Important Announcement

In an effort to streamline operations and provide the highest quality of service to students, the Accessibility and Disability Service (ADS) is implementing new procedures in our accommodated Testing Office that will begin on August 2, 2021.


Advance Reservation Requirement
Students must make accommodated testing reservations 3 business days in advance of the test date.

Timeframes for Exam Submissions by Instructors
All exam materials and Testing Authorization Form (TAF) information must be submitted to ADS by 12 pm.
• 1 business day before the exam date for regular tests and midterms.
• 2 business days prior to the exam date for final exams.

Cancellation of Exams by ADS
• A student’s exam reservation will be cancelled if the exam materials and TAF information is not submitted on time.
• If the exam is cancelled, instructors may either administer the accommodated exam themselves OR assist the student in rescheduling the exam with ADS.
• 3 business days notice is required for rescheduling

Instructor Receipt of Completed Exams
• Any person picking up a completed exam is required to be listed on the TAF and to show ID in order to receive the exams.
• All sections of the exam receipt portion of the TAF must be completed legibly.

ADS Office Administrative Time
The ADS Testing Office will be closed daily from 12 pm to 1 pm for office walk-ups, professor pick-ups/exam drop-offs, phone calls and email responses.for administrative work. Proctoring of accommodated exams will continue during this period.

Resources for Instructors and Departments

Online Portal for Instructors

Instructional Handouts: Online Portal, Adjusting Exam Time in ELMS and Note Taking

Implementing Accommodations - Instructor Responsibilities

  1. Upon receiving an email notification that a student has shared their accommodation letter, the instructor must view the letter in the Online Portal system, become familiar with the student’s accommodations, and confirm receipt of the accommodation letter in a timely manner. Students are encouraged to share their accommodation letter with instructors during the first few weeks of the semester, although there is no deadline for doing so.
  2. Instructors must invite students to meet privately in order to discuss the logistics of implementing a student’s accommodations in the course.
  3. Students and instructors must complete a Detailed Implementation Plan Form (pdf) for any accommodations requiring a written plan. This requirement is indicated on the accommodation letter. Once complete, the student and instructor should each retain a copy of the written plan for reference. Instructors are encouraged to schedule a consultation phone call with an ADS staff member to better understand how flexible accommodations can be implemented in their classes. ADS staff members are available to assist with the creation of a formal plan when requested.
  4. Instructors must sign the Acknowledgement of Student Request Form (pdf) to signify receipt of the student’s accommodation letter and to indicate that a dialogue regarding accommodation implementation has occurred. For classes that are being held online, we understand that it may not be possible to sign the Acknowledgement of Student Form in person. Please use one of the following options in lieu of an in person signature: 1) digitally sign the form or 2) email the student confirming you have received the letter and do not have any further questions about their accommodations.
  5. Instructors should not ask personal details about the nature of a student’s disability (e.g., “What’s your disability?” or “How long have you had it?”). A student may choose to disclose that information themselves and instructors are encouraged to listen and engage with the student in an empathic way. The best advice is to let the student take the lead in disclosing or discussing disability-related information. As a reminder, any disability related information, including a student’s affiliation with ADS and use of accommodations, is confidential.
  6. Instructors should be aware that accommodations are not applied retroactively. Instructors must implement accommodations after receiving a student’s accommodation letter and discussing with the student how the accommodations will be implemented in the course.

Implementing Accommodations- Student Responsibilities

  1. It is the student’s responsibility to share an electronic copy of their current accommodation letter with course instructors in order to implement their accommodation(s). Digital accommodation letters are sent to course instructors directly through the Online Portal system.
  2. Students must meet privately with instructors, preferably during office hours, to discuss the logistics of implementing their accommodations in the course. This meeting should occur at the beginning of the semester after the student has shared an electronic copy of their accommodation letter with the instructor.
  3. Students and instructors must complete a Detailed Implementation Plan Form (pdf) for any accommodations requiring a written plan. This requirement is indicated on the accommodation letter. Once complete, the student and instructor should each retain a copy of the written plan for reference, and the student should submit a copy to ADS. If any issues arise with plan development, ADS is available to assist at (301) 314-7682 or adsfrontdesk@umd.edu.

Implementing Testing Accommodations

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 -

  • 1 business day before the exam date for regular tests and midterms.
  • 2 business days prior to the exam date for final exams.

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 itaccessibility@umd.edu for specific guidance and assistance.

Informational Handouts for Instructors

Frequently Asked Questions

How will you be notified of a students’ decision to utilize their testing accommodations?

