Introduction to Course Accommodations
Please consider 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 encouraged 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 ODS 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.
I want to learn more about...
HOw to manage accommodations in my course
Overview. After a student generates their Course Accessibility 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. Important Note: At present, the AIM Instructor Portal for Exam Services is only applicable to Columbus Campus courses. Review the letter for the student's accommodations. If you are unsure of your responsibilities for that particular accommodation, contact our office. Collaborate with the student and our office to implement the accommodation in a timely manner. Consult with Ruth Montz at email@example.com or (330) 287-1247 (voice) if you have any concerns about the feasibility of an accommodation in your course.
Accessible Media. Students approved for accessible media require course materials in alternative formats e.g., electronic text or captioned videos. Our office works proactively with instructors to ensure that print materials you provide to us are made accessible. We will also work with instructors 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. If you have students in your course who are utilizing accessible media, please notify us of any added materials by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also contact us with any questions. 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 the CFAES Digital Access Coordinator.
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 distinct 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 course accommodation letter. Service animals are trained to provide an active task (e.g., environment navigation) that mitigates impacts of the student’s disability. No approval, request, documentation, or proof of training is required. If a service animal’s role is not apparent, you can ask the student (1) “Is that a service animal for a disability?” and (2) “What service does it perform for you?” Service animals are generally dogs or rarely, miniature horses. Service animals are generally permitted anywhere their handlers (students/guests) are permitted on campus (exceptions may exist for health/safety); if you have a concern, consult with OSU ADA Coordinator’s Office.
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 at email@example.com or (330) 287-1247 (voice).
Attendance/Deadline Modification (ADM). Attendance and Deadline Modification Agreements enable approved students to receive reasonable amount of flexibility in regards to attendance, assignment deadlines, make-up quizzes/exams, and participation points. There are 3 types of ADM agreements: One-Off Flexibility as Needed, Intermittent Flex Plan, and Remain-In-Class Plan. Each course has unique instructional design and learning outcomes. The 3 types of ADM agreements enable us to ensure ADM agreements are grounded in course curricula while reducing a student's disability-related barriers in regard to attendance and deadlines.
One-Off Flexibility as Needed: ODS will make note of this accommodation internally, but you do not need to make a proactive plan. In the rare event that a registered student does have an acute episode, we will work directly with you to handle the situation on a case-by-case basis. Intermittent Flex Plan: The Intermittent Flex Plan is intended to address disability-related flareups and/or disability-related medical appointments in which students are able to resume their 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. Instructors will complete a Qualtrics Form, the link is go.osu.edu/flexplan and the link will also be included at Course Accessibility Letters for eligible students. Instructors will complete the Intermittent Flex Plan for their course. The Intermittent Flex Plan is completed for the course, so there is no need to consult with the student prior to completing the Qualtrics form. After submitting this Qualtrics form, our office will email the completed form to instructors and students. If you have any questions contact Ruth Montz at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Remain-In-Class Plan. The remain-in-class plans is intended for students experiencing extended episodes (e.g., hospitalization or significant disability-related episode.) are developed on an individual basis for students who experiences a hospitalization or significant disability-related flare-up. Disability Services will work with you to identify strategies to provide opportunities for the student to keep learning. Some accommodations may include asynchronous participation or an incomplete. Disability Services will only make a student eligible for a remain in class ADM plan if they actually notify our office that they are experiencing a prolonged disability-related episode or treatment which necessitates a remain in class plan.
COVID-19 Temporary Accommodations. Due to COVID-19, some students with disabilities are encountering new disability-related barriers to their learning. To address these new disability-related 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 or at Proctorio.
• Flexibility for Assignment Deadlines. Due to the disruption to this student’s 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. We 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 our office to create remote access to the course content.
Classroom logistics for remote participation:
• The room should have a computer, camera and effective microphone at a quality to allow for recording. If it does not; please contact us.
• Set up a zoom meeting for in-class time so the remote student can log on to participate.
• For a lecture try to point the camera toward where you will lecture and share your screen for slides.
• 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 student’s participation in the discussion.
• 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.
• Individual meetings/coaching via zoom/phone/email.
• Assignments turned in via Carmen.
• Tests online via Carmen.
Deaf/Hard of Hearing Access. Includes Interpreting/Transcribing Services, Assistive Listening Devices (ALDs), and captioned videos. Upon student request, disability services will provide 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.
