Temporary Closure Information

Frequently Asked Questions for Students


  • Yes. The Office of Accessibility will remain open from 8am-5pm Monday through Friday for phone and email correspondence and consultation. The Office of Accessibility will not be conducting in-person appointments or testing. 

  • If you would like to request a phone or virtual appointment with your Disability Specialist, please email access@uakron.edu. 

  • The Office of Accessibility staff are working remotely through Microsoft Teams. We encourage students to also familiarize themselves with teams, so that we might conduct appointments virtually. 

    • Log-in with your Zips email and password at Office.com to access the Microsoft Teams app. This user guide will help you navigate the features of Microsoft Teams.
  • Currently, our physical location in Simmons Hall will not be open at this time. We will update this page once our physical location re-opens. 
  • We are continuing to address testing concerns. Current students should be checking their STARS account and email for frequent updates regarding testing accommodations moving forward. Additional tips will be available shortly. 

  • The Office of Accessibility and Counseling & Testing Center will not be conducting in-person, accommodated testing unless absolutely necessary. 

  • Testing accommodations can still be accessed for Brightspace tests and quizzes. 

  • In addition to screen readers and speech-to-text software, The Office of Accessibility will be offering remote proctoring services through Microsoft Teams for those students with a reader and/or writer accommodation. If you are interested in utilizing remote proctoring services, please contact your Disability Specialist as soon as possible.

  • Keep in frequent contact with your instructor to ensure your time extension is added to tests and quizzes. 
  • Yes, software is available for students utilizing a reader and/or writer accommodation during testing. 

  • Please note that students may need to update the version of Windows they have on their personal device in order for the programs to work as best they can.  

  • The following programs have been identified to work with Brightspace assessments

    • Screen Readers:

      • Mac Users: VoiceOver 

      • PC (Windows) Users: NVDA (works best on Windows 7 SP1 and newer )

        • How to use NVDA (video

        • See videos: Installing NVDA, Basics Part 1, Using the Internet Part 1, Hot Keys and Commands Parts 1 and 2 

      • Chromebook Users: ChromeVox

    • Speech to Text:

      • Dragon Naturally Speaking

        • Dragon Naturally Speaking works when the settings are adjusted to “not use the dictation box”. 

        • How to disable the dictation box (text)

    • Other:

      • ZoomText will work to increase font size but not as a reader.

  • Notetakers have been contacted and instructed to continue sending students copies of the notes they take, even though classes have been converted to an online format. 

  • Notetakers will be emailing students the notes or uploading them in STARS. 

Frequently Asked Questions for Faculty


  • For course web pages, documents, images, and videos: 

    • Use clear, consistent layouts and organization schemes for presenting content. 

    • Structure headings (using style features built into the learning management system, Word, PowerPoint, PDFs, etc.) and use built-in designs/layouts (e.g., for PPT slides). 

    • Use descriptive wording for hyperlink text (e.g., "DO-IT Knowledge Base" rather than "click here"). 

    • Minimize the use of PDFs, especially when presented as an image. Make sure the text is accessible by testing to see if you can copy and paste it. Always offer a text-based alternative as well. 

    • Provide concise alternative-text descriptions of content presented within images. 

    • Use large, bold fonts on uncluttered pages with plain backgrounds. 

    • Use color combinations that are high contrast and can be read by those who are colorblind. 

    • Make sure all content and navigation is accessible using the keyboard alone. 

    • Caption or transcribe video and audio content. 

  • With respect to instructional methods: 

    • Assume students have a wide range of technology skills and provide options for gaining the technology skills needed for course participation. 

    • Present content in multiple ways (e.g., in a combination of text, video, audio, and/or image format). 

    • Address a wide range of language skills as you write content (e.g., spell out terms rather than relying on acronyms alone, define terms, avoid or define jargon). 

    • Make instructions and expectations clear for activities, projects, and assigned reading. 

    • Make examples and assignments relevant to learners with a wide variety of interests and backgrounds. 

    • Offer outlines and other scaffolding tools to help students learn. 

    • Allow adequate time for activities, projects, and tests (e.g., give details of project assignments in the syllabus so that students can start working on them early). 

    • Provide options for communicating and collaborating that are accessible to individuals with a variety of disabilities. 

    • Provide options for demonstrating learning (e.g., different types of test items, portfolios, presentations, discussions).

    • Assume that all academic activities will require some sort of accommodation (e.g. tests, visual and audio content, notetaking). 

  • Students will be accessing their exam accommodations remotely through time extensions input as special access in Brightspace, screen readers, and speech to text software. 

  • For further consultation regarding course design, please contact the Design and Development Team at ddshelp@uakron.edu. 

  • For general questions regarding accommodated testing, contact Natalie Bendel at nab87@uakron.edu. 

  • For questions regarding specific students’ testing accommodations, contact that student’s assigned Disability Specialist. 

  • For instructions regarding how to input a student’s extended time accommodation for a quiz and/or test on Brightspace, please visit pages 6-8 of the Brightspace Intermediate Training for Faculty for information about adding special access.
  • We are working with the Design and Development team to have courses captioned for students with a transcription and captioning accommodation.  Professional captioning will be available whether courses are delivered through recordings in Panopto or in a live Web-Ex format.  

  • The captioning feature within Panopto should not be used due to inaccuracies. 

  • Courses in which a student with a transcriber or captioning accommodation is enrolled were flagged and you should have communication from Design and Development before classes resume.    

  • If you add additional videos to your courses, please submit those to the Design and Development team as well.   Please contact DDShelp@uakron.edu for any questions you may have.  Heather Rose, Disability Specialist, is also available if you need assistance at hrose@uakron.edu. 

  • The delivery of accommodations in an online setting will require special attention and consultation with the Office of Accessibility staff. Please contact your student’s assigned Disability Specialist for further consultation.