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Faculty Resources for Student Accessibility Services

The Disability Services office services all students at all locations, as well as those who study online or through the self-paced program.

The following resources are presented to assist faculty when working with students with a documented disability.

Audio/Visual Resources

Adding Captions to your Videos

Upper Iowa is committed to providing accessibility for all students. Accessibility includes videos used for educational purposes. When selecting educational videos, please verify the video is captioned. Before purchasing a DVD, please make sure it includes captions. See the links provided below regarding online videos and adding captions.

Available Software/Hardware at UIU

Currently, the following items are available for use on campus or to be loaned to students:

  • Digital Recorders – This equipment is used by students who want to record their course lecture. This allows for the student to review the information that was presented in the instructor’s lecture. Several recorders are available for student use and are available at all education locations.
  • Natural Reader– Natural Reader helps all individuals succeed regardless of ability or learning style. Natural reader is a text-to-speech software that can be used with any text such as Microsoft Word, PDF files, Web content, and Emails. This program is user-friendly and if you are having trouble then take a look at the video below for help signing up and using Natural Reader. See for help:
    Natural Reader is available to all UIU students and can be downloaded onto personal computers to promote easy access.
  • Dragon Naturally Speaking software – This voice recognition software enables a student to access a computer without using the keyboard or a mouse. The student speaks into a microphone and the information is displayed onto the computer screen. The student must first develop voice files, so that the computer recognizes his/her voice.
  • Pulse Smartpen – The Smartpen by livescribe is a computer in a pen that helps students never miss a word. The pen records everything that one hears and writes. Then replays the recorded audio by tapping directly on ones notes. It will save notes to a computer and search for words within the notes. Notes and recordings can be shared publicly or privately online. The Smartpen requires a certain type of notebook paper, which can also be obtained at the Office of Disability Services.

Faculty Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Why am I receiving an accommodation letter?

You are receiving an accommodation letter because the student in your class is registered with the Student Accessibility Services office and receives an accommodation(s). Please meet with the student privately to discuss each of the accommodations listed.

The student has an accommodation of "time-and-a-half" or "double time" when taking quizzes and/or exams. What should I do?

The “Gold Key” process will take place one week prior, and one week after, the start of each course. The Student Accessibility Services office will access your class and change the testing times according to their assigned accommodation.

It is the student’s responsibility to fill out the testing form on the Student Accommodation Manager (SAM) 48 hours prior to the test time. Once the test request has been approved by the Student Accessibility Services office, an email will automatically be sent to the instructor who will then have the opportunity to upload any needed exam.

Many students that have an extended testing time accommodation will also have need a quiet location during the test. Instructors should refer the student to the Student Accessibility Services office to have their test proctored. Students located at a center outside of our main campus in Fayette will need to make arrangements with the instructor or center staff. If the instructor would like to proctor the exam for the student in a private setting, that is accepted.

Does having additional test time also mean I have to allow the student additional time to complete the exam?

On the SAM form, you may specify the date and time in which the student must complete the exam. However, please be flexible with students that may have another class scheduled right before or after you class. They may need to take their exam at a different time in order to both attend class and receive additional test time.

The student has an accommodation of a "test reader." Do I personally need to read the test to the student?

No. Arrangements will be made for a reader for the student. However, please upload the exam to SAM as soon as possible. The Student Accessibility Services office staff will prepare the test for a reading program that allows the computer to read the exam to the student. It is very helpful for both our staff and students to have the exam ready to go when the student arrives for the exam.

The student’s accommodation letter states they need assistance with note-taking. What is my role in assisting the student with implementing this accommodation?

Students who have been granted assistance with note-taking should speak with their instructor to make arrangements. Many times the information the instructor puts on uiuLearn will suffice. However, if a student needs class notes, the instructor should confidentially assist in finding a volunteer to assist. The instructor, student, or the Student Accessibility Services Office can make sure copies are made. If a student volunteer cannot be located, the instructor should notify the Student Accessibility Services Office as soon as possible.

What do students need to do ahead of time to ensure they have their accommodations?

In order to ensure proper processing, the student must:

  1. Request accommodation letters for the upcoming session.
  2. Meet with each instructor to discuss their accommodations and make sure that each instructor received an accommodation letter from the Student Accessibility Services office.
  3. Sign up for special testing accommodation services (proctoring, test reader, etc.) a minimum of 48 hours in advance of their test date.


Who should I contact if I have questions or need help with the accommodation process?

Instructors should contact the Student Accessibility Services Office per the contact information on this webpage.