Exam (Test/Quiz) Accommodations. Students with exam accommodations may opt to take their exam with accommodations in the classroom or online (e.g., CARMEN, Proctorio). The majority of students with exam accommodations are only approved for extended time/distraction reduced space. Typically, students with only these exam accommodations will opt to take their exams in the classroom or online setting. If a student in your class requests their exams to be proctored at Disability Services, you will complete an ODS Testing Agreement and the student will schedule their exam with Disability Services. You can opt to complete one Testing Agreement form for the entire semester. Otherwise, you will need to submit a new Testing Agreement for each test/quiz to be administered at disability services.
Notetaking Support. There are three types of requests for notetaking support accommodations.
• Use of Personal Notetaking Technology/Apps (e.g., audio recorder, Notability, Glean App). 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 ODS Notetaking Support 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 ODS procedures and a potential violation of the Code of Student Conduct.
• Access to Lecture Slides in Advance. The purpose of access to slides in advance is so that the student can use the slides while taking notes in class.
• Volunteer Notetaker. The purpose of a notetaker is to assist students in capturing real-time course content, such as in a traditional lecture. We will consult with you to identify a peer-notetaker. 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.
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. If a student requests this accommodation in your course, please reach out to them to discuss their specific concerns and how these accommodations could best be implemented. For questions or consultation, contact us at email@example.com or (330) 287-1247 (voice).
Lab Assistants: Lab Assistants are ODS employees who assist with mechanical/dexterity tasks that prove inaccessible to a student with a disability. The nature of lab assistance will vary depending on the course design. We will consult with the student to determine if there is a need for a lab assistant. In some cases, the lab assistant may work with the student remotely.
how to use the aim 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. Note: At present time, the AIM Test Module is only available for courses offered by the Columbus campus.
exam (quiz/test) administration
Students with exam accommodations may opt to take their exam with accommodations in the classroom or online (e.g., CARMEN, Proctorio). The majority of students with exam accommodations are only approved for extended time and distraction-reduced space. time. Typically, students with these exam accommodations will opt to take their exams in the classroom or online setting (e.g., CARMEN or Proctorio). If a student requests to have their exams proctored by Disability Services, you will complete a Test Agreement (for the entire semester or a single quiz/test) and the student will schedule their exam with ODS.
Your role in Extended Time exams (quiz/test)
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.
How to add extended time at CARMEN exams
First, confirm the student's extended time multiplier (1.50x, 2.00x, 3.00x, 4.00x). You can view an individual student’s multiplier by checking their Course Accessibility Letter (sent to you 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):
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).
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.
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. Students are responsible to work with you, in advance, to schedule their quizzes/exams so as not to conflict with their synchronous class schedule
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 ODS student handbook and website)
You (as the instructor) are responsible for:
• communicating with students and our office throughout the semester
• implementing accommodations in a timely manner
• consulting with us when you have questions or concerns about requested accommodations
• maintaining student confidentiality
We (ODS) are responsible for:
• approving/training students registered with disability services how to use their accommodations
• providing services and accommodations in a timely manner
• consulting with students and instructors on how to best implement accommodations
• maintaining student confidentiality
Strategies for Facilitating Access in Your Course
Use the accessibility syllabus statement (updated AU2020) 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 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 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. DS contact information: firstname.lastname@example.org or (330) 287-1247 (voice) (614) Note: We recommend taking some time to review this statement with the class. This may help students feel more comfortable making proactive requests.
Promptly respond to accommodation requests. Students registered with Disability Services will contact you to request accommodations by personally generating a course accessibility letter e-mail or other method of contact. Students are trained on the accommodation process and should provide letters or forms to you. In addition to discussing the requests, you may also be filling out electronic forms (e.g., Test Administration sheets, attendance/deadline modification agreements), identifying students in class to be volunteer note-takers, and/or corresponding with our staff as needed (e.g., sending exams; discussing a student situation).
Respect the student’s right to confidentiality. Students are not required to disclose medical details, such as their diagnoses, to instructors. Disability Services keeps all students’ medical information and documentation confidential. The student’s registration status should only be shared with others on a need-to-know basis. We recommend discussing accommodations with students in a private, one-on-one setting such as during office hours or by appointment.
Consult with us when you have questions/concerns about a request. Ruth Montz (email@example.com) is available to you for answering questions, brainstorming solutions, and determining whether or not a particular accommodation is compatible with a course's learning outcomes.
Provide accessible course materials. Whenever possible, choose course materials that are accessible from the get-go (e.g., searchable PDFs, captioned videos). When creating your own course documents in Microsoft Office, there’s a handy built-in Accessibility Checker feature (File > Check for Issues > Check Accessibility) which you can use to ensure screen-reader accessibility. If a student requests material conversions in your course (e.g., digital textbooks, screen-reader accessible documents, captioned videos), contact us and Ruth Montz at firstname.lastname@example.org will reach out to you if coordination is needed.
best practice guides
You are invited to use these Best Practice Guides as a resource.
