Connecting With Disability Resources
Disability Resources would like to welcome you back to campus & let you know how to get your accommodations set up for the Spring 2023 semester. Our office is open Monday through Friday from 8:00 am - 4:30 pm.
If you are a new student and wish to get connected with Disability Resources, please start by submitting our online Request for Accommodations Form.
You can learn more about the accommodations process by visiting our Get Connected page.
If you've already received accommodations from Disability Resources in the past, then you can use the DR Student Portal to update & request your accommodations.
- Within the DR Student Portal, you will find helpful resources such as step by step guides on "How to Submit an Accommodation Request." The Student Portal also has other guides that may apply to your accommodations and will guide your requests.
- Using the Student Portal is the quickest and easiest method to update your semester accommodations, but we are also still available to meet over Zoom, email, phone, or in-person.
Please contact our front office if you have any questions or want to schedule a meeting; we can be reached by phone at 218-726-6130 or email at [email protected].
New Students - Requesting Disability Accommodations
Submit the Request for Accommodations Form
- Complete the Request for Accommodations Form online and provide any available documentation that indicates a history of a disability diagnosis. These steps will save you time later.
- IMPORTANT: Please note that you should not delay meeting with us out of concern for not having the right paperwork. Each specialist will discuss specific third party documentation needs during the Welcome Meeting and steps you can take after the meeting. Our first priority is meeting with you, not reviewing the paperwork.
Schedule a Welcome Meeting
- Call or Email us at [email protected] to schedule an appointment. Appointments last approximately 45 – 60 minutes.
- During the Welcome Meeting, a Disability Specialist will chat with you about the barriers you are experiencing, reasonable accommodations to address the barriers and your next steps. Our goal is to keep the meeting relaxed & comfortable.
Common Accommodations Available
Listed below are the most commonly requested accommodations.
Specific barriers to academic inclusion are discussed with students, and other accommodations may be provided on a case-by-case basis.
- Test Accommodations
- Reading Accommodations
- Note Taking
- Accessible Technology
- Housing & Dining Accommodations
Returning Students - Updating Semester Accommodations
Here’s how you can connect with Disability Resources to update your semester accommodations:
Using Your Disability Resources Student Portal
You can email your Disability Specialist to request a one-on-one meeting or to request updated semester accommodation letters. Use the Student Portal to get contact info for your Disability Specialist and review your currently approved accommodations.
If you are emailing to request a one-on-one meeting, be sure to include 3 or 4 options of days & times that you are available to meet.
If you are emailing to request updated accommodation letters be sure to:
- Attend each class at least one time
- Review the course syllabus so you’re familiar with the requirements
- Make sure your email includes a list of each class and what accommodations need to be in place.
- Include any other concerns or questions you might have. Make sure to mention these concerns so we can explore reasonable accommodations.
If you need to access a copy of your Letter of Accommodation, you can search your email or download a copy online through your Student Portal.
Did you know our office now has a Student Portal available to you to assist with your access and accommodation needs?! Here is a brief list of items you can do online through your student portal:
- View assigned Disability Specialist & contact information
- View approved accommodations
- Request accommodations for new semester
- Schedule upcoming exams with our testing center
- See semester courses, schedules, & any exams you have scheduled with our office
- View & download Letters of Accommodation to have on hand and to share with your faculty member again if needed
- Ability to view and sign a release of information to speak with parents/guardians
- Ability to request e-textbooks & other accommodations.
- Test Schedules: Our official testing schedule is now accessed via the Student Portal.
- Please check your Student Portal to confirm or adjust testing times. If you arrive at the incorrect time, we may no longer be able to proctor your exam and will refer you to work with your instructor to request exam proctoring with them
What to Expect in Disability Resources
Disability Resources is excited to have students back on campus! Whether your courses are in-person, blended, remote, or online, accommodations will continue to be available and we’re looking forward to working with you to ensure you have access to your classes.
To make sure everyone can stay safe when visiting Disability Resources, this is what you can expect when visiting our area:
- If you are sick, or displaying any COVID symptoms, do not come to Disability Resources.
- Please follow the current UMD mask and face covering policy.
- Please wait to enter a staff member’s office until you are invited in. Disability Resources staff will be cleaning between each meeting, and we will need time to get our area ready for you to enter.
