Accessibility & Disability Services

Accessibility & Disability Services (ADS) serves students with various disabilities and some temporary impairments that substantially limit one or more major life activities. The ADS staff is available to answer questions about accommodations and services as well as to provide information about other resources on and off campus.

Students in front of Administration Building

Communication with ADS during Covid 19

During this time of Covid 19, ADS remains committed to supporting our students and providing accommodations and services for remote learning, as well as for the limited in-person learning being provided. We are working remotely for the Fall 2020 semester but are offering several ways to connect with us.

The ADS office in the Administration Building is open with very limited staffing and by appointment only. All staff are available remotely since in-office meetings are restricted.  Appointments will be scheduled via Zoom or WebEx or by phone.  

Staff can be reached through our main line at 410-704-2638 during business hours, through e-mail at and through our virtual front desk.

Current ADS virtual front desk office hours are:

Mondays and Tuesdays from 10:00am-12:00pm

Wednesdays from 9:00am-11:00am

Thursdays and Fridays from 10:00am-12:00pm

 Password: ADSTowson

Accommodations for Fall 2020

Students who are requesting accommodations for the first time should follow the procedures outlined on the Getting Started with ADS page.  Students who are currently registered with ADS can request a copy of their ADS memo by phoning or emailing the ADS office or by emailing their ADS specialist. Because almost all courses are remote this semester, you should reach out and communicate with your instructors early about how your accommodations will be implemented in each of your courses. Importantly, various accommodations may not be indicated in a remote course or may need to be adjusted depending on how the course is taught and how assessments are conducted.

Your ADS specialist is available to discuss questions or concerns you or your instructor may have about your accommodations. Information to consider about specific types of accommodations in remote courses is provided below.


Testing Accommodations

Students who are approved for testing accommodations should continue to receive these accommodations in an online environment, as appropriate.  For fully on-line courses, the expectation is that you will take your test on-line as administered by your instructor.  If you experience a problem with taking your tests online, please contact your ADS specialist to discuss your options. 

Timed online exams will require your instructor to adjust your testing time prior to the test date if you have extended test time as an accommodation.  We recommend that you send your professor a friendly reminder 2-3 days prior to your exam to make this adjustment. 

If you are enrolled in a course with an in-person component and students have the opportunity to take tests in the classroom, you can make a request to take your test in the Testing Center. The Testing Center will be available to administer and proctor exams but at a significantly reduced capacity.  Social distancing will require us to seat fewer test takers at any one time.   Students should submit an Online Test Accommodation Request Form to schedule a test with the Testing Center at least five business days in advance of the test date.

Note-Taking Assistance

Note-taking assistance will continue to be available whether your class meets online or in-person; however, based on course design and delivery, this accommodation may not be necessary.  Most instructors will be recording all of their classes, which may reduce the need for note-taking assistance.   

Smart Pens

Smart pens will be available to borrow for the Fall 2020 semester if you are approved for this accommodation.  Pens can be picked up from the ADS office by appointment, Monday – Friday, 8:30-5:00. Please call the ADS office or e-mail your ADS specialist to make an appointment. 


Sonocent will be available to audio-record both in-person and online lectures.  If you are using Sonocent to record in-person lectures, you should access the software as you have in the past.  If you are using Sonocent to audio-record online lectures, you will have to use “Screen Capture” and “Output Recording”.  Please visit the ADS BlackBoard Site for detailed instructions or e-mail Meredith Harris () with any questions.

Peer Note-taking Assistance

If you are in need of a peer note taker, you may request one as usual through your professor who will assist you in identifying a note taker. Once a note taker is identified, your professor should provide you with their name and TU email address so that you can reach out to them to determine how you will access the notes.  If you have a problem with this accommodation, please contact your ADS specialist as early as possible to resolve it.

Alternative Formats for Text Conversions

The process for requesting textbooks in an alternative format is the same as in previous semesters.  You should submit an online Alternative Text Format Request Form as soon as possible for any material you need converted.  If ADS cannot obtain an electronic version of your textbook, we will e-mail you to schedule a time for you to bring in a hard copy to the ADS office so that it can be chopped and scanned.   You will receive your book electronically and you can make an appointment to pick up the rebound, hard copy.

Captioned or Transcribed Electronic Media

Based on course design and delivery, there may be a need for captioning or transcription of electronic media.  Your ADS specialist will work with you and your instructor to caption (e.g., videos) or transcribe (e.g., podcasts) media as needed for communication access.  Please plan to make requests for captioning or transcribing at least two weeks prior to the time the media will be used in class.

Transcription and Sign Language Interpreting

Transcription and sign language interpreting will be provided to deaf and hard-of-hearing students who are need of these services.  During the Fall 2020 semester when most course delivery will be online, transcription and sign language interpreting will be provided remotely.  Students should request services for their courses as early as possible so timely arrangements can be made by completing the ADS Interpreter/Transcriber Request Form.

Modified Attendance Policy

Students who are approved for this accommodation may need to use it only minimally or not at all in Fall 2020 because you will be attending your classes remotely rather than in person. Also, many online classes are being recorded, affording you the opportunity to view class recordings at an alternate time.  If you have a flare up of your condition that causes you to miss class more than occasionally, contact your instructor and your ADS specialist.  If your condition impacts assignment deadlines and exams you will need to use this accommodation in accordance with the guidelines specified in your ADS memo.

Extended Deadline on an Assignment

As usual, for students approved for this accommodation, this request will be handled on a case-by-case basis through your ADS specialist in consultation with your instructor.  If this accommodation is needed, you should follow the guidelines specified in your ADS memo.

Other Accommodations

If you receive other accommodations that will be impacted by the unique course delivery in Fall 2020, be sure to contact your ADS specialist as soon as possible to discuss options.  If you need the name/email address of your ADS specialist you can email or call the ADS office at 410-704-2638 during business hours.

Tips for Faculty

Accessible Online Learning for Students with Disabilities

Our Faculty and Staff Resources page is up-to-date with the necessary information to providing access in all forms of learning environments, including online courses. 

The Office of Accessibility and Disability Services (ADS) is available to support both faculty and students through the transition to remote teaching and learning.

Who We Are

ADS is part of the Towson University commitment to promoting a diverse and inclusive campus that is welcoming to all. ADS collaborates with students, faculty and staff to ensure equal opportunity and create an accessible educational experience for students with disabilities.

ADS provides accommodations and services to students with disabilities who register with our office. Students initiate the process of registering by completing an ADS application. Accommodations are based on documentation of the disability and a personal interview.

The office is staffed with ADS specialists from various professional backgrounds who work with students on an individual basis by providing assistance, support, consultation and advocacy. ADS includes a Testing Services Center that provides testing accommodations to students registered with ADS. The office also works with students and partners across campus to remove barriers and promote accessibility.

Who We Serve

ADS serves enrolled TU students with documented disabilities at both the undergraduate and graduate level. Disabilities include, but are not limited to:

  • learning
  • physical/mobility
  • vision
  • hearing
  • chronic health
  • mental health disabilities

The office also works with students with some temporary impairments, as appropriate.   

Students are encouraged to register with ADS soon after enrolling at the university to ensure timely provision of services. We recommend students maintain regular contact with our office, especially during their first year. This contact provides the opportunity for ADS staff to guide students and to work with them proactively to address any issues that may arise.   


Contact Information

Accessibility & Disability Services

Administration Building
Suite 232-235 (Map)
Monday - Friday
8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m.