Office of Student Life

Disability Services

Managing Accommodation Requests in Your Courses

The Basics:


What's New for 2020-21?

  • COVID-19 Operational Changes: We have made several updates to our operations to support physical distancing, including adjustments to accommodated exam procedures. Click here to review our operational changes.
  • Updated Attendance and Deadline Modification (ADM) Agreement Form: This new form allows for more dynamic responses based on the relevant curricular components of the course. The new form also clarifies that smaller "weekly participation" assignments, such as discussion board posts and short quizzes, do not automatically qualify for flexibility. 
  • New Modules Now Live in AIM: You may notice two new modules in the instructor portal: the Accessible Media module and the Deaf and Hard of Hearing module. While these modules do not change your day-to-day work, they do give you more of a window into our process. You will be able to see the status of media conversion requests, as well as the names of interpreters or transcribers assigned to your classes.

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  1. After a student generates their Course Accessiblity Letter for your course, you will receive their letter via email. You can also view and manage all accommodation requests in your courses using the Instructor Portal.

  2. Review the letter for the student's accommodations. If unsure of your responsibilities for that particular accommodation, review the instructions on this page.

  3. Collaborate with the student and our office to implement the accommodation in a timely manner. Consult with the student's Access Specialist if you have any concerns about the feasibility of an accommodation in your course.

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How to Use the Instructor Portal

The AIM Instructor Portal allows you to view and manage all student accommodations in your courses. Click here to view the tutorial for the instructor portal.

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Feasibility 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 feasibility 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 our office. 

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 you to consult with us when considering retroactive requests. 

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Shared Responsibilities Summary

Students are responsible for: 

  • communicating with their instructors and our office throughout the semester
  • requesting accommodations in a timely manner
  • following accommodation procedures and expectations (as outlined in the SLDS student handbook and website)

You (as the instructor) are responsible for: 

  • communicating with students and our office throughout the semseter
  • implementing accommodations in a timely manner
  • consulting with us when you have questions or concerns about requested accommodations
  • maintaining student confidentiality

We (SLDS) are responsible for: 

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

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Accessible Media  

Students approved for accessible media require course materials in alternative formats, such as electronic text or captioned videos. Our Accessible Media team is proactively working with instructors to ensure that print materials you provide to our team are made accessible.  We work with you to ensure that Deaf/Hard of Hearing students have captions for prerecorded videos and that interpreting/transcribing services are available for real-time class meetings. The team also proactively works with instructors of blind students to discuss accessibility strategies.

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.eduYou can also contact us with any questions or material conversion requests.

For tips on creating accessible courses in Carmen, visit the Teaching and Learning Resource Center. The Digital Accessibility Center provides additional resources and can direct you to your college or unit's Digital Access Coordinator

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Animals, Disability-Related

There are three types of disability-related animals that may accompany university community members on campus: service dogs, emotional support animals (ESA), and visiting therapy animals. Each type has its own distict purpose and set of qualifications for being on campus. To learn more, review the following document: "Disability-Related Animals on Campus: Summary of University Policy."

You may see one of the following related accommodations on a student's Course Accessibility Letter:

  • Service Dog Notification: This student has a trained service dog for their disability. While prior notice is not required, the student has opted to add this notification to their letter. A service dog is generally permitted to go wherever their handler (ie. the student) is allowed to go. Service dogs are trained to be attentive and non-disruptive. Please do not attempt to pet, talk to, or otherwise distract the service dog. Remember: the dog is working.  If you have questions or concerns about this notification, please contact us.
  • Emotional Support Animal (ESA) permitted in the classroom: While ESA's are usually only approved for housing facilities, this specific student has been approved to bring their ESA to the classroom. Part of the approval process involved reviewing behavioral expectations with the student. The ESA’s behavior is considered an extension of the student’s behavior and should not be disruptive. For more information, please contact us.

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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 course design will be dynamic this term, so too will ADM agreements.  In-person, hybrid, and remote learning will also impact students’ disabilities in different ways. We encourage flexibility whenever possible, and are available to both instructors and students to consult.  

How to set up an ADM Agreement in your course: 

  1. Review our 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, our Access Specialist team is always available for consultation.

  2. Discuss potential flexibility with the student to find a balance of the student’s needs and core requirements. 

  3. If you and the student are unable to easily agree on a balance, please contact us. You should not be engaging in a protracted negotiation or debate with the student. We are happy to assist in determining reasonable flexibility. 

  4. Once decided, put the agreement in writing using the ADM Agreement Form. (Tip: Download and open the form in Adobe, not in your web browser. If you have not used Adobe for signatures before, visit Signing PDFs in Adobe for instructions.) If this form template is not conducive to your course design, you are welcome to type out a custom agreement in Word as a substitute.

  5. Email the completed ADM Agreement Form to the student for their review. The student will then email the form to for final submission. We will process the form and email a finalized copy to both you and the student.

Flexibility for Weekly Participation Assignments

  • Standard ADM agreements are intended to address disability flare-ups in which students are able to resume your academic work within 24 hours.
  • Therefore, deadline flexibility is not automatically applicable to smaller "weekly participation" assignments, such as discussion board posts and short quizzes. Students are expected to submit these assignments by the standard deadline.
  • Note: If you have timed quizzes and a student is also eligible for extended testing time (e.g. 1.5x extended time), you still need to adjust their quiz time limit accordingly
  • If a student experiences a hospitalization or significant flare-up and cannot resume their academic work within 24 hours, or if they experience a flare-up on the due date, then then student should contact you and their Access Specialist to discuss options.


