Accessibility for Faculty
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
Accommodations on the Course Accessibility Letter (CAL) are grouped into these categories:
- Course Policy Flexibility: NEW
- Alternative Media
- Classroom Access
- Communication Access
- Testing Services
Course Policy Flexibility: NEW
**THE FOLLOWING IS A NEW PROCESS FOR FALL 2022 PER THE OFFICE OF CIVIL RIGHTS, DEPARTMENT OF EDUCATION:
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:
- Students initiate the accommodation by completing a form that outlines how they would like to use the accommodation.
- Faculty members receive an email outlining the student’s accommodation request from SAS.
- Faculty members agree or provide feedback about how the accommodation can be used via email to SAS.
- Faculty members who believe that the accommodation alters the fundamental nature of their course will engage in the necessary interactive process.
- 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.
DETERMINING APPROPRIATENESS OF THE CPF ACCOMMODATION: Instructors who feel that any flexibility could result in a fundamental alteration of the course learning outcomes must discuss their concerns with SAS. Kent campus faculty may schedule a consultation appointment or email SASflex@kent.edu. Regional campus faculty should contact the SAS Coordinator at their respective campus.
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.
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.
ACCOMMODATIONS YOU MAY SEE:
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.
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:
- Access to a Chair
- Assigned Groups
- Breaks as Needed
- Copies of PowerPoint Slides
- Dark Markers for Whiteboard
- Extended Time for In-Class Assignments (1.5x)
- Food and Drink
- Furniture Modification
- Headphones or Ear Plugs
- In-Class Aide
- In-Class Assistance Dog
- Lab Assistant
- Laptop or Mobile Device in Class
- Memory Aid for Presentations
- Note-Taking Assistance
- Photo of the Board
- Priority Seating
- Recored Class Lecture
- Reduced Distraction for In-Class Assignments
- Repeat Questions and Comments
- Service Animal
- Spelling Accommodation
- Sunglasses or Related Device
- Technology for Medical Monitoring
- Webcam Not Required
- Whiteboard Access
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.
CANVAS SUPPORT: Personal help and support available at: Course Support.
ACCOMMODATIONS YOU MAY SEE:
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.
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/s, Giving Extra Quiz Time to Certain Students, Add Extra Time on All Assessments At Once For Certain Students. Personal help and support available at: Course Support.
ACCOMMODATIONS YOU MAY SEE:
- Alternative Exam Proctoring
- ASL Interpreter for Exam
- Bold font
- Braille Exam
- Breaks During Exams
- Calculator for Exams
- Colored Ink for Exams
- Colored Paper for Exams
- Computer for Exams
- Enlarged Print Exam
- Exams Read Aloud
- Extended Time for Online Quizzes
- Extra Time for Take-Home Exams
- Headphones or ear plugs during exams
- Lockdown Browser
- Make-Up Exams
- Memory Aid for Exam
- Memory Aid for Exam - Math
- Music During Exams
- Paper-Based Exams
- Reduced Distraction Testing
- Repeat Audio Portions of Exams
- Review of Answers
- Room Alone Exam - Quiz Location
- Scantron Assistance
- Scrap paper/white board for exams
- Screen Reader - Jaws for Exam - Quiz
- Screen Reader for Exams
- Scribe for Exam - Quiz
- Speech-to-Text Software for Exams
- Spelling Accommodation Exam - Quiz
- Technology for Medical Monitoring - Testing
- Use of CCTV for Exam - Quiz
- Use of ZoomText for Exam - Quiz
- Word Processing with Spell Check Capability