In light of recent events, many UT classes may be moving to an online format. As instructors begin considering how to migrate their classes online, it is important to remember that UT is still obligated to ensure that classes are accessible to students with disabilities. The good news is that many of the barriers that exist in face to face classes may no longer be present when classes are moved online and so fewer accommodations may be necessary. Instructors are encouraged to incorporate best practices related to Universal access when creating online content and to consider any new barriers that may be created by moving classes online. Instructors who need assistance or who have questions about moving courses online should utilize the resources created by the University.
Below are examples of how commonly approved accommodations may and may not apply in online classes. Please note not all accommodations are listed below. Instructors should review students’ accommodations and discuss what accommodations may still be needed and how they can be provided.
It is important for students and instructors to continue to communicate regarding accommodations and barriers they may experience. SSD staff are available to consult with students and instructors as needed.
Notetaking Accommodations (including 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 course content is audio/video recorded and all material is posted online then individualized accommodations may no longer be necessary. If instructors are not sharing materials with all students, they may still need to share slides with students individually. Some instructors have created a folder in UT Box and shared the link with students and SSD’s notetaking platform is still available for students to use.
Flexible deadlines: This accommodation is still relevant for online courses. Instructors will need to determine which assignment deadlines may be able to be extended and what is a reasonable amount of extension. SSD 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 (such as emailing completed assignments).
Flexibility with attendance: If online work 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. The Attendance Policy Addendum (attached to the Accommodation Letter) may serve as a useful reference for guiding these discussions.
Extended time: If a student has extended time for testing, this may also apply to activities in class, such as timed modules. See this link for how to adjust time limits in Canvas.
Captioning/Sign Language Interpreters/Captioning Videos: SSD is actively working with campus departments to determine how to provide language access to Deaf/Hard of Hearing students in online classes. If you will be adding videos as part of your online content ensure they are captioned or transcripts are available. More information will be provided as it becomes available.
Breaks/seating accommodations/access to food and drink: These accommodations are no longer relevant since students can manage their own learning environment.
**If classes are moved online, SSD will no longer proctor exams in our office. Instructors will need to provide relevant testing accommodations to students via the online testing platform. Information about creating online assessments can be found here. See below for which accommodations may still be relevant for instructors to provide.**
Reduced distraction environment: Not relevant if students are taking online quizzes/exams from with their own environments since they can choose their location and manage distractions themselves.
Extended time for testing: All activities with a time limit need to have extended time (1.5x or 2x) adjusted accordingly. Canvas allows you to adjust the time limit for specifics students. See this link for how to adjust the time in Canvas.
Computer for essays: Not relevant if students are taking online quizzes/exams using their own devices.
Adaptive equipment for testing: Not relevant if students are taking online quizzes/exams using their own devices. **It is important to ensure the format of the exam is accessible. SSD staff are available to consult if needed.**
No Scantron: Not relevant if Scantrons are not being used
Breaks/Food and Drink: Not relevant if students can manage their own testing environment
This web page does not address all approved accommodations. If students or instructors have questions about how to provide an approved accommodation within an online class, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Instructors who need assistance with creating online content should utilize the resources provided by the University: https://facultyinnovate.utexas.edu/instructional-continuity