Providing Accommodations Online

How Will Accommodations Work Online?

We appreciate your flexibility in working with ALL students, particularly those with disabilities during this transitional time. We have developed information below about how some of the most commonly used accommodations may work in an online environment.

You will receive an email from the Office of Disability Services (ODS) containing a Letter of Accommodation (LOA), for each approved student who requests it, that outlines their approved accommodations. We encourage you to have a conversation with the student about how the accommodations may be implemented. It is ideal if you have set office hours where a student can connect with you privately, outside of class.

Please bear in mind we do approve students for accommodations throughout the semester so you may receive the LOA at any point throughout the course. The guidance below is not meant to be an exhaustive list and we encourage you to contact the coordinator listed at the bottom of the student’s LOA if you have any questions.

Exam Accommodations

Once you have received a student's LOA, they can:

  • Work out the details directly with you, with no involvement from our office, or
  • Submit an exam request form to ODS, and our office can assist you in setting up the exam accommodations. For those students submitting an exam request form, we will be emailing you a confirmation approximately 1 week prior to the exam with information about what accommodations are needed.

We strongly encourage you to have all students submit an exam request form, even for online exams, to ensure ODS can best support you and the student.

Remote Exam Accommodation FAQ Page

Extended Time on Exams and quizzes

The most commonly used online learning platforms allow faculty to extend the time of their exams and quizzes for students who have accommodations. You can find more information about how to extend the time on an exams and quizzes at: For instructions on adding extended time in Pearson's MyMathLab and MyStatsLab please visit our Pearson Extended Time Instructions.

Please note that for an 80 minute assessment, a student with 50% extended time should be given 120 minutes while a student with 100% extended time would get 160 minutes. Providing extra time on an exam or quiz may cause the exam or quiz to run over your typical class period and create a conflict for the student with another class. The student or ODS will notify you if a time conflict will occur, and will work with you to make appropriate arrangements.

If an exam is available during a window of time, for example 24 hours, the extended time is applied to the entire window. So, in the case of a 24-hour exam, a student with 50% extended time would be given 36 hours.

If an exam is timed within the exam window, for example available for 80 minutes during a 24-hour period, extended time is only applied to the actual amount of time a student can access the exam. In this case the student would be given 80 minutes + 50% extended time = 120 minutes in the 24 hour window.

Reduced Distraction Testing Location

If you are administering an exam online, students are responsible for finding an environment that will work best for them. If possible consider setting up your exam in a way that does not have to be taken at a specific time of day (for example a student can take the exam anytime on Tuesday, March 31). This may allow students who are in a busy household or living with a roommate to take the exam at a time of day when their space is quieter.

Use of a Reader and/or Scribe for Exams

If you have a student who needs to use a reader or a scribe for their exams, ODS can assist with setting up those arrangements. Please connect with the coordinator listed on the Letter of Accommodation, or the exam unit on your campus, so we can work this out with you and the student.

Breaks During Exams Without Time Penalty

If a student has this accommodation on their LOA the student is permitted an extension to their exam time to account for breaks. Students are allowed to walk, stretch, use the restroom, stand up, etc., outside of the exam room. For online exams, students may move off camera. The student will be given 10 minutes of break time per hour of testing time (see table below). During a break, if testing in person, students are not permitted to leave the room with their cellphone or any belongings not specified on their LOA. For students taking exams online, they are not permitted to access technology while on a break.

Please note, that this time should be applied in addition to any other accommodation. So for example, if the class has 80 minutes for an exam, and a student is approved for breaks and 50% extended time, then they should get 120 minutes for the extended time and 20 minutes for the breaks for a total of 140 minutes.

Exam time Additional Time to account for Breaks
0 - 60 min 10 minutes
61 - 120 min 20 minutes
121 - 180 min 30 minutes

If you need help calculating additional time to account for breaks for your students, please use our exam calculator

Use of a Calculator

If you have a student who needs to use a calculator for their exams, please consider setting up your exam in a way that does not prevent a calculator on their work surface.

Use of Proctoring Software

Please note that some students may have issues or concerns around using proctoring software for any number of reasons. You could consider using alternatives such as a “paper” exam that you email them, or developing the exam in a way that would not necessitate proctoring software.

Other Accommodations


Your class may have students who are serving as peer note takers who take notes of any audio or video lecture material being presented. You may also have students who are recording the lecture, for their sole educational purposes only.

If you are not recording your course lectures, please work with student's who need this accommodation on how you would like them to record (if needed). There are many technologies that can help with this. If you or a student have specific questions about how notetaking will work for them please contact or the coordinator listed on the student's Letter of Accommodation.

Consideration of Absences and Extended Time on Assignments

It is understandable that many University students might be experiencing issues with accessing their courses or submitting assignments on time. For students who have these as approved accommodations, the coordinator can assist the student and professor in navigating what this might look like on a course by course basis.


Students who use American Sign Language Interpreters or Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) in the classroom may submit a request through our office. If you have a student in your class using these accommodations, and haven’t heard from someone yet, please contact the ASL/CART specialist for support. We will work closely with you to ensure you have the information and support you need

Captions for Videos

We are strongly encouraging the use of captions for any video or audio created. You can find additional information about how to caption videos using Kaltura. See our Teaching and Learning with Technology website for detailed tutorials on how to use Kaltura

For those using Zoom we strongly encourage you to activate captions for all sessions. Please see the tutorial on how to turn on automated captions in Zoom.

For those who will be teaching using Live Conferencing, the Rutgers Access and Disability Resources (RADR) team has put together videos on how to ensure captioning is available in your class:

Technical Support

The following resources are available for technical support with learning management systems and video conferencing tools. To search for your Department or Unit's assigned IT Support specialist visit:



Black Board

WebEx & Zoom

Main IT Help Desk for Faculty

Teaching and Learning with Technology (TLT)

Provides tools and support for teaching online at Rutgers New Brunswick