Disability and Access Service

Remote Teaching at BU: A Guide to Disability & Access Services

Disability & Access Services (DAS) is working with Educational Technology and with faculty to address accommodations and access for our students during the period of remote teaching and learning. Boston University Remote Training Coordinators have been given more detailed information.

The following are very general tips for faculty who will be teaching remotely to students with various disabilities. It’s not intended to be comprehensive or technical, but to provide guidance around some common issues, of which you may find useful over the next few weeks. DAS is here for general faculty questions access@bu.edu.

Some Blackboard Basics

  1. Blackboard is basically accessible to screen readers and other Assistive Technology (AT).
  2. If you chose to administer exams in Blackboard you will need to know how to extend the timing options.*How do I implement Extended-Time in Blackboard for my student with a disability-related accommodation?

View the section on Test Exceptions

New settings appear on the Test and Survey Options pages called Test/Survey Availability Exceptions. With these settings, instructors can select one or more groups or students and make a number of exceptions to the already established availability settings for a test or survey. Exceptions provide an accommodation to a student with a disability, such as allowing more time or attempts on the test, or providing accommodation for technology and language differences. Video tutorial.

     3. Digital text–If you are scanning text material (articles, textbook pages, etc.), please use clear copies and scan in a straight vertical orientation so the programs will work effectively.

Note Takers & Scribes

  1. The peer notetaker process will remain the same and all notetakers will be paid.
  2. Scribes need to be put into the Blackboard course. Depending on the task, professors may need to consider alternate assignments/assessments in cases where scribing is not feasible.

Communication Access for Students Who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing

  1. Remote CART (Live Captioning Transcription) or remote American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters will cover courses at CRC and MED for Deaf or Hard of Hearing students.
  2. DAS has reached out to professors teaching these classes. Routine questions can be directed to dhhods@bu.edu but tech questions should be directed to your RTC. Connection problems during the sessions should be directed to LETS (CRC) or Med EdTech (MED).
  3. Remote Live (Synchronous) Classes:
    1. Remote CART/ASL providers will join your live classes via Zoom. Please send links for the Zoom session to dhhods@bu.edu.
    2. Faculty can use MyMedia to caption live (synchronous) classes.
  4. Asynchronous classes
    1. Please put Provider into your Blackboard course and notify them if you will be using any other Apps (e.g. Slack).
    2. Asynchronous classes and video recorded media can be interpreted into ASL or captioned postproduction.
  5. Videos/Media must be captioned before they are posted to the class as a whole. Videos may be also sent to DAS for outside captioning; please note 2 business days required for turnaround.

Learn how to implement Closed Captions for asynchronous course video content here.

Students who are Blind or Visually Impaired:

DAS is working with some faculty teaching students who are blind or low vision. Please direct questions to lnorwich@bu.edu.

  1. Please read aloud all text and provide a description of any images used in a live synchronous or recorded asynchronous presentation or lecture (e.g. PowerPoint, videos, webcasts, images, tables, graphs, etc.).
  2. Chats and discussion boards are accessible to screen readers. Some students will be using phones that have different access features.
  3. Scanned text (articles, textbook pages, etc.) should be clear copies scanned in a straight vertical orientation.

Students with Concussion:

  1. Asynchronous self-paced curricula may be useful for students who must limit screen use.
  2. Read Write Gold literacy software and screen masking is available as a free download for BU students etrain@bu.edu.
  3. Students who have not already done so may contact DAS regarding exam and other concussion accommodations lnorwich@bu.edu.

For More Information, Contact access@bu.edu.

The Disability & Access Services guidance above was provided by Lorre Wolf, PhD, Director, lwolf@bu.edu, Stacey Harris, JD, Associate Director, harriss@bu.edu and Lorraine Norwich, Assistant Director, BSME, MSIS, lnorwich@bu.edu.