For students with testing accommodations , it is not mandatory that they sit for their exam at the Accessibility and Disability Services Testing Office, unless specifically listed as an accommodation. Instructors are allowed to administer accommodated exams independently of the ADS Testing Office for students in their courses. If instructors are unable to administer the accommodated exams, students should schedule to take exams at the ADS Testing Office.
What to expect when implementing testing accommodations for an in-person course: Instructors administering in person testing in their courses, have multiple options available to them when administering accommodated exams.
One option is to make arrangements to provide the additional time either before or after the scheduled class time. Instructors commonly utilize the classroom building or departmental offices to make these arrangements. Instructors are welcome to consult with ADS staff regarding testing environments and other logistics as needed.
The second option is to accommodate the student utilizing the ADS Testing Office. Students are responsible for making a reservation 3 business days in advance of the testing section. Instructors will be notified via email of these reservations. Once notified, instructors will utilize the Online Portal system to provide the ADS Testing Office a copy of the test questions and instructors for administering the exam.
Instructors are responsible for providing all test questions and directional information to the ADS Testing Office by 12 pm -
If materials are not submitted by the timelines mentioned above, the exam reservation will be cancelled. Instructors will then be responsible for either accommodating the student personally at the original reservation time, or allow the student to reschedule at the ADS Testing Office in 3 business days time.
What to expect for implementing testing accommodations in an online course: Instructors administering tests within the online environment are able to independently accommodate students within ELMS/Canvas. It is important for instructors to familiarize themselves with the instructions for adjusting the exam time within the ELMS-Canvas platform. ADS Testing staff do not have access to online course content and will not be able to assist or troubleshoot technical questions. Instructors should work directly with the Division of IT by contacting email@example.com for specific guidance and assistance.
How will you be notified of a students’ decision to utilize their testing accommodations?
Accessibility and Disability Service Testing Office
0118 Shoemaker Building
Phone: (301) 314-7217
0118 Shoemaker Building, Lower Level
Testing Office Hours
Regular Hours: 9:00 a.m. - 12:00p.m. AND 1:00p.m.- 4:00 p.m Monday through Friday
Final Exam Week (Fall and Spring Semesters Only)
Extended Hours: Monday-Friday: The Testing Office will be open from 8:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m. Saturday hours are from 8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. (If the first day of exams falls on Saturday, the extended hours are as follows: Saturday thru Thursday - 8:00 a.m. - 7:00 p.m., Friday 8:00 a.m - 4:00 p.m.)
If you have any difficulties accessing the online forms, please contact the ADS Testing Office at (301) 314-7217.
Instructors and TAs who have students in their classes with an approved Peer Note Taker accommodation, may be required to assist ADS in identifying a note taker. This request may arise in both in-person and online courses.
What to expect about the ADS peer note taking process
When a peer note taker is requested, the primary instructor listed for the class will receive an automated email informing them of the request.
The automated email will include a template memo they can be use to help ADS recruit interested note takers. Instructors/TAs should send this memo to the entire class roster (via email, ELMS etc.), informing the class that a note taker is needed for the course and how they should apply. It is important to understand that the student(s) requesting a peer note taker should never be identified and should remain anonymous in all recruitment correspondence.
If no one initially signs up to be a note taker, ADS will ask the student to contact the instructor directly to send the memo to the class again.
Unfortunately, not all recruitment messages sent by the professors successfully result in peer note takers signing-up. ADS staff keep track of all outstanding requests and monitor which requests still need to be filled. If after multiple attempts to secure a note taker for the student there is still no note taker for the class, an ADS counselor may contact the professor to see if there are alternative ways in which the student can receive supplemental material to supplement their own notes including:
The above options might not be a good fit for all class types and structures. In such cases, ADS, the professor, and possibly the student can recommend alternative solutions that will allow access to lecture notes.
Instructors and TAs should anticipate a peer note taking request even for online courses. Such requests are most likely required for synchronous courses. For asynchronous courses, a peer note taker may or may not be needed depending on the individualized needs of the ADS student.
Peer note takers are expected to take notes only on narrative content (live streamed or recorded) , and not required on readings. In an asynchronous online course note takers should consult with the course instructor and/or ADS to determine a timeline for uploading notes regularly. For online courses note takers should upload course notes within 24 hours of a synchronous course lecture.
Students who have an approved accommodation that require a Detailed Implementation Plan (pdf) have a unique type of accommodation that requires flexibility. Due to the unique nature of these types of accommodations, a one size fits all plan is not plausible or appropriate. An individualized written plan is required to address all logistics that will assist the student in managing the completion of academic requirements when experiencing symptoms of their disability while upholding the standards and requirements of their enrolled course. It is important that plans are in writing and shared with all parties (instructor, student and ADS) to ensure easy reference throughout the semester.
ADS staff are available to assist instructors in creating a plan that upholds the course requirements in addition to balancing student disability related needs. Instructors should speak with ADS staff about this process by calling (301) 314-7682 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Alternate Text Unit located in the Adaptive Technology Lab is responsible for converting and delivering course texts and exams for qualified students into the alternate formats they require. Some of these formats are: PDF files converted for use with text to voice software, audio files, enlarged print, braille printouts, etc.
Instructors may be required to provide advanced copies of reading lists, test questions, etc to ensure the timely conversion of materials.
For assistance related to alternate format processes, please contact the Alternate Text Unit at email@example.com.