  • It is the students’ responsibility to share their accommodation letter with you and to have a discussion about which assessments (i.e. quizzes, tests, exams, midterms, and finals) for which they need to implement their accommodations.
  • Students make a reservation via the Online Portal system. Instructors can see all testing requests and review the scheduled date and time input by the student. Please note students are able to make testing reservations once their accommodation letter has been shared digitally with you. This may or may not occur before they are able to speak with you privately about their accommodations
  • The Online Portal sends automated emails to professors as a reminder about outstanding exam submissions.


Can I make alternate arrangements with students outside of the ADS Testing Office?
Yes, course instructors are more than welcome to make an individualized plan with students as long as all of the students’ testing accommodations can be implemented by the instructor. Some examples of these plans include: 1) allowing students to arrive to class early or stay late and test with the class, 2) reserving an additional classroom in your classroom building for all students with additional time, 3) allowing students to test within your office or another location, 4) ensuring that all accommodations such as private space or an adjustable height table are available when necessary.

How do I provide additional time to students in an online course?
Instructors have the ability to Provide Extended Time Accommodations in ELMS-Canvas Quizzes and Exams.

Where do students test if my class or assessment is online?
Students taking online or hybrid courses in which testing occurs online should not be required to complete their testing session with a proctor at ADS or other campus location. Students should complete their testing session online with their accommodations in the same manner as all other students in the course.

What is the responsibility of the course instructor to ensure students obtain their additional time at the ADS Testing Office?
  • Please submit all exam materials and directions for each assessment to the ADS Testing Office no later than 4 p.m. the business day prior to the student’s scheduled testing reservation.
  • Please ensure a contact email is provided so that ADS proctors can contact you if a student has a question during their exam. Please be aware that all student questions are submitted to instructors by email and ADS may not always be able to provide your emailed response to the student prior to their exam completion. Students will be instructed to write a note to include with the completed exam materials. Please make arrangements to speak with the student during office hours for possible recourse options.
  • Please ensure a return method for completed exams is indicated. Note if no method is indicated the default is to have the ADS staff return the completed exam to your department office. ADS will not return exams to instructors’ offices or mailboxes.


Will I receive a reminder notification if exam materials are not delivered in advance?
Yes, the ADS Testing Office uses an automated email reminder system that will automatically send reminder emails to you. Staff will additionally send manual emails when materials have not been received by the business day prior to the exam.

How can I deliver exam materials to the ADS Testing Office?
Materials can be delivered by uploading to the Online Portal, or dropping off the materials in person. For all exam materials dropped off in person, the instructor must include the course and section number, a list of the approved students’ names, and exam administration instructions.

How are completed exams returned?
When completing the Test Authorization Form (TAF), you will select one of the following options: 1) (Fastest) Professor Pick Up, 2) ADS Return within 2 business days to the main department office, or 3) Scan and email within 5 business days with the option to shred the original or have it returned to the departmental office.

Please note, if you do not select an option, the ADS Testing Office will automatically return the completed exam to your main departmental office within 2 business days. Due to exam security, any exam selected for professor pick up at the ADS Testing Office will require the professor (or named designee) to present a photo-ID.

How is exam integrity maintained?
Testing sessions are monitored by a test proctor at all times. Students are only allowed to have materials as designated by the Test Authorization Form (TAF). Completed exams are sealed in an envelope and must be signed for at delivery/pick-up to account for the chain of possession.

How is academic dishonesty addressed?
In the event that any form of academic dishonesty is observed, the exam is stopped, any unauthorized materials are confiscated, and the instructor is contacted immediately. The proctor will take instruction from the instructor regarding how to proceed. If the instructor cannot be immediately reached, the proctor will leave a voicemail or send an email explaining the situation and the student will be permitted to complete the remainder of the exam with all unauthorized materials removed. In addition to notifying the course instructor, a written incident report will accompany the sealed exam. Course instructors have the discretion to pursue any code of conduct violations as necessary.

Contact ADS Testing Office

Accessibility and Disability Service Testing Office
0118 Shoemaker Building
Phone: (301) 314-7217
E-mail: ADSTest@umd.edu

Testing Location
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.

Implementing/Assisting with Note Taking Accommodations

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 instructor possibly recommends other students in the class who might serve as a good note taker. ADS would then contact those students letting them know they were recommended and to assess their interest.
  • The instructor provides access to their powerpoint or lecture notes (if not available to all students).
  • The instructor coordinates the development of a shared document in which all members of the class can contribute accurate notes.
  • The student records the lectures.

