interpreting/transcribing services for real-time class meetings via CarmenZoom. The team is also working proactively with instructors of blind students to discuss accessibility stategies for online learning.

If you have students in your course who are utilizing accessible media, please notify our Accessible Media Team of any added materials by contacting slds-altmedia@osu.edu

For tips on creating accessible courses in Carmen, visit the SLDS and Virtual Instruction FAQ. Please contact slds-altmedia@osu.edu with any questions or material conversion requests. 


Attendance/Deadline Modifications (ADM)

Due to unpredictable flare-ups of their disability, this student is approved for a reasonable amount of flexibility with excused absences, make-up exams, deadline extensions, and participation points. Each course has its own unique design and learning outcomes. Therefore, this accommodation requires careful consideration and an open dialogue between the student, instructor, and SLDS.

As you adapt your course for virtual instruction, ADM agreements will also shift. Distance learning will also impact students’ disabilities in different ways. SLDS encourages flexibility whenever possible. We are available to both instructors and students to consult.  

ADMs in Common Courses 

Some ADMs in common courses are managed by course coordinators instead of the instructor. See the Common Courses - Contact List page. 

How to set up an ADM Agreement in your course: 

  1. Review the Guidance for Instructors on Managing ADM Requests (Word doc). This document outlines expectations for both students and instructors and provides a structure for determining reasonable flexibility. While this document should provide you with a solid foundation for the next steps, SLDS Access Specialists are always available for consultation.

  2. With the student, discuss potential flexibility to find a balance of the student’s needs and core requirements. 

  3. Please contact SLDS for consultation if you are unable to easily agree on a balance. You and the student should not be engaging in a protracted negotiation or debate. SLDS staff are happy to assist in determining reasonable flexibility. 

  4. Once decided, put the ADM agreement in writing. The agreement can be documented in a Word Document, through email communication, or with our ADM Agreement Template (PDF).  SLDS will accept email confirmation in lieu of handwritten signatures during the University's virtual instruction.

  5. The student should email the completed ADM agreement to Disability Services via email within the first few weeks of the course or soon after registering with Disability Services. After processing the agreement, Disability Services will send an electronic copy to the instructor and student via email. 

COVID-19 Temporary Approval

Due to the transition to virtual instruction, some students with disabilities are encountering new barriers to their learning. To address these new barriers, SLDS may approve students for the following temporary accommodations:

Accessible Format for Exams: Paper-Based

A student approved for this accommodation is unable to take a traditional, time-limited exam using a computer. While this does prove to be a logistical challenge with all-virtual assessment, SLDS staff are available to consult with you on a plan that upholds both academic integrity and equal access. SLDS supports having the same level of academic integrity in place for all students in a course.

Generally, SLDS recommends the following procedure:

  1. The instructor uploads the exam to BuckeBox
  2. A few minutes prior to the exam, the instructor grants Viewer access to the student
  3. The student prints the exam on camera (using Proctorio/Zoom to record or remote proctor in via Zoom)
  4. The student takes the exam on camera
  5. The student scans or photographs their completed exam on camera and emails the files to the instructor (or uploads to BuckeyeBox)

Extended Time Increased to _____ (2.00x, 3.00x, 4.00x)

SLDS has temporarily increased this student's extended time multiplier for quizzes/exams. Please use this larger multiplier when adjusting a student's time allotted and the availability window in Carmen.

Flexibility for Assignment Deadlines

Due to the unanticipated disruption to this student’s home/learning environment and how that negatively impacts their disability, this student is approved for a reasonable amount of flexibility with assignment deadlines. SLDS encourages instructors to be as flexible as possible with extensions and to work with students approved for this accommodation on a case-by-case basis. SLDS staff are available to consult if this student’s overall progress in the course becomes a concern.

Flexible Test Administration Windows

This student requires a flexible testing window for their online quizzes/exams. This is typically due to how the student’s home environment or time zone negatively intersects with their disability at the regularly-scheduled exam time. Please discuss the specific flexibility needed with this student and contact SLDS with questions.

Lockdown Browser Features Turned Off for Online Assessments

This student’s exam accommodations (e.g. test assistant, assistive technology) are not compatible with lockdown features such as LockDown Browser or some of Proctorio's settings. These features will need to be turned off for this student. SLDS staff are available to consult with you on a plan that upholds both academic integrity and equal access. SLDS supports having the same level of academic integrity in place for all students in a course.


Deaf/Hard of Hearing Access  

Includes Interpreting/Transcribing Services, Assistive Listening Devices (ALDs), and captioned videos 

Upon request, SLDS will provide a student with a sign language interpreter or transcriber for any online classes with real-time meetings. SLDS will reach out to instructors to discuss best practices in virtual classroom setup for the interpreting/transcription.

If you will be screensharing videos during class, or assigning videos to watch outside of class, these videos must include captions. Please contact slds-altmedia@osu.edu with any questions or material conversion requests. 


Exam Accommodations  

Extended time on exams as an accommodation generally only applies to traditional, time-limited exams. If you have adapted your virtual course to offer alternative methods of assessment (e.g. essays, non-timed exams, project work), then a student’s extended time may no longer be applicable. We encourage to speak with registered students if that is the case. 

SLDS will be unable to proctor exams while the University’s instruction remains online only. All exams should be administered online or through other remote assessment methods by faculty. Academic departments are responsible for setting up extended testing time and testing windows in Carmen and ExamSoft.

Students who would still like to use alternative formats, test assistants, or assistive technology for testing may have unique barriers with remote assessment and compatibility with lockdown features. SLDS has proactively reached out to students who had previously requested those accommodations to discuss options. If a student reaches out to you about these accommodations, please don't hesitate to reach out to SLDS for consultation.

