Student Accessibility Services

Welcome

The office of Student Accessibility Services (SAS) provides accommodations, consultation and advocacy for qualified students with disabilities at Kent State University at East Liverpool and Kent State University at Salem. We serve students with visual, hearing and speech impairments; specific learning disabilities; psychological disabilities; chronic health disorders; physiological disabilities; and temporary injuries.

Our office engages in an interactive process with each student and reviews requests for accommodations on a case-by-case basis. Students can register with SAS at any time during the semester, but we recommend that students complete their registration prior to the start of their first semester. In most cases, accommodations are not applied retroactively and some accommodations (e.g., closed-captioned videos) take additional time to put in place so it is important to plan accordingly.

Students taking courses, including web-based courses, at another Kent State University location must register with the SAS Office at the campus the student is enrolled in to be eligible for disability-related accommodations.

 

SAS Handbook - RC Grievance Procedure  Access Kent State Request Accommodation Letters

Kent State Faculty: you are an ESSENTIAL part of providing access both in and out of the classroom. We need your active engagement as we partner to provide equally effective access to learning materials for ALL students. 

Most instructors will have at least one student in every class who uses accommodations. We'll use this page to teach you about the accommodation categories and how to meet each accommodation in Canvas (if applicable). And each section has the contact information for the pertinent accessibility specialists to assist you if you get stuck. We're in this together and want to do everything possible to smooth your path as you work to benefit our students!

Companion Equal Access Training: Creating Accessible Courses

 


BP Paragraphs: 
Syllabus Statement on Accessibility

Faculty should include the approved disability accommodation statement in each course syllabus. SAS also recommends reviewing the accommodation statement during the first class meeting. Doing so may increase awareness of the accommodation process and the student's comfort with providing notification, as well as help to assure faculty receive timely notification for accommodation requests.

Kent State University is committed to inclusive and accessible education experiences for all students. University Policy 3342-3-01.3 requires that students with disabilities be provided reasonable accommodations to ensure equal access to course content. Students with disabilities are encouraged to connect with Student Accessibility Services as early as possible to establish accommodations. If you anticipate or experience academic barriers based on a disability (including mental health, chronic medical conditions, or injuries), please let me know immediately. 

Student Accessibility Services (SAS) Contact Information:

Location: University Library, Suite 100
Email: sas@kent.edu
Phone: 330-672-3391
Web: www.kent.edu/sas 

Important Terms

Accommodations: Adjustments and aids provided to students with disabilities. Accommodations are mandated under federal law and university policy.

Course Accessibility Letter (CAL): The official notification of a student’s minimum accommodation requirements.

  • Student initiates the requests for an individual letter for each course, each semester.
  • SAS composes then sends these letters to instructors via the instructor’s Kent State email.
  • CALs do not include student disability information but should be considered CONFIDENTIAL.
  • PRIVACY: Discuss with no one unless you have other instructors or teaching assistants responsible for providing accommodations in your class.

Disability: A physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activity. Disabilities may be categorized as physical, psychological, medical, learning/cognitive, sensory, or mobility and can impact many parts of a college student’s life, including their access to the educational experience.
 

What to do when you receive a letter
  1. Read the letter thoroughly. While CALs may sometimes be lengthy, they are an essential part of providing equitable and legally required disability access.
  2. Contact your student to discuss the accommodations. Students are encouraged to contact their instructors to discuss their CALs but may not feel comfortable doing so. Your proactive outreach lets students know that you are interested in their success.
  3. Contact SAS to discuss questions about accommodations. If you see a new accommodation or are unfamiliar with how to implement an accommodation in your classroom, you can reply to the CAL. An Access Consultant will then follow up with you to answer your question or provide additional assistance.
  4. If the accommodation does not apply to your class (such as a class without exams), you can let the student know that they do not need to worry about those accommodations.
  5. If an accommodation would alter your ability to assess the learning outcomes of your course, you must let SAS know immediately. SAS will gather additional information about the course and make a determination about what accommodations are appropriate. Until that process is complete, you should provide the accommodation as fully as possible.
     