- Meetings are limited to the student and the Disability Resources staff member only. Office capacity cannot exceed two people at this time.
- Please use hand sanitizer on your way in and out of the office. Hand sanitizer will be available by the door to each staff office.
Disability Resources cares about the health and safety of all University community members.
Access & Inclusion in the Classroom
- Reasonable accommodations are available to students regardless of the course modality.
- Students using accommodations will be issued a letter of accommodation that indicates the accommodations necessary for equal access. A copy of this letter is also shared with faculty.
- Students are advised to follow up with their faculty to ensure that the letter of accommodation has been received.
- Consider checking in with all students about their access needs in the learning environment.
- As class delivery modalities shift, access needs may change. It is normal and natural for a student to request accommodations at any point during the semester, especially if there is a change in delivery method.
- Periodically checking in with students to ensure they have what they need to access the course is a best practice.
- Remember that Disability Resources is your partner in ensuring access. Please consult with us on disability and access related needs.
Inclusive Design Strategies
There are many things faculty can do to make online courses more accessible to all students. Here are some strategies to consider:
- Record all online livestream video content and make it available on the course website. Consult the Zoom recording guide for instructions.
- Turn on auto-captions for all video lectures or meetings. See the Zoom live transcription guide for instructions.
- Consider offering flexibility with participation. Must a student participate during the regularly scheduled class time, or may discussion occur outside of class time?
- Offer students the option to leave their camera (and microphone) off during live Zoom meetings. Students may have a range of reasons for preferring to leave their camera off:
- Students who are housing insecure and not in an appropriate place to turn on the camera
- Students who don't have good internet access and will lose the connection if they turn the camera on
- Student's whose home environment is not conducive to having the camera on
- Student's participating from their phone in a "parking lot hot spot"
Faculty Portal: Disability Resources is excited to introduce a portal that allows faculty to view - by class - all students requesting accommodations and their associated accommodation letters. Take a moment to login and explore, and let us know if you have questions about how to navigate the portal. Don’t forget to bookmark the faculty portal link so you can easily access it throughout the year!
Universal design: To make online courses more accessible to all students, consider implementing these simple strategies:
Record all online livestream video content and make it available on the course website. Consult the Zoom recording guide for instructions.
Turn on auto-captions for all video lectures or meetings. See the Zoom live transcription guide for instructions.
For more information on remote teaching practices, visit the Faculty Resources section of the Disability Resources website and the Keep Teaching website.
Disability Resources continues to be your partner in ensuring access. Please connect with the Office of Disability Resources for support and consultation around any student access concerns that may arise.
Faculty Responsibilities around Test Accommodations
- Test Delivery to DR: As indicated in our Instructor Responsibilities resources, in order for us to provide the service of proctoring exams in our office, we need exams uploaded to the Faculty Portal at least 24 hours prior to the exam time. Our staff needs time to set up accommodations (this may include scanning, altering text size, setting up adaptive technology, etc.) and prepare for many exam takers at once. Instructor cooperation in this matter is crucial to our ability to continue proctoring the instructor’s exams. If you are unable to meet this deadline, instructors will be asked to proctor exams independent of our office.
- Notification/Reminders: Instructors receive LOAs as soon as students request accommodations in our office. They have access to the Faculty Portal, which indicates all requested accommodations, including exam times, 3-4 days ahead of the scheduled exam time, instructors will receive a reminder to upload the exam to the Faculty Portal.
- Returning Tests to Faculty: Completed exams will now be returned to instructors via scanned documents sent to email or uploaded to the Faculty Portal.
Disability Accommodations for UMD Employees
Disability accommodations are available to UMD employees through UReturn. Please contact Nancy Erickson ([email protected]) via email to request a confidential consultation.
UMD offers all students, staff, and faculty a free copy of a program called Read and Write Gold. This program allows text to be read back across a variety of venues, including Office products, PDFs, email, and websites. Learn about its full range of capabilities, and access a download link (program is available for both Windows and Mac users) here: https://itss.d.umn.edu/services/software/rwg
Recognizing Access at UMD
Click the button below to nominate a staff or faculty member who has gone above & beyond with creating meaningful access at UMD!