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The following material will provide insight and tips on accommodating students with disabilities in your classroom and in online classes.  You will also have a better understanding of the Access & Accommodation Services (A&AS) process.  For more information, or to request your materials to be converted into an accessible format, contact A&AS.  If you would like to review a brief tutorial of some of the technologies and methods of making materials accessible, please examine our Faculty Resource Guide, below:

Faculty Resource Guide


Include one of the following statements in your syllabus:

  • Students who require academic adjustments in the classroom, or by way of the web due to a disability, must first register with A-State's A&AS. Following registration and within the first two weeks of class, please contact our office to discuss appropriate academic accommodations, technology requirements, software and hardware specifics and requirements.  Appropriate arrangements can be made to ensure equal access to this course.
  • Any student in this course who has a disability that may prevent him/her from fully participating in this course should contact A&AS (870-972-3964) as soon as possible, so we can make the necessary accommodations to facilitate his/her educational opportunity.
  • If you have a documented disability, and wish to discuss academic accommodations, please contact me as soon as possible.  Students requiring academic adjustments in the classroom due to a disability must register with A-State's A&AS.

Students with disabilities do not always disclose they have a disability to the instructors due to various reasons.  The statement will indicate your willingness to accommodate students with disabilities.

Accommodation Letters

A&AS sends accommodation letters to faculty members for students with disabilities who register with A&AS, and present sufficient documentation of their disability.  Students enrolled in A-State classes including online programs, Distance Education, or a sister campus, are also served through A-State A&AS

Alternative Testing Accommodations

The premise of alternative testing accommodations is essential for students with disabilities.  Frequently, students are allowed extended time for quizzes and exams.  Extended time may include: up to time-and-a-half and double-time; however, in some instances, some students may be allowed more than double-time.  Accommodations are based upon students' disabilities and documentation.

Students who qualify for alternative testing accommodations may take their exams in supervised locations.  Proctors, scribes, interpreters, readers, assistive technology and/or devices, are provided by A&AS.  It is ESSENTIAL for exams to be scheduled 2-3 days in advance when you schedule it online through AIM (see instructions) or with the A&AS Program Coordinator of Alternative Testing.  The PREFERRED method of getting exams to A&AS in a timely manner, is for faculty members to upload them to the A&AS Access Information Management (AIM) system link that is sent to them, reminding them of the student's upcoming exam.  They can also be emailed to dstesting@astate.edu, faxed to 870-972-3351, or hand-delivered to A&AS at RSSC 2181.  Completed exams will be returned as directed by faculty members.  Questions and concerns may be directed to the A&AS Program Coordinator of Alternative Testing or the the Director.

Please note that recommended academic adjustments may comprise an incomplete list.  Accommodation needs are not always identified during the diagnostic process; and may change during the academic term. Therefore, modifications to a student's existing accommodations may be necessary based upon the student's disability and disability-related health condition(s).  It is recommended that the process for determining appropriate alternative testing accommodations provide for flexibility to meet each student's individual needs and specific course requirements.

Setting up an exam with extended time on Blackboard >>

Accessible materials

A&AS provides textbooks and material in an accessible format (i.e. on audio and/or electronic text).  Faculty are encouraged to provide their materials in an accessible text format.  Please note that students with visual disabilities will require an accessible text format, and students with hearing impairments will require caption/text to audio materials.  For more information or to request your materials to be converted into an accessible format, contact A&AS.  If you would like to review a brief tutorial of some of the technologies and methods of making materials accessible, please examine our Faculty Resource Guide, below:

Faculty Resource Guide

Learn about accessible format/alternate books here >>

Online learning

Students using accommodations in the regular classroom may also use the same accommodations for online-learning.  For example: students who use extended time for testing in a regular classroom will also need extended testing time in their online class.

Instructions to set up extended time for exams on Blackboard Learn >>

Any course material provided online will need to be accessible.  A&AS offers courses periodically addressing an accessible online-learning environment.  Web-accessibility techniques:

Test your Web Page to see if it's Accessible >>

Accessibility information for podcasts

 Accessibility issues

For users who are blind:  Visual podcast content is inaccessible to blind users.  If there is content-rich information presented via video without audio describing the information conveyed by the video content, this information will not be accessible by individuals who are blind or have low vision. Podcasts should provide an audio description of information that is provided only by the video.  For example, if a video podcast shows a person ringing a bell, an audio description should explain that the bell is ringing.  With no explanation, blind and low-vision users would not have access to the video content available to sighted users.

For users who are deaf or hard of hearing:  All video podcasts should include open-captions or a transcript of the audio content.  Transcripts should be available from Blackboard, or the same web location as the podcast.

Making your podcast accessible

To make your podcast highly accessible, make sure you include:

  • Transcripts for audio podcasts for hearing-impaired audiences
  • Captions in video podcasts for hearing-impaired audiences, making sure that captions are appropriately synchronized
  • Audio descriptions of visual content that conveys important information in video podcasts for visually-impaired audiences

Teaching students with specific disabilities

Quick tips-

Deaf and Hard of Hearing teaching tips PDF

Rutgers University Accommodations PDF

(Source: Project Do-IT)

Examples of academic accommodations

Low Vision
Case Study

Case Study

Hearing Impairments
Case Study

Learning Disabilities
Case Study

Mobility Impairments
Case Study

Health Impairments
Case Study

Psychiatric Impairments
Case Study

Other Impairments

Universal Design

Universal Design for Learning (UDL) as defined by CAST, is "a framework for designing curricula that enable all individuals to gain knowledge, skills, and enthusiasm for learning.  UDL provides rich supports for learning and reduces barriers to the curriculum while maintaining high achievement standards for all".  UDL calls for multiple means of representation, action and expression, and engagement.

Designing instruction to maximize the learning of all students

(Source: Project Do-IT).

Project Do-IT videos

Faculty and Students with Disabilities

Faculty presentations to increase faculty awareness of how to work with students who have disabilities

Universal Design of Instruction

Demonstrates strategies for making instruction in a classroom, or in a tutoring center accessible to all students.

Invisible Disabilities and Postsecondary Education

Effective accommodations for students with learning disabilities, attention deficits, autism spectrum disorders, and others that are not apparent.

Making Distance Learning Accessible to Everyone
Accessible Web design
People with Disabilities and Computer Technology