Thinking about Accessibility in a Remote Learning Environment?
Are students in your course registered with the OSD? Are you interested in knowing a little more about what we do? Are you thinking about accessibility for Fall 2020?
A virtual presentation was hosted on July 21st and August 4th, 2020 to offer strategies to support students with accommodations in a remote learning environment. You can access materials from the webinar at the following links:
For students to register with the OSD for academic accommodations, they need to make a registration appointment to meet with an Access Services Advisor, discuss their barriers, and provide valid documentation from a licensed medical professional. Depending on the nature of their disability or health condition, this registration may be permanent or temporary.
Professors will find out if a student is registered with the OSD if a student chooses to disclose this to them. They may disclose this in conversation, by email, through a professor notification letter, or through an exam request form. Students are encouraged to disclose their barriers and not their diagnosis. Professors will also be notified when a student writes their exams or midterms with the OSD exam centre.
Professors are welcome to contact advisors at the OSD to discuss concerns regarding students.
The Office of the Dean of Students has also established protocols and resources for supporting students in difficulty or distress:
Professors can recommend that students book an appointment with our offices if they notice that the student is experiencing barriers that may be disability-related. The OSD cannot contact a student directly from a professor’s referral.
The OSD main office is open Monday – Friday, 9:00 am – 5:00 pm. The OSD exam center is open for exam writing from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Check out our Contact Us page for more information on how to book an appointment.
You will receive an email from our exam coordinator with the information that the student has recorded about the exam. Please confirm that the date, time, and length of the exam are correct and then provide the exam coordinator a copy of the exam (either in person or by email) as well as any specific instructions and contact information if you are answering questions during the exam.
Final exams are coordinated in collaboration with the final exam office, so you do not need to directly provide a copy to the OSD. It is helpful for us to have a contact number to reach you at if a student has questions and if you are answering questions during the exam.
If you are willing to provide a student their academic accommodations during your exam then you are welcome to do so. We would encourage you, in this case, to have the student contact their Access Services Advisor to communicate their specific accommodations to you.
The OSD provides an environment that is similar to the class or final exam setting. Students are required to leave bags and coats at the back of the room, there is no talking allowed during the exam, and invigilators monitor students closely.
If you have any specific requirements about your exams, including but not limited to: requiring students write in an exam booklet, writing in pen or pencil, writing on a computer with or without internet, whether or not you allow scrap paper, formula sheet, dictionaries, notes, or memory aids, and whether or not you are willing to answer questions during the exam.
Please contact the exam coordinators as soon as possible by emailing exams.osd [at] mcgill.ca or calling 514-398-8284.
Students will tell an invigilator that they have a question and if you are answering questions during the exam, they will attempt to reach you using the contact information you have provided. If they are unable to reach you to ask the question, an incident report will be completed and delivered to you with the exam.
Exams are available for pick up at 9:00 a.m. the day after they are written.
The exam coordinators can be reached by emailing exams.osd [at] mcgill.ca or calling 514-398-8284
Note-takers are recruited by the OSD. A student in the class will volunteer to take notes and will then upload a copy of their notes to the OSD note-taking page on myCourses. If no note-taker is found, a student may contact you asking for support in finding one.
The OSD encourages professors to create a note-taking community within their courses of students sharing their course notes in a myCourses forum. This makes course materials accessible to all students and can also be a way for professors to assess participation.
Reasonable Consideration Notifications from the OSD communicate aspects of a student’s accommodation plan that require your knowledge and collaboration. The notification will confirm that the student has registered with the OSD and that we have valid medical documentation on file.
The Reasonable Consideration Notification will also indicate 1 of the 5 following messages based on the student’s needs and approved supports:
- the student may be absent from courses throughout the semester for valid disability-related reasons;
- the student may approach you to negotiate deadline extensions;
- the student requires advanced access to course materials;
- the student requires permission to record lectures;
- the student requires the use of a laptop computer in class.
If you receive this notification, we invite you to initiate a conversation with the student to discuss this support and to develop an agreement as to how it can be enacted in practice. To support you in evaluating these requests, we have developed Reasonable Consideration Agreement templates that will be provided to you and the student through the notification email.
17. How do I make sure a student does not share materials I have provided them as part of an accommodation?
In some instances, students may require access to course materials which you are not otherwise posting. If this is the case, you will receive a Reasonable Consideration Notification supporting this request from the OSD. To support you in evaluating these requests, we have developed Reasonable Consideration Agreement templates that will be provided to you and the student through the notification email. The relevant agreement form can be completed during your discussion with the student, either in person or virtually. We encourage you to include any expectations and/or limitations regarding provision of course materials as appropriate within this agreement. Both you and the student should keep a copy for your records.