Receiving Accommodations Online
HOW WILL ACCOMMODATIONS WORK ONLINE?
We appreciate your flexibility during this novel and challenging time, and recognize that this may be the first time some of you are participating in online courses. We have developed information below about how some of the most commonly used accommodations may work in an online environment. This is not meant to be an exhaustive list and we encourage you to contact your ODS Coordinator if you have any questions. The best way to reach your coordinator right now is through email and then, if needed, you can set up a phone call or video meeting.
LETTERS OF ACCOMMODATIONS
It is important to submit your Letter of Accommodations to your professor as soon as possible The letter contains course accommodations recommended by the Office of Disability Services based on the student's disability. The LOA is often the first step in receiving accommodations. Students may need to implement each accommodation by filling out the appropriate accommodation form (e.g., exam accommodation form, note-taking form, alternative text format, Assistive Technology form, ASL/CART form etc.). The forms assist ODS in implementing accommodations for students. Since students have the ability to choose which accommodations they would like to utilize throughout a semester, filling out the appropriate accommodation form allows ODS to assist in the implementation.
All students who have exams either online or in person should be submitting an exam request form. This will allow our office to support both the student and the faculty and ensure the accommodations are implemented correctly. Review our page on Exam Accommodations for a full overview and connections to each Rutgers campus exam process.
EXTENDED TIME ON EXAMS
The most commonly used online learning platforms (such as Sakai, Canvas and Blackboard) allow faculty to extend the time of their exam for students who have accommodations. Please be sure to remind your faculty member BEFORE the exam that you will need extended time. We have developed resources for faculty on how to extend time in a Learning Management System (Blackboard, Canvas, and Sakai). Please feel free to share this link with your professors.
Extended Time (50%) for Timed Online Exams or Quizzes
The student is given time and a half to complete their exam either with the faculty member or at the office. If the class is given an hour (60 minutes) to take an exam, the approved student will have time (60 minutes) and a half (30 minutes) as their testing time period (90 minutes in total). If you wish to receive extended time on your exam(s) or quiz(zes), students are required to submit an exam request form via our website.
Extended Time (100%) for Timed Online Exams or Quizzes
The student is given double the time to complete their exam either with the faculty member or at the office. If the class is given an hour (60 minutes) to take an exam, the approved student will have double the class time (120 minutes). If you wish to receive extended time on your exam(s) or quiz(zes), students are required to submit an exam request form via our website.
A note about time conflicts: If receiving extended time on an exam will cause a time conflict with another class, you must notify your professor as soon as possible so they can work with you on making appropriate arrangements.
REDUCED DISTRACTION TESTING LOCATION
When taking an online exam, you are responsible for finding an environment that can work best for your needs. Consider strategies such as wearing earplugs, or if the timing of your exam is flexible, taking it at a time of day when your household isn’t as busy. Please be sure to reach out to your faculty member before the exam to see if being flexible with timing of the exam is an option.
Another possible option to explore is the use of white noise to help block out other sounds. My Noise is a site that offers a wide range of sounds you can try for free from urban to nature, and some can even be calibrated to suit your particular needs.
Students who are serving as peer note takers have received communication from our office that they are still expected to take notes if any audio or video lecture material is being presented. You should still be able to use Note Taking Express and other note taking technology with information being presented online. If you have specific questions about how note-taking might work in your course please contact your ODS Coordinator or at Rutgers ODS New Brunswick email firstname.lastname@example.org.
USE OF A READER AND/OR SCRIBE FOR EXAMS
If you use a reader or a scribe for your exams, please connect with your ODS Coordinator as soon as possible so we can work with you and your faculty member to work this out for online exams and quizzes.
BREAKS DURING EXAMS WITHOUT TIME PENALTY
If you are approved to take breaks during your exams, please connect with your ODS Coordinator about how this will work. Some exam proctoring software, such as Proctortrack, allows breaks during exams to be added as an accommodation but it will need to be worked out with your faculty. If you, or your faculty, need assistance with this please contact your coordinator. We also have a page with Technology Information for Online Courses.
USE OF A CALCULATOR
If you are approved to use a calculator on exams, please make sure you let your faculty member know this in advance of your exam when you send a reminder about your LOA. Most online proctoring software allows this to be added as an accommodation within the proctoring system itself, but this must be set by your professor in advance of the exam.
USE OF PROCTORING SOFTWARE
Some faculty are choosing to use online proctoring software to assist in administering exams. Many of the options used at Rutgers have accessibility features already in place. We also have a page with Technology Information for Online Courses which has helpful information on proctoring systems used at Rutgers such as Proctortrack and Respondus. If you have any concerns about how this might work for you please contact your ODS Coordinator.
CONSIDERATION OF ABSENCES AND EXTENDED TIME ON ASSIGNMENTS
If you are approved for consideration of absences or extended time on assignments as an accommodation, please contact your ODS Coordinator and they would be happy to work with you and your professor in navigating what this might look like on a course by course basis.
American Sign Language Interpreters and Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) are both available in an online learning environment. Students looking to request either ASL or CART services will need to fill out the Interpreting/Captioning service request form no later than 5 business days before the scheduled event or class. The Office of Disability Services will attempt to fulfill requests submitted later than the required time, but due to availability of the ASL or CART, it is highly recommended that students stick to the 5 day prior timeline. f you are a student using these accommodations, and have concerns about how this is working, please contact your ODS Coordinator for support.
CAPTIONS FOR VIDEOS
We strongly encourage the use of captions for any video or audio created within course content. However, there are times that captioning is not already available for videos within your course. Therefore, it is important to let your ODS Coordinator know as soon as possible that you will need captioning for videos within your course. If you indicate that this is needed on your Letter of Accommodation, we will notify the instructor how to provide this accommodation and work with them to ensure it is available for your courses.
STILL HAVE QUESTIONS?
If you still have any questions please be sure to check out our Frequently Asked Questions we have developed around online instruction for students with disabilities.