Student Disability Services

University of Mississippi

COVID-19 Transition Information for Faculty

Accessibility and Accommodations in Remote Classes
As we transition from in-person to remote instruction, Student Disability Services (SDS) wants to assure instructors that the department remains available to provide support in ensuring courses remain fully accessible to students with disabilities. No matter how well designed an academic experience is, accommodations may still be necessary, though they may look different than in the traditional, in-person classes. SDS is committed to collaborating with instructors and academic departments on accommodation issues that may arise during this transition.

Instructors are encouraged to contact SDS at 662-915-7128 or sds@olemiss.edu with any questions or concerns related to accommodations in remote environments. SDS also invites instructors to provide suggestions and input related to this transition. We will update the content on this webpage as needed.

Communication

Communication between instructors, students, and SDS is critical to ensuring the continuation of accommodations as courses transition to an remote environment. During this difficult time, instructors are strongly encouraged to maintain contact with students who receive accommodations.

Students with disabilities may experience challenges unrelated to accommodations. Intensified stress and anxiety during this time may impact the ability of some students to function as they have in the past and those students will likely require extra support and encouragement.

For instance, many students with disabilities require more structured learning environments than are required by the typical student. In addition, some students depend on very strict routines that will be interrupted by this transition. Remote classes may be especially challenging to these students because the classes are less structured and require more self-direction and time management. The transition to less structured environments and the interruption in routine may create significant difficulties for these students with disabilities.

Testing Accommodations

  1. Extended Time
Extended time should not create an issue for remote classes. Test time can be individually set through Blackboard. If using a different Learning Management System (LMS) other than Blackboard, please ensure that test time can be individually set. If time cannot be set individually, please contact FTDC for technical support and SDS for assistance identifying possible alternatives.

  1. Readers for Tests
The SDS Testing Center will continue to provide reader services for students approved for, and requesting, this accommodation tests and exams. SDS staff will provide reading services via Zoom Video Conferencing.

Students requesting a reader for tests and exams must still request the accommodation through Rebel Access. Instructors will also still use Rebel Access to complete the Testing Agreement. Questions regarding test readers should be forwarded to the SDS Testing Center at sdstesting@olemiss.edu.

  1. Memory Aids
Students approved for, and requesting, memory aids on tests are still required to submit a draft of the memory aid, in advance, to the instructor for review and approval.

  1. Adaptive Technology
There are a number of students registered with SDS who use adaptive technology/software when testing. Patience may be needed on the part of instructors if these students are experiencing difficulty accessing adaptive technology/software from home. Students may not have personal versions of these technologies/softwares. If that is the case, SDS and the University will provide students with temporary licenses; however, this may take time, especially if the student’s personal computers are not compatible with the accessible technology/software. Instructors are encouraged to explore alternative ways to evaluate student knowledge to avoid these issues from occurring.

BROWSER BLOCKERS – No browser blockers used on campus are accessible to adaptive technology or software programs. Browser blockers that restrict internet access also restrict access to features provided by adaptive technologies and software programs.

Students who require the use of adaptive technology or software must be allowed to take their tests without a browser blocker. As an alternative, instructors can use Proctorio, an AI-based test proctoring solution that is available campus-wide at no cost to students. Information about Proctorio can be found on the Keep Teaching web-page at https://elearning.olemiss.edu/faculty/academic-continuity/.

Notetaking

Notetaking will not be an issue unless the remote class has a lecture component. If instructors build lectures into their remote classes, notes must still be provided to approved students requesting the accommodation.

Notetakers who are already assigned to a class will continue to upload their notes to Rebel Access, allowing students approved for notes to easily download the notes for use. SDS will continue to reach out to instructors for assistance in recruiting notetakers in classes in which a notetaker has not already been identified.

Instructors can choose to transcribe their lectures and script voiced PowerPoint presentations. These transcripts will suffice as notes. If an instructor chooses this option, and uses automatic captioning/transcribing services, such as provided by YouTube or Zoom, the instructor is strongly encouraged to review and edit the transcripts because mistakes in translation will occur.

Reasonable Modification of Attendance Policies

Remote classes utilizing discussion boards that act as in-class participation time might be exempt from this modification. When engagement between peers is important for topics discussed and for the class to move forward to new topics, a modification of attendance might not be reasonable. Instructors should contact SDS at 662-915-7128 with any questions or concerns regarding how this modification transfers to a remote class.

Accessible Format Reading Materials

SDS will continue to provide students approved for this accommodation with accessible formats of any textbooks required for class. Instructors are responsible for ensuring materials uploaded to their online learning system are accessible to students requiring this accommodation.

Comprehensive resources for creating accessible formats can be found at https://accessibility.olemiss.edu. Instructors with questions can contact Jennifer Bland, Accessibility Specialist at accessibility@olemiss.edu or Jim Weier, Adaptive Technology Specialist at jaweier@olemiss.edu.

Live Classroom Captioning

Currently no students have requested live captioning in the classroom. This may change because audio quality decreases in a remote environment. Approved students who have not had difficulty understanding in-person lectures may find themselves struggling to understand remote lectures. If requested, SDS will arrange live captioning for remote lectures.

Post-Production Captioning

SDS will continue to communicate with Jennifer Bland, Accessibility Specialist, if students request captioning of videos that are posted online. For more information, instructors are encouraged to contact Jennifer Bland at accessibility@olemiss.edu.

ASL Interpreting

Interpreting services will be provided on an as-needed basis through a virtual platform (i.e. Zoom). Students and instructors requesting interpreter services will submit requests through the Rebel Access interpreting portal at https://sds.olemiss.edu/rebel-access-portal/. It is strongly recommended that requests for interpreting be made as early as possible so interpreters can be secured and assigned.

Additional Resources

Additional resources will be added to this page.

Link to UM Creed Link To SDS Instagram PageLink To SDS Twitter PageLink To SDS Facebook Page Link to Donate to SDS