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Welcome to Disability Resources!

Promoting an equitable & inclusive learning environment by providing accommodations, empowering students to become self-advocates, & by educating the campus community.

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Disability Access During COVID-19 Response

Disability Resources has suspended all face-to-face services to allow staff to work remotely under the COVID-19 telecommuting guidelines from President Gabel.

Disability Resources staff are still available to consult on accessibility needs and connect students with disability accommodations. Virtual meetings are available via email, phone, Zoom or Google Hangout during normal business hours Monday - Friday 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM.

To schedule your virtual appointment email umddr@d.umn.edu, or call 218-726-6130 (please leave a message and we'll follow up).

 

Student Resources

  1. Submit the Request for Accommodations Form

    • Complete the Request for Accommodations Form online and provide any available documentation that indicates a history of a disability diagnosis. These steps will save you time later.
    • IMPORTANT: Please note that you should not delay meeting with us out of concern for not having the right paperwork. Each specialist will discuss specific third party documentation needs during the Welcome Meeting and steps you can take after the meeting. Our first priority is meeting with you, not reviewing the paperwork.

  2. Schedule a Welcome Meeting

    • You can email us, call, or visit our office at 258 Kirby Student Center to schedule an appointment. Appointments last approximately 45 – 60 minutes.


  3. Explore Options

    • During the Welcome Meeting, a Disability Specialist will chat with you about the barriers you are experiencing, reasonable accommodations to address the barriers and your next steps. Our goal is to keep the meeting relaxed and comfortable.

      Common Accommodations Available

      Listed below are the most commonly requested accommodations.

      Specific barriers to academic inclusion are discussed with students, and other accommodations may be provided on a case-by-case basis.

      • Test Accommodations
      • Reading Accommodations
      • Note Taking
      • Interpreting
      • Accessible Technology
      • Housing & Dining Accommodations

Disability Resources understands the shift from in-person to online course environments may bring concerns about access and success.

Reasonable accommodations will be available in online course formats based on your Letter of Accommodation. You can view your existing Letters of Accommodation through this student access portal.

We recognize that some accommodations may not easily or reasonably translate to online formats. We commit to working with you to meet your access needs. We also understand that additional accommodations in online environments may be necessary.

Please see our Disability Access During COVID-19 Response page for more information about exam accommodations and note taking accommodations while classes are conducted online

We are here to support you. Please contact your Disability Specialist with any questions or to discuss new accommodation needs. We do ask that students connect with us remotely by phone, email, or video conference (Zoom or Google Hangout) at this time. If you had a meeting scheduled with a staff member in this office, they will be in touch with you to identify your preferred method of remote connection.

Emily Norenberg - 218-726-6101, enorenbe@d.umn.edu

Alissa Postal - 218-726-7965, alstainb@d.umn.edu

Tim Walters - 218-726-8727, walt0295@d.umn.edu

  • All exams scheduled in Disability Resources from March 16 through the end of the term will no longer be proctored in our area. Please contact your instructor for more details on how exams will be delivered.

  • If you have classes that have shifted from in-person to online, please contact your faculty to discuss your extended exam time. While faculty have previously received a copy of your Letter of Accommodation, offering a reminder of this accommodation will be helpful.

  • If you need to access a copy of your Letter of Accommodation, you can search your email, contact Disability Resources staff, or download a copy online through this access portal.

  • If you are taking an exam online, and you suspect your extended exam time has not been included, do not start the exam and contact your faculty member right away.

  • If you use Read and Write Gold to have exams read to you, consider downloading the program to your personal computer.

  • As your classes shift to an online setting, you may have additional accommodations needs. Contact your Disability Specialist to discuss your concerns. You can find out who your Disability Specialist is via the online access portal. Contact information for Disability Resources staff is listed below:

    Emily Norenberg - 218-726-6101, enorenbe@d.umn.edu
    Alissa Postal - 218-726-7965, alstainb@d.umn.edu
    Tim Walters - 218-726-8727, walt0295@d.umn.edu

  • You may wish to continue receiving peer notes while classes are held online, or you may find that online delivery decreases or eliminates your need for peer notes.

