The information provided is intentionally broad, and it may not address every issue or question that arises in a specific course. There may be exceptional situations that arise and cannot be predicted. Access and Equity Services recognizes that many students fall into high risk groups and may be disproportionately affected by COVID-19. 

Instructors must continue to provide academic accommodations for students registered with AES. All students with academic accommodations must provide instructors with a letter outlining their approved accommodations. If a student has new or updated accommodations, they will be required to provide the instructor with an updated letter.

If you have any questions, please contact AES.

Notetaking

Given that the volunteer notetakers are students themselves, in the event that classes are no longer held on campus, the notetaking program may not be available to provide class notes for students with disabilities. Please make any lecture notes available to all students in your classes. Notes can be shared via Blackboard or Google docs. The notes that have been uploaded up to this point will remain on Blackboard for the term.

Exams

Consider take home exams or assignments in place of exams as students with disabilities will still require the use of their approved accommodations for time even if the exams are not in person. If you cannot arrange additional time for any online exams per the student’s accommodation requirements, provide alternate options for those who have have an accommodation for time and a half or double time. In place of a reader and/or a scribe, students can be given oral examinations over the phone.

Extensions on assignments

Consider the amount of additional reading material that you may assign to students as your lectures move away from the classroom. For many students with disabilities, a sudden increase in the amount of reading material assigned may require more time for them to process and work with the information. Consider having flexible deadlines.

If you decide to use assignments instead of exams for your students, please keep in mind the due dates for assignments and the amount of work you are assigning in a short time frame as students are likely enrolled in more than just your class. Consider flexible weighting of assignments and alternate methods of submission. For example, could a student send you an audio recording for an assignment instead of a paper document?

Class Participation

Keep in mind the technology you are asking students to utilize outside of the classroom as many students may not have microphones and/or webcams and may not be able to participate in live class discussions. Students with hearing difficulties, neurological or disabilities may have difficulty following along with large group discussions that happen via livestream. Consider the use of online discussion boards in place of real time discussions.

Additional considerations

Students have a range of abilities, and not everyone will disclose: there are likely students in your course with learning or sensory disabilities. They are not required to tell you, and they may not feel comfortable telling anyone. Rather than asking these students to identify themselves to you, employ practices that reach a wide variety of learners.

Text is universal: assistive technologies (such as screen readers, magnifiers, etc.) are nearly always designed to work with text. If you send images to your students, include descriptions. If you use lecture-capturing or video chat (WebEx, etc.), consider assigning someone to create a transcript.

Some students need additional processing time: don’t expect everyone to understand after being told once. Provide transcripts and chat logs for later review. When you show images or videos via screen-share, provide those files for students to download. This will especially help students with dyslexia and other reading impediments.

Read&Write Software

Read&Write is easy-to-use software for PCs and Macs that supports reading, writing, studying, and research. The software is free to all University of Saskatchewan students, staff, and faculty to download to their personal computers. The software makes the web, documents, and files more accessible - any time, any place on any platform or device.

With Read&Write you can:

  • Hear text read aloud to improve reading comprehension, with a choice of natural voices.
  • Understand unfamiliar words with text and picture dictionaries.
  • Highlight and copy text from documents and web pages to create study guides, outlines or complete assignments.
  • Supports writing skills with word prediction.
  • Turn text from documents and web pages into MP3 sound files for listening on the move.
  • Check writing and grammar mistakes with proofreading tools.

Record and live-webcast lectures

Panopto, a cloud-enabled service, powers the University of Saskatchewan’s Academic Video service. Integrated with Blackboard, recordings and webcasts are viewable by eligible users on most web browsers and mobile devices.