All updates related to COVID-19 and Accessibility Services will be listed on this page.

Contents

COVID-19 update For students; reported April 1, 2020
COVID-19 update For faculty; reported April 1, 2020

COVID-19 update

For students; reported April 1, 2020

Our office has heard from many of you with questions regarding COVID-19 planning, and how your accessibility related academic accommodations may be impacted by the decision to cancel all in-person undergraduate and research-stream Masters and Doctoral courses and provide teaching by other means (e.g. online).

Please know that our office remains committed to helping you complete your term with as little disruption as possible. Download our new resource, Strategies for Online Learning, on the right. This document discusses the transition from classroom to online learning for our students and provides tips, referral pathways and next steps. 

Below, read our answers to your most frequently asked questions during this time.

These changes will require some adjustments by all members of the campus community (faculty, staff and students). Thank you for your patience and cooperation to find reasonable solutions, given these exceptional circumstances.

Frequently asked questions for students

Connecting with Accessibility Services

How can I schedule an appointment with my accessibility advisor, learning strategist or adaptive technologist?
  1. by PHONE, through our main office line at: 416-978-8060 – front desk staff are available to answer your calls and help you arrange appointments with our advisors; learning strategists and adaptive technologist
  2. by EMAIL at: accessibility.services@utoronto.ca
I have submitted an intake package to Accessibility Services. Will I still be offered an intake appointment? 

Yes. Intakes will continue to be scheduled for new students over the phone, Skype, or Microsoft Teams. If you are in the process of registering with our office, you will continue to receive updates about your intake package and registration from our office.

What if I no longer need to register with Accessibility Services, now that my classes are online?

Accessing your accommodations is your choice. If you have already submitted your application to register with Accessibility Services, we recommend that you attend the intake appointment (offered virtually at this time) with an accessibility advisor so that suitable accommodations can be put in place for you, to be readily available when needed.

Should you wish to pause your registration, please contact our front desk at accessibility.services@utoronto.ca to let us know. You will need to contact us again when you are ready to pursue your registration.

I usually meet with my accessibility advisor during their drop-in hours. How will this work now? 

If you need to meet with your accessibility advisor, they continue to hold appointments to meet with you by phone, Skype, or Microsoft Teams. You can reach out to your advisor by email, or contact our front desk to make an appointment.

Accommodations

How will I receive my accommodations, now that my course is online?

You will still have access to your accommodations as your courses transition to online learning. Based on your specific accommodations, you are encouraged to connect with your accessibility advisor if you have specific questions about how your accommodations will translate to an online learning environment. If you haven’t already, please share your letter of accommodation with your course instructors.

What if I no longer need accommodations, now that my classes are online?

As always, accessing your accommodations is your choice. Should you no longer require in-class accommodations, no action is needed on your end. You are encouraged to log on to online classes as outlined by your professor/faculty.

Can I continue to access peer notetaking?

Yes, our amazing volunteer notetakers have been asked to continue taking notes and uploading them to the notetaking portal as usual. If you have a questions about the volunteer notetaking program, please contact as.notetaking@utoronto.ca.

I recently experienced a concussion/head injury/disability that makes increased screen time challenging for me. What should I do?

If you have concerns, please notify your accessibility advisor as soon as possible. They can help you with strategies and discuss your accommodations further.

I regularly use sign language interpreting or have my courses captioned in real time. What should I do now that my courses are online?

If you have not done so, reach out to your accessibility advisor immediately to discuss next steps. There are many alternative options for you to access lecture content, but it is important we put these in place immediately. 

I have a reduced course load accommodation. How will this be affected?

You will still receive this accommodation. If your full-time status changed because of this transition, please connect with your accessibility advisor and academic advisor/registrar.

I am a student in the Faculty of Law. Has the accommodations process for coursework, coursework extensions or missed classes changed for me?

Please note that accommodation requests are made centrally at the law school, not to individual instructors. 

The process for requesting accommodations for law students hasn’t changed. Please continue to email accommodations.law@utoronto.ca with your requests, and copy your accessibility advisor.

