Instructor Center

Welcome to the Instructor Center! This page serves as a central hub designed to provide faculty and instructors at OTC with essential information about the Disability Support Accommodation process. The easiest way to ensure equal access for all students is for instructors to design courses with accessibility in mind. In the tools section below, instructors will find helpful information about making specific parts of their courses accessible such as online content, media, and print resources.

Spring 2017 First Day of Class Springfield Campus

What is my responsibility when a student presents a letter?

Upon receiving an Accommodation Letter or request,  instructors are encouraged to discuss needs privately with the student.  It is not always possible to anticipate how a student’s disability will be impacted in each course. As a result, it may be necessary to amend the approved accommodations. Instructors are also encouraged to contact DSS with any additional questions, concerns, or ideas.

A Word about Course Accessibility

Not only is DSS committed to serving students, we are also committed to faculty and staff. Instructors are an integral part of the support team in fostering student success and retention.

Because instructors hold intimate knowledge of their subject and courses, DSS relies on their expertise when identifying essential functions of a course or program in order to determine appropriate accommodations. Accommodations should not fundamentally alter the essential requirements of the course or the program of study.

DSS can provide additional support to faculty and staff by providing resources, facilitating trainings, and offering ideas on creating a more accessible class.

Information for Instructors

OTC Policies/Procedures for Students with a Disability

Accommodation Process:

OTC has a specific process to connect students with Disability Support Services (DSS). After completing the disability support application students will get a chance to meet a disability resource counselor and talk with them about classes and accommodation needs, then interactively set up a plan together if the student is found eligible for services.

In order to implement and use the approved accommodations, the student must present their Accommodation Letter to each of their instructors at their discretion. Accommodation Letters are emailed to the student using their OTC email account.

To see the whole process please visit our Apply page.

Please review the student’s Rights & Responsibilities

Note to instructors:

An instructor’s role in this process is to make referrals as needed. If you notice a student is struggling in your class and you suspect the reason is disability-related, please kindly and discreetly refer them to our office.

Once an accommodation letter is received, you should discuss with the student how to best implement the accommodations within your class.

It is not always possible to anticipate how each student’s disability will impact them in the classroom. As a result, it may be necessary to amend the approved accommodations. This will be done with a team approach; you, a DSS counselor, and the student.

Accommodations should not fundamentally alter the nature of the course or the program of study. Should you believe the requested accommodations do fundamentally alter the course or program of study, please contact DSS immediately.

Accommodations Explained

Coming Soon

What is My Role?

Choosing materials, facilitating accommodations, grading, etc.

What questions can I ask…  Exam Requests, Referrals

More coming soon

Disability Supportive Language

From AHEAD:

“Language is a powerful way to demonstrate professional values and, in our specific case, our beliefs about disability.

There are two prevalent ways that we identify with disability in language: person-first and identity-first. Both options have implications for how we think about disability.

Person-first language distances the person from the disability, ostensibly to separate the person from the negative connotations and stigma with which we have all been socialized. As professionals, many of us have been taught that person-first language is preferable, and some disabled individuals choose to identify as a person first, based on their personal orientation to disability.

Identity-first language challenges negative connotations by claiming disability directly. Identity-first language references the variety that exists in how our bodies and brains work with a myriad of conditions that exist, and the role of inaccessible or oppressive systems, structures, or environments in making someone disabled.”

For more about disability supportive language, please visit the following websites:

Association on Higher Education and Disability (Statement on Language)

National Center on Disability and Journalism (Disability Language Style Guide)

Web Content Accessiblity Guidelines (WCAG)

When creating online content in Canvas refer to the Web Content Accessiblity Guidelines. WCAG documents explain how to make web content more accessible to people with disabilities.

Reoccurring Topics Between DSS and Faculty - Jeff Jones

As we partner together to provide the best service for our students there are certain topics that pop up over and over again for discussion.

In this article see info about DSS Assistance, Service Animals and ESA’s, Accommodations and the process and responsibilities that go with them, Exam Requests, Release of Information, Parents, Note-takers, and much more.

For more info go to Recurring Topics by Jeff Jones

Information about Service Animals/ESAs

image toolbox

Instructor Toolbox

How Do I... (tutorials and step-by-step guides)

Caption Videos

Create Accessible Documents

Extend Time for Online Exams

Make a referral to Disability Support Services

Talk with a Student in Distress

Address a Disruptive Student

Address a Disruptive Service or Emotional Support Animal

Fill out Exam Request Form

 

 

 

Use of subtitles/closed captioning:

In order to ensure that all information shared through video format is accessible to students with a hearing loss,  ALL videos—including videos shown in class, posted on Canvas, or linked as a resource—MUST have ACCURATE subtitles/closed captioning provided. Use of automated subtitles, interpreter, and/or transcriptions are NOT acceptable forms of this accommodation.

o   Check with the Learning Resource Center to investigate CC videos

o   Use the filter “subtitles” when searching videos on the internet

o   Caption your own videos.

