Remote Learning and Accessibility

Although we are transitioning to remote learning, all approved academic accommodations will remain in effect. This resource provides resources and tips to help ensure students have equal and full access. 

How can we help?

The Office of Accessible Education is available to consult with instructors about how to design a remote learning experience that is accessible and inclusive. Please email accessibility@bates.edu or call and either Abigail Nelson or Carson Dockum will be available to provide support.

General Resources: Access and Remote Learning

Mapping Access: Accessible Teaching in the Time of COVID-19

Guidance regarding lecture and discussion-based courses, projects, presentations, exams and papers.

DO-IT/University of Washington:

20 Tips for Teaching an Accessible Online Course: Guidelines for web pages, documents, images, and video. 

Resources for Making Distance Learning Accessible: Provides links to dozens of publications and resource centers focused on accessibility. 

Bates-specific Resources

SensusAccess

Available to all Bates community members, this tool converts documents to an accessible format. This will allow students who are using technology such as text-to-speech or screen readers, or who may need to manipulate text size or contrast, to access documents. The process is quick and user-friendly. 

Accessibility and Lyceum

Overview of built-in accessibility features in Moodle (Lyceum).

Captions: A Faculty Guide

Overview of best practices and resources available through ILS and Accessible Education.

Accommodations at Bates

The below are considerations for online learning in regard to the most common accommodations at Bates.

Exams: Extended Time and Breaks

  • Consider offering alternatives to timed assessments.
  • If you are giving a timed assessment via Lyceum, you can adjust the allotted time individually for students with accommodations for extended time (1.5x or 2.0x) or breaks not counted in testing time accommodations. Please review the instructions for Creating a Quiz which includes information about how to adjust allotted time for specific students. Contact Accessible Education or ILS for assistance. 
  • Breaks will depend on the student and their needs. Please consult with the student about how this has worked for them up to this point. Typically, we start with a 10-minute break for every hour, or similar, and see how that works. Again, students may have varying needs, so this could look different for each student. If students are able to start and stop the clock, there is no issue. If not, their time will need to be an adjustment to include time for breaks.
  • If you are allowing all students a window to complete an assessment online (for example a 24-hour period), you generally do not need to provide an accommodation. Contact Accessible Education with specific questions.
  • General information about this accommodation can be found on our website.

Electronic Text

  • Use SensusAccess for accessible document conversions.
  • Ensure that documents are searchable.
  • Save as a PDF file, not an image.

Notetaking Assistance

  • The Office of Accessible Education will continue to work with students to provide note taking assistance either via peer note taker or assistive technology.

Captions (Accessible Audio/Visual Material)

  • Accessible Education staff will reach out to faculty who have a student with this accommodation directly to offer assistance.
  • Required closed captioning on all films, video clips, streamed or recorded lectures, DVD’s or media with an audio component that is used for any class purpose.
  • Live-streamed lectures are discouraged. If used, real-time captions would need to be provided. We also discourage the use of live captioning because students may not have access to reliable internet and an internet enabled device at the designated time. In addition, students will be in a wide variety of time zones that may not be suitable to the designated time. 
  • Please note that auto-generated captions do not provide equitable access due to the high potential for error. 
  • Recorded lectures will be required to be captioned prior to being distributed to the class as a whole.
    • Alternatively, you can upload your lecture to a platform such as YouTube which provides auto-captions but you would then need to edit for accuracy. For assistance with YouTube captions, contact Michelle Holbrook-Pronovost in ILS.
  • Lectures solely distributed as manuscripts (no video or audio component) inherently meet this accommodation.