Disability Services (DS) 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, DS reviews relevant medical and psychometric documentation of the student's disability. If a student requests a disability-related accommodation and has supplied DS with appropriate documentation of the disability, DS 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 DS 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. Ball
State 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.
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 online.
If you use Blackboard and a student needs extended time for an exam, there are two ways you could do this.
A) If you do not choose Force Completion for your exams, you can simply permit the student to continue taking the exam for the extended time. Please let the student know this and advise that a prompt will still pop-up saying that the time has expired. The student must then hit “Cancel.” The prompt disappears and the student can proceed with their extra time.
B) The other option is to set Adaptive Release settings for the specific student. Here is the new way to set the Adaptive Release settings in Blackboard 9.1 SP 13:
If you use Canvas and a student needs extended time for an exam, follow the instructions below.
Joel Whitesel from iLearn (firstname.lastname@example.org; 765-285-7200) can assist with this if needed.
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