Disabled Student Development (DSD) has been charged by the university to determine reasonable and appropriate accommodations for students with disabilities as outlined in Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. In determining who is eligible for accommodations, DSD reviews relevant medical and psychometric documentation of the student's disability. If a student requests a disability-related accommodation and has supplied DSD with appropriate documentation of the disability, DSD will supply the student with a letter to give to his/her instructors verifying the disability, listing the necessary accommodations, and describing how these accommodations can be provided.
While many of the same accommodations for students with disabilities are necessary for students taking distance education courses, classes taught in this manner create some challenges for DSD and faculty in properly accommodating students with disabilities. The information below addresses accommodation needs and issues for students with different types of disabilities. Additionally, suggestions are offered for working with students with disabilities in the distance education setting.
Please include our disability statement in your syllabi. Also, keep in mind that designing your class in a way that is accessible to persons with disabilities may also be beneficial to persons without disabilities. If you are creating or using technology in your classes, please consider how a student with a disability would access that program. If you are creating a website for use in any of your classes, it is necessary that the site be accessible to students with disabilities. BallState has terrific resources to ensure computer access. Contact Carlos Taylor, Adaptive Technology Specialist, (RB 168, 765-285-6124) to learn about Braille, enlarged script options, voice-activated computing, specialized keyboards, and much more.
To ensure access to video for students who are hearing-impaired, contact Jeff Bowers
(765-285-2766) at the Teleplex
to get assistance with captioning or a script. Because captioning video is very labor-intensive, adequate lead time is important. Additionally, if you will be using multimedia presentation software such as Mediasite or IHETS Interactive for your class, it is important to schedule captioning services before you record material in this software. Due to the nature of these software applications, captioning can only be effectively added to these presentations at the time the recordings are made.
With an increasing number of students taking online courses, it is imperative that appropriate disability accommodations be provided for these students. Typically in online courses, the primary accommodation needed is extended time on exams. Information is provided below on the process for ensuring that students with disabilities receive accommodations for exams administered via inQsit and Blackboard.
If you use inQsit for online exams, DSD can simply program in the necessary extended time for the student if the student requests accommodations from DSD. If the student logs onto the system through username & password, the extended time will automatically be provided. If you have set up the inQsit exam in a different manner and have set a time limit, you will need to create a separate section for this student.
If you use Blackboard and a student needs extended time for an exam, there are two ways you could do this. If you have created the exam in a manner in which the Blackboard system does not shut the student off after the allotted time, you can simply permit the student to continue taking the exam for the extended time. The other option is to create a separate section of the exam for this student and extend the time allotted for the test. Below are instructions for how to do this using Blackboard 9.1.
Step 1: Create a copy of the exam
· Access Tests from the Control Panel > Course Tools Menu > Tests, Surveys, and Pools > Tests.
· Select the Action Link next to the exam to be copied.
· Select Copy. A new exam is created with a (1) added to the name.
· You may choose to change the name. In order to comply with FERPA and other confidentiality requirements, the name should not identify the student or reveal that the exam has extra time.
Step 2: Set up duplicate exam in course
· Go to content area where the original exam is posted.
· Select the “Assessments” button from the Action Bar.
· Select “Test”. Add duplicate exam by highlighting title, then select Submit.
· Adjust availability and timer settings, hit submit.
Step 3: Add Adaptive Release settings
· Select the Action Link next to the separate exam.
· Select “Adaptive Release” from drop-down menu.
· Add the student(s) ID or Username to Membership Criteria, hit submit. You do not need to adjust the Date, Grade, or Review Status criteria. The exam is released only to those added via the Membership Criteria setting in Adaptive Release.
If you have additional questions about Blackboard, Hamid Tabariasl from Computing Services (765-285-1844) can assist with this.
Faculty members are under no obligation to provide any accommodations to a student until the student presents the faculty member with a letter of accommodation
from the DSD office. Before determining what accommodations
would be appropriate for a student, DSD meets with the student and reviews disability documentation
that must be age-appropriate, comprehensive, and must clearly diagnose a disability.
The best resource is the student with the disability. Open communication can lead to good solutions.
For post-secondary institutions, the guiding principle is: “What is available to any of your students must be available for all of your students.” This includes courses offered through distance education.
You are encouraged to contact DSD if you have questions
Both the failure to accommodate and over-accommodating are to be avoided.
DSD early in the process.
Please remember that all information relative to disability must be handled in a confidential manner.