Alternative Delivery of DRC Services to Students and Faculty

Beginning on March 23, Purdue will move all instruction to an online/alternative delivery format. The Disability Resource Center (DRC) will continue to support students and faculty during this time, but the way we do our work may look different. Below are some alternative approaches the DRC will be taking to support students and faculty. This site will be updated regularly as needed.

Student Accommodation Resources - Online Learning

The DRC is available to discuss any concerns you may have about the implementation of your accommodations in an online environment. To aid a smooth transition to this new environment, we encourage you to engage with your instructors to identify how the course will be managed and designed and have conversations about how your accommodations will be implemented in the online environment.

Do not wait for your instructor to reach out to you. We find instructors respect all students that initiate contact, as it shows your involvement in the learning process. Your Access Consultant is happy to discuss any concerns you or your instructor may have. We urge you to also understand, for some of your instructors, this is a whole new approach and they have questions as well.

Student Meetings and the Interactive Process

The DRC will continue to connect with students via platforms such as ZOOM, Skype, and WebEx, as well as by phone and email. We will resume in-person meetings when Purdue resumes in-person instruction.

Prospective students and their families are welcome to connect with the DRC virtually as well. To schedule a virtual meeting, contact the DRC by email at drc@purdue.edu or by phone at 765-494-1247.

Toolkit for Online Students

Purdue Online has a digital toolkit for students taking online classes. The toolkit has topics related to success in online courses including: organization, communication, study habits, working with groups, tools, and support. Visit the Innovative Learning website to explore this resource as you navigate online classes.

Additionally, the Academic Success Center website includes additional information about the resources that are available online.

Taking Exams with Disability-based Accommodations

Because the DRC is not administering in-person exams, the online scheduling system (OSS) that students normally use to schedule exams has been disabled. Students who have been approved for testing accommodations should continue to receive these accommodations regardless of the platform for administration.

Students will need to work with their instructors to ensure that test accommodations are in place within the online environment. In online instruction, instructors have the ability to schedule online exam times and extend time for students when appropriate without needing the DRC’s assistance. Ideally, students will be able to identify suitable spaces, whether they choose to reside on campus or elsewhere, to complete online assessments and other coursework remotely. If a student or instructor has questions or needs assistance related to accommodations, they should contact the DRC.

We encourage students to engage their instructors as soon as possible before taking an exam/quiz in the online environment. Students and instructors should have a mutual understanding of approved accommodations and how they will be delivered in the online environment. The university has developed the Innovative Learning website to support Instructors. Proactive communication between students and their instructors is an essential piece of the accommodation process.

Extended Time
  • Approved extended time is applicable when the exam has a pre-set limited amount of working time. The pre-set (class time) should be multiplied by what the Course Accessibility Letter states.
  • If the exam is available for a period of time (such as a day or several days), but you have a defined amount of working time once the exam is opened, your extended time would be applied as is done for an in-class exam.
  • If the exam is available for several days with no specific amount of time given for the exam, then extended time is generally not applied when the working window is more than 24 hours. To clarify how you extended time should be applied, please contact your Access Consultant as soon as possible.
  • Tests, quizzes, and exams given may be offered through Blackboard or Brightspace.
    • In this situation, the platform controls the amount of time and will shut down the exam when the allotted time expires. When the exam has a specific amount of working time, please confirm ahead of time with your instructor they have accounted for your extended time, as it will differ from your classmates who do not have this accommodation.
    • Your instructor may choose some other means to administer a timed exam. If so, please talk with your instructor to ensure that your start and end times account for your extended time so there is no questions about the amount of time you have to work the exam.
Breaks During Exams

The DRC recommends students with this accommodation get 15% additional time for each exam and quiz. This should be pro-rated based on the time the class has to work on exams. This accommodation is not to be used for working on the exam. It has been determined the student has a condition that requires this accommodation to “take a break” from the exam. If students feel they have a need for longer breaks, on a regular basis, they need to let the faculty member know as well as their Access Consultant. The Access Consultant needs to provide specific guidance to the instructor. Note: As with an in-class exam, the Purdue Code of Honor applies to student’s appropriate use of accommodations.

