Accessibility Resources (formerly Student Disability Services) is committed to creating an accessible educational experience for students with disabilities.
We partner with students, faculty, and other college resources to design accessible environments and to coordinate accommodations for entitled students under federal legislation. In doing so we affirm the worth of each individual and the spirit of diversity inherent in an inclusive college.
We encourage self-advocacy for students and will assist faculty in meeting the needs of all SUNY Oneonta students.
Accessibility Resources is a National Voter Registration Act (NVRA) voter registration site.
Office Changes During the COVID-19 Situation
As we have transitioned to an online learning environment, students with disabilities may face additional barriers to those they faced in a traditional classroom setting. Our responsibilities to provide individual academic adjustments or modifications in accordance with Americans with Disabilities Act, Section 504, and the NYS Human Rights remain unchanged. Some accommodations that applied before may not apply now, and some students may need new accommodations to continue to access their course content in this new environment. We appreciate your flexibility and understanding as we all adapt to this new situation.
Contacting Accessibility Resources
Accessibility Resources Staff is working remotely until further notice. We will do our best to answer all messages in a timely manner.
- If you need to contact us, email firstname.lastname@example.org – we will monitor the inbox during out virtual office hours Monday – Friday, 8:00 AM – 4:30 PM.
- Avoid faxing documentation until further notice. We will be unable to check our fax machine regularly. Any documentation can be emailed to email@example.com.
- Appointments can be conducted virtually. If you would like to have a voice or video appointment, email firstname.lastname@example.org with as much information as possible. We will schedule an appointment including a link to the appointment.
Information for Students
You are still eligible for all accommodations while classes are being conducted remotely. Be aware that the information below only applies to students with the accommodation mentioned and not necessarily all students registered with Accessibility Resources.
- If you would like to use exam accommodations, it is your responsibility to request those accommodations for each and every exam or quiz directly through your professor. Do not assume your extended time will be applied automatically.
- Your course instructor is responsible for providing your extended time for all online exams and quizzes.
- If you notice an online exam or quiz does not include your extended time, email your professor immediately.
- You are still eligible to have your exams read out loud, but you will need to utilize technology to do so.
- We recommend you download Read and Write for Chrome – a Google Chrome extension – to use for online exams and quizzes. You must be using the Google Chrome browser for this to work. Log in using your SUNY Oneonta email address – the school has licenses for all students. If you need assistance downloading Read and Write, email email@example.com or refer to the Accessibility Resources website. One-on-one tutorials are available by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org and requesting an appointment with the Assistive Technology Specialist, Alexa.
This situation is new for everyone and we realize that unexpected problems will likely arise. If you have any questions about a specific technology or accessing your course content, email email@example.com as soon as possible.
- Returning Fall 2020 students can hold onto the pen until the Fall 2020 semester. We will schedule a time for you to drop off your pen for updates at the start of the fall semester.
- Students not returning to Oneonta in the fall are still subject to the equipment recording agreement, but we are extending the return deadline. Keep the Smartpen in a safe place and monitor your email for an updated deadline.
- Students with the alternate format accommodation are still eligible for books in alternate formats.
- Alternate format requests must be made three weeks prior to the start of class.
One-on-one Virtual Meetings
If you need assistance using assistive technology to access your course content, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We have reached out to students with peer notetakers individually to determine if the accommodation is still needed. It is possible the online format of classes will eliminate the need for a peer notetaker.
Students using a Smartpen or Sonocent can continue to use their notetaking technology. We have reached out to Sonocent and Smartpen users separately with more information about equipment return and software updates.
Information for Faculty
Online Exams and Quizzes
- Students eligible for extended time on exams and quizzes are still eligible for this accommodation in the online format. Students who wish to use this accommodation should request extended time directly through you via email before each exam.
- On Blackboard, you can extend time for individuals or groups. For help setting up an exam or quiz in Blackboard, contact the TLTC.
- If using a platform other than Blackboard, consider any features that may be inaccessible.
- All other exam accommodations, such as an exam reader, will be coordinated through the Accessibility Resources Office. Students may refer to the Assistive Technology tab or contact our office at email@example.com with questions.
Teleconferencing and Lecture Capture Technology
Not all teleconferencing is accessible to individuals with disabilities. Below are best practices to make sure students can fully engage in the online learning environment.
- Identify any features that may be barriers for students and limit interactions with inaccessible features. (e.g. a survey tool that uses color as the only means of relaying information, teleconferencing than cannot be recorded or captioned after the lecture)
- For classes meeting synchronously on a virtual platform, record the live meeting and post to Blackboard so students can revisit the lecture as needed.
- For slide presentations, consider using Microsoft Office PowerPoint with the Presentation Translator Plug-in , or Google Slides with live captions.
- As screen sharing occurs, audio description is needed to provide the important visual content to people who are blind or visually impaired.
As you put more content on Blackboard, establish a plan to prioritize making course materials and related technologies accessible to all learners. Below are best practices when posting digital content.
- If you post a PDF, make sure it is searchable text and not just an image.
- If you post a PowerPoint presentation, use larger size fonts and high-contrast color schemes. Avoid the use of color or animation to convey information.
- If you post a video, check and see if it has intelligible captions. At minimum, use automatic caption features (e.g., YouTube) and improve accuracy as needed.
- If you post audio, also share a written transcript. The Google Docs Voice Typing feature creates a transcript for you.
- If you post photographs, graphs or other media, add alternative text to describe the image and its context.
- Encourage students to use the Blackboard Ally tool.
- The SUNY Oneonta Teaching Learning and Technology Center (TLTC)
- SUNY’s Electronic & Information Technology (EIT) Accessibility guidance and free, unlimited user access to self-paced online accessibility training through Deque University may accessed by logging into SUNY Blue.
- Check out 20 Tips for Teaching an Accessible Online Course (PDF).
- For individuals who have a chronic illness, feel free to share this resource to speak with others who understand this time of heightened stress: Beyond My Battle Support Group.