As per usual, the Student Accommodations Committee will work to ensure that it responds to your requests within 24 hours.

Tests, midterms & exams

Am I still able to write my online tests with additional time accommodations? (undergraduate students)

For the April 2020 exam period: If you registered with Accommodated Testing Services (ATS) by the March 23 deadline, they will connect with your course instructor to ensure the test/assessment is still happening. Then they will share your additional time accommodations so they can apply the accommodations directly to the online testing platform. If you are concerned about how other accommodations will be implemented online, please contact your accessibility advisor.

You will still receive confirmation from ATS that your accommodations have been sent to your course instructor. For students in professional faculties and KPHE, test/exam accommodation information will be sent directly to a faculty representative (e.g. graduate coordinator, registrar), or in the case of Faculty of Law students, the records office. 

How will I receive accommodations for my final exams? (undergraduate students)

If you registered by the March 23 deadline, Accommodated Testing Services (ATS) will connect with your course instructor to share your additional time accommodations.

For the April 2020 exam period, Accessibility Services has also added additional information to your letter of accommodation about your test and exam accommodations outlining any extra time, breaks or software needs. If you missed registering with Accommodated Testing Services by the deadline, you can send your letter of accommodation directly to your instructor and your instructor can implement the accommodations for you directly. Note: The letter of accommodation is best sent to your instructor by downloading it as a .pdf document from the Clockwork portal and emailing it directly.

If you missed the deadline to register for April test and exam accommodations (March 23) and would prefer Accessibility Services speak to your instructor on your behalf (instead of you supplying a letter of accommodation), please reach out to us immediately so that we can facilitate this.

I did not register for test and exam accommodations by the deadline. What do I do now? (undergraduate students)

Accessibility Services is adding the details of several test and exam accommodations into your letter of accommodation. Any of the accommodations that can be implemented by your instructor have been added into the letter. If you missed the registration deadline, you will need to send the letter directly to your instructor by email and ask for accommodations to be implemented. This needs to be done immediately. It is expected that students requesting test/assessment accommodations late will provide their letter of accommodation to their instructor no later than 3 days before the assessment takes place or begins.

Please note that if you registered by the March 23 deadline, Accommodated Testing Services will communicate your necessary accommodations to your instructor on your behalf, and you do not need to show your letter of accommodation to your instructor. 

If you would prefer Accessibility Services speak to your instructor on your behalf about test/exam/assessment related accommodations (instead of you supplying a letter of accommodation), please reach out to us immediately so that we can facilitate this.

I have concerns that my test and exam accommodations can’t be implemented by my instructor. What do I do next?

Please contact your accessibility advisor as soon as possible for further discussion, if you have not already done so.

How does break time work for online testing?

When calculating the additional time that needs to be added for online test/take home assignments/take-home tests, we are assuming maximum break time and adding this into the total test writing time. 

How do I get accommodations if my final exam is a take-home exam/assignment?

We are working closely with faculty and ATS to ensure you receive accommodations for your April 2020 assessments. Extra time provisions will apply to take home exams the same as to any other timed exams (e.g. 1.25 time will be added to the take home exam, the same as to an in-class 2 hour test/exam).

​My instructor has indicated that this is a 2 hour exam, but that everyone gets 24 hours to write. How does this work?

In cases such as this, generally no extra time for accessibility related accommodations are provided. If you have concerns, please contact your accessibility advisor. 

What is the difference between a take-home assignment and an assignment a student would usually request a one-week extension on using their letter of accommodation?​

A take-home assignment is a timed assignment that has replaced a final exam, and the accommodations for additional test/exam time will be facilitated on your behalf by Accommodated Testing Services, provided you registered by the deadline. In the situation of an assignment where a student has had weeks or months to prepare, then a student can request the usual extension accommodation of up to one week from the due date if this is listed on the letter of accommodation. If you have questions related to additional time or extensions, please communicate with your accessibility advisor.

