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JCU relies on faculty and staff to provide access to all of its programs and activities to students with disabilities. As members of the campus community, you are required to adhere to relevant disability laws. JCU accepts only those students who are qualified for admission regardless of their disabilities. Accommodations are provided for eligible students in order to level the playing field so that students with disabilities have an equal opportunity to succeed in their academic pursuits.

Instructors are to announce procedures for arranging academic accommodations at the beginning of each semester and include the information in the course syllabus. We are available to provide consultations via e-mail or phone. We encourage all faculty, staff and students to email us (sas@jcu.edu) should questions or concerns arise.

Frequently Asked Questions for Faculty

1.(a) What should I be considering when adapting my course to an online format, so I can continue to support students with disabilities?

  • For course web pages, documents, images, and videos: Use clear, consistent layouts and organization schemes for presenting content.
  • Structure headings (using style features built into the learning management system (Word, PowerPoint, PDFs, etc.) and use built-in designs/layouts (e.g., for PPT slides).
  • Use descriptive wording for hyperlink text (e.g., "DO-IT Knowledge Base" rather than "click here"). 
  • Minimize the use of PDFs, especially when presented as an image.
  • Make sure the text is accessible by testing to see if you can copy and paste it.
  • Always offer a text-based alternative as well.
  • Provide concise alternative-text descriptions of content presented within images.
  • Use large, bold fonts on uncluttered pages with plain backgrounds. 
  • Use color combinations that are high contrast and can be read by those who are colorblind. 
  • Make sure all content and navigation is accessible using the keyboard.
  • Caption or transcribe video and audio content if requested as an accommodation.

1.(b) With respect to instructional methods:

  • Assume students have a wide range of technology skills and provide options for gaining the technology skills needed for course participation.
  • Present content in multiple ways (e.g., in a combination of text, video, audio, and/or image format).  
  • Address a wide range of language skills as you write content (e.g., spell out terms rather than relying on acronyms alone, define terms).  
  • Make instructions and expectations clear for activities, projects, and readings.  
  • Make examples and assignments relevant to learners with a wide variety of interests and backgrounds.  
  • Offer outlines and other scaffolding tools to help students learn.  
  • Allow adequate time for activities, projects, and tests (e.g., give details of project assignments in the syllabus so that students can start working on them early).  
  • Provide options for communicating and collaborating that are accessible to individuals with a variety of disabilities.  
  • Provide options for demonstrating learning (e.g., different types of test items, portfolios, presentations, discussions).
  • Assume that all academic activities will require some sort of accommodation (e.g. tests, visual and audio content, notetaking).

2. How does my role in providing online accommodations change?

  • You are still legally obligated to provide online accommodations to students registered with SAS. However, the delivery of accommodations will require special attention and look different than in class accommodations. Please follow the SAS letter of accommodation provided to you by the student. If you have a concern about an accommodation being delivered further consultation with SAS may be necessary by emailing sas@jcu.edu

3. How do exam accommodations work online? 

  • Students will be accessing their exam accommodations remotely with typically 50% extra time as stated in the student’s letter of accommodation. You are able to set the extra time on Canvas. (Please visit this link for guidance on extending the time in Canvas.) If you need assistance or have questions about how to set up extra time contact Jay Tarby at jtarby@jcu.edu. For general questions regarding accommodations or questions regarding specific students’ testing accommodations, contact sas@jcu.edu. Please refer to the student's letter of accommodation for specific exam accommodations provided for the student.

4. How will the accommodation of recording classroom lectures be handled through HyFlex model?

  • If you receive a letter of accommodation with recording of lectures listed as an accommodation you are legally obligated to provide this accommodation. Not recording in-person classes and synchronous sessions in Zoom creates a major barrier for students with disabilities, as well as students who are ill and students who cannot come to campus.

5. How will the attendance accommodation be handled through a HyFlex model? 

  • If a student has a letter of accommodation with an attendance accommodation listed and has completed an SAS attendance agreement, you are required to provide this accommodation. This may mean the student will not participate synchronously and may need alternate participation or course activities if agreed to by the student, faculty member and SAS.

6. What if a student joins a class remotely but synchronously, should I have them turn their cameras on?

  • It is conceivable to imagine an accommodation related to trauma or anxiety to leave the camera off. SAS will consult with the student and instructor on reasonable alternatives to video recording for students with documented disabilities, such as using audio or text instead of video. If faculty choose to invite students to use their video cameras during class, they are encouraged to recognize it may not be possible for all students.

7. Where can I access additional online learning resources?

Students seeking academic accommodations must first register with Student Accessibility Services (SAS).

If a student asks for accommodations and does not have a letter of accommodation (LOA) from SAS you are not to grant them the accommodations.

ALL students receiving accommodations must be registered. To register with us, they must complete an application, submit appropriate documentation to verify the disability, and meet with an SAS staff member. SAS reviews documentation and determines eligibility for services. Students approved for accommodations are encouraged to meet privately with course instructors to discuss their needs.

All students who are qualified for accommodations will present the instructor with an LOA. The LOA is written by SAS.

Students who request academic accommodations for disabilities but have not yet registered at SAS need to be referred to our office to complete the registration process before accommodations are arranged.

Additional Faculty Tips: (Click Here for PDF, Click Here for Word Document)

Students registered with SAS may require exam accommodations such as extended testing time, distraction-reduced exam room, or scribes to record answers. Instructors should make arrangements to provide accommodations and the appropriate testing environment as specified in the student’s Letter of Accommodation.

If an exam is being administered online, a student’s accommodations can typically be met using Canvas settings. Please visit this link for guidance on extending the time in Canvas.  If you need assistance or have questions about how to set up extra time on an exam contact Jay Tarby at tarby@jcu.edu. For general questions regarding accommodations or questions regarding specific students’ testing accommodations, contact sas@jcu.edu. Please refer to the student's letter of accommodation for specific exam accommodations provided for the student.

If a student requires assistive technology and/or specialized equipment for testing accommodations, contact sas@jcu.edu for guidance on this matter.

Many students with a disability are dependent on volunteers to help accommodate their academic needs. At times we may ask for your help in identifying a volunteer to help with accommodations for a student.

The most common request of this type will be asking for your help in identifying another student in your class who would be willing to share notes with Student Accessibility Services Office (SAS) so we can provide them to the student. To identify such a student, we will ask you to make an announcement in your class.

Once you have a volunteer notetaker, please connect them with SAS staff to discuss the best way for them to get their notes to the student who needs them. 

Whenever we need your help in identifying a note taker, the student will present you with a memo requesting help, along with his/her Letter of Accommodation.

More information about note-taking is available in our note-taking brochure.

The accessibility syllabus statement has been incorporated as an element of the required university Syllabus Statement on Accessibility, Inclusion, Harassment, and Bias.

Please see the following link to access this statement: https://jcu.edu/about-us/values-and-jesuit-tradition/diversity/inclusive-excellence/syllabus-statement

It is the intent and practice of the office of Student Accessibility Services (SAS) to have all notifications and letters of accommodation to students within the first two weeks of class, thereby allowing the students sufficient time to notify their professors.  However, LOA’s (letters of accommodation) may at times be delayed due to late receipt of documentation or delayed request by the student.

We are aware that the tardiness of notification may be disruptive and therefore ask for your patience and cooperation in assisting with appropriate accommodations as necessary.

Please be advised that accommodations are NOT retroactively applied.  All accommodations are to be implemented upon receipt of written notification of disability from the SAS office.

Faculty and staff have the right to:

  • Hold all students to the same essential course requirements and grading standards.
  • Request verification of a student’s eligibility for any requested accommodations. Such verification will be in the form of a letter written by SAS and delivered by the student directly to you. (Note: SAS is the only office designated to review disability documentation and determine eligibility for appropriate accommodations. Faculty should not view this documentation)
  • Consult with SAS staff regarding alternative accommodations.
  • Expect all students to observe academic standards and code of conduct as outlined in the course syllabus and University policies.
  • Expect the student to initiate accommodation requests.
  • Request that SAS administer exams in a secure and monitored environment.

Faculty and staff have the following responsibilities:

  • Identify and establish essential functions, abilities, skills, and knowledge of their courses and evaluate students on this basis. Students with disabilities should meet the same course essential functions as their peers.
  • Provide accommodations only to students who are registered with SAS. It is NOT your responsibility to provide accommodations to students who aren’t registered with SAS.
  • Use a syllabus statement and class announcements to invite students to disclose their needs.
  • Act immediately upon getting a student’s request for accommodations by providing the service or by contacting SAS (if unsure about request).
  • Work to ensure that all audio-visual materials used in class are accessible (e.g., that videos shown are captioned for students with hearing impairments, etc.)
  • Treat and protect all disability-related information as confidential medical information. For example, keep printed items, LOAs or emails regarding student disability-related information in a protected location.
  • Clearly communicate your testing procedures wIth the student and with SAS by completing the Exam Administration form upon request.
  • Consult with students with disabilities and SAS in providing appropriate accommodations.

NOTE: Faculty do NOT have the right to ask students if they have a disability. For those students registered with SAS, faculty do NOT have the right to ask about the nature of the disability. If students choose to disclose their disability, this information should be treated confidentially.

Contact Us

sas@jcu.edu

 

Allison West Kaskey
Director
awest@jcu.edu

We are located on the first floor of the Dolan Science Center, Room E-109. 
Phone: 216.397.4967