Remote Classroom Technologies

Please note that the campus coronavirus remote teaching guidance strongly recommends that you teach remotely using Canvas and Zoom, which are both supported by the Office of Information Technology (OIT) and have been tested for accessibility. The guidance in this document assumes that you are using Canvas and Zoom. 

You can consult OIT’s Academic Technology and Teaching Continuity guide to get started with these platforms. If you are considering other platforms, please keep in mind that students tend to be familiar with Canvas and Zoom. They may find it difficult and anxiety-provoking to have to learn multiple forms of new technology in a time of emergency, and OIT cannot advise them on non-supported platforms. Non-supported platforms are also likely to compromise student privacy in violation of FERPA regulations. For help with OIT-supported platforms, contact

For general guidance on accessibility and the switch to an online environment, please see the Digital Accessibility Office’s guide to accessibility and teaching remotely.

Testing Accommodations

Disability Services will no longer be proctoring exams in our office space with the university’s decision to adapt remote courses for the remainder of the semester. The majority of testing accommodations can be fulfilled by the instructor in this new remote format. Our office has reached out to faculty and students via email to confirm cancellation of any upcoming scheduled exams or quizzes at Disability Services.

Students who have been approved for testing accommodations through our office should continue to receive these accommodations regardless of the platform for administration. Exceptions to this would be accommodations that do not apply to the remote testing environment, such as a distraction reduced environment for exams and quizzes. 

Here is information from our Office of Information Technology (OIT) about providing Extended Time on Exams and Quizzes Accommodations in Canvas.

Our office recommends providing students with this accommodation with 10 minutes additional time for each hour of exam or quiz time in addition to the extended time that may be approved for the student. 

Please note that breaks for personal needs are not to be used for working on the exam and the honor code would apply for students who must monitor their own exam working time.

Our office recommends providing exams in a Word document so that the student can adjust the font size to meet their disability related needs. If this format is not possible, please consult with the student’s Access Coordinator to determine how the student can access the exam with the font size needed.

Disability Services is reaching out to all students with either of these accommodations to devise an individualized plan for all future exams in the new remote setting. Disability Services will be in touch with instructors if needed regarding these accommodations. 

Non-Testing Accommodations

Flex Plans will continue to capture the unique impacts on students with this accommodation, especially as it relates to assignment deadlines and make-up exams in the new remote format. 

Please note that effective as of March 9th, the Provost has declared that doctor’s notes are not needed from students who miss class due to illness at this time. We are encouraging students to communicate any recent or future absences directly to their faculty member. 

Please consult the Extended Time Accommodations in Canvas tutorial for assistance with setting different assignment due dates for specific students in Canvas assignments.

The Alternate Format Production and Access Center (AFPAC) is responsible for creating alternate format textbook materials for students with this accommodation upon request from students. Please forward any requests from students for alternate format to

Faculty and staff can receive training and support for creating accessible course content from the Digital Accessibility Office. For questions or to schedule a consultation, please email

Disability Services will continue to manage peer note-takers in the new remote classroom. Our office will reach out to faculty for assistance if needed. Please refer students back to their Access Coordinator in Disability Services if they have any concerns. 

Accommodations for students who are Deaf or hard of hearing

In general, students who are Deaf or hard of hearing will need support to access any auditory information.   

Items to consider for your course:

  • American Sign Language (ASL) Interpreting

    • Disability Services has reached out to faculty and students via email who are impacted by this accommodation.
    • The ASL interpreter will need to be added to all course Zoom sessions. The interpreter does not need to have an Identikey to access the Zoom session. 
    • Disability Services will put you in direct contact with the interpreter via email to share the Zoom link with the interpreter.
  • Real-time captioning
    • Disability Services has reached out to faculty and students via email who are impacted by this accommodation.
    • Real-time captioning providers will need to be added to all course Zoom sessions. The captioning provider does not need to have an Identikey to access the Zoom session.
    • Disability Services will put you in direct contact with the real-time captionist via email to share the Zoom link with the captionist.
  • Assistive listening devices
    • There is no accommodation necessary on the faculty’s end, since the student will be listening to audio on a laptop and can control audio levels. However, faculty should ensure they are teaching in a noise-free audio environment and using a good microphone if possible. It is also helpful to minimize background noises from other students by using the Mute All tool if students have their audio on when they aren’t speaking, or by adjusting the Zoom session settings to Mute Participants on Entry by default. 
  • Closed captioning
    • There will be no change to this process; please continue to submit pre-recorded videos for captioning using the webform.
    • If you are planning to record your class sessions in Zoom and make those recordings available to students on an ongoing basis as a method of DIY lecture capture, please ensure that you upload them to Kaltura (“My Media”) within Canvas. You will need to notify the captioning service every time you upload a new video, or work with them to establish a schedule for submitting these videos for captioning. If you are not planning to store class recordings in Kaltura, you will need to send the captioning service the video file every time a new one is created.

Accommodations for students who are blind or have low vision:

It is important to consider the format of all course materials with a lens of access for someone who is non or low-sighted. Oftentimes, a student who is blind or has low vision will need to access the course materials through the use of a screen reader or screen magnifier. If possible, please talk with your student about their needs and level of familiarity with online teaching tools.

If you have a student in your course who is blind or low vision, we strongly encourage you to use tested and supported software (Canvas and Zoom) for your instruction. If you are planning to use any additional software beyond those two tools, please contact

Items to consider for your course materials:

  • PDF’s are often not accessible for a screen reader. To assist with accessibility, you can transfer the pdf to a Word format for students with visual impairments to give them greater access.​
  • Powerpoints - Any non-text material (including images, graphs, diagrams) will not automatically be accessible; please ensure you are verbally describing images and graphs in your PowerPoints during lecture. If a PowerPoint is to be shown in a Zoom lecture, we recommend it also be uploaded to Canvas in advance so the student can review before or after the lecture.
  • Exams - Please review our OIT guidance on accessible exams and quizzes in Canvas. 
  • Videos - if shown during a Zoom lecture, videos should also be available via Canvas or emailed to the student. Additionally, please consider if any videos shown in class rely on imagery alone to convey content; if so, it is helpful to verbally describe the video’s image-based content for the class.

UPDATED: March 13, 2020.

Adapted from Princeton University, Office of Disability Services. 

If you or your student have any questions about implementing accommodations in the remote classroom format, please reach out to your student’s Access Coordinator or contact Disability Services at 303-492-8671 or