What is happening with my deferred exam from Fall 2019 (Faculty of Arts and Science)?​

If you are a Faculty of Arts & Science student, see more information regarding deferred exams.

Students will receive information soon directly from their faculty about deferred exams from previous semesters.

​What happens if I defer my Winter 2020 online exam? Will it become an in-person exam later?

At this time, the University is establishing procedures for deferred exams for both Fall 2019 and Winter 2020. At the current time, it appears most faculties are moving to online summer courses. If summer courses in your faculty or division are online for the summer, you can likely expect that the deferred exam will be in an online format as well, but it is important that you consult your faculty or divisional registrar for the most up-to-date information regarding deferred exam procedures.

​Am I still able to write a make-up test with accommodations?

Yes, you will still receive accommodations for make-up tests. You will need to register for make-up tests (select the first pink button) as you typically would through ATS.

I am in a professional program and my tests have now been moved to a different earlier date. What do I do?​

Students in professional programs who are entering their next semester early still need to send your letter of accommodation to professors and register for your tests. You can do both on Clockwork by clicking on your specific faculty or program.

I am in a professional faculty. How will test and exam accommodations work for me?

Medicine: Please register for tests using the unique link “Faculty of Medicine Final Exams Only” on Clockwork. Please register at least 14 days in advance of your test. If this deadline is missed, please contact your accessibility advisor. Extra time and break accommodations are being included into Examsoft. When using breaks during virtual proctoring, you will need to ensure your computer/audio remains on, and that you remain in the view of the camera. It is also asked that you keep washroom breaks short as you will not be in front of the camera. Students are being asked to self-monitor their break time. This time will not be kept by the virtual proctor. If you have other testing accommodations that you would like to access, please connect with your accessibility advisor.

Speech Language Pathology: Please register for tests using the unique link “Department of Speech and Language” on Clockwork. Please register at least 14 days in advance of your test. If this deadline is missed, please contact your accessibility advisor. Extra time and break accommodations are being included into Quercus. Students are being asked to self-monitor their break time. If you have other testing accommodations that you would like to access, please connect with your accessibility advisor.

Dentistry: Please register for tests using the unique link “Faculty of Dentistry” on Clockwork. Please register at least 14 days in advance of your test. If this deadline is missed, please contact your accessibility advisor. Extra time and break accommodations are being included into Examsoft. When using breaks during virtual proctoring, you will need to ensure your computer/audio remains on, and that you remain in the view of the camera. It is also asked that you keep washroom breaks short as you will not be in front of the camera. Students are being asked to self-monitor their break time. This time will not be kept by the virtual proctor. If you have other testing accommodations that you would like to access, please connect with your accessibility advisor.

Occupational Therapy: Please register for tests using the unique link “Department of Occupational Therapy” on Clockwork. Please register at least 14 days in advance of your test. If this deadline is missed, please contact your accessibility advisor. Extra time and break accommodations are being included into Quercus. Students are being asked to self-monitor their break time. If you have other testing accommodations that you would like to access, please connect with your accessibility advisor.

Pharmacy: If you have a test/exam that you have not yet registered for and would like to use accommodations, please contact your accessibility advisor. Extra time and breaks are being included into the test taking platform. If you have other testing accommodations that you would like to access, please connect with your accessibility advisor.

Physical Therapy: Please register for tests using the unique link “Department of Physical Therapy” on Clockwork. Please register at least 14 days in advance of your test. If this deadline is missed, please contact your accessibility advisor. Extra time and break accommodations are being included into Quercus.  Students are being asked to self-monitor their break time. If you have other testing accommodations that you would like to access, please connect with your accessibility advisor.

Nursing: Please register for tests using the unique link “Faculty of Nursing” on Clockwork. Please register at least 14 days in advance of your test. If this deadline is missed, please contact your accessibility advisor. Extra time and break accommodations are being included into Quercus. Students are being asked to self-monitor their break time. If you have other testing accommodations that you would like to access, please connect with your accessibility advisor.