ADS understands that instructors may have questions about creating accessible content. Staff across campus are dedicated to assisting instructors in ensuring their course content is accessible. Please see the list below of resources to address questions or concerns directly.
Keep Teaching Resources
Questions about Alternate Format/Accessible documents
Questions about Captioning and/or Transcription
ADS recommends that instructors include a statement of accessibility in their course syllabus. Please use the statement below within your syllabus.
The University of Maryland is committed to creating and maintaining a welcoming and inclusive educational, working, and living environment for people of all abilities. The University of Maryland is also committed to the principle that no qualified individual with a disability shall, on the basis of disability, be excluded from participation in or be denied the benefits of the services, programs, or activities of the University, or be subjected to discrimination. The University of Maryland provides reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals. Reasonable accommodations shall be made in a timely manner and on an individualized and flexible basis.
Discrimination against individuals on the grounds of disability is prohibited. The University also strictly prohibits retaliation against persons arising in connection with the assertion of rights under this Policy.
Accessibility & Disability Service (ADS) facilitates reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals. For assistance in obtaining an accommodation, contact Accessibility and Disability Service at (301) 314-7682, or firstname.lastname@example.org. More information is available at the ADS website.
After receiving an Accommodations Letter from ADS, as a student you are expected to to provide your course instructors with a copy of the Accommodations Letter, and meet with them, either virtually or in person to obtain their signature on the Acknowledgement of Student Request form. You and your instructors will discuss a plan for how the accommodations will be implemented in the course throughout the semester. Specific details regarding the implementation of certain ADS approved accommodations agreed upon among ADS, you as the student and the individual course instructor must be documented on a Detailed Implementation Plan, signed by you and the instructor, and submitted to ADS.
Instructors who have a student(s) in their classes with a hearing disability will work with our Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services (DHHS) Unit to implement accommodations. DHHS can assist instructors, departments, and campus affiliates with captioning requirements and can schedule qualified service providers for non-class related events and programs.
Service providers are sign language interpreters, TypeWell transcribers, or Cued Speech transliterators. Typically interpreters are assigned in teams and transcribers are solo unless the class is over 75 minutes.
Service providers are assigned only to facilitate communication and should not be expected to participate in the class or to offer any comments or opinions regarding class content.
The service provider(s) will introduce themselves during the first week of the semester and may ask for additional materials (i.e. PowerPoint slides, syllabus) to help them with course specific terms or other class related information. This information is needed to assist them in providing the student access to the course material. A best practice is to add the service provider(s) to your ELMS course as an observer.
Please review the tipsheets for more information. Feel free to contact DHHS at (301) 314-7209 or email@example.com, with any questions.
Please ensure that any media you plan to use in the classroom or on the course website is captioned. This includes movies, films, videos, embedded video clips in websites or PowerPoint presentations, and YouTube clips. If you have any captioning needs, please contact the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Manager at firstname.lastname@example.org, as soon as possible to submit your request. The captioning process takes time so it is important that we get advanced notice of at least 3-5 days, whenever possible.
Important Note: Automatic YouTube captions DO NOT provide sufficient access to the material as they do not meet ADA requirements. If you are unsure if the captions provided are acceptable, send DHHS the link/file and we will review it to determine if it meets accessibility standards.
Recommendations to ensure accessible media in the classroom:
Some students have an accommodation to use an assistive listening device (ALDs).
ALDs have two components; a receiver and a microphone. Assistive listening devices work best when the instructor wears the microphone and repeats questions or comments made by other students during the lecture. The microphone will only amplify for the student wearing the receiver and does not record anything that is said during the class lecture.
Students may choose to have the receiver provide amplification through their hearing aids, cochlear implant, or through headphones.
Deaf and Hard of Hearing Services (DHHS) provides accessible media services (post-production captioning and transcription) to students and departments on campus.
In accordance with federal law, all instructors are required to make all classroom materials available to students with disabilities at the same time that it is made available to all other students.
Please refer to this article from DIT that discusses how DHHS can assist and options for contracting with a third party independently.
In accordance with federal law, all instructors (as agents of the University) are required to make all classroom materials available to students with disabilities at the same time that it is made available to all other students.
In the event that any videos (to be viewed in class or assigned outside of class) are scheduled to be shown, please follow these instructions:
A YouTube video may not have captions (or the captions may not be accessible), however, a captioned version of the same video may exist elsewhere (i.e. the original website where the video first appeared, Vimeo, etc.). Please check other sources/websites to see if a captioned version is available
DHHS handles caption requests for video links (i.e. YouTube videos*, video clips on websites, etc.).
In order to process caption requests quickly and efficiently:
The current turnaround time to complete caption requests is approximately five business days. Caption requests are processed on a first come, first serve basis and should be submitted to DHHS as soon as possible.
If a captioned video is needed before the five business day turnaround, please contact Cassandra Lytle at email@example.com or (301) 314-7209 to discuss available options.
Captioned media is returned as an MP4 file through UMD Box.
DIT handles caption requests for all MP4 files, including Panopto class recordings. In order for DIT to caption your videos:
The Caption Request Form can be accessed here: Request Professional Captioning for Panopto Videos. Please note:
For additional questions, please contact DIT at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Library Media Services (formerly Hornbake Library) handles caption requests for DVDs and streaming videos.
To request captioned videos for streaming on your ELMS course site:
Note: The Library Streaming Reserves module must be enabled in your ELMS course site before submitting a request. If you have questions, please refer to Library Media Services’ tutorial.
For additional questions, please contact Library Media Services at email@example.com.