COVID-19 Office Information

Frequently Asked Questions for Students


  • Yes. The Office of Accessibility is open, remotely.  You can contact the office by calling 330-972-7928 or emailing access@uakron.edu.

  • We are still conducting appointments over the phone or virtually. If you would like to request a phone or virtual appointment with your Disability Specialist, please email access@uakron.edu or call us at 330-972-7928. 

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

  • In an effort to promote the health and safety of our students, staff, and visitors, 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. Students should refer to our Testing Accommodations COVID-19 Addendum for specific information about how to access testing accommodations remotely. 

  • 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. 

  • 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”. 

    • Other:

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

  • While notetaking accommodations will still be provided, please be aware that notetaking may function differently for online classes than it does in regular in-person/lecture based courses. Depending on how the online class is structured and the amount of materials posted for your online course, there may not be as much content to take notes on. Therefore, a peer notetaker may not be appropriate for all online classes. In most cases, when delivered in an online format, the notetaking accommodation may come in the form of instructor provided notes, which may include PowerPoints or Guided Notes. 
  • The Office of Accessibility has been actively working to address COVID-19 related questions and concerns as it pertains to disability-related accommodations. Please check our COVID-Related Accommodations page for the most up-to-date information. Information will also be sent in ZipMail and the Digest as it is available. 

  • At this time, students seeking a course to be delivered in an alternative format should work directly with their faculty member and/or advisor to determine the most appropriate course of action. 

Frequently Asked Questions for Faculty


  • The Office of Accessibility is not able to provide an accommodation for students with disabilities that mandates a course delivery method be changed. We are instructing students to work directly with their faculty members and advisors if they would like their classes to be online. 

  • If there is another section of the course being offered in the requested format, please provide this information to the student and encourage them to enroll in that section of the course. 

  • If the course is being offered in a hybrid model, talk with the student about how they might be able to participate fully or mostly online (if possible). 

  • If a student is not able to fully participate or the course would be fundamentally altered by changing/adjusting the course delivery method, refer the student to their academic advisor to discuss other courses they can take that would still allow them to progress in their program.

    • If you would like to consult with a Disability Specialist about a request from a student, please feel free to contact us at 330-972-7928 or access@uakron.edu. 

  • 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).  

  • In an effort to promote the health and safety of our students, staff, and visitors, the Office of Accessibility and Counseling & Testing Center will not be conducting in-person, accommodated testing unless absolutely necessary.  More information about this can be found on our Testing Accommodations COVID-19 Addendum.

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

    • For Brightspace support, please contact the Design and Development Team at ddshelp@uakron.edu 

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

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

  • 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 our office. 

  • 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.