Medical Radiation Science: Please register for tests using the unique link “Medical Radiation Sciences Program” on Clockwork. Please register at least 14 days in advance of your test. If this deadline is missed, please contact your accessibility advisor. Extra time and break accommodations are being included into the test taking platform. Students are being asked to self-monitor their break time. If you have other testing accommodations that you would like to access, please connect with your accessibility advisor.

Law: If you have a test/exam you have not yet registered for via Accommodated Testing Services and would like to request accommodations, please contact your accessibility advisor. Extra time and breaks are being included into the test taking platform. If you have other testing accommodations that you would like to access, please connect with your accessibility advisor.

I am a student in a professional faculty (e.g. Faculty of Law) that uses online testing software (e.g. ProctorU, ExamSoft). How do accommodations work in these less common online testing platforms?

We are working closely with the professional faculties to determine how testing accommodations online will work in these different platforms. We will be sharing more information as these discussions and processes are put in place.

I now have a number of assignments due at the same time and/or I am in a different time zone and am being asked to write an exam in the middle of the night. What do I do?

First, contact your instructor or your faculty/college registrar’s office to discuss next steps. If you are still having difficulties, please get in touch with your accessibility advisor. 

Academics

How can I find out about special provisions that have been put in place by my faculty?

Divisional faculty updates:

How can I learn more about my options regarding CR/NCR, withdrawing from courses, etc.?

Please refer to the COVID-19 information by faculty website regarding your academic options. You are encouraged to speak with your academic advisor or registrar’s office regarding course standing-related questions. Please also communicate with your accessibility advisor if you have concerns about completing your courses from an accommodations standpoint. Note that in some faculties, the grade underlying the credit/no credit grade may still be used to determine admission to major, minor, specialist programs, even though it does not appear on your transcript. 

Will I be able to CR/NCR my course after I complete the exam and/or see my mark?

Faculties are currently in the process of establishing procedures for CR/NCR. You will be updated by your faculty as soon as this becomes available. It is important to follow up with your academic advisor or registrar if you have any questions about your course standing.

I am a graduate student who needs more information. Where can I learn more?

Additional information is available for grad students on the School of Graduate Studies website.

BSWD funding

How will online learning affect my BSWD funding/application?

If you have recently submitted a BSWD application (and are waiting for confirmation of approval), you are encouraged to contact your accessibility advisor directly with any questions you may have. If you are currently receiving BSWD funding for in-course supports/or other services, please connect with your accessibility advisor and Enrolment Services should you have any further questions about your BSWD funding. Please note that the on-campus transportation funding will no longer be available. Please communicate with your accessibility advisor if you have further questions regarding this.

How do I submit BSWD receipts? 

BSWD receipts can be submitted by email to bswd.grants@utoronto.ca or by dropping the receipts in the drop box, located outside Enrolment Services, 172 St. George Street. Please ensure your name and student number are located on the receipts, as well as a standard cover sheet.  

A standard cover sheet to accompany your receipts is available from the Enrolment Services website.

Receipts will also be accepted as PDF from your University of Toronto email, please keep copies of your receipts for your records.

What can I do with unused BSWD funds? 

Any unused bursary funds must be repaid by a money order, certified cheque or bank draft payable to the University of Toronto.

A copy of the money order, certified cheque or bank draft can be emailed to bswd.grants@utoronto.ca or drop off the money order, certified cheque or bank draft in the drop box located outside Enrolment Services. Please ensure your name and student number is located on the cheque/money order or bank draft.

Photocopies of your cheque/money order or bank draft will be accepted as PDF from your University of Toronto email, please keep copies for your records.

If you have recently submitted a BSWD application (and are waiting for confirmation of approval), you are encouraged to contact your accessibility advisor directly with any questions you may have. If you are currently receiving BSWD funding for in-course supports/or other services, please connect with your accessibility advisor and Enrolment Services should you have any further questions about your BSWD funding. Please note that the on-campus transportation funding will no longer be available. Please communicate with your accessibility advisor if you have further questions regarding this.

Summer/Fall 2020 courses

Will summer courses still be offered? Will they now be online?

