Accessibility & Accommodations
"Inclusive teaching is...a realization that traditional pedagogical methods—traditionally applied—have not served all of our students well. It’s a commitment to put actual substance behind our cheerful declarations that all students deserve access to higher education...The beauty of inclusive pedagogy is that, rather than making special accommodations that would decrease equity, it actually benefits all students, not just those at whose needs it was originally aimed."
Kevin Gannon, "The Case for Inclusive Teaching"
We are always responsible for providing accommodations listed in letters issued by UK's Disability Resource Center. You can contact the listed DRC consultant for questions. In addition, CELT's Universal Design Consultant (firstname.lastname@example.org) can help instructors think about ways of providing required accommodations.
Accommodations for Online Exams
In particular, accommodations for online exams represent a critical way to provide equitable learning and assessment for all of our students. The unpredictable learning environments brought on by our evolving responses to COVID-19 present many barriers to students receiving equal access not only to course materials but also, critically, to opportunities for engaging with the course and showing that they have met the learning outcomes. The Disability Resource Center has put together a spreadsheet of common accommodations for online exams (click to download) in order to guide instructors and connect them with additional assistance.
Exams and remote proctoring can present insurmountable barriers to students who require accommodations as well as create an environment in which the burden of justification is consistently placed upon the student. Even with accommodations, our unique and challenging moment challenges us to create learning experiences in which all students feel they equally belong and are equally supported. The folks at CELT, UK Online, and other areas are always eager to discuss ways of upholding this responsibility.
Best Practices for Accommodations
- Students with hearing impairments may need real time transcription due to the change in learning platform. If this is the case, you will be contacted by the DRC and/or the transcription vendor to set up the service. Click here for video tutorials on live auto-captioning options and adding captions to videos.
- Students with visual impairments benefit when instructors read aloud all text and provide a description of images used during a lecture. In addition, students benefit from clear, readable copies of course materials. If the class is synchronous, it's a good practice for people to identify themselves by name when they speak.
- Students who require private or low-distraction settings may experience barriers accessing the appropriate learning environments with a good Internet connection. If this case should arise, students can contact their DRC consultant, or the instructor can contact the consultant listed in the accommodation letter.
- The sudden shift to 100% remote course delivery can be disorienting and challenging. Students may require additional accommodations due to this shift, and they may experience difficulties related to their well-being. Be kind and check in with students; make sure they know about UK's wellness resources.
- Anxiety can impact all aspects of attention. Consider building time and redundancy into the curriculum, assessments, and messaging to students. Strive for the greatest amount of transparency for course procedures and expectations.
The DRC will still be registering students who request accommodations. If a student needs accommodation, please direct them to the DRC website or email. If you have questions, please email the student's consultant noted in the letter of accommodation, call 859-257-2754, or send a message to DRC@uky.edu
iPad Accessibility Features
CELT has partnered with the Smart Campus Initiative on a variety of fronts to support the innovative, effective, and equitable use of technologies for teaching and learning. As part of the initiative, all first-year students receive iPads. These devices are powerful tools that provide resources and platforms for students’ coursework and extracurricular activities, and they also have accessibility features that can support student learning in a variety of ways.