Individuals with disabilities are protected from discrimination and are guaranteed access to all public accommodations by federal and state law. It is the joint responsibility of the Disabilities Resources Office and faculty/staff to ensure that access to all buildings, curricula, and programs is readily available to all students with disabilities.
It is important for faculty and staff members to understand that all individuals registered with Disabilities Resources have presented documentation from an appropriate professional that establishes the presence of one or more disabling conditions that create a functional impact on one or more major life activities. These may include, but are not limited to activities such as learning, walking, speaking, hearing, seeing, etc. These students have also disclosed their disabilities to the Disabilities Resources Office and have requested the accommodations that they require in order to fully access the buildings, curricula, and programs of the University. In order for accommodations to be approved, they must be necessary for access, as well as appropriate in meeting the individualized needs of each student.
Additional information for faculty on the subject of disabilities:
- Providing Accommodations
- Faculty Rights and Responsibilities
- Confidentiality for Faculty
- Teaching and Learning Suggestions
- Distance Learning FAQ
Best practices for accessibility
1. Keep in mind that tests written directly in Moodle have been problematic in the past, as those tests may not then work with screen reader and other accessibility software. Writing your test in Word, and then uploading to Moodle, is suggested.
2. Avoiding the use of scanned and uploaded chapters should be avoided if at all possible. These documents, which are really images and not “real” PDFs, will not be accessible for certain students, and will require significant remediation from our office if required.
3. Please consider providing your own lecture notes for all students to use. This will take some of the pressure from our current note takers, especially those who have difficulty with internet access.
4. Most meeting platforms, including WebEx, allows for the recording of in-class discussions, demonstrations, etc. Do consider making these available for student use as well.
5. Consider whether synchronous instruction will meet the needs of all of your students. Certainly, there may be those who are in a distant time zone, who may not be able to join you because of the time difference. Other students may have health or other disability-related concerns that might make this difficult as well.