You are encouraged to check in directly with your faculty. You will receive the most up-to-date information about summer course offerings directly from them. That said, most summer courses will be offered online.

Will I receive accommodations for my summer courses?

Yes. Students registered in summer courses will still receive accommodations. The process for notifying your professor of accommodations does not change. Student will still send course instructors their letter of accommodation.

I am a new U of T student starting courses in Fall 2020. Will these be online?

The University is working hard to update students as soon as possible regarding Summer and Fall courses. Please continue to check your faculty’s website for the most up-to-date information regarding the format of these courses and the U of T website for COVID-19 information

Documentation

I have been advised to get updated documentation from Accessibility Services. How do I do this?

Multiple healthcare providers are now offering virtual appointments. Please connect with your current healthcare provider regarding this.

If you are seeing a healthcare provider at Health & Wellness within the University of Toronto, you will still be able to connect with them over the phone. Find more information about Health & Wellness appointments.

I require a psychoeducational assessment. What do I do?

At this time, some psychologists are offering virtual appointments. However, you are advised to connect directly with your accessibility advisor regarding next steps for a psychoeducational assessment.

I require a Verification of Illness (VOI). What do I do?

You are encouraged to connect with your primary healthcare provider to see if they can complete this form virtually. If you are connected with Health & Wellness, they will also be able to complete a VOI at this time.

Additional questions & concerns

I do not have access to a computer to access online learning. What should I do?

University of Toronto libraries offer laptops, iPads and other technology for loan. Find more information regarding availability and instructions.

What should I do if I am feeling sick?

If you develop symptoms that you’re concerned about, please call Telehealth (1-866-797-0000) or your regular care provider (i.e. your family physician) to advise them that you have COVID-19 symptoms that are worsening. They can provide you with advice on next steps.

Seek medical attention immediately if you develop symptoms such as difficulty breathing or shortness of breath, persistent pain or pressure in the chest, confusion or inability to rouse, or bluish lips or face.

Get fast, free medical advice through Telehealth Ontario: Call 1-866-797-0000 or visit their website.

The U of T Health & Wellness website also has thorough information on what students should do if they feel unwell as well as information on filling out the COVID self-delcaration form on ACORN.  

COVID-19 update

For faculty; reported April 1, 2020

We have prepared a number of documents to support faculty in delivering accessible online learning experiences.

 

Frequently asked questions for instructors

What are my students’ accommodations for the assessment? When will I receive this information?

Accommodated Testing Services (ATS) aims to share your students’ accommodations with you during the week of March 30, provided they have registered with ATS for their final assessment. Assessments which are taking place earlier in the assessment period will be prioritized.

What are students being asked to do to receive accommodations for final assessments?

Students have been asked to register with Accommodated Testing Services (ATS) as usual so that we can make arrangements for their final assessments.

A student has contacted me directly to ask for accommodations for an online or take-home assessment. What should I do?

Students who missed the deadline to register with Accommodated Testing Services (ATS) may contact you directly to request their accommodations and will provide their letter of accommodation that will confirm what their accommodations are and how they are to be applied. If you are able to add accommodations for these requests, please do so. We appreciate your flexibility where possible. Many of the usual processes have changed for students and they may not have realized that they needed to register with ATS once their formal final exam was cancelled or changed. Students have been asked to get in touch with their instructor as soon as possible where the deadline has been missed, or where they are newly registered with Accessibility Services. 

If you have concerns about the feasibility of applying these accommodations (e.g. the recommended accommodations do not make sense within the context/structure of the assessment taking place) then please communicate this as soon as possible with the student’s accessibility advisor so that alternatives can be considered. The contact information for the student’s Accessibility Advisor is listed at the top of the student’s letter of accommodation.

How do I add extra time for a specific student in Quercus?

Please download this instructional PDF for step-by-step instructions on how to do this.

How do I add extra time for a specific student in other on-line platforms such as ProctorU?

Please check with Centre for Teaching Support and Innovation (CTSI) for more information.

How is break time differentiated from writing time?

