As you work on your plans for online and remote instruction, know that Disability Resource Services (DRS) is here to help make sure your class is accessible. While many things have been changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we still have a responsibility to make sure we provide equal access to courses for our students with disabilities. As in the physical classroom, accommodations can help accomplish this in the virtual classroom.
The accommodations your students receive in the physical classroom are still available, with some modification, for remote instruction. However, because of the change in the course, additional accommodations may be necessary. We ask for your patience and cooperation as we help our students with disabilities figure out what accommodations will help them overcome new barriers.
DRS Current Mode of Operation
- Staff working remotely
- Normal business hours, Monday through Friday, 8:00 to 5:00 p.m.
- Office closed to walk-in business.
- Consult with faculty by Zoom or by phone
- Meet with students via Zoom or by phone
- We recommend testing be conducted by faculty using the campus’ LMS
You can contact DRS by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Appointments with students/faculty consultation
We are currently offering remote appointments until further notice. Appointment availability is based on each advisor’s set availability but is generally from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. We will work with students or faculty to schedule an appointment via telephone or Zoom.
Students or faculty may call the office at 209-667-3159. Phone calls will be forwarded to the appropriate staff person. The VoIP Telephone and Voicemail system are utilized, so voice recording of emails will be generated to our email. VoIP Telephones & Voicemail Features. DRS staff will also be available through email during this time.
Campus’ Legal Obligations
OCR Short Webinar on Online Education and Website Accessibility
The Department of Education Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has published a short webinar on YouTube titled "Online Education and Website Accessibility".
Full URL: https://youtu.be/DCMLk4cES6A
The video is approximately 7 minutes long and covers basic institutional responsibility as well as why accessibility is a necessary consideration as colleges and universities are transitioning many classes and instructional resources to the online environment.
It does not tell you how to make your LMS course accessible but may be helpful to some in providing additional context for why accessibility is still a necessity even with these rapid changes in how we support students and our campus community.
How You Can Support Accommodations
Extra time for test-taking
Faculty should make appropriate adjustments in the LMS. If you are not sure how to adjust the time for student accommodations, please let us know. Also, be aware that adjusting the time for the entire class does is not the same as providing the accommodation for the student.
Students have the ability to determine the testing environment to best meet their needs at a remote location.
Sign language – ASL and Real-Time Captions
DRS will contact instructors in classes where students are receiving sign language services or real-time captioning services to determine the format that on-line classes will be held. Interpreters and real-time captioners will be added to Zoom classes for live or recorded classes in order for students to continue to receive the communication services they need. For videos that are pre-recorded and posted for students, DRS may need access to the video source so it can be captioned and/or video interpreted. Videos will be interpreted by staff interpreters and captioned using the CaptionSync service.
Students will continue to receive notes from their pre-established note-takers who have been set up in classes prior to the conversion to an on-line format. If the volunteer note-takers are not able to continue to provide notes, please contact DRS as soon as possible.
Alternative media will still be available for students. Students can request alternative media through our alternative media online request form.
The processing of orders and delivery of alternative formats may slow. We ask for your patience in receiving course materials. If you have a course schedule or dates that materials need to be received by, you can email them to the alternative media specialist, or attach them to your online request. If you decide to email, please give your name and the materials that you are referring to.
Please be advised that we may not be able to cut or scan books at this time.
Audio Recording Lecture
Students will follow the Audio Recording Agreement if this is an approved DRS accommodation.
Assistive Technology Resources
Read&Write is a text-to-speech software that provides users with the tools to read documents aloud, research, annotate, note-take, and study. Stanislaus State offers Read&Write for all faculty, staff, and students. Read&Write can access Microsoft documents, PDFs, and internet browsers (Chrome/Firefox/Edge/Safari) to read text out loud.
Scanning documents into your online LMS
This practice is not encouraged, but this may be unavoidable. If you must scan documents:
- Clean, straight scans without “wavy” text lines
Erase underlining or written notes if possible before scanning.
- Do not save the scan as a “bitmap” image.
Though making documents accessible can be a tedious process, the most important step is making sure all documents have text that is “recognized”, meaning it is digital, and can be accessed by assistive technologies.
How can I tell if text is recognized?
A simple way to tell if text is recognized is to try to highlight it with your cursor. If you can’t highlight it, the text is not recognized.
How Do I Recognize Text?
There is a simple way to recognize text in your scanned images using “Adobe Acrobat Pro”. The provided link is a short video on how to accomplish this. As a faculty member, you should have access to an Enterprise Adobe Creative Cloud account, which includes Adobe Acrobat Pro.
Converting Word Documents to PDF
When converting word documents to PDF, use the Acrobat PDFMaker application in Microsoft Word. This is automatically added to Word when Adobe Acrobat is installed on your computer. The following video shows how to establish the best preferences for converting from word to PDF.
What About Lecture Slides?
If lecture slides were generated by typing directly into PowerPoint or Google Presentations, lecture slides should have recognizable text.
If you are using images in your courses, please make sure you have provided descriptions for the images. Images include pictures, graphs, and equations. If you don’t have descriptions for these, DRS will contact you for assistance with an appropriate description for accuracy. This is important as for students with a screen reader, these descriptions are what the computer reads to the student. If they are incomplete or inaccurate, the student may not have the proper understanding of the material.
A good method for generating image description is to describe it as though you were talking to someone on the telephone who didn’t know the material.
If you have questions regarding anything that may or may not have been contained in this document, please contact DRS for support. We will do our best to help you.