As we move into the summer 2020 semester the following information and resources are being updated to reflect summer classes and fall planning. Disability Resources continues to consult with other campus units and stakeholders to provide information and resources about providing disability accommodations in courses being delivered primarily in an online format for summer. We are also involved in discussions as the university works to make decisions and plans for the fall.
Last Updated 5/14/2020
- General Campus Information and Resources
- FAQs for Students with Disabilities
- FAQs for Faculty/Instructors
- FAQ: Updates and Resources from Spring 2020
- Updates and Resources for Fall 2020 (in development)
General Campus Information
- COVID-19 Guidance and Information from Texas A&M University
- Keep Teaching web page for Faculty/Instructors
- Tips and tools to help course instructors move their content online
- Specific Disability Resources information under “Additional Online Resources”
- Allow a student extra time on a test administered in eCampus via a Test Availability Exception
- Keep Learning website for Students
- Counseling & Psychological Services
- Student Health Services Information on Coronavirus
- Academic Success Center Resources (tutoring, supplemental instruction, academic coaching)
- Student Affairs Remote Services
FAQs for Students with Disabilities
- SQ1: How do I set up my accommodations in online courses?
- SQ2: Do I need to schedule my exams in Tracker Online?
- SQ3: Can I schedule to have the Testing Center proctor my online exams?
- SQ4: How do I set-up a time to meet with or talk with an Access Coordinator (or other staff members)?
- SQ5: Can I get an accommodation to take my classes or exams in-person?
- SQ6: I’m having difficulty accessing the online course content due to my assistive technology (screen reader, text to speech software, etc.). What should I do?
- SQ7: I usually use a reader for my exams. How will this accommodation be handled remotely?
- SQ8: I usually use a scribe for exams. How will this be handled remotely?
- SQ9: I’m a current student that has not yet registered with Disability Resources (or an incoming student for summer/fall). Can I still submit an accommodations request and my supporting documentation now?
FAQs for Faculty/Instructors
- FQ1: I have questions about teaching in an online format. How do I get assistance with converting my class content?
- FQ2: Can you send me a list of every student in my class who needs accommodations?
- FQ3: Is the Testing Center available for live online proctoring?
- FQ4: How can I schedule a live proctoring session for my students with testing accommodations?
- FQ5: I do not know how to extend the time for students with testing accommodations. Can you show me how?
- FQ6: There is a lot of discussion about needing to caption and create transcripts for ALL online audio content. Am I going to be expected to caption and transcribe my course videos now that my class is online?
- FQ7: Why can’t I just turn on Auto Transcription to provide a transcript of the videos and live presentations for students with hearing loss?
- FQ8: How do I know that students with Extended Testing Time are not cheating on their exams?
- FQ9: I was notified that one of my students needs a sign language interpreter or live transcriptionist in my classroom. How will that be handled online?
FAQs for Students with Disabilities
Students already affiliated with Disability Resources should request their accommodations letter through TrackerOnline as usual. Once your letter is ready you will receive an email and then you will be able to download the letter in PDF format.
Students should then download the letter, email a copy to their instructors (sample email template) and set up a time to meet with their instructors (by phone, video conference, etc.) to discuss your accommodation needs and determine how they will be implemented in the online course environment.
No. Since all summer classes and exams will be online Disability Resources will not be scheduling any in person proctoring in the Testing Center or through Tracker. We have temporarily disabled the use of testing schedules in Tracker that would require an instructor signature.
Proctoring for students with testing accommodations is only available for courses where the instructor is planning to proctor all of their students.
Requests for assistance with online proctoring should be sent to the Testing Center staff by the instructor. If a student has a questions about this process, please contact your Access Coordinator.
Disability Resources remains committed to supporting students, faculty, and the University community through this extraordinary situation via virtual communication. Staff are monitoring email and phone messages on a regular basis. We will strive to respond to messages within 1 business day. Individuals may arrange phone or video conference appointments to occur during business hours (8:00 am-5:00 pm CDT).
To schedule an appointment please email your availability and contact information to the appropriate staff member based on your major and/or type of inquiry:
Texas A&M University’s first concern is to the health and safety of each member in our Aggie Family. In this spirit, the Provost and the university leadership have moved all courses online for the summer. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has made national health recommendations that state people should not be congregated in large groups.
Students with concerns about course components in the online format should contact their Access Coordinator to discuss the situation further and explore potential solutions for the continuation of the course.
Notify your instructor that you are having difficulty accessing a specific tool or document to see if they can provide an accessible version. Then consult with your Access Coordinator to see if Disability Resources can assist you or help you work with your instructor to figure out how to facilitate the access you need.
Back in March Disability Resources reached out by email to all students who use assistive technology to provide some resources and tips for accessing online content. In addition, DR has shared resources about how to create accessible documents and other content on the Keep Teaching web page for instructors.