For assistance, please contact Online@otc.edu  or visit the Idea Lab located in the Library if you need help with video captioning issues.

Want to know more about captioned media? Check out the National Deaf Center!

How do I make online content accessible?

Accessible Print refers to printed materials that have been made accessible for persons with disabilities. Students with limited mobility, print-based learning disabilities, or who have complete or partial vision loss often require Accessible Print materials in order to have equal access to academic coursework. In this section you will find information on how you can help to provide accessible print materials to all students in your courses.

In Class Materials:

Some students, primarily low-vision and blind students, will require that all in-class print materials are made accessible to them. Typically this involves providing the student with accessible digital copies of Power-Point slides, handouts, or in-class assignments. Below are a list of resources to help you create accessible digital copies of your print materials before distributing or presenting them in your classroom.

Online Course Materials:

Individual faculty are responsible for making sure that course materials posted on Blackboard and other online course management systems are accessible to all students. This includes PDFs, Power Point slides, and links to outside resources. Below are a list of resources to help you create accessible print materials before posting them online.

Occasionally, students or faculty members may need make accessible copies of course documents, journal articles, or textbook excerpts. This can be done by enhancing a digital copy using screen magnifier or printing the materials and using one of the two desktop magnifier in Disability Support Services. Selecting the option to create a Searchable PDF will run the OCR (optimal character recognition) software and allow the PDF to be read by screen and text readers.

 

Textbook Accessibility:

The Disability Support Services (DSS) office helps to put qualified students in touch with accessible formats of their textbooks each semester. Because acquiring or converting to accessible formats takes time and labor, it is important for faculty to submit their book lists to the bookstore as early as possible. If you are considering adopting an online textbook, please be sure that it has been tested for accessibility. If you have any questions about whether an online textbook is accessible, please email DisabilityServices@otc.edu.

Many courses at OTC, both seated and online, now use AutoAccess course materials. These materials are online textbooks which are meant to improve access and affordability. Many of these course materials have accessibility options.

How do I make accessible print materials?

Accessible Print refers to printed materials that have been made accessible for persons with disabilities. Students with limited mobility, print-based learning disabilities, or who have complete or partial vision loss often require Accessible Print materials in order to have equal access to academic coursework. In this section you will find information on how you can help to provide accessible print materials to all students in your courses.

In Class Materials:

Some students, primarily low-vision and blind students, will require that all in-class print materials are made accessible to them. Typically this involves providing the student with accessible digital copies of Power-Point slides, handouts, or in-class assignments. Below are a list of resources to help you create accessible digital copies of your print materials before distributing or presenting them in your classroom.

Online Course Materials:

Individual faculty are responsible for making sure that course materials posted on Blackboard and other online course management systems are accessible to all students. This includes PDFs, Power Point slides, and links to outside resources. Below are a list of resources to help you create accessible print materials before posting them online.

Occasionally, students or faculty members may need make accessible copies of course documents, journal articles, or textbook excerpts. This can be done by enhancing a digital copy using screen magnifier or printing the materials and using one of the two desktop magnifier in Disability Support Services. Selecting the option to create a Searchable PDF will run the OCR (optimal character recognition) software and allow the PDF to be read by screen and text readers.

 

Textbook Accessibility:

The Disability Support Services (DSS) office helps to put qualified students in touch with accessible formats of their textbooks each semester. Because acquiring or converting to accessible formats takes time and labor, it is important for faculty to submit their book lists to the bookstore as early as possible. If you are considering adopting an online textbook, please be sure that it has been tested for accessibility. If you have any questions about whether an online textbook is accessible, please email DisabilityServices@otc.edu.

Many courses at OTC, both seated and online, now use AutoAccess course materials. These materials are online textbooks which are meant to improve access and affordability. Many of these course materials have accessibility options.

How do I make my course more accessible?

Learning Styles

Recruiting Note-takers

Students approved to receive class notes are registered with Disability Support Services (DSS) and require an in-class note-taker due to the functional limitations created by their disability. In-class refers to any live lecture content whether delivered in-person or online.

Notes may be provided in the form of your own lecture notes/slides that you provide to all class members either prior to or after each lecture -OR- through a volunteer peer note-taker.

Volunteer Peer Note-Taker:

Please make a generalized announcement, without drawing attention to the student with a disability, at the beginning of the course requesting a volunteer note-taker. Please facilitate how notes will be given to the student (via email, placed on your desk for pick up, etc.) If your course is asynchronous we recommended using email or Canvas’s messaging feature for recruiting a note-taker.

Triplicate lined paper is available in DSS for students who receive hand-written notes. Student note-takers can also make copies in the DSS office.

