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SAR, COVID-19 & Transition to remote delivery

As you are now aware WVSU has made the following decision:  beginning March 30th and for the rest of the spring 2020 semester, all courses will move to a remote delivery format.  The  alternatives selected by faculty may change the format, way and manner in which students will receive instructional materials. 

As classes move to remote delivery, faculty may rely on different formats than had been utilized in the face-to-face courses.  This may include more written or visual content, online examinations, web meetings, recorded lectures, and other media content.  It is important that students with accommodations communicate with both their faculty and Student Accessibility Resources (SAR) to provide feedback regarding their needs in the remote delivery/classroom environment.
Be aware that switching to a remote delivery environment may mean that accommodations change:
  • Certain accommodations may need to be implemented differently in remote delivery, based on the nature of instruction
  • Certain accommodations may require additional communication
  • Some accommodations may no longer be appropriate/applicable to the remote delivery
  • Some accommodations may already be built into the design of the remote delivery of the course
  • Some accommodations will continue to be provided without any significant changes
If you have questions about the implementation of accommodations in classes as they move to the remote delivery, or if you need assistance, please contact the Accessibility Specialist.
Student FAQ  
Q: Is Student Accessibility Resources (SAR) still operational?   

Yes, SARS is still operating Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. 

Any appointments and services will be conducted via phone or virtually until further notice

SAR will have limited ability to proctor exams while remote delivery instruction is in place at West Virginia State University.
If you have a question or concern, please -
  • leave a message on the office phone (304-766-3083),
  • send a text (681-533-0850) or
  • email sar@wvstateu.edu.   

Q: What happens now that exams are online? How do I get extended time for an online exam?  

Communicate with your faculty to discuss your exam accommodations in their courses.  SAR is available to faculty and students to consult about unique circumstances. 
  • Some faculty may opt for alternative assessments (e.g. essays, untimed exams) which would not require exam accommodations.  
  • If your Faculty is creating online timed exams, please notify your Faculty if you will need extended time. Faculty are responsible for setting up extended testing time in Moodle or whatever system the assessment is being provided.  

Q: How can I confirm that my extended time has been applied to my quizzes/tests/exams?

SAR strongly recommends that students confirm their time allotted is correct before starting an assessment.  The time limit is listed at the beginning of the assessment for those completed within Moodle/MyOnline.  If your time allotted is incorrect, please reach out to your Faculty.  If you are having difficulty contacting your Faculty, please contact SAR.

Q: I currently have a note-taker assigned in my in-person class. Now that class is being delivered remotely, will I still receive a copy of the notes?  

Once you have learned from your faculty on how they will adapt the course for remote delivery, please let your note-taker know if you would like to continue receiving notes. 
You may find that you no longer need a note-taker due to the course design changes. For example, lectures that are prerecorded videos can be watched at your own pace.  On the other hand, some faculty may still opt for scheduled class meetings with real-time communication using Google Hangouts Meet, Zoom or another similar platform.   

Q: Does this affect Modification/Flexibility with Attendance Agreements?  

Completed agreements will be honored, though reasonable modifications to the structure of the agreements may be needed with the shift to online instruction. Please contact your faculty to discuss any additional barriers presented by changes to the course format. Let the Accessibility Specialist know ASAP if you need any assistance. 

Q: With the switch to remotely delivered instruction using alternative learning options, I anticipate barriers and would like to request new accommodations. What are my next steps? 

If you are not currently registered with SAR, follow the steps outlined on the SAR Request for Accommodations Form available online. 

If you are a student currently registered with SAR, contact the Accessibility Specialist

Q: What if I need an accessible textbook? 

Many of the textbooks are now available in digital formats online.  Both VitalSource and RedShelf are offering up to 7 free textbooks on their respective platforms.  You can find out more by utilizing the links below. If these services do not meet your accessible textbook needs, contact the Accessibility Specialist to discuss.
Faculty FAQ  
Q: As I am adapting my course materials for remote instruction, what should I be considering with regards to disability access? How do I best support my students? 

We acknowledge the significant effort required to quickly adapt your courses to remote delivery 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 or other modes of remote instruction or assessment (e.g. students who use assistive technology, students with medical limitations on screen usage).

The Accessibility Specialist is available for consultation regarding accessibility of your course format and materials. (Voicemail: 304-766-3083, Text: 681-533-0850, Email: sar@wvstateu.edu).

Below are some tips to keep in mind as you are creating virtual course content (adapted from DO-IT): 
  • Use clear, consistent layouts and organization schemes for presenting content, and make instructions and expectations clear for activities, projects, and assigned reading.  
  • Offer outlines, scaffolding tools, and adequate opportunities for practice to help students learn. 
  • When selecting new materials, try to find videos that are already captioned, and articles that are available in a text-searchable format (meaning you can highlight and search the text within the document; click here for an example).  
  • Images can be made accessible to blind and low-vision students by providing captions or inserting alt text into the image. Use large, bold fonts on uncluttered pages with plain backgrounds and color combinations that are high contrast.  
  • Provide flexibility and understanding as this experience may cause disruption to the student’s home life and available resources – which may negatively impact a student’s disability symptoms.   
  • If you are providing your lecture or other videos in an asynchronous manner, be mindful of the captioning capability of the platform you are utilizing –  Faculty who intend to pre-record lectures or who plan to rely more heavily on YouTube or other video outlets should ensure that the videos have accurate captions.  YouTube automated captions do not meet the standard for effective communication/accommodation. 
For more tips, visit:
 

Q: How will exam accommodations work? Will SAR proctor online exams?  
Extended time on exams 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. 

SAR will have some limited ability to proctor exams while the University’s instruction remains remotely delivered. 

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

Q: How do I give students their extended time for online quizzes/exams? 
Prior to making time allotment adjustments, please confirm how much extended time each of your students approved for this accommodation should get for their quizzes/exams. 

The student should have provided you with the Accommodations Implementation Plan which indicated the extended time multiplier.  You can also confirm an individual student’s extended time multiplier by contacting SAR. 

Q: Does this affect Modified/Flexibility with Attendance Agreements? 
 

Completed agreements should be honored, though reasonable modifications to the structure of the agreements may be needed with the shift to online instruction. Students with these agreements should be contacting you to discuss any additional barriers, if any, presented by changes to the course format. SAR is available to faculty and students to consult. 
 

For additional information for students, please refer to the following email that was sent on 3/25/2020.

https://mailchi.mp/840b304f1b53/transition-to-alternate-formats

CONTACT INFORMATION

Michael Casey, MS, CRC, CDF, LCAS
Accessibility Specialist

Voicemail - (304) 766-3083
Text - (681) 533-0850
Email - sar@wvstateu.edu
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