Overview of DRC Accommodations
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.
The university has also 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.
Understanding Your Students' Accommodations
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
You may also view our DRC Glossary of Terms to learn more about specific DRC accommodations.
Purdue Testing Services is available for proctoring exams in the event that the instructor is unable to facilitate the accommodations. This would include both online or paper/pencil exams. For more information about the use of Purdue Testing Services, please visit our website.
If you are setting up testing accommodations for an online exam, please see the following guidance on 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 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 Purdue Testing Services, as soon as possible.
- Tests, quizzes, and exams given may be offered through 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.
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
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.
Food/Drink in Classroom Setting
Students are encouraged to speak with their instructors about this particular accommodation in advance to ensure they have a plan for how this would work should they need to take a break. That would include communicating that the student may need to step out for this purpose, planning to sit near the exit so it is less disruptive, and knowing where they may go that is approved for them to remove their face covering while they consume their food or drink. Students should also have a plan for how they might catch up on any content missed while they step away from the classroom and how it may look different in an exam situation. If students or faculty have any concerns about this adjustment, then please notify 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 Alfredo Rosales, email@example.com, 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, Alfredo Rosales, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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. If you have questions or concerns, contact DRC Access Facilitator, Alfredo Rosales, email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, 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 email@example.com
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