This information was created to support you in understanding your role and Northwestern’s shared responsibility in working with students with disabilities as we transition to the remote learning environment.
AccessibleNU staff in Evanston and Chicago are currently working remotely and available Monday through Friday 8:30am – 5:00pm (CST) by phone and email.
- With the transition to remote learning and impact of COVID-19 on our Northwestern community, every Northwestern student could benefit from some flexibility with attendance policies and deadlines.
- Keep in mind that students will be participating in class from many different time zones around the world, they may have limited access to high-speed internet, some may be providing care for sick family members, not to mention we’re all feeling anxious about the current situation in general.
- Given the above obstacles all students may experience, ANU encourages you to consider an Asynchronous design for your courses.
- Posting videos of your classes, whether they are held synchronously or asynchronously will help ensure that all students are able to get the information needed from class.
- When posting a recording from Zoom, here’s how you can generate a searchable transcript and captions.
- Stay in close communication with all students about any changes to the course and assess what may or may not be working be working effectively.
- If using Panopto to capture lectures, here’s how you can develop and add captions to the video.
- The Faculty Portal will remain the same and all faculty should be reviewing their students’ accommodation information by course.
Accommodations in General
- Students will be requesting accommodations and email notifications will be sent as they have been in previous quarters.
- All accommodation that have applied in on-ground classes will apply to online classes. If you have questions about how to implement them, please contact ANU.
- ANU will not be proctoring online exams.
- ANU encourages flexibility with time when the exam is taken (helping those in different time zones). Making the exam available for several hours allows for this while still holding students to a specified time limit (ex. 1 hour) to complete the exam.
- Extra time will still apply for exams in an online environment.
- ANU has created a video on how to add extra time to a Canvas exam.
- Although ANU flexibility with exam availability, If the time that the exam is available is limited to the exact time that you want to give the exam, you can add time availability for students to use their extra time accommodation by doing the following:
- Click “Edit” on the quiz and scroll to the bottom of the page.
- Click “Add” under the “Assign to” box.
- Choose the students who need extra time.
- Enter the time the exam will be available, make sure it is enough to include the extra time.
- Click “Save”. This will ensure that the exam availability will allow for all students to use their time allotted.
- Students will be required to find their own reduced distraction environments to take their exams.
- If your online exam is available for multiple days with no specific amount of time given (i.e. take home test format), then extended time is generally not applied. To clarify when extended time should be applied, please contact ANU.
- With exams available online, there will not be a need to large print exams (please ensure they are posted in an accessible format).
- If you are using a proctoring software, please alert ANU so we can make sure student accommodations will work with the software or work with you to develop alternative options.
Flexibility with Attendance
- ANU encourages you to be flexible with attendance requirements for all students this quarter given the circumstances.
- Posting recordings of class will allow those who need to miss class to obtain the needed information.
- When there are attendance requirements, ANU will work for with you to determine reasonable flexibility for students with the flexible attendance accommodation.
Flexibility with Deadlines
- ANU encourages you to be flexible, within reason, with deadline requirements for all students this quarter given the circumstances.
- ANU will work with you to determine reasonable deadline flexibility for students with the flexibility with deadlines accommodations.
Condition Flare Up Accommodation
- Students should be in communication with their ANU advisor and you via email if/when they experience a flare up.
Notetaking and Recording
- Posting videos of class should reduce the need for copies of peer notes.
- Students that still require this accommodation will proceed as they have in previous quarters.
- Students with approved accommodations for recording lecture, use of a Smartpen, Sonocent Audio Notetaker, or Glean are permitted to do so in the remote learning environment.
Services for Students with Hearing Impairments
- If a student approaches you indicating that they have a hearing impairment and are struggling to access your class, refer them to ANU so that we can set them up with the proper live captioning or ASL service.
Ensuring Online Course Accessibility
- The Office of Equity has created a website with excellent tips for creating accessible Canvas courses.
- Caption all videos posted.
- Make sure all PDFs used are accessible. Scans of books or articles are not typically accessible. Text provided in Word documents provides greater accessibility.
- Students may not be able to see all of the visuals used in online courses, so make sure to verbally describe images used in PowerPoints or when teaching. ANU recommends providing students with PowerPoints used in lectures on Zoom.