Introduction to Academic Access
Creating Access Together: An Introduction for Faculty/Staff (PDF)
5 Steps for Facilitating Accommodations in Your Course (PDF)
Instructor FAQ (PDF)
10 Disability-Inclusive Etiquette Tips (PDF) or Disability Sensitivity Training Video (video; source: dcadministration)
Providing Accessible Course Content to Blind/Low Vision Students (PDF)
Producing Accessible Digital Content (Digital Accessibility Services webpage)
Disability-Related Animals on Campus: Summary of University Policy (PDF)
Inclusive Teaching Practices
Five Ways to Improve Accessibility in Your Carmen Course (ODEE webpage)
Inclusive Teaching (Drake Institute for Teaching and Learning webpage)
Universal Design for Learning Guidelines (PDF) (source: NCUDL)
Universal Design of Instruction - Checklist (PDF) (source: The DO-IT Center, UW)
Inclusive Teaching Strategies for Deaf Student Success (self-paced module) (source: National Deaf Center on Postsecondary Outcomes)
Inclusive Curricula / Disability Studies
Disability Studies Program at Ohio State (webpage)
The Inclusive University: Abstracts on Postsecondary Education and Faculty, Staff, and Students with Disabilities (PDF) (source: Syracuse University Center on Human Policy)
Building Pedagogical Curb Cuts: Incorporating Disability in the University Classroom and Curriculum (PDF) (source: Syracuse University Center on Human Policy)
Infusing Disability Studies into the General Curriculum (PDF) (source: National Institute for Urban School Development)
Disability Studies Book List (webpage) (source: Goodreads)
Inclusive Student Services
Resources for Higher Education Professionals (webpage) (source: NCCSD)
Tip Sheets (webpage) (source: Black, Disabled and Proud)
Equal Access: Universal Design of Student Services (PDF) (source: The DO-IT Center, UW)
Inclusive Event Planning
Planning an Accessible Event (webpage) (source: ADA Coordinator's Office)
Accessible Meetings, Events, and Conferences Guide (webpage) (source: ADA Hospitality)
Inclusive Programming on Disability
Disability as Diversity Programming Toolkit (webpage) (source: Southwest ADA Center)
Negative learning outcomes of disability simulations (web article)
Disability Programming Resources Compilation (Excel) (source: ahead.org)
Captioning, Interpreting, and Transcribing Services
• Captioning. The university's Digital Accessibility Policy requires all publicly posted videos to be captioned, and all virtual events to be live captioned. Contact CFAES accessibility coordinator for more information. Captioning is an effective accommodation for students who are Deaf or hard of hearing; yet many students can benefit from captioned videos in the classroom -- for example, ESL students and students with different learning styles. If you’re interested in providing captioned videos in your course or program, and an ODS registered student has not requested captioning, you can take a DIY approach (click to download guide) or use a vendor (see below).
• Vendors for video captioning: cielo24 and 3PlayMedia
• Vendors for live captioning: PRI Court Reporting, Automatic Sync, Caption First, Karasch and Associates, QuickCaption
• Interpreting/Transcribing Services. We provide interpreting and transcribing services for d/Deaf or hard of hearing Ohio State students. Students register with our office to be approved for this accommodation. We work with students, their faculty, and other university partners to coordinate services for the student's classes and other academic activities. There is never a charge to students for interpreting and transcribing services so long as there is a request made from a student with an approved accommodation.
Event Planning. When organizing a university event, always include an accommodations statement in the marketing materials.
• Example accommodation in event marketing materials: "If you require an accommodation such as live captioning or interpretation to participate in this event, please [insert directions -- either a person to contact or directions for the registration form]. Requests made one week in advance of the event will generally allow us to provide seamless access, but the university will make every effort to meet requests made after this date."
• Campus event, in the absence of a student request. If you would like to proactively arrange services for a university event in the absence of a student request, please contact the ADA Coordinator’s Office. We recommend the provision of services (at your unit's expense) for any special event on campus that is open to the public and is expected to have 100+ attendees.
College and University Accessibility Resources
For workplace accommodations: Office of Human Resources
For classroom technology support: ODEE Classroom Services
For instructional support: Drake Institute for Teaching and Learning
For digital access support: Digital Accessibility Center (office) and Digital Accessibility Services (resource hub