The National Deaf Center provides a free, self-paced online course for volunteer note-takers to help ensure quality notes.

If you are having difficulty identifying a volunteer in your course please contact DSS at DisabilityServices@otc.edu or (417) 447-8189 for assistance.

Sign Language Interpreting

Use of a sign language interpreter: 

Interpreting Tip Sheet

Interpreters as a Reasonable Accommodation for Testing

The role of an interpreter is to facilitate communication between you and a deaf student. If you have an interpreter, this means the student has a hearing loss and uses sign language to communicate either receptively, expressively, or both. The interpreter will interpret everything that is heard by other students and voice everything that the student signs. Interpreters are professionals who adhere to a strict code of conduct. Interpreters are paid professionals that hold state certification and license.  Interpreters at OTC are contracted with a local interpreting agency.

If an interpreter is accompanying a student to class, please work with the interpreter and student to determine the best placement of the student and interpreter. Typically, the student will take a front row seat and the interpreter will sit or stand in line-of-sight of the instructor/visual materials.

The interpreter may ask you for copies of PowerPoint presentations in advance to assist him/her in preparing for class (please discuss this with the interpreter first, however).

When communicating with a deaf student, please be sure to speak directly to the student—not the interpreter.

For more tips about working with a sign language interpreter, please visit the National Deaf Center website.

Should any problem arise with an interpreter, please contact DSS.

Speech-to-Text (Transcriptions)

Use of transcription services:

For this accommodation, the deaf/hard of hearing student will have access via an iPad to a live transcription of the class in real-time using Skype program. Your voice will be picked up by a microphone in the iPad. This is similar in principle to the accommodation of digital recording. Please anticipate repeating and/or rephrasing questions asked by other students in the class so that the off-site transcriber can transcribe the question and answer for the student. Basic troubleshooting can be done with transcriber; other technical issues can be addressed by Cal Hutson (Owner) – Quality Transcription Specialists (QTS).

www.QTSKC.com816.805.8945.

Please watch this captioned video by QTS

Want to learn more about other types of speech-to-text? Check out the National Deaf Center!

Providing Exam Accommodations

When students request exams with accommodations, DSS will email the instructor the request. The instructor should fill out all the required fields:

  • Scantron Required: Check this box if a Scantron is required. DSS has scantrons that can be used. Remember that Scantron sheets must be either picked up by the instructor or delivered because they cannot be scanned and emailed.
  • Resources Allowed: For each resource allowed, check the box. If no resources are allowed, leave the boxes unchecked or indicate in “other”.
  • Exam Time Limit for Class: How much time are you allowing the whole class to take the exam? Type this number in hours and minutes on the line provided. This number will be used to calculate extended time. NOTE: DSS cannot honor “unlimited” time for proctored exams.
  • Expiration Date: Type in the latest date that you will allow the student to take the exam.
  • Contact Information: Add your contact information (Phone number and Email address). Please use a phone number we that can contact you quickly on if emergent questions/issues arise during the exam (such as an office phone or personal cell phone).
  • How Would You Like the Exam Returned to You?: Choose from the following options: Deliver to my mailbox location (provide location), Pick up in DSS Office, ICE 116, Email to my OTC email.

Email the completed exam request form to Disability Support Service office at DisabilityServices@otc.edu 


Image of instructor section of exam request form.

Survival Signs

If you find yourself with a deaf student in your class, here is a link to some “survival signs!”

Syllabus Statement (sample)

Sample Syllabus Statement:

Disability Support Services

The college complies with Title II, the Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA), and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.  OTC makes every effort to ensure persons with disabilities admitted to the college as students or employed by the college are afforded all the rights and privileges provided to them by state and federal law.

Any student should notify the instructor immediately if special assistance or devices are needed to accommodate a disability. To request academic accommodations for a disability, contact Disability Support Services at your Campus or Location. Students are required to provide documentation of disability to Disability Support Services prior to receiving accommodations.

Anyone with questions is welcome to contact Disability Support Services Staff at your Campus or Location: (List Locations)

Refocus: Syllabus Statement

More information about syllabus statements can be found at exploreaccess.org.

Article: Making Accommodations-The Legal World of Students with Disabilities

Making Accommodations: The Legal World of Students with Disabilities

Everybody benefits when colleges serve students with disabilities.

By Paul D. Grossman

My brother sat in the wheelchair he had used for the past five years, ever since cancer had reached his spine in 1991. As a teacher and a disability lawyer, I was curious to find out whether he regretted entering and persevering through law school well after he understood that his cancer would never remit. His response to my query was remarkably clear. Attending law school had been one of the wisest choices in his life.    READ MORE

Educational Strategies For:

Resources for Instructors

Resource Spotlight with
Ed Derr LPC, NCC
DSS Resource Counselor

Coming Soon!

Student Perspectives for Faculty Video