Large print and Assistive Technology use on exams

If students have any concerns about the ability to utilize assistive technology on an exam, please contact your instructor and remind them this is one of your accommodations. Be aware that lock down browsers like RESPONDUS, can interfere with various types of assistive technology solutions. If there are questions about the implementation of Assistive Technology for your exams, please contact your Access Consultant.

Flexibility with Attendance

For some students, moving to an online environment may greatly diminish their use of attendance accommodations. The accommodation should continue to be available and will most likely be used to address assignment deadlines and make-up exams in the online classroom format. Students should continue to inform the instructor and your Access Consultant when you experience the need to use this accommodation.

Peer Note Takers

Based on course design and delivery this accommodation may be less necessary than when you were physically in a class. An email message has been sent both to peer note-takers and students who use this accommodation. Note-takers will continue to take notes and share them with you unless this new online environment changes your access. If you no longer need access to a peer notetaker, please notify your notetaker and drcnotetaking@purdue.edu. If you have questions, please contact your Access Consultant.

Other Accommodations

If you receive other accommodations that will be impacted by moving to the online learning environment, please communicate with your instructor immediately to discuss options. Access barriers cannot be addressed if we do not know about them. The DRC is always available to assist as needed in conversations regarding the implementation of accommodations.

Faculty Accommodation Resources - Online Learning

The Disability Resource Center (DRC) is your partner in the educational process for students with disabilities. The information provided here was created to assist you in understanding your role and our shared responsibility in working with students with disabilities.

Please review your students’ course accessibility letters (CALs) they shared electronically with you via the myPurdue portal. These accommodations remain in effect, though the implementation of accommodations may change. If you have questions about how to implement specific accommodations, please feel free to reach out to the Access Consultant listed on their CAL or send an email to drc@purdue.edu.

Our objective is to build a collaborative relationship with you and the students enrolled in your courses to ensure that approved accommodations are in place for students who register with Disability Services.

The university has developed the Innovative Learning website to support Instructors. You can learn about the features of the two learning management systems (LMS) Purdue has, and how to implement some of the more common accommodations like extending time on exams, by clicking on the link.

The DRC will be participating in a Virtual Drop-In Session on providing accommodations online. To participate in this session, please visit our Events page.

Testing Accommodations

The Disability Resource Center (DRC) will no longer be proctoring exams in our testing center as a result of moving to an online teaching platform. The majority of testing accommodations can be fulfilled by the course instructor in the LMS. The most common testing accommodation is extended time.

Students who have testing accommodations listed on their Course Accessibility Letter (CAL) should continue to receive these accommodations. The one exception would be that students will be able to control their test taking environment when it comes to a distraction reduced or private room accommodation.

  • Approved extended time is applicable when the exam has a pre-set limited amount of working time. The pre-set (class time) should be multiplied by what the Course Accessibility Letter states.
  • If the exam is available for a window of time ( such as a day or several days), but there is a defined amount of working time once the exam is opened, the student’s extended time would be applied as is done for an in-class exam.
  • If the exam is available for several days with no specific amount of time given for the exam, then extended time is generally not applied when the working window is more than 24 hours. To clarify when extended time should be applied, please contact the Access Consultant listed on the CAL, or the DRC, as soon as possible.
  • Tests, quizzes, and exams given may be offered through Blackboard or Brightspace.
    • In this situation, the platform controls the amount of time and will shut down the exam when the allotted time expires. When the exam has a specific amount of working time, please confirm ahead of time that extended time is set for students with this accommodation.
    • Instructors may choose some other means to administer a timed exam. If so, please ensure the start and end times account for correct amount of extended time.
Breaks During Exams

The DRC recommends students with this accommodation get 15% additional time for each exam and quiz to account for this accommodation. This should be pro-rated based on the time the class has to work on exams. This accommodation is not to be used for working on the exam. It has been determined the student has a condition that requires this accommodation to “take a break” from the exam. If students feel they have a need for longer breaks, on a regular basis, they need to let the faculty member know as well as their Access Consultant. The Access Consultant needs to provide specific guidance to the instructor. Note: as with an in-class exam, the Purdue Code of Honor applies to student’s appropriate use of accommodations.