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COVID-19 Temporary Approval

Due to COVID-19, some students with disabilities are encountering new barriers to their learning. To address these new barriers, we 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 screen. We are able to proctor a paper version of the exam in our office, if the student is able to visit campus. We are available to consult with you on a plan that upholds both academic integrity and equal access. 

Extended Time Increased to _____ (1.50x, 2.00x, 3.00x, 4.00x)

We have 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 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. We encourage you to be as flexible as possible with extensions and to work with students approved for this accommodation on a case-by-case basis. Our 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 us 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 Browser or some of Proctorio's settings. These features will need to be turned off for this student. We are available to consult with you on a plan that upholds both academic integrity and equal access. 

Remote Participation

Students may be approved for short-term or semester-long remote participation to mitigate a variety of environmental barriers associated with COVID-19.  Please work with the student and their Access Specialist to create remote access to the course content.

Classroom logistics for remote participation:

  1. The room should have a computer, camera and effective microphone at a quality to allow for recording.   If it does not; please contact Classroom Services to add necessary equipment. 
  2. Set up a zoom meeting for in-class time so the remote student can log on to participate
  3. For a lecture try to point the camera toward where you will lecture and share your screen for slides. 
  4. If the class is primarily group discussion, point the camera toward the class, or if there is a wall mounted monitor or screen, put zoom on it to aid the remote students participation in the discussion.
  5. Peer work might also be done with a partner in zoom (either just them in the meeting or in a breakout room).  Depending on how you pair students you might need to solicit students who have devices. 
  6. Individual meetings/coaching via zoom/phone/email.
  7. Assignments turned in via Carmen.
  8. Tests online via Carmen.

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Deaf/Hard of Hearing Access  

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

Upon student request, we will provide with a sign language interpreter or transcriber for any real-time class meetings, regardless of modality. We will reach out to instructors to discuss best practices in virtual classroom setup for the interpreting/transcription. If you will be screen-sharing videos during class, or assigning videos to watch outside of class, these videos must include captions. Please contact with any questions or material conversion requests.

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Exam Accommodations  

Operational Adjustments for AU20, SP21, SU21

In order to support the health and safety of our students and employees, we will proctor exams by appointment only for students with accommodations that necessitate in-person testing. Appointment only proctoring hours for AU20 through SU21 are Monday - Friday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. If a student in your class requests one of the following exam accommodations, you will complete a Testing Agreement (via the Instructor Portal) and the student will schedule their exam with SLDS:

  • 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. We are not proctoring these exams. Instead, these students will need to take their exam off-site utilizing Carmen or other virtual assessment method.  

Your Role in Accommodating Students with Extended Time:

For timed exams, you can choose to:

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

For extended time accommodations, you are responsible for adjusting time allotted and availability windows directly in Carmen (see directions in next section). For paper exams originally planned to be administered in-person, you 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.

Adding Extended Time in Carmen:  

First, confirm the student's extended time multiplier. You can view an individual student’s multiplier by checking their Course Accessibility Letter (sent via email). To view the extended time multipliers for all of your students, login to the Instructor Portal and click the gray button: “Courses with Eligibility” to download.

Next, apply the student's extended time using the Moderate Quiz function (for Classic Quizzes) or (for New Quizzes)

  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, you must also adjust the availability window and/or 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 from 2 p.m. - 3:15 p.m., 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 window to end at 3:45 p.m. If the student has a scheduling conflict (e.g. their next synchronous class starts at 3:30 p.m.), you would need to further adjust the availability window so that the student's accommodated exams do not conflict with their other classes.

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Notetaking Support  

Types of Requests:

  • Use of Personal Notetaking Technology/Apps (e.g. audio recorder, Notability, Sonocent, Livescribe Smartpen). If you have a no-tech or no-recording policy in your course, please make an exception to allow students with this accommodation to use their notetaking technology. Students who are approved for this accommodation signed an SLDS agreement that recordings are for their personal use only and that they are not to share the recordings. They also understand that doing so would be against SLDS procedures and a potential violation of the Code of Student Conduct.

  • Access to Lecture Slides in Advance  (so the student can use the slides while taking notes during class), or 

  • Volunteer Notetaker (You recruit a volunteer from the class; syncronous classes only)

Peer Notetakers are Only for Synchronous Courses:

The purpose of a notetaker is to assist students in capturing real-time course content, such as in a traditional lecture. Therefore, you should only recruit a notetaker in your course if it has synchronous class meetings. Courses that are asynchronous (e.g. pre-recorded lectures) typically present no barriers for students to capture content independently. If a student is requesting a notetaker for your asynchronous course, please first consult with us.

How to Recruit a Notetaker: 

If you have 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. SLDS is 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 the number of students for whom they provide notes.

  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. If there is not already an established notetaker in the class, make an announcement to the class (both during class and via email/Carmen) to recruit a notetaker. 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. If you are interested, please contact me ASAP and include in your message whether or not you currently have an on-campus job.)"

  3. Select a notetaker within 3 business days.
    • If you get one volunteer: please select them.
    • If you get multiple volunteers: university policy requires that you prioritize choosing a student who does NOT have an on-campus job.
    • If you get no volunteers: please make a second announcement at the next class meeting. If you still get no volunteers, please notify the student’s Access Specialist. They can briefly join your next class meeting to directly recruit someone. 

  4. Provide the notetaker 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 ( 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. 

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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. Differnet modes of 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:  

Lab Assistants are SLDS employees who assist with mechanical/dexterity tasks that prove inaccessible to student with a disability.

The nature of lab assitance will vary depending on the course design. We will consult with the student to determine if there is a need for a lab assistant. If a lab assistant is approved, physical distancing guidelines will need to be observed.  In some cases, the lab assistant may work with the student remotely.

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