Back in March all students that have a test reader as an accommodation were contacted by Disability Resources with tips and tools for using text to speech software in lieu of a human reader as an option. If a student prefers a human reader, they could have a friend or family member serve in this role during an online exam as they would typically do for other at-home reading tasks.
If a student or instructor has a concern about a student using a friend or family member as their test reader, please contact the student’s Access Coordinator to discuss and look at other possible alternatives.
Back in March all students that have a test scribe as an accommodation were contacted by Disability Resources with tips and tools for using voice to text software in lieu of a human scribe as an option. If a student needs a human scribe to complete an exam, they could have a friend or family member serve in this role during an online exam as they would typically for other at-home writing tasks.
If a student or instructor has a concern about a student using a friend or family member as their test scribe, please contact the student’s Access Coordinator to discuss and look at other possible alternatives.
SQ9: I’m a current student that has not yet registered with Disability Resources (or an incoming student for summer/fall). Can I still submit an accommodations request and my supporting documentation now?
Yes. Disability Resources continues to accept and review new requests for accommodations for currently enrolled and incoming students on a continuous basis. Students are encouraged to continue to submit their Accommodations Request Forms and appropriate supporting documentation. In particular any incoming summer/fall students that may need accommodation in place for on campus housing or the math placement exam are encouraged to submit their information ASAP.
The appropriate forms and information about the request process and how to submit information is listed at:
FAQs for Faculty/Instructors
The Provost’s Office and the Office of Academic Innovation have put resources together to help faculty keep teaching and to convert their content to online instruction. Resources on topics ranging from hosting class sessions through video conferencing to how faculty can move exams to an online format can be found by going to the Keep Teaching web page. Disability Resources has also included some tips and resources on this web page related to captioning, adjusting time on exams and creating accessible documents.
Here are some resources to ensure the content you create is also accessible to students with disabilities:
Unfortunately Disability Resources does not have the ability to run a report of all students who are enrolled in specific classes that have requested accommodation letters.
Also note that accommodations are used by students based on their disability and class type. A student with a math learning disability may not request or use any accommodations in their English class so it is hard to say exactly which students in your class need and have requested accommodations, even if they are registered with our department. Each student currently registered with our office has access to a PDF copy of their Accommodation Letter.
Our recommendation is for you to send an email to your class and post an announcement in your Learning Management tool that requests students send you their Accommodation Letter directly if you need this information. This allows students to decide if they will need accommodations in your course. Disability Resources will also be encouraging students to send their accommodation letters to their instructors and to set up a time to meet with you to discuss their needs.
Yes, the Testing Center staff remain committed to supporting faculty by proctoring students with testing accommodations via web conferencing. In-person exams will not be administered during Summer sessions.
Proctoring students with testing accommodation is only available for instructors who plan to proctor all of their students. This will ensure equitable assessment practices for our students.
The scheduling process for Summer has changed as we are temporarily discontinuing the use of testing schedules that would require instructor signature.
To schedule a test proctoring session with the testing center, faculty should email firstname.lastname@example.org with the information listed below. Advance notice helps us ensure we have enough staff available to cover the proctoring session(s).
- Test dates, time, and exam length
- Names of students (note that we are unable to generate a list)
- Testing conditions for students
- Instructions for proctors
Exams administered through eCampus can be adjusted to allow for extra time for specific students through the “Test Availability Exception” feature. The Office of Academic Innovation’s website has a knowledge base article dedicated to walking instructors through how to extend exam time for students with accommodations.
- It is important to note that extending the exam time for everyone in the class (i.e. just giving all students time and a half or double time) does not meet the accommodations of students with Extended Testing Time as an accommodation.
FQ6: There is a lot of discussion about needing to caption and create transcripts for ALL online audio content. Am I going to be expected to caption and transcribe my course videos now that my class is online?
Texas A&M University strives for access and equity for all students. While including captions is a best practice for all videos and an important part of universal design and accessibility, we recognize that these are emergent times and it is not realistic to caption every video. Instructors are encouraged to make captions and transcripts available in their courses, when possible.
- Disability Resources will notify specific faculty members who have students who are Deaf or hard-of-hearing enrolled in their classes to work towards ensuring those specific classes will have captioned videos that are fully accessible.
Unfortunately automatic captioning is not usually effective for students that depend on captioning to access audio content. The 85% accuracy claim that many video vendors make is usually based on recordings under ideal conditions (no background noise, clear pronunciation, no accents and no specialized terminology). The reality is that automatic captioning does not provide captioning that is accurate enough for college course lectures and content.
Disability Resources maintains that students with disabilities are no more likely to cheat than any other student on campus. The Academic Innovation’s Keep Teaching website has resources regarding academic integrity in online courses. Further, the Keep Teaching website has a specific document that addresses exam integrity for faculty who are moving their exams to an online format.
Disability Resources will be reaching out to specific faculty who have students who are Deaf or hard-of-hearing enrolled in their classes to work towards ensuring those specific classes will have a transcriptionist or interpreter available for any online lectures.