TU is committed to providing access in all teaching and learning environments. The Office of Accessibility and Disability Services (ADS) is here to consult with faculty and facilitate accommodations for students in your courses and programs.
Accessibility and Disability Services recommends that all professors include a statement in their course syllabus and ensure that students are aware of the statement when they review the syllabus. This approach indicates the willingness of the professor to assist students with disabilities who may require reasonable accommodations.
Accommodations for Students with Disabilities: Towson University is committed to providing equal opportunity and access for students with disabilities by removing barriers to participation and providing reasonable accommodations. If you have an Accommodation Memo from Accessibility and Disability Services (ADS), it is important that you share it with me as soon as possible so we can discuss your accommodations as they relate to this course. If you are not registered with ADS and would like more information, please contact the office at 410-704-2638 or firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the website at https://www.towson.edu/accessibility-disability-services/.
Barriers to accessibility and accommodation needs in an online learning environment may be different from in-person instruction. Here are some suggested guidelines and resources.
You can facilitate accessibility by creating digital materials that will benefit students with a wide variety of learning needs. This can reduce the need for reactive accommodation and improve access for all students. To help make your courses more accessible and inclusive, see Technology and Information Accessibility.
Know who is eligible to receive accommodations so early arrangements can be made. If you are unsure, it is appropriate to email the whole class, asking any student who is approved for accommodations to follow up with you. Honor current accommodations for students with disabilities, and encourage students to contact their ADS specialist if different accommodations are needed.
ADS will issue an updated accommodation memo if new accommodations are approved. ADS can email you digital copies of accommodation memos.
Each student works with an assigned ADS Specialist who is listed on the accommodation memo. The specialist will be able to answer questions about student accommodations. If you are unsure who the student’s specialist is, you can email TUADS AT_TOWSON.
In a recent survey of students registered with ADS, 65% said their disability symptoms impacted them more in an online environment as compared to the traditional classroom. The barriers cited most often included difficulty sustaining attention and staying organized in a online environment, reduced access to instructors to answer questions, taking longer to complete tasks/assignments, and greater difficulty understanding course information than in a face-to-face setting.
Recording class lectures promotes accessibility for students with disabilities and can enhance the educational experience for all students (e.g., students with different learning styles, non-native speakers of English and students struggling with the course material). A recorded lecture allows students to refer back to the recording while studying, fill in gaps in their notes, and revisit complex information to grasp challenging concepts. Additionally, captioning recorded lectures ensures accessibility for students with disabilities and fosters greater engagement and focus for all students through both hearing and seeing the verbal information presented. Here is an additional resource from the DO-IT (Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, and Technology) Center with more suggestions for teaching accessible online courses.
Students who are approved for testing accommodations should take their tests online as administered by the instructor. Timed online tests will require the instructor to adjust the student’s testing time in Blackboard prior to the test date.
For hybrid courses that offer some in-person instruction, as well as the opportunity to take tests in the classroom, ADS students may take their tests in the Testing Center. 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.
For further information, please call the Testing Services Center line at 410-704-2304 or contact Patrick Chachulski, Testing Coordinator, at pchachulski AT_TOWSON.
For more information please email ADARequest AT_TOWSON or call the Office of Human Resources at 410-704-2162.
To request a job accommodation, faculty and staff should visit Current Employees in the Office of Human Resources.