Receiving Accommodations Online

How Will Accommodations Work Online?

We appreciate your flexibility during this novel and challenging time, and recognize that this may be the first time some of you are participating in online courses. We have developed information below about how some of the most commonly used accommodations may work in an online environment. This is not meant to be an exhaustive list and we encourage you to contact your ODS Coordinator if you have any questions. Please note that if you are a RBHS student, your coordinator is the Director for Disability Services. The best way to reach your coordinator right now is through email and then, if needed, you can set up a phone call or SKYPE meeting.

Letters of Accommodations for Spring 2020

Your professors should be aware of your accommodations for spring 2020, because you have submitted your Letter of Accommodation (LOA) to them. As a general best practice we are encouraging all students to submit their LOA to their professor again as a reminder. If you need to request new letters, you can do that through our website at:

Exam Accommodations

All exam accommodations are now online and will be provided through your professor. You do not need to submit any exam requests for your exams for spring semester 2020.

Extended Time on Exams

The most commonly used online learning platforms (such as Sakai, Canvas and Blackboard) allow faculty to extend the time of their exam for students who have accommodations. Please be sure to remind your faculty member BEFORE the exam that you will need extended time. You may find it helpful to share your Letter of Accommodation again. We have developed resources for faculty on how to extend time in a Learning Management System (Blackboard, Canvas, and Sakai).  Please feel free to share this link with your professors. 

A note about time conflicts: If receiving extended time on an exam will cause a time conflict with another class, you must notify your professor as soon as possible so they can work with you on making appropriate arrangements.

Reduced Distraction Testing Location

When taking an online exam, you are responsible for finding an environment that can work best for your needs. Consider strategies such as wearing earplugs, or if the timing of your exam is flexible, taking it at a time of day when your household isn’t as busy. Please be sure to reach out to your faculty member before the exam to see if being flexible with timing of the exam is an option.

Another possible option to explore is the use of white noise to help block out other sounds. My Noise is a site that offers a wide range of sounds you can try for free from urban to nature, and some can even be calibrated to suit your particular needs.


Students who are serving as peer note takers have received communication from our office that they are still expected to take notes if any audio or video lecture material is being presented. You should still be able to use Note Taking Express and other note taking technology with information being presented online. If you have specific questions about how notetaking might work in your course please contact or your coordinator.

Use of a Reader and/or Scribe for Exams

If you use a reader or a scribe for your exams, please connect with your coordinator as soon as possible so we can work with you and your faculty member.

Breaks During Exams Without Time Penalty

If you are approved to take breaks during your exams, please connect with your coordinator about how this will work. Some exam proctoring software, such as Proctortrack, allows breaks during exams to be added as an accommodation but it will need to be worked out with your faculty. If you, or your faculty, need assistance with this please contact your coordinator.

Use of a Calculator

If you are approved to use a calculator on exams, please make sure you let your faculty member know this in advance of your exam when you send a reminder about your LOA. Most online proctoring software allows this to be added as an accommodation within the proctoring system itself, but this must be set by your professor in advance of the exam.

Use of Proctoring Software

Some faculty are choosing to use online proctoring software to assist in administering exams. Many of the options used at Rutgers have accessibility features already in place. If you have any concerns about how this might work for you please contact your coordinator.

Consideration of Absences and Extended Time on Assignments

If you are approved for consideration of absences or extended time on assignments as an accommodation, please contact your coordinator and they would be happy to work with you and your professor in navigating what this might look like on a course by course basis.


The Rutgers Access and Disability Resources (RADR) team has been in touch with faculty of those students who use American Sign Language Interpreters or Communication Access Realtime Translation (CART) in the classroom. If you are a student using these accommodations, and have concerns about how this is working, please contact your coordinator or Marie Lisa for support.

Captions for Videos

We are strongly encouraging the use of captions for any video or audio created. If you are struggling to hear or understand audio or video content please let your coordinator know as soon as possible.

Still Have Questions?

If you still have any questions please be sure to check out our Frequently Asked Questions we have developed around online instruction for students with disabilities.