ARC COVID-19 Information for Faculty

PROVIDING ACCESS AND ACCOMMODATIONS IN THE WAKE OF COVID-19 

In light of recent events, with most WPUNJ classes moving to a remote format, it is important to remember that WPUNJ is still obligated to ensure that classes are accessible to Students with disabilities.  

The Accessibility Resource Center (ARC) is committed to supporting Faculty and Students to ensure a seamless transition to remote learning. We will be available on an ongoing basis to consult with Faculty and Students as needed. It is important to keep the lines of communication open regarding accommodations and any barriers to the remote learning experience. If you have any concerns not listed here, the best way to reach us is via email at arc@wpunj.edu and an ARC Staff Member will get back to you as soon as possible. 

Faculty are encouraged to make Distance Learning Accessible to Everyone when creating online content and to consider any new barriers that may be created by moving classes online: 

Below are examples of how commonly approved accommodations may and may not apply in online classes. Please note not all accommodations are listed below. Faculty should review Students’ accommodations and discuss what accommodations may still be needed and how they can be provided. 

How can Faculty make sure students continue to receive accommodations? 

  • Many of the barriers that exist in face to face classes may be eliminated in an online format, additionally new barriers may present themselves.  
  • Many accommodations can seamlessly transfer to the online environment.  For example: 
  • A Student who audio records the lecture can continue to do so 
  • Peer notes will continue to be uploaded for synchronous lectures 

How will accommodations for tests, quizzes and exams be administered? 

Since ARC will be unable to proctor testsquizzes or exams in our Testing Office, it will be the responsibility of Faculty to provide most testing accommodations.  

  • Extended time for testing: All activities with a time limit need to have extended time (1.5x or 2x) adjusted accordingly. If you are administering a Test or Quiz through Blackboard see here: Blackboard: Test Availability Exceptions 
  • Reader and/or Scribe for Testing: Please contact ARC if you have a Student with a Reader or Scribe Accommodation so we can discuss the best ways to implement this 
  • Adaptive Equipment or Assistive Technology for Testing: May not be relevant if Students are using their own equipment, Faculty are still required to ensure the format of the exam is accessible to the student, if assistance is needed, please contact ARC. 
  • Breaks During Exams: If the online testing environment does not allow for breaks, we suggest extending the time of the exam to allow student breaks during exam time. 

The following Accommodations are not relevant for remote testing since students can manage their own testing environment: 

  • Computer for essays 
  • Seating accommodations
  • Reduced distraction environment 
  • No Scantron 
  • Breaks/Access to Food and Drink 

Additionally, 

  • The Department of Information Technology can help Faculty navigate ways to alter the exam length as needed for individual students on Blackboard. For support, call 973-720-4357 or open a Help Desk ticket 
  • Faculty may also consider open book exams instead of Blackboard exams and email their exam directly to students (be sure materials are accessible) 

How will classroom accommodations be implemented? 

Peer Notetaking: ARC has contacted Faculty to help determine if peer notetaking is still relevant to their course. If course content is audio/video recorded and all material is posted online, then individualized accommodations may no longer be necessary.  

Copy of notes, access to slides: If Faculty are not sharing materials with all Students, they may still need to share slides or notes with Students individually. 

Using laptop for taking notes or audio recording lectures: Students are still able to take notes with their laptop and audio record lectures if needed. 

Flexible deadlines: Faculty will need to determine which assignment deadlines may be able to be extended and what is a reasonable amount of extension in the same way they do with face to face courses. If online submission platforms close on the deadline, Faculty will need to offer Students alternate ways of submitting work (such as emailing completed assignments). 

Flexibility with attendance: Depending on the pace of your course, this accommodation may not be relevant. However, if content is not recorded and available for viewing later or if there is an interactive component to the class Faculty will need to work with students to discuss options for making up work or gaining access to material. The Attendance Agreement you have with the student may serve as a useful reference for guiding these discussions. If more information or guidance is needed, please contact ARC. 

Captioning Videos: If you will be adding videos as part of your online content, please ensure they are captioned, or transcripts are available.  

Captioning/Sign Language Interpreters: ARC has contacted Faculty who have students using these services, if you have not heard from us, please contact us. We are committed to providing language access to Deaf/Hard of Hearing students in online classes. 

More information will be provided as it becomes available. 

This page does not address all approved accommodations. If you have questions about how to provide an approved accommodation within an online class, please contact arc@wpunj.edu.