  • Remember that you can start and stop recorded lectures as needed, or replay information as needed, which will increase your capacity to take notes.

  • Generally, copies of peer notes will not be provided while classes are held online (through at least April 1, 2020), but we recognize that there may be some classes in which access to class notes is still necessary. Please contact your Disability Specialist to further discuss details specific to your need:

    Emily Norenberg - 218-726-6101, enorenbe@d.umn.edu
    Alissa Postal - 218-726-7965, alstainb@d.umn.edu
    Tim Walters - 218-726-8727, walt0295@d.umn.edu
  • Five Quick Tips for Online Learning

  1. Identify your study space. Where will you study best?
  2. Keep yourself on a schedule. When are you able to focus best?
  3. Remember to take breaks! Walk, stretch, or do something for fun.
  4. How will you track assignments and deadlines? Google calendar, phone reminders, to-do lists and planners are all great options.
  5. Turn off your phone or put it in another room while you’re studying. If you’re doing online coursework, only have tabs open for the course and any linked websites.
  • Use free resources to your advantage

  • RedShelf and VitalSource are offering free access to digital textbooks in response to COVID-19 and the shift to online learning.

    AIRA is a service that enables blind and low vision people to connect to a live agent who can assist with a variety of tasks. Using the camera on a smart phone the AIRA agent can assist the individual by reading inaccessible documents on a computer screen, read website content, describe images, etc. AIRA is offering college students free access through the end of the spring semester, email support@aira.io

 

Faculty Resources

  • Faculty are obligated to provide reasonable accommodations in online course environments.

  • Review previously received Letters of Accommodation for each student:

    • All exams scheduled in Disability Resources from March 16 through the end of the term will no longer be proctored in our area. For students using extended exam time, ensure that any exams offered in the online environment include the appropriate amount of extended exam time. Scroll to the bottom of the page for additional resources.
    • For students requiring accessible course media, all recorded lectures and videos must be captioned. Consider using Kaltura or Zoom to record lectures or broadcast class; both platforms include automatic captioning. Disability Resources is available to consult on other options for captioning recorded content.
    • Services such as ASL and live captioning take time to arrange. It may not be possible to hold a synchronous class in an accessible manner with very short notice (less than 3 days)
    • For students using note taking, consider assigning a student to take notes in Google docs or a similar platform and make them available to the entire class. If faculty wish to continue with the individually assigned note taker model currently implemented in your course, please advise Disability Resources so the note taker can be updated accordingly.
    • For students who require accessible print and visual materials, use only PDFs with OCR (optical character recognition). Also include image descriptions and alt text for all images and videos. Ensure that Powerpoint presentations are accessible to screen readers.

  • Check in with all students about their access needs in the online environment and refer to Disability Resources as appropriate. Students may not have disclosed access needs previously if the course was primarily in person. A student may now require screen reader access, reduced screen time, deadline extensions, live captions or other accessibility needs.

  • Consider offering flexibility with participation. Must a student participate during the regularly scheduled class time, or may discussion occur outside of class time?

Is Disability Resources open

Disability Resources has suspended all face-to-face services to allow staff to work remotely under the COVID-19 telecommuting guidelines from President Gabel.

Disability Resources staff are still available to consult on accessibility needs and connect students with disability accommodations. Virtual meetings are available via email, phone, Zoom or Google Hangout during normal business hours Monday - Friday 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM.To schedule your virtual appointment email umddr@d.umn.edu, or call 218-726-6130 (please leave a message and we'll follow up). If you're in need of information immediately, visit the Disability Resources website.

Will exams be administered in person by Disability Resources?

No. All exams scheduled in Disability Resources have been canceled and will need to be rescheduled or provided in the alternative instruction environment applicable for that course. We anticipate that changes in testing format, including online testing, might address typical accommodations, including those for students requiring additional time, a reduced distraction environment, and breaks during their exam.