Break time and writing time are both added as extra time. Students are expected to self-manage their writing time vs. break time. The University has approved this approach during this time.

How do I calculate the total amount of extra time to assign each student?

Multiply the total writing time by the student’s accommodated extra time. Then add their break time.

Example 1: 

  • 2 hour assessment
  • Accommodations: 1.5 extra time, 60 minutes of breaks
  • Total writing time: 2 hours x 1.5 = 3 hours
  • Total writing time + break time = 4 hours total

Example 2:

  • 2 hour assessment
  • Accommodations: 2.0 extra time, 5 minutes of breaks per hour
  • Total writing time: 2 hours x 2.0 = 4 hours
  • Total break time: 4 hours x 5 min/hour = 20 minutes
  • Total writing time + break time = 4 hours and 20 minutes
What if a student requires accommodations beyond extra time and breaks?

If a student raises any accommodation-related concerns that you cannot address for your assessment, please have them get in touch with their accessibility advisor.

What is the difference between a take-home assessment and an assignment a student would usually request a one-week extension on using their letter of accommodation?

A take-home assessment as replacement for a final exam is time limited (between receipt of questions and submission of responses). The accommodations for additional time on these will be provided to you by Accommodated Testing Services (ATS). In the situation of a term assignment where a student has had weeks or months to prepare for it, they may request the usual extension accommodation of up to one week from the due date. If you have questions related to additional time or extensions, please communicate with your student’s accessibility advisor.

How do I add additional time in online testing for a student using the Crowdmark Platform?

The best option is to create two or more versions of the Assessment. The easiest way is to create the assessment, duplicate it by clicking the "Create assessment" button in the course and selecting "Duplicate existing". This will duplicate the assessment questions and prompt you to choose the students and details (due date, etc.) for the next section. Change the due date time and enroll only students with accommodations using the option "Custom" when enrolling students. Then use the same "Custom" option to remove these students from the original assessment.

How soon are students expected to provide their letter of accommodation to their instructor if they need test and exam accommodations? 

Due to changes in process, many undergraduate students will have missed the deadline to register with Accommodated Testing Services (ATS) for test and exam accommodations, and therefore may be asking you directly (using their letter of accommodation) to provide extra time for final assessments (online tests, take home tests, take home assignments). Students are expected to provide this to you at minimum 3 business days before the assessment is released/begins so that the instructor or department can facilitate this request.

What suggestions can you provide for administering take-home exams, in particular for students with accessibility accommodations?

It is important, especially for some students with disabilities, for faculty to inform students what they can expect for the take-home exam and to outline clear expectations including:

  • How to access the take-home exam
  • When to access the take-home exam
  • Where to submit the take-home (e.g., within Quercus or through email)
  • What is the submission date and time for the take-home exam?
  • Are students expected to work independently, or within a group?
  • Who should the student speak to if they are experiencing technological problems accessing the take-home exam?
I am an instructor who has decided to cancel in-person exams and administer a take-home exam to students. Can you please advise how extra time accommodations would apply to this testing methodology?

For undergraduate students, Accommodated Testing Services (ATS) will be reaching out to you to notify you of the extra time that will be required. If a student missed the March 23 deadline to request accommodations (many students have due to changes in process) then they may submit a letter of accommodation to you that outlines the extra time recommendations, depending on the type of evaluation. It is expected that the student will provide this at least 3 business days before the assessment is released/begins.

 I am an instructor who plans to administer a take-home exam via Quercus. How do I go about doing this?

Questions about administering a take home exam via Quercus may be answered by viewing the video developed by the Centre for Teaching Support and Innovation. If you have any questions about this, please contact the Quercus team and they will be able to assist you. If you have additional questions related to accessibility accommodations after connecting with them, please reach out to Accessibility Services.

I am an instructor who has several students registered with Accessibility Services. One of my students has indicated to me that they do not feel comfortable with this testing methodology. What can I do?

If a student is reporting a need for an alternate assessment format due to accessibility-related reasons, please contact Accessibility Services on your campus for guidance.