 

Accommodations on the Course Accessibility Letter (CAL) are grouped into these categories:

Course Policy Flexibility: NEW

**THE FOLLOWING IS A NEW PROCESS FOR FALL 2022 PER THE OFFICE OF CIVIL RIGHTS, DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION:

Calendar Icon showing 2-4 weeks before classes
Department of Education Seal
USE: 
Beginning Fall 2022, eligible students whose disability interferes with their ability to meet with the stated attendance, deadline, or participation expectations of a course will be assigned a Course Policy Flexibility (CPF) Accommodation. This change is required by the Office of Civil Rights at the Department of Education.

FACULTY ROLE: This new process must be very interactive between Student Accessibility Services (SAS), faculty members, and relevant academic administrators (such as the department chair, program coordinator, or academic dean) and must ensure adequate time to properly accommodate the student. The CPF Accommodation will be listed on the student’s Course Accessibility Letter (CAL) which must be requested by the student prior to using accommodations. 

OUTLINE OF NEW PROCESS: 

  1. Students initiate the accommodation by completing a form that outlines how they would like to use the accommodation. 
  2. Faculty members receive an email outlining the student’s accommodation request from SAS. 
  3. Faculty members agree or provide feedback about how the accommodation can be used via email to SAS.  
  4. Faculty members who believe that the accommodation alters the fundamental nature of their course will engage in the necessary interactive process.   
  5. SAS reviews all information and creates a Course Policy Flexibility Agreement (CPF Agreement) that outlines the flexibility available. SAS shares it with all parties within seven business days of receiving all necessary information from the student and the instructor.  

WHAT TO DO: Begin watching for emails regarding Course Policy Flexibility two to three weeks before the semester begins. These emails will come from SASFlex@kent.edu. Please reply promptly as the process can't proceed without your information. Response options include:

  • Instructor approves of flexibility. SAS will provide the instructor and the student with a CPF Agreement that can be referenced throughout the semester.  
  • Instructor suggests changes. Instructors should list the suggested changes and tell us why this change is appropriate. SAS will review all information and make a final determination where necessary. SAS will provide the instructor and the student with a CPF Agreement that can be referenced throughout the semester.  

EXAMPLES OF APPROPRIATE COURSE FLEXIBILITY: Most courses can accommodate some level of flexibility for attendance, deadline, participation, or presentation requirements. The Center for Teaching and Learning can assist faculty members in identifying different methods of assessment or adaptions to course policies to ensure that all students are accommodated while meeting the stated learning outcomes for the course or program. Some examples of appropriate course flexibility include: 

- Allowing for additional excused absences during the semester. If your syllabus allows three absences, consider providing five or six absences to this this student.  

  • Provide guidance about specific dates where course material can not be replicated, such as a scheduled interactive activity or demonstration.
  • Consider allowing students to attend a different section of your course to make up missed sessions.  
  • Identify possible videos or other resources for students to review missed information.
  • Consider recording or offering a live stream of a class session.

- Allowing for one or two additional days for project completion where deadlines are not essential for providing immediate feedback or peer review.  

- Provide alternative ways for students to demonstrate understanding in lieu of class participation. Offer the option to submit a written paragraph before or immediately after class to share what they did not share in class, or provide all students with the opportunity to utilize a Canvas discussion board.  

- Offer the opportunity for students to submit a recording or present to the instructor directly in lieu of a live class presentation where interacting with the audience is not required.  

FUNDAMENTAL NATURE DETERMINATION: Instructors who feel there is no possible flexibility in their course should complete the CPF Fundamental Nature Form to provide additional information to SAS.  Examples of learning activities where flexibility is not appropriate include ​​​​assessments or courses where the accommodation would:

  • Lower essential academic standards
  • Substantially modify the course or academic program, or
  • Impact course and/or academic program-related licensing requirements. 

SAS must engage with the student, professor, and relevant academic administrators (e.g. program coordinator, department chair, or academic dean) in an interactive process before making a determination about the appropriateness of an accommodation as a requirement of the Department of Education Office of Civil Rights in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act as Amended and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. The Center for Teaching and Learning can assist faculty members in incorporating accessibility into their teaching methods to best accommodate students.  

If, after consulting with all appropriate academic personnel, the CPF accommodation is determined to not be reasonable for a specific course, SAS will notify students of this determination in writing to their Kent State email address within a timely manner. SAS will also work with the student to determine what, if any, alternative accommodations may be provided to effectively address the student’s disability-related needs.  

