OA Answers Questions about Accessible Online Classes

OA Answers Questions about Accessible Online Classes

While Winthrop's campus is closed in compliance with state and national guidelines for COVID-19, our dedicated Admissions team is available to help you. To speak with someone from Admissions, please call 803-323-2191 between the hours of 9am-3pm (Monday-Friday) or email any questions to Admissions@winthrop.edu. The health and safety of our staff and students is of the utmost importance so we will do our best to be available for you as long as we can.

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The Office of Accessibility (OA) wants to provide you with a quick Q&A in regards to classroom accommodations as we move to an online classroom environment:

Q: A student is approved for extended time on a blackboard exam. How do I adjust the time?
A: To adjust extended time on exams, and/ or quizzes, you may follow this link from the Office of Online Learning to Add Test Exceptions to a Test (pdf)

Q: A student is approved to flexibility with assignment deadlines, attendance, and exam dates. Is this necessary for online courses?
A: Yes! Please keep in mind the student may need these accommodations as they may experience an exacerbation of their disability- especially in this time of adjustment, heightened anxiety, and uncertainty. Also, the student and instructor need to communicate regarding the goals and expectations of the class. The student understands that they still need to complete the work and that their grade can still be impacted using this accommodation. Instructors and students can use this guideline for flexibility accommodations (pdf) to assist in conversations regarding the expectations of the class. OA staff can assist in conversations, as well.

Q: Will OA staff be available for students and faculty over the next few weeks?
A: Yes! OA staff will be working remotely, however with the assistance of technology, we will be able to initiate conversations via email, and can then explore options such as Skype, telephone, or other online options to engage in discussion and conversation. OA staff can be reached at OA_Team@winthrop.edu.

Q: Will OA staff will continue to register new students?
A: Yes! OA staff will be able to register students via phone, Skype, or Zoom. Students will still need to submit documentation as specified on the OA website and our staff will be in touch with them to arrange a virtual intake appointment.

Q: I plan to show videos in the class. Some are from Youtube, others are a screencast of my lectures. I know they should be closed captioned, but are not. What should I do?
A: Make sure Voice-over PowerPoint presentations, YouTube clips, videos, audio clips, etc., are closed captioned or have an accompanying transcript. Winthrop's Dacus Library offers resources to help faculty locate appropriate videos that are already captioned. The Office of Online Learning is able to assist with providing instructions on properly captioning YouTube videos that are stored on your own YouTube channel. They can also assist with items that may need to be sent out for captioning or to generate a transcript. Please communicate with the Office of Online Learning as soon as possible, for assistance with this process.

Q: Are there any good resources to ensure I have made my course accessible and ADA compliant?
A: Winthrop's Office of Online Learning has provided a Continuity of Instruction page to assist faculty. The Office of Online Learning also can 'turn on' Blackboard Ally for your course (Blackboard Ally scans your course and indicates which documents (including power points, PDF's, WORD docs, etc… have issues with accessibility, provides instructions for how to improve the accessibility, and provides alternative formats for the documents.).

Outside resources such as these below may be able to provide you with ideas and things to consider as you design your course, and as other usability needs are identified. And remember, OA staff is available to assist you as needed:

Have more questions? Please contact us!

Last Updated: 3/19/20