Please communicate with your students to discuss their exam accommodations in your courses. SLDS is available to instructors and students to consult about unique circumstances.

Confirming Extended Time Multipliers (1.5x, 2x, etc.)

You can view an individual student’s extended time multiplier by checking their Course Accessibility Letter (sent via email). You can also view the extended time multipliers for ALL of your students by following these steps: 

  1. Log in to Disability Services’ Instructor Portal.  
  2. Click the gray button: “Export Student Courses with Eligibility” 
  3. View the column “Extended Time 1.50x” to see all students eligible for 50% extended time. 
  4. Depending on the students in your classes, you may see additional columns for 2.00x, 3.00x, or 4.00x time extensions. 

Adding Extended Time in CarmenCanvas:  

Use the Moderate Quiz function

  1. Once your quiz is published, look at the quiz page (From the list of quizzes, click the link for the quiz, but don't click the button to edit it).   
  2. Along the right-hand side, you will see the option to Moderate this Quiz.  From here you can see quiz progress and, depending on your settings, give additional attempts or additional time.
  3. If you have set your quiz to have a limited testing window, please be sure to adjust the availability/due dates so that they do not conflict with your student's extended time. For example, if you have a 60 minute quiz only available to take within a 75 minute window, then for a student with 1.5x extended time you would need to both (A) change the time allotted to 90 minutes and (B) adjust the availability/due dates to at least a 90 minute window. 

Adding Extended Time in ExamSoft:

Instructors/departments must work with their ExamSoft point-of-contact to apply extended time. For questions, please email examsoft@osu.edu.  


Note-Taking Assistance  

The Note-Taking Assistance accommodation includes the three following options: 

  1. Note-Taking Technology (e.g. audio recorder, Notability, Sonocent, Livescribe Smartpen) 

  2. Instructor-Provided Notes such as a copy of the slides or a lecture outline (provided only with instructor approval), or 

  3. Volunteer Notetaker (Instructor recruits a volunteer from the class; typically only provided for real-time/syncronous class meetings)

How to Recruit a Notetaker: 

  1. Make note of the name and email address of the SLDS-registered student who made the request. You will need to reference this information after identifying a notetaker. 

  2. Make an announcement to the class (via email) to recruit a notetaker. In this announcement, please do NOT reveal the name of the student with a disability. We suggest saying: "Disability Services is recruiting a volunteer to be a notetaker for this course. Being a notetaker is an opportunity to help Disability Services provide equal access to a college education for all students. As a notetaker, you’ll be emailing a copy of your notes after each class period. You will be compensated either with a stipend $25 per credit hour or by receiving a certificate of your volunteer hours. Please email me if you are interested." 

  3. Once a notetaker is identified, please provide the volunteer with (1) the name and email address of the SLDS-registered student who made the request, and (2) this link to the SLDS “Note-Taker Instructions” page (https://go.osu.edu/notetaker). It is ok (and necessary) for the note-taker at this point to know the identity and contact information of the SLDS-registered student so that they can coordinate logistics. 

Participation Access  

Includes alternative method for class participation or presentations; audio descriptions for visual content; breaks during class; food/water medicine in the classroom; lab assistant; spelling error flexibility; and voluntary contributions during class 

Accommodations in this group may modify how a student participates and contributes to the learning environment due to a disability-related barrier. Online instruction can present different barriers and disability-related concerns for students. If a student requests this accommodation in your course, please reach out to them to discuss their specific concerns and how these accommodation/s could best be implemented. For questions or consultation, contact SLDS. 

Lab Assistants for Virtual Instruction:  

SLDS will approve lab assistants for virtual instruction on a case-by-case basis. Lab Assistants are SLDS employees who assist with mechanical/dexterity tasks that prove inaccessible to student with a disability. Once you have clarified how the lab component of the course will function via virtual learning, the student and SLDS will consult to determine if there is a need for a lab assistant. If a lab assistant is approved, SLDS will make arrangements to have a lab assistant work remotely with the student.   


Reasonableness and Timing of Requests

Please view a student's accommodation letter as a conversation starter to determine how best to provide an accessible learning environment. If you have other ideas regarding how to create access for your course beyond what is listed in this letter, we encourage you to speak with the student to explore alternative modifications. You are also welcome to consult with our office to discuss course design, learning objectives and reasonable access options. 

If you have any concerns about the reasonableness of an accommodation in your course, please contact us. We want to learn more about your course design and collaborate on a plan that works for everyone. Note: It is important to never deny a student's accommodation request without first consulting with SLDS. 

Students can register with SLDS and/or request accommodations in a course at any time during the semester. However, students are expected to make proactive requests within a reasonable timeframe. Accommodations are designed to be implemented at the point of request moving forward. Retroactive accommodations are typically only given at instructor discretion. We encourage instructors to consult with SLDS when considering retroactive requests. 


Shared Responsibilities Summary

Students are responsible for: 

  • communicating their accommodation requests in a timely manner
  • following through with accommodation procedures
  • maintaining communication with their instructors and SLDS throughout the semester


Instructors are responsible for: 

  • Communicating with students/SLDS and implimenting accommodations in a timely manner
  • notifying SLDS when there are questions or concerns about requested accommodations
  • maintaining the confidentiality of SLDS-registered students in their courses


SLDS is responsible for: 

  • approving/training registered students for using accommodations
  • providing services and accommodations in a timely manner
  • consulting with instructors on how to best implement reasonable accommodations