For more information, please review the CPF Accommodation Policy

SAS SUPPORTSASFlex@kent.edu, 330-672-3391. If you are a faculty member at a regional campus, please contact your SAS Coordinator for support.

Alternative Media
Stack of Notebooks, Pencil and Eye Glasses on top of printed spreadsheet
Calendar Icon showing 2-4 weeks before classes
USE
: Alternative formats of visual material may be required for students with print-based or visual disabilities. SAS will assist you in providing the appropriate format for the student. Students will already have had to provide proof to SAS that they have a legal right to access copyrighted materials, so you may assume the legality of any request that comes to you.  

WHAT TO DO: Contact SAS 2-4 weeks before classes begin to determine which materials YOU are able to remediate and which materials SAS will convert. Work with SAS to provide access to all necessary materials as early as possible, as SAS' work to convert materials could take one to two weeks. SAS staff may request access to your Canvas classroom to evaluate or convert materials.

Work to make sure all existing learning materials within your Canvas course are accessible (See below: Digital Accessibility Support). SAS students should have access to their alternative format at the same time as other students receive the material, so working ahead to create accessible documents then providing access to SAS well in advance is essential. 

WHEN TO ACT: Contact SAS 2-4 weeks before the first day of classes. Converting materials could take one to two weeks and SAS students should have access to their alternative format at the same time as other students receive the material, so sending materials to SAS in advance is essential.

HOW TO BE PROACTIVE: Learn the basics of creating accessible documents and captioning videos, then begin remediating a few files each month until the entire course has accessible materials. See below (Digital Accessibility Support) for helpful webpages and to register for trainings. 

SAS SUPPORT: Zachary Strickler, zstrick1@kent.edu. If you are a faculty member at a regional campus, contact your SAS Coordinator.

CANVAS SUPPORT: Adding Course Content to a Module. Personal help and support available at: Course Support

DIGITAL ACCESSIBILITY SUPPORT: WebpageHow to Create Accessible Documents; Workshops, Equal Access Academy; Individual, email Doug Flower at dflower7@kent.edu

ACCOMMODATIONS YOU MAY SEE:

Classroom Access
Student with red hair and a black sweatshirt bent over a notebook in a classroom lab. Other students and tables in the background.
Calendar Icon reading "Before day one of classes"
USE: Classroom access accommodations may be required for students whose disability impacts their ability to listen to lectures, participate in class discussions, utilize existing classroom furniture, or otherwise interact with course material within the classroom.

WHAT TO DO: Start by finding the appropriate accommodations below (Accommodations You May See) and clicking on pertinent ones for a full explanation and resources for using Canvas to meet that accommodation. After you feel sufficiently educated, contact the student and ask how to accommodate their needs. Some students will not use all accommodations in every class, and not all accommodations will apply to every course. 

After speaking with the student, if you have questions about how to implement a classroom access accommodation, contact SAS. Any of our Access Consultants can provide additional information.

WHEN TO ACT: Communicate with the student BEFORE the first day of classes. 

HOW TO BE PROACTIVE: Carve out regular time to process the flow of accommodation requests (and make adjustments in Canvas, if necessary) the two weeks before and after classes begin. Any delay in the implementation of accommodations adds additional stress to the student when their energies should be focused on healthy preparation for the semester, not wondering if their accommodation will be worked out. 

SAS SUPPORT: Any Access Consultant, sas@kent.edu or 330-672-3391. If you are a faculty member at a regional campus, contact your SAS Coordinator.

CANVAS SUPPORT: Specific instructions for applicable accommodations are available by clicking the accommodation in the list below. Personal help and support available at: Course Support

ACCOMMODATIONS YOU MAY SEE:

Communication Access
Calendar Icon showing 2-4 weeks before classes
Young woman with Headphones on, writing in a notebook with an open computer beside her
USE: Communication access accommodations may be required for students who are Deaf, Hard of Hearing, or otherwise experience impairments related to hearing and communicating in the classroom. SAS will make arrangements for service providers as needed.

WHAT TO DO: Contact SAS and provide access to all necessary materials as early as possible, as SAS' work to convert materials could take one to two weeks. You may also be asked to share course materials with service providers so that they can adequately prepare. SAS students should have access to their captioned videos or other accommodations at the same time as other students receive the material, so sending materials to SAS in advance is essential. When the semester begins, assist service providers (interpreters, captionists, etc.) in identifying the appropriate location in the classroom.

