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Updates Regarding Transition to Online Courses

Student Disability Services is committed to assisting students and faculty in ensuring the continued provision of disability-related accommodations as courses are transitioning to an online format. Both students and faculty are encouraged to contact SDS for guidance on the application of approved accommodations in their courses. Please note that this information will be updated frequently as we learn more about the nature of courses available to students.

For the most common accommodations and how to implement them in an online environment, visit Accommodation Implementation.


SDS and Virtual Instruction FAQs

Student FAQ:


Yes, SDS is still operating Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. All appointments and services will be conducted via Zoom or phone until further notice. Documentation should be emailed, faxed, or mailed; SDS will be unable to proctor exams while virtual instruction is in place at UTK. The Assistive Technology Lab, Study Areas and Testing Center within the office are closed.

If you have questions or concerns, please contact the office by phone 865-974-6087 or email at sds@utk.edu. Individuals who are Deaf or Hard of hearing may also contact SDS by videophone at 865-622-6566. Additionally, you are welcome to email your assigned Accommodations Coordinator.



SDS will not be able to proctor exams in the Testing Center while the University’s instruction remains online only. Please communicate with your instructors to discuss your exam accommodations in their courses.  SDS is available to students and instructors to consult about unique circumstances.

    • Some instructors may opt for alternative assessments (e.g. essays, untimed exams) which would not require exam accommodations.
    • If your instructor is creating online timed exams, please notify your instructor if you will need extended time. Additional time may be added to timed exams and quizzes in Canvas.



No, you do not need to book any exams/quizzes through the Student Portal to access your extended time accommodation while courses are fully online.  To ensure you have your approved extended amount of time, contact your instructor at least three business days prior to the exam start time reminding them of your specific extended time accommodation.


Typically, Note Takers are only hired for online courses if there are live lectures that are not recorded for later review.  However, SDS is electing not to make any changes in Note Taker assignments and responsibilities this semester.  Note Takers will continue to take notes on any lectures that are given by the instructors, recorded or not, in currently assigned courses and upload the notes in the Portal as usual.

However, you may find that you no longer need a note-taker due to course design changes. For example, lectures that are prerecorded videos can be watched at your own pace. Additionally, asynchronous courses with no recordings may not warrant a note taker.  If you would like to discontinue notetaking services, please cancel your request via the Student Portal.


The LAAP accommodation will be administered in much the same way for live synchronous class meetings as for in-person.  Please contact SDS if any questions arise about utilizing this accommodation for asynchronous course components.


No, the process is the same.  Complete the Books in Alternative Format Request Form on the SDS website. Make sure to submit a copy of your receipt to altmedia@utk.edu. Inaccessible reading assignments may be submitted to altmedia@utk.edu for conversion. SDS requires at least two weeks’ notice; however, we will do our best to submit the materials in a timely fashion.


Yes. However, all transit services are operating at a reduced capacity effective March 23rd to align with anticipated rider demand during online learning sessions.  Information about the T Bus, T-Access, and T-Link hours of operations and routes can be found on the Parking and Transit Services website.


SDS is committed to assisting students and faculty in ensuring the continued provision of disability-related accommodations as courses transition to an online format. SDS has created a list of the most common accommodations provided this semester and potential ways to implement them in an online environment. It is important to note that these are suggestions, and an individualized review of the implementation of a student’s accommodations may be required. If you have questions or concerns, please contact your coordinator for guidance on the application of approved accommodations in your courses.


Pin screen allows you to disable active speaker view, which shows the video of the person speaking at that moment. It allows you to only view a specific speaker in a window larger than the other windows.

To pin a video:

      1. Hover over the video until (Mute with 3 dots appear).
      2. Right click on the three dots.
      3. Choose “pin video” from the drop-down menu.
      4. Once you pin a video, you will have to click the bottom of the screen and drag it to make the window larger.

Pinning another user’s video will only affect your local view in the Zoom Room, not the view of other participants and will not affect recordings.


If you are not currently registered with SDS, please follow the steps outlined on the SDS Registration page.

If you are currently registered with SDS, please contact the office (Phone: 865-974-6087; VP: 865-622-6565; Email: sds@utk.edu) or email your Accommodations Coordinator.



Instructor FAQ:


We acknowledge the significant effort required to quickly adapt your courses to online instruction. We want to collaborate with you to ensure that access for students with disabilities is maintained through this transition. Some students may encounter disability-related barriers with online instruction or assessment (e.g. students who use assistive technology, students with medical limitations on screen usage). SDS staff are available for consultation regarding best practices and accessibility. (Phone: 865-974-8067; Videophone for individuals who are Deaf or Hard of hearing: 865-622-6566; Email: sds@utk.edu)

Tips to keep in mind as you are creating virtual course content are available on the Explore Access website and DO-IT websites. Additional information about designing accessible courses on canvas, how-to guides, and accessibility checklists, visit OIT’s Accessibility of Learning Materials page.



Faculty may access all spring 2020 accommodation letters via the Faculty Portal.



Extended time on exams and quizzes as an accommodation generally only applies to traditional, time-limited exams. If you decide to offer alternative means of assessment (e.g. essays, non-timed exams, project work), then a student’s extended time may no longer be applicable. We encourage you to speak with registered students if that is the case.