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.


What to expect about requests for a peer note taker in an online course

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.

Implementing a Detailed Implementation Plan

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 adsfrontdesk@umd.edu.

Assisting with Alternate Format Needs

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 adsalttext@umd.edu.

Creating Accessible Course Content

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

  1. Accessibility and Accommodations in Online Courses
  2. Division of Technology Learning Technology Design at (301) 405-1500




Questions about Alternate Format/Accessible documents

  1. Alternate Text Unit at adsalttext@umd.edu
  2. Dan Newsome, Coordinator of the Adaptive Technology Lab, wdn@umd.edu.




Questions about Captioning and/or Transcription

    For questions about captioning and/or transcription, please contact Cassandra Lytle, Manager of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing Service dhhs@umd.edu.

Accessibility Syllabus Statements

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 adsfrontdesk@umd.edu. 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.

University Policy
University of Maryland Disability & Accessibility Policy and Procedures (PDF)

Interpreting, Captioning and Transcription Accommodations In Your Classes

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 in the Classroom

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 dhhs@umd.edu, with any questions.

Media in the classroom or on ELMS

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 dhhs@umd.edu, 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:

  • Locate material that is already captioned and accessible.
    • Ted Talks are a great resource; all of the videos are captioned.
  • Ask students who plan to use media in presentations to find captioned material or at a minimum to create and provide a transcript of the audio portion of the media.
    • DHHS is available to assist students with their transcription and captioning needs as well for class presentations.

Assistive Listening Devices (ALDs)

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.

Video Captioning

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.

Important Information

  • For ADS students with a captioning accommodation, the cost of creating accessible media for course-related materials shown in the classroom or posted on ELMS is covered by ADS
  • For rates for accessible media services not covered by ADS, contact DHHS
  • DHHS processes materials for ADS students first and then we will work on non-ADS student material
  • Materials are completed on a first come, first serve basis; the earlier requests are submitted, the faster the turnaround
If you have any questions, please contact the Manager of DHHS, Cassandra Lytle at dhhs@umd.edu or (301) 314-7209

For information about Live Captioning and Remote Transcription Services, including for Webex or Zoom Meetings

Please refer to this article from DIT that discusses how DHHS can assist and options for contracting with a third party independently.

Captioning Services for Faculty, TAs, and Staff

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.

  • All videos and/or clips that you plan to show during the semester must be checked by you for closed captioning.
  • YouTube’s automatic captions do not meet ADA requirements and are not considered accessible media.

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:

Check to ensure your videos are captioned.

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

If your video is not captioned, select one of the following options:

Requesting Captioned Media through DHHS

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:

  • Instructors should review their captioning needs as soon as they are made aware of the need to create accessible media.
  • Caption requests should be submitted with as much advance notice possible to ensure accessible media is completed by the time it’s needed in class.

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 dhhs@umd.edu or (301) 314-7209 to discuss available options.

Captioned media is returned as an MP4 file through UMD Box.

*Note about YouTube Videos*
  • If you have videos that are hosted on your own YouTube channel, DHHS can connect you with a vendor who can create and upload captions directly to your account. Please contact DHHS for additional information about this option.
  • If you have MP4s not yet uploaded to YouTube, requesting captions through DIT is much faster than connecting your YouTube account with an outside vendor as mentioned above.

Requesting Captioned Media through DIT

DIT handles caption requests for all MP4 files, including Panopto class recordings. In order for DIT to caption your videos:

  1. Upload your videos (class recordings and/or MP4s) to the Panopto Recordings folder on Canvas
  2. Complete the DIT Caption Request Form

The Caption Request Form can be accessed here: Request Professional Captioning for Panopto Videos. Please note:

  • The link to the caption form is at the top of the article.
  • Sign in through CAS with your UMD credentials to access the form.
  • If you have multiple recordings ready to be captioned, you can include up to 20 files on a single request form.
  • If you are recording as you go (i.e. weekly class lectures), a new request form needs to be submitted to DIT for each video/recording that is uploaded to the Panopto Recordings folder.

For additional questions, please contact DIT at itaccessibility@umd.edu.

Requesting Captioned Media through Library Media Services

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:

  1. Complete ELMS Course Reserves Streaming Request Form
  2. At the bottom of the form, in the “Comments or Special Instructions” box, please indicate that the video requires closed captions

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 askmckres@umd.edu.