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AccessAbility Services (Faculty)

OAS would like to make you aware of resources that are available to support faculty while off campus while maximizing content accessibility for all students.

About Content Accessibility: This page provides online teaching tips and an overview of Blackboard Ally, a tool that evaluates and provides feedback on your course content.

About Inclusive Teaching and Learning: This page highlights key practices that can help shape the way you prepare content delivery to maximize all students’ success.

You can also incorporate recordings with your lessons using Panopto in Blackboard. In addition, please continue utilizing the closed captioning feature as an added layer of maximizing engagement. Any tool that helps facilitate student learning is highly recommended. 

We are actively safeguarding our compliance with the Office of Civil Rights and the requirements of Section 504, Title 11, and Title VI during this time. As the CDC’s guidelines continue to evolve, we ask that you be mindful about how you ensure an accessible learning environment for all your students.

Please continue to visit the OAS Faculty Resource page on our website:

OAS Testing Center Guidance

Testing Support

The OAS is unable to offer in-person proctoring services at the OAS Testing Center for the remainder of the spring 2020 semester due to COVID-19. OAS staff are available to support faculty members with meeting student accommodations on exams in their courses virtually.

Computer Access

Not all students will have access to computers during the online period to take exams. The OAS is encouraging students to consider using facilities available at local libraries if possible and connecting with the Dean of Students’ office for support.

New OAS-Registered Students

If you have a student who is in the process of registering with the OAS to receive accommodations (whether testing or classroom), the OAS is still actively processing new registrations virtually via secure phone and video conferencing platforms. 

Submitting Testing Reservation Forms

The OAS expects students to touch base with their professors to share their plan for using testing accommodations on an upcoming exam one week in advance of test date when possible. Students are expected to let the OAS know if they plan to use their testing accommodations on an upcoming exam by submitting the online Testing Accommodations Request Form. Submission of this form will prompt the OAS to reach out to the student’s professor to assess if any support is needed from the OAS with implementing the students’ testing accommodations (i.e. extending testing time in Blackboard).

Professors do not need to submit the Testing Reservation Form for their students for the remainder of the spring 2020 semester. The exception to this rule is when a student requires use of a reader or scribe to type their online exam and is unable to find someone to support them in these capacities. The OAS is currently looking into assistive technology that can support students with these needs.

What if you already submitted testing forms the semester?

OAS staff will be following up with professors who have already made reservations for their students at the Testing Center using the Testing Reservation Form. We will be contacting​ you via email to see if the test is still taking place, if anything about the format or timing has changed, and if you have spoken with the student to determine if they intend to use their accommodations.

Extending Testing Time in Blackboard

Some OAS-registered students receive accommodations for extended testing time on timed quizzes/exams, whether time and a half (1.5), double (2.0) or triple (3.0) time. Extended testing time is calculated based on the amount of time allocated to the class. If you need assistance with extending testing time in Blackboard, please see below. Many professors create a separate extended time version that the students who receive this accommodation can take.

Guidance for Extending Time on Blackboard Quizzes and Exams

Instructors must ensure that online quizzes and exams are accessible by using the Test Availability Exceptions section of Blackboard. The Center for Instructional Technology (CIT) can assist instructors in extending the time function on assessments. For assistance, please contact the CIT at (860) 465-1248 or

Providing Scribe and Reader Accommodations

Some OAS-registered students receive accommodations for a reader or scribe on quizzes and exams. Since exams will be online, most students will not require someone to write for them. There may be some students who need someone to type for them, which scribes may do for online exams. For these scribe cases and for students who do not have access to someone who can read for them, OAS staff will be available to assist students with accessing assistive technologies. We are currently working on implementing these technologies for student use.

Providing Breaks

Some OAS-registered students receive an accommodation for breaks, which are typically monitored by OAS staff at the Testing Center. Professors will need to coordinate how students may take breaks when completing an online exam. The OAS encourages students and professors to touch base before the exam to determine what supports are needed in this capacity. 

OAS Support Program Update

The OAS Support Program will remain open virtually (Email, Phone, FaceTime) and available to all Eastern students. Students may book appointments to work on both Academic and Social Skills. Here is the link to provide to students, they may select their preferred mode of communication and specifics on what they are requesting the appointment for: OAS Support Program Bookings Page

OAS Hours of Operation and Contact Information

Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.
Phone: 860-465-0189
Fax: 860-465-0136