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Faculty/Staff Resources

Research supports the benefits of accessibility for everyone, including fluent English users, people with ADD/HD or learning disabilities, English as a Second Language users, deaf students, and more. Information including links with additional instructions and tips on creating accessible audio and visual content and other accommodations in the online environment are provided. Feel free to contact the Disability Resource Center (DRC) with questions regarding accommodations; questions regarding technical specifications are best handled by the Information Technology Division.

At-Risk Student Accommodations

In collaboration with Advisors, faculty, and other academic affairs administrators, the DRC will assist students determine reasonable and appropriate accommodations due to “at-risk” medical conditions. Documentation supporting the student’s diagnosis is required prior to accommodations or advocacy from the DRC. Please allow two (2) business days (Monday- Friday, excluding holidays) after providing documentation for review. The DRC will contact the student via email  to schedule an appointment and discuss the request further. While awaiting an appointment with the DRC, the student should also contact his/her Advisor to discuss additional course options that may include: fully remote course/sections, course substitutions, or course deferments. Students requesting assistance due to a family member/loved ones “at risk” condition should contact the Dean of Students ( or 973-655-4118).

Face Covering Policy

Montclair State University is committed to the safety of our campus community amidst the current pandemic. In accordance with recommendations and mandates from the World Health Organization, State of New Jersey, and the CDC, the Red Hawk Restart Plan contains various safeguards to reduce the rate of transmission of COVID-19. One component of these plans requires wearing face coverings in all interior spaces, and in outdoor spaces when maintaining 6 feet of distance between other people is not possible.

Students who are unable to wear a face covering due to a disability should contact the Disability Resource Center (DRC) and provide documentation supporting the disability and resulting request for a reasonable and appropriate accommodation. The DRC will review requests and contact students within 2 business days (Monday-Friday, excluding holidays). Please note that due to the highly contagious nature of COVID-19, reasonable accommodations might include remote participation in instruction and activities, and/or permitting frequent breaks to remove the face covering outdoors when social distancing can be maintained. Not wearing the type of face covering required by the University’s Restart Plan during in-person instruction or University activities would not be permitted as a reasonable accommodation.

The DRC also encourages students to contact their Advisor to discuss course options created for remote participation to address their concerns, whenever possible.

Video Conferencing- Zoom

A host of factors influence participants comfortability displaying their video/camera during a Zoom lecture or meeting. These reasons can include housing insecurities, medical privacy concerns, visual or auditory difficulties, or participation using a cell phone “hotspot.”  As the remote method of instruction is a matter of public health necessity rather than an individual choice, making allowances for the challenges this format creates is reasonable and appropriate. In lieu of a formal accommodation