WHEN TO ACT: 2-4 weeks before the first day of classes. Converting materials could take one to two weeks and SAS students should have access to their alternative format at the same time as other students receive the material, so providing materials access to SAS in advance is essential.

HOW TO BE PROACTIVE: Learn how to caption videos, then begin remediating a few videos each month until the entire course has accessible materials. Apply captioning practices to EVERY NEW video you create. See below (Digital Accessibility Support) for helpful webpages and to register for trainings. Make audio amplification of your voice (microphone) standard practice, as it benefits more than those who require accommodations.

SAS SUPPORT: Eileen Mlachack, emlachak@kent.edu. If you are a faculty member at a regional campus, contact your SAS Coordinator.

DIGITAL ACCESSIBILITY SUPPORT: WebpageHow to Caption Videos Using Kaltura; Workshops, Kaltura Reach Captioning Tool; Individual, email Johnny Rocco at jrocco2@kent.edu

CANVAS SUPPORT: Personal help and support available at: Course Support

ACCOMMODATIONS YOU MAY SEE:

Testing Services
Calendar Icon reading "One week before each exam"
Frustrated Student looking at computer in study nook
USE: 
Testing accommodations may be required for students whose disability impairs their ability to take exams or quizzes using the standard conditions of the classroom. Students with exam accommodations have the option to use the SAS testing center, an alternative location, or have the accommodations implemented within the Canvas course.

To take their exams and quizzes in the SAS office, students must schedule them through their Access KSU account at least three business days in advance (see the section below "Using SAS for Exams"). However, students will work with you, the instructor, to receive exam accommodations in the classroom or in an alternative location, such as an instructor’s office (see the section below "Proctoring Exams Yourself").

WHAT TO DO: Instructors are responsible for extending the student’s time for all online exams and quizzes. Speak with the student to see how they want to use this accommodation. Not all students will use these accommodations for every exam or quiz.

WHEN TO ACT: Make sure all testing arrangements have been discussed with the student at least one week before EACH exam. This allows time for the student to decide how to complete the test then make the appropriate arrangements within SAS's mandated timeline, which is three business days before the exam.

USING SAS FOR EXAMS AT THE KENT CAMPUS: SAS will email you a reminder to send your exams to our office when a student schedules an appointment. Use the Exam Instruction Form to upload your exams and quizzes for SAS proctoring. Completed exams can be picked up in the SAS office or returned via Kent State email. Students are expected to take their exams at the same day and time as the class. If the student has a conflict with another class or if the class is scheduled outside of the regular hours of SAS, the student should ask your permission to take the exam at a different time. You can indicate this approval on the Exam Instruction Form or by emailing the student or SAS with your approval. When students take exams with SAS, SAS will provide the necessary accommodations and assistive technology needed for students to take their exams. Please note, testing services at Kent State regional campuses may use different processes. For more information about testing services at your campus, please contact the SAS coordinator at your campus.

PROCTORING EXAMS YOURSELF: It may be appropriate for instructors to provide students with the option to take their exams in their office, in a conference room, or in another location. Discuss this option with your student. This may be necessary if your class falls outside the regular hours of SAS. Faculty are responsible for implementing all requested accommodations when proctoring exams outside of SAS.

HOW TO BE PROACTIVE: Consider fewer but more frequent assessments rather than a couple of intense exams. Lower stakes and smaller amounts of material free up valuable mental and emotional bandwidth for students. Offering assessments in multiple modalities is also very beneficial to students, with or without accommodations. The Center for Teaching and Learning has many educational resources that explore varied teaching and assessment methods. 

SAS SUPPORT: Patti Marcum, pmarcum@kent.edu. If you are a faculty member at a regional campus, contact your SAS Coordinator.

ONLINE PROCTORING SUPPORT: Review guidance and tutorials for administering online proctoring, including Proctorio. Note: Students cannot use Proctorio at SAS. If accommodations require students to test in SAS, you may be asked to remove your exam from Proctorio for that student to facilitate SAS proctoring the exam. 

CANVAS SUPPORT: Extend an Assignment Due Date for One+ Student/sGiving Extra Quiz Time to Certain StudentsAdd Extra Time on All Assessments At Once For Certain Students. Personal help and support available at: Course Support

ACCOMMODATIONS YOU MAY SEE: