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Accommodation Services

Accommodation and Access support services for students with disabilities.

Fall 2020 Updates and COVID Related Information

Fall 2020 Updates/Changes 

Testing Accommodations

  • Due to limited capacity and COVID-19 related changes:
    • The Test Center is able to provide proctoring services for students with testing accommodations who are enrolled in face to face/hybrid classes only. Exceptions will be considered on a case by case basis as it relates to a student's specific accommodation need. If there are any concerns regarding testing, please contact an Accommodations Access Advocate or email learningservices@kirkwood.edu. 
    • All tests will be required to be scheduled in advance, and limited testing appointments will be available each day. Because of this, we are asking for understanding and flexibility from instructors and students with regards to their start/end times for exams.
    • Read &Write: We are aware that accommodation letters were sent with the following message regarding Exams read by Read & Write: “Exams must be submitted to the Test Center in one of the following formats: Word: (.doc/x), PDF (.pdf) or on TALON or other website.” As noted above, students enrolled in face to face/hybrid courses will be able to use the Test Center. For students in weblive or online courses where the exams are already on TALON, we will provide the student access to the Read & Write software to use on their own personal devices.
      • Note: Some of the exam proctoring software can prevent a student from having access to their accommodations while testing. For example, the Respondus Lockdown browser has prevented the use of Read & Write to read aloud exams. In these situations, we will need to work with both you and the student to identify a solution that would allow the student to have access to the accommodations while still ensuring test security. If you have students who have accommodation needs that you have questions about, please contact us.
  • If a student has extended time on quizzes and exams, we recommend setting up the time extensions right away for the entire semester to avoid any delays or issues. 
    • Note: Some of the exam proctoring software can prevent a student from having access to their accommodations while testing. For example, the Respondus Lockdown browser prevents a student using Read & Write to read aloud exams. In these situations, we will need to work with both you and the student to identify a solution that would allow the student to have access to the accommodations while still ensuring test security. If you have students who have accommodation needs that you have questions about, please contact us.

Attendance Accommodations

  • There will still be a need for some students to have an attendance accommodation and/or flexibility based on their disability. We will continue to use our same process to determine reasonable accommodations for attendance. We will also be working with students to ensure that they differentiate if their accommodation is related to their disability or if it is related to symptoms of COVID-19.

Inclusive Environment

  • Different instructional environments can pose different barriers for students. In efforts to create an inclusive environment for students enrolled in face to face sections, our office may have contacted you to discuss how to reduce some of these barriers.
    • One example of this is wearing a clear mask/face shield to ensure to reduce communication barriers.

COVID Related Accommodations

  • We anticipate and have seen a few COVID related accommodation requests. For any request we receive, we will engage in an interactive process to determine reasonable accommodations, if any.
  • The requests that we have seen thus far have been regarding the ability to participate remotely in a course that is being offered face to face.
  • We will work with faculty and the student to discuss these types of accommodation requests.

Reminders

  • Accommodation letters are the official notice of a student’s accommodations and take effect when the letter is delivered.
  • Letters are sent from this email address: Kirkwood Learning Services noreply@andes.accessiblelearning.com On Behalf Of [Accommodations Access Advocate Name].

Best Practices

  • If a student has extended time on quizzes and exams, we recommend setting up the time extensions right away for the entire semester to avoid any delays or issues. 
  • Providing video content with captions meets Section 508 compliance and accessibility guidelines but can also be a helpful tool to support all student learning in the course.  
  • Encourage students to seek assistance early! Often times the biggest barrier for a student is seeking help, even if they have received services in the past or are currently a student who has accommodations. If you notice a student is struggling, please encourage them to connect with us. 
  • We recommend taking time at the beginning of the semester to cover information on Accommodation Services while discussing your course syllabi.
  • Accommodations take effect when the accommodation letter is delivered, and are not retroactive.
  • A commonly asked question is if a student is required to tell instructors what their disability is. The answer is No, students are not required to disclose their disability or nature of their disability to you. It is also not appropriate to ask a student to disclose that information.
  • If you have questions regarding a student’s accommodations, such as why they need a specific accommodation or concerns about how it will work in your course, please contact the assigned Accommodations Access Advocate on the accommodation letter.

Fall 2020 Faculty Letter

Fall 2020 Faculty Letter

Hello from Accommodation Services! We would like to share updates and reminders about working with students with accommodations and our program.

First, the updates:

  • We have updated our website to reflect COVID-19 related changes to our services, www.kirkwood.edu/accommodations.
  • NEW! In efforts to provide updated communication information regarding Accommodation Services, we have created a new faculty and staff information page too! Please visit www.kirkwood.edu/accommodations and click on Faculty & Staff Information link. There you will find updates/changes, reference materials and best practices for working with students with disabilities.
  • At this time, the Test Center (Main Campus and Iowa City) will be providing proctoring services for students with accommodations who are enrolled in a face to face/hybrid classes only. Please see Testing Accommodations and the Test Center COVID-19 Updates pages for all of the Fall 2020 updates and changes to services.

Second, the reminders:

  • Accommodation letters are your official notice of a student’s accommodations and take effect when the letter is delivered. Letters are sent from this email address: Kirkwood Learning Services noreply@andes.accessiblelearning.com On Behalf Of [Accommodations Access Advocate Name].

  • If a student has extended time on quizzes and exams, we recommend setting up the time extensions right away for the entire semester to avoid any delays or issues. 
    • Note: Some of the exam proctoring software can prevent a student from having access to their accommodations while testing. For example, the Respondus Lockdown browser prevents a student using Read & Write to read aloud exams. In these situations, we will need to work with both you and the student to identify a solution that would allow the student to have access to the accommodations while still ensuring test security. If you have students who have accommodation needs that you have questions about, please contact us.

Lastly, as we all know, this fall semester is unlike any others. Like you, we are working towards adapting our processes and communications to ensure information is being delivered. In efforts to remain accessible to students and staff while working remotely, we have implemented a Calendly scheduling system for the Accommodations team. With this we will be providing “walk-in” zoom hours to help students virtually through Zoom. All information on this can be found on our website.

Also, due to the many changes in the fall schedule, some accommodation letters will have accommodations listed that may not directly apply to your course. For example, if the course was originally a face to face class that then switched to an online class, some note-taking or classroom accommodations may already be taken care of because the course switched to online.

We wish you all the best this fall semester! Please do not hesitate to reach out to any of our Accommodations Access Advocates with questions or concerns about accommodations. We are here to support both you and your students!

Coming Soon!

A new faculty guide and information on Accommodation Services is coming soon!