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Accommodations During Virtual Instruction*

Accommodations During Virtual Instruction*

Q: Is Disability Resources and Services still operational?

Yes, DRS is still operating Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. All appointments and services will be conducted via phone, video chat, or typed chat, until further notice. DRS will be unable to proctor exams while virtual instruction is in place at Paradise Valley Community College.

If you have a question or concern, please either call (Phone: 602-787-7171); or email (dl-pvc-disability@paradisevalley.edu) the office. Our staff will get back to you as soon as we are able.

Q: What happens now that exams are online? How do I get extended time for an online exam?

DRS will not be able to proctor exams while the College’s instruction remains online only. Please communicate with your faculty to discuss your exam accommodations in their courses. DRS is available to faculty and students to consult about unique circumstances.

  • Some faculty may opt for alternative assessments (e.g. essays, untimed exams) which would not require exam accommodations.
  • If your faculty is creating online timed exams, please notify your faculty if you will need extended time. Academic departments are responsible for setting up extended testing time (and adjusting availability/due dates, if applicable) in Canvas (see next question).
  • If you would still like to use alternative formats, test assistants, or assistive technology for your timed online exams, please reach out to the DRS to discuss options.

Q: How can I confirm that my extended time has been applied to my Canvas quizzes?

DRS strongly recommends that students confirm that the time allotted, availability window, and due date are correct before starting a Canvas quiz. If your quiz is set to only be available in a limited time range, then your faculty will need to adjust the availability/due dates to account for your extended time. If the quiz settings are incorrect, please reach out to your faculty. If you are having difficulty contacting your faculty, please contact DRS.

To verify quiz information, follow these steps:

  1. In Course Navigation, click the “Quizzes” link
  2. Click the quiz title to open the quiz
  3. Double check that your extended time has been applied to the "Time Limit".
  4. Double check that the availability window and due date allow for enough time with your accommodations.

For screenshots and more information, visit the Canvas help article “How do I view Quizzes as a student?”.

Q: I currently have a volunteer note-taker assigned in my in-person class. Now that class is online, will I still receive a copy of the notes?

Once you have learned from your instructor on how they will adapt the course for virtual instruction, please let your note-taker know if you would like to continue receiving notes.

You may find that you no longer need a note-taker due to the course design changes. For example, lectures that are prerecorded videos can be watched at your own pace. On the other hand, some instructors may still opt for scheduled class meetings with real-time communication using video features, or you may need a notetaker for another reason.

Regardless of your decision to continue receiving notes, all established note-takers will receive compensation for their notes.

Q: Does this affect Attendance and Deadline Modification Accommodations?

The accommodations will still be honored, though reasonable modifications to the structure of the agreements may be needed with the shift to online instruction. Please contact your faculty to discuss any additional barriers presented by changes to the course format. Let the DRS know if you need any assistance right away.

Q: With the switch to all-virtual instruction, I anticipate barriers and would like to request new accommodations. What are my next steps?

If you are not currently registered with DRS, please follow the steps outlined on the DRS Main Page: https://www.paradisevalley.edu/students/disability-resources-and-services. The first step is to register online by submitting a New Student Application at: https://olympic.accessiblelearning.com/GCCAZ/.

If you are already a DRS-registered student, please contact the DRS (Phone: 602-787-7171; or email (dl-pvc-disability@paradisevalley.edu).

Q: As I am adapting my course materials for virtual instruction, what should I be considering with regards to disability access? How do I best support my students?

We acknowledge the significant effort required to quickly adapt your courses to online instruction. We want to collaborate with you to ensure that access for students with disabilities is maintained through this transition. Some students may encounter disability-related barriers with online instruction or assessment (e.g. students who use assistive technology, students with medical limitations on screen usage). DRS staff are available for consultation regarding best practices and accessibility. (Phone: 602-787-7171; Email: dl-pvc-disability@paradisevalley.edu).

If you have students in your course who are utilizing accessible media, please notify our office of any added materials by contacting dl-pvc-disability@paradisevalley.edu. Our office is proactively working with instructors of Deaf/Hard of Hearing students to ensure captioning for prerecorded videos and/or arranging interpreting/transcribing services for real-time class meetings via video conferencing. The team is also working proactively with instructors of blind students to discuss accessibility strategies for course lectures, documents, activities, etc.

Below are some tips to keep in mind as you are creating virtual course content (adapted from DO-IT):

  • Use clear, consistent layouts and organization schemes for presenting content, and make instructions and expectations clear for activities, projects, and assigned reading.
  • Offer outlines, scaffolding tools, and adequate opportunities for practice to help students learn.
  • When selecting new materials, try to find videos that are already captioned, and articles that are available in a text-searchable format (meaning you can highlight and search the text within the document; click here for an example).
  • Images can be made accessible to blind and low-vision students by providing captions or inserting alt text into the image. Use large, bold fonts on uncluttered pages with plain backgrounds and color combinations that are high contrast.
  • Provide flexibility and understanding as this experience may cause disruption to the student’s home life and available resources – which may negatively impact a student’s disability symptoms.

For more tips, visit:

Q: How will exam accommodations work? Will DRS proctor online exams?

Extended time on exams as an accommodation generally only applies to traditional, time-limited exams. If you decide to offer alternative means of assessment (e.g. essays, non-timed exams, project work), then a student’s extended time may no longer be applicable. We encourage you to speak with registered students if that is the case.

DRS will not be proctoring exams while the College’s instruction remains online only. All exams should be administered online or through other remote assessment methods by faculty. Academic departments are responsible for setting up extended testing time in Canvas.

Students who would still like to use alternative formats, test assistants, or assistive technology for testing may have unique barriers with remote assessment and compatibility with lockdown features. DRS has proactively reached out to students who had previously requested those accommodations to discuss options. If a student reaches out to you about these accommodations, please don't hesitate to reach out to DRS for consultation.

Please communicate with your students to discuss their exam accommodations in your courses. DRS is available to instructors and students to consult.

Q: How do I give students their extended time for online quizzes/exams?

Confirming Extended Time Multipliers (1.5x, 2x)

You can view an individual student’s extended time multiplier by checking their Course Accessibility Letter (sent via email). You can also view the extended time multipliers for ALL of your students by following these steps:

  1. Log in to DRS Instructor Access Portal: https://olympic.accessiblelearning.com/GCCAZ/.
  2. Scroll down to the list of students and view the column that says, “TEST”, which lists students with testing accommodations.
  3. Click “View” for those students with accommodations to see the full testing accommodations and extended time multipliers.

Adding Extended Time in Canvas:

Use the Moderate Quiz function:

  1. Once your quiz is published, look at the quiz page (From the list of quizzes, click the link for the quiz, but don't click the button to edit it).
  2. Along the right-hand side, you will see the option to Moderate this Quiz. From here you can see quiz progress and, depending on your settings, give additional attempts or additional time.
  3. If you have set your quiz to have a limited testing window, please be sure to adjust the availability/due dates so that they do not conflict with your student's extended time. For example, if you have a 60 minute quiz only available to take within a 75 minute window, then for a student with 1.5x extended time you would need to both (A) change the time allotted to 90 minutes and (B) adjust the availability/due dates to at least a 90 minute window.

Q: Does this affect Attendance and Deadline Modification Accommodations?

The accommodations will still be honored, though reasonable modifications to the structure of the agreements may be needed with the shift to online instruction. Students with attendance and deadline modification accommodations should be contacting you to discuss any additional barriers, if any, presented by changes to the course format. DRS is available to instructors and students to consult.


*Note: Information in this document was adapted from Ohio State University’s Student Life Disability Services Office for Paradise Valley Community College