If an alternative assessment is required as a reasonable accommodation given alternative instruction, please contact the disability specialist listed on the student’s accommodation letter.

How do I extend time on a Canvas quiz for students with extended time accommodations?

How do I account for breaks in online exams?

See “extend time on a Canvas quiz” link above.

What if my student needs an exam accommodation that is not available in Canvas?

Contact the disability specialist on the student’s accommodation letter to explore alternate ways to assess the student’s knowledge.

Can real-time Zoom lectures be live captioned?

Please contact Disability Resources at umddr@d.umn.edu if you plan to offer real-time lectures for which real-time captioning is required as an accommodation. Our office will provide the student access to real-time captions (visible only to the student with the accommodation).

How do I add captions to a video I'm distributing to my students?

If you have a student in your class who has media captioning as an accommodation, follow the steps below:

    • Use Kaltura to record your video. This is currently the fastest and suggested way to get captioned materials to students: Visit the Teach Online page of this site, click on Record a Video for Students to Watch Online. By recording in Kaltura, Disability Resources will be able to caption videos in the most time-efficient manner.
    • Due to the large volume of videos/recorded courses, we need to receive these videos as soon as possible.
  • To proactively add captions to facilitate better access for all students:
  • What will happen with students working with sign language interpreters and other access needs?

    We’re communicating directly with students who utilize accommodations such as sign language interpreters, document conversion, and access assistance and encouraging them to contact the Disability Resources to explore their access needs given the new alternative instruction directive.

    Disability Resources seeks to serve students who may have been exposed to COVID-19. Students who may have been exposed to or experience COVID-19 may be issued temporary accommodations, under guidance from a medical professional.

    • If a student is not currently affiliated with Disability Resources, students can begin by submitting a Request for Accommodations form online. Pertinent documentation from providers attesting to diagnosis/prognosis and accommodation recommendations can be faxed to 218-726-6706.
      • Disability Resources will arrange a welcome meeting with the student by phone or Zoom web meeting to discuss more detailed information and reasonable temporary accommodations.
      • Common accommodations may include consideration for absences, extensions on assignments, exam extension, extended exam time, use of Zoom or similar modality for classroom attendance, and administration of exams online.
      • Faculty and students will receive a Letter of Accommodation that details the specific accommodations determined to be reasonable.
    • If a student is affiliated with Disability Resources, students should contact their Disability Specialist to indicate a need for additional accommodations.
      • Pertinent documentation from providers attesting to diagnosis/prognosis and accommodation recommendations can be faxed to 218-726-6706.
      • Disability Resources staff will connect with students by phone or Zoom to determine reasonable temporary accommodations.
      • Faculty and students will receive an updated Letter of Accommodation that details the new specific accommodations determined to be reasonable

    Students diagnosed with other illnesses that may require absence from class resulting in no longer than 3 days should be facilitated by faculty following university guidelines for excused absences.

    Disability Resources is responsible for the coordination of temporary accommodations due to exposure to COVID-19. Certain accommodations may require education about and coordination with auxiliary aids and services. Disability Resources will collaborate with campus departments and appropriate service providers to support faculty and students.

    Disability Resources is not responsible for:

    • Administering and proctoring online exams
    • Creating and administering online course material including course content, videos, Zoom or Kaltura
    • Determining if it might be appropriate to issue an ‘Incomplete’ for a course

    Disability accommodations are available to UMD employees through UReturn. Please contact Nancy Erickson (eric2874@umn.edu) via email to request a confidential consultation.

    UMD offers all students, staff, and faculty a free copy of a program called Read and Write Gold. This program allows text to be read back across a variety of venues, including Office products, PDFs, email, and websites. Learn about its full range of capabilities, and access a download link (program is available for both Windows and Mac users) here: https://itss.d.umn.edu/services/software/rwg

     

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