Frequently Asked Questions for Accessible Online Classes

The Office of Accessibility (OA) wants to provide faculty and instructors with quick answers 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 for flexibility with assignment deadlines, attendance, and exam dates. Is this necessary for online courses?
A: Yes! Please keep in mind students 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 the accessibility guidelines 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 even during the remote instruction period?

A: Yes! OA staff will be working remotely. However with the assistance of technology, we will be able to initiate conversations via e-mail 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

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 site. 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. 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.

Q: Are there any good resources to ensure I have made my course accessible and ADA compliant?

A: The Office of Online Learning has provided a Continuity of Instruction page to assist faculty. That office also can 'turn on' Blackboard Ally for your course. Blackboard Ally scans your course and indicates which documents, i.e., PowerPoints, PDFs, Word documents and more, have issues with accessibility; provides instructions for how to improve the accessibility; and provides alternative formats for the documents.

Other resources:

Have more questions? Please contact us!