SDS will not be proctoring exams while the University’s instruction remains online only. Students will be responsible for securing an alternative location or reduced distraction environment for their exams. However, students with assistive technology accommodations, or accommodations that cannot be provided in an online format, have been asked to contact SDS as soon as possible. Faculty should contact SDS as well to discuss the course and testing accommodations

Please communicate with your students to discuss their exam accommodations in your courses. SDS is available to instructors and students to consult.


Instructors are responsible for adding additional time to timed quizzes/exams in Canvas. Instructions for adding additional time can be found on the Canvas Guides page.  You may also contact OIT for additional assistance.

Prior to making time allotment adjustments, please confirm how much extended time each of your students should get for their quizzes/exams.  You can confirm an individual student’s extended time multiplier by logging into the Faculty Portal, checking their Faculty Accommodations Letter email, or contacting SDS.


Since it is not possible to pause the clock on timed, online exams, additional time for breaks must be included in order to accommodate the potential need to address symptoms while testing.  As such, instructors will be adding an additional 25% more testing time for students who have the pause time accommodation.  The 25% will be calculated on the base testing time and will be added even if the student also has extended testing time.  For example, a student with pause time AND 50% more testing time, should receive 75% more testing time.  With that in mind, assuming a 50-minute exam, such a student would have received an additional 25 minutes in class, but now they should receive an additional 37.5 (or 38) minutes.


The LAAP accommodation will be administered in much the same way for live synchronous class meetings as for in-person.  Please contact SDS if any questions arise about utilizing this accommodation for asynchronous course components.


Students who request printed materials in alternative format will continue to follow the current process of requesting materials via the SDS Forms page. Faculty may submit materials to be converted for the student by emailing altmedia@utk.edu.


Recorded videos posted to the class must be captioned in advance. Contact SDS at altmedia@utk.edu for assistance with your course components. Once received, the materials will be placed on the production queue. We recognize that the turnaround time will be very short and are working with captioning vendors to expedite the process.


Depending on how you choose to conduct class, online courses may present challenges for students who are Deaf or hard of hearing. Please consider the format of your online course and follow the instructions below.

 

Asynchronous classes with recorded lectures

If you choose to record and post media in lieu of virtual meetings, all videos made available to students should be captioned before being released on Canvas.

SDS will add captions to media that is not accessible. Please contact at altmedia@utk.edu for assistance with your course components. Once received, the materials will be placed on the production queue. We recognize that the turnaround time will be very short and are working with captioning vendors to expedite the process. We anticipate the demand for captioning to increase, so we ask a request that you notify us as early as possible. Files can be shared via OneDrive or the Vault.

Please note that auto-generated captions alone, using automatic speech recognition systems are often incorrect and should be avoided. However, Canvas Studio allows for auto captioning with the possibility to edit said captions. Instructions on how to utilize this feature is available on the Canvas Community Page.

 

Synchronous classes with recorded lecture

If a class is recorded live and then posted for students to view later, the video will need to be accessible during the recording and post-production.

      • The interpreter’s video feed will need to be included in the recording, so the student may access it after the course meeting.
      • Methods used in the past include spotlighting the video (see spotlight video) feed of the interpreter to ensure their window remain as part of the main screen. This will ensure that the student has access to the lecture.
      • SDS will need access to the zoom link so the interpreters can join the lecture when it begins.

For additional guidance, please contact Heather Webb at SDS.

 

Synchronous classes without recorded lectures

If a class is live and not recorded:

      • SDS will need access to the zoom link so the interpreters can join the lecture and interpret as if they were in the classroom.
      • Students can manipulate the video of the interpreter to enlarge it as necessary. (See how to pin a video).

For additional guidance, please contact Heather Webb at SDS.


Spotlight video puts a user as the primary active speaker for all participants in the meeting and recordings. The host is the only person that can spotlight a video.

 

To Spotlight a video:

      1. Hover over the video until (Mute with 3 dots pops up).
      2. Right click on the three dots.
      3. Choose “Spotlight Video” from the drop-down menu.
      4. Please note that spotlighting a video changes the view for ALL

Please note that spotlighting does not prevent faculty for sharing items on the screen. The interpreter’s video feed will remain on the main screen although in a smaller window.


Pin screen allows you to disable active speaker view, which shows the video of the person speaking at that moment. It allows you to only view a specific speaker in a window larger than the other windows.

To pin a video:

      1. Hover over the video until (Mute with 3 dots pops up).
      2. Right click on the three dots.
      3. Choose “pin video” from the drop-down menu.
      4. Once you pin a video, you will have to click the bottom of the screen and drag it to make the window larger.

Pinning another user’s video will only affect your local view in the Zoom Room, not the view of other participants and will not affect recordings.


Student Disability Services is committed to assisting students and faculty in ensuring the continued provision of disability-related accommodations as courses are transitioning to an online format. SDS has created a list of the most common accommodations provided this semester and potential ways to implement them in an online environment. It is important to note that these are suggestions and an individualized review of the implementation of a student’s accommodations may be required. If you have questions or concerns, please contact SDS for guidance on the application of approved accommodations in your courses.


Yes, please refer any student who may need assistance based on the impact of a disability to SDS. The process to register with SDS remains unchanged. However, meetings will be held virtually.