Large print and Assistive Technology use on exams

Our office recommends providing students with accommodations that fall under this heading, an exam in a Word document. This format provides a maximum amount of flexibility whether it be access through screen reading technology, or the need to enlarge the font. Be aware that lock down browsers like RESPONDUS, can interfere with various types of assistive technology solutions like: screen readers, screen magnification, etc. The Innovative Learning website highly discourages the use of a lock down browser for exam administration and encourages instructors to develop different forms of learning assessments.

Peer Note-takers

The DRC will continue to manage the peer note-taker process in the online environment. Our office may reach out to faculty for assistance if needed. If students come to you about a problem with peer note-takers, and this accommodation is on their CAL, refer them back to their DRC Access Consultant.

Flexibility with Attendance

For some students, moving to an online environment may greatly diminish their use of this accommodation. This accommodation will continue to be available and will most likely be used to address assignment deadlines and make-up exams in the online classroom format. Students should notify their instructor and their Access Consultant when they experience the need to use this accommodation. If faculty have concerns about this accommodation, please contact the student’s Access Consultant.

Accommodations for students who are Deaf/hard of hearing

Generally, accommodations for this group of students needs to be thought of, and planned for based on the way they gain access. All students who are deaf/hard of hearing who are registered with the DRC have been contacted so that we can set up access for them proactively. If a student notifies you that they are having a difficult time engaging with the online course because of a hearing disability, please put them in contact with the DRC immediately. Please note, moving to online instruction may be helpful for some students, because of built in microphones in computers and limits to external noises.

  • Real-time captioning (CART)

    If you have a student that is currently utilizing CART services, you have received an email from the DRC to learn more about your class design and structure. For classes that are set up asynchronously CART will no longer be the primary method of captioning, and our office will work with you to set up a better resource for students. If you have a student utilizing CART in your course currently and you are going to set up your online class synchronously, contact Mandie Waling, awaling@purdue.edu, to discuss the implementation of CART in the online classroom.

  • American Sign Language (ASL) Interpreting

    If you have a student that is currently utilizing ASL Interpreting services, you have received an email from the DRC to learn more about your class design and structure. We are work with our interpreting vendor to set up Video Remote Interpreting (VRI). We will be creating a video that gives specific instructions for remote interpreting in online platforms (Zoom, WebEx) and will be sending that out to faculty who have a student utilizing ASL in their course. Additionally, there may be one-time VRI uses, in online help rooms, office hours, group meeting, etc. If you have questions about this implementation, contact DRC Access Facilitator, Kathy Dyke, kdyke@purdue.edu

  • Closed captioning

    If you have a student that is currently utilizing closed captioning services, or who has requested it since the move to online instruction you have received an email from the DRC to learn more about your class design and structure.

    Videos posted in Blackboard

    • Please share collaboration or publishing rights to your media.
    • Go to “My Media” list in blackboard. This is on the left side of the page in your MyBlackboard tab. Click the edit button for the video/s you want to share and then choose the collaboration tab.
    • Please add both Mandie Waling (awaling) and Kathy Dyke (kdyke) as collaborators or publishers to your videos. Setting it this way will allow captioning to be added directly to your selected videos once captioning is completed.
Accommodations for Students who are Blind/Low Vision

Generally, accommodations for this group of students needs to be thought of, and planned for based on the way they gain access. The DRC is actively working with many of our Blind/Low Vision students who have expressed concern about the online course environment. If a student notifies you that they are having a difficult time engaging with the online course because of a visual disability, please put them in contact with the DRC immediately.

Creating Accessible Material

When creating and uploading documents to your course, think about if the content is accessible. If your students request that your documents be made accessible, look at these sites for guidance in Word or PowerPoint. The DRC would suggest Word documents as much as possible as this format provides a maximum amount of flexibility whether it be access through screen reading technology, or the need to enlarge the font. If you are having difficulty designing these, Innovative Learning has a wealth of resources. Additionally, you or the student can contact altformats@purdue.edu, and our Alternative Formats team in the DRC may be able to assist you.

If you have a large amount of visual material (graphics, photos, etc) in documents and have a student utilizing Assistive Technology, we may need to work with you to design Alternative Text Descriptions. If you have any questions about accessible material for students registered with the DRC, please contact altformats@purdue.edu

The Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD) has a resource dedicated to considering accessibility in online teaching emergencies. This document is under active development and will also include other information relevant to addressing the needs of disabled students