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Academic Accommodations – Guide to Support Faculty | Universal Design for Learning | Seneca College

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Academic Accommodations – Guide to Support Faculty

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This document is to support you as you consider support for students registered with Accessibility Services. If you have questions regarding accommodations, you can email the Counsellor identified on the student’s accommodation letter. Please also add senecacnas@senecacollege.ca email in case the identified counselor is not available.

Familiarize yourself with the approved academic accommodations received for students. In the first or second class, an announcement can be made offering students the opportunity to schedule a time to connect for any concerns or questions they may have. The announcement could also be posted on the course website.

Here is an example of an announcement: 

Students who have an academic accommodation are welcome to contact me directly to schedule a time to discuss any of your academic accommodations. I will arrange for your academic accommodations received from Accessibility Services for the course and assessments for the course.

Course Basics Resources
Communicate how you will run the course and invite conversation on any perceived issues. Phone, email, online discussions, or virtual office hours are all assessable options. Communication with Students 
Explain how students can communicate with you. Phone, email, online discussions, or virtual office hours are all assessable options. Communication with Students 
Provide guidance for navigation to the material.
Consider a checklist of teaching/activities/assignments to be completed each week/module.
Consult Seneca Hybrid & Online Courses: Quality Framework for guidance on your course design
Instead of labeling an item or hyperlink as something like “read this” or “Week 9”, use labels that help students know what they are navigating to. For example: Introduction: History and Reasoning Behind UDL; Week 1 Consult Seneca Hybrid & Online Courses: Quality Framework for guidance on your course design
Content should be posted with the idea of always allowing for asynchronous access. Time zones, intermittent internet connectivity, etc. can be barriers to learning if content is delivered only synchronously. Consult Seneca Hybrid & Online Courses: Quality Framework for recommendations
Representing Content Resources
For students using an Interpreter or electronic notetaker/closed captioner access to your class as a guest and recordings of classes are important.

Guest Access for Synchronous Class Platforms 

How to Invite a Guest for Big Blue Button

How to Invite a Guest for Zoom

How to Invite a Guest for WebEx

How to Invite a Guest for MS Teams

To set up a professional notetaker/closed captioner to provide closed captions in a synchronous online classroom

Assigning a Notetaker as Captioner for Synchronous Classes 

Provide text equivalents in the form of captions, or automated speech-to-text for spoken language. Considering providing alternatives such as pre-captioned videos, materials in text format such as online sites, etc.

Zoom and MS Teams use AI to autogenerate Closed Captions, you can direct your students on how to turn on Closed Captions in those platforms. As of when this was posted WebEx and Big Blue Button do not use AI to autogenerate closed captions, they have to be provided by a third party closed captioner.

Using Microsoft Translator in a PowerPoint Office 365 Presentation

Google Slide Captions (YouTube)

How to Turn On Closed Captions in a Zoom Meeting

How to Turn On Closed Captions in a MS Teams Meeting

How to Add Closed Captioning to a Video or Recorded Class (YouTube)

How to Add Closed Captioning to a Recorded Class via MS Streams (Note that the closed captions are only viewable if the video remains on Streams)

Include auditory information or alternative material for information portrayed in a visual format. For example, explain graphs, pictures, charts.
Check that documents provided are not scanned images but accessible text. A quick check is if you can select the text in the document. If you can then it’s probably accessible.
Use an Accessibility Checker on documents posted including posted PowerPoints. Creating Accessible Documents

How to record a synchronous class and make it available for students.

Students may not be able to attend a class for a number of reasons; internet connections, for personal reasons such as illness, etc. Having the capacity to revisit your teaching can be supportive to many students. You may want to remind students of the Recording Lectures and Educational Activities Policy for when they download recordings.

How to Record a Collaborate Session

How to Record a Session in Big Blue Button

How to Download a Big Blue Button Recording

How to Record a Session in Zoom

How to Record a Session in WebEx

How to Make a Recorded Session in WebEx Downloadable

Once you have a copy of the recorded session you will want to provide it to students. Due to the file size restrictions on Learn@Seneca the best way to share the files is to share a link to a Share Point or OneDrive location.

Sharing a file from SharePoint

Sharing a file from OneDrive

Consider posting your lecture notes to support your teaching.
Some demonstrations can be video recorded and posted. Closed captioning can be added using YouTube. Consider providing alternative websites or other resources to provide equal content information. How to Add Captions to a Video you Created using YouTube
Testing, Assessments and Accommodations Resources
Note: If a student with an accommodation is writing a virtually proctored exam with Respondus, alternatives may need to be made for students that require the use of Assistive Technology. Email the Counsellor and also copy senecacnas@senecacollege.ca should you have questions. Note that the use of Respondus must be Chair approved.
Consider flexible ways to evaluate students when possible. Assessments 
Extra time can be set up for students with Accommodations via Blackboard Tests. How to Add Extended Time to Blackboard Tests
Options on Blackboard tests such as “backtracking”  and “show questions on one page” need to be considered carefully. In normal test situations students may preview an entire test, start with sections that they are most confident in, and return to attempt questions initially deferred or edit an answer. Intermittent internet connections may mean a student is disconnected and will need to have access to another attempt.

Students who have Reader/Scribe and Assistive Technology (e.g. Read and Write Gold, Screen reading software, etc.) on their Accommodation Letters are able to use the software on their home devices. If they are having any difficulties they can be supported by their Counsellors and/or Assistive Technologists.
  • Encourage student to email their Counsellor and/or Assistive Technologist.
  • Consider receiving an alternative format such as a voice file response.
Memory Aids could still be used and can be supportive. As assessments are being done at the student’s home, you may want to account for the fact that the assessments are “open book”.

If you are concerned about how any accommodations will be provided email the counsellor identified on the Accommodation letter you received in your email. Please copy senecacnas@senecacollege.ca.
You may also access the Accommodation Letter on the online Faculty Portal (for non-CE courses).
Supporting student’s and your mental Health is important! In addition to our Counseling Services and Accessibility Services you may want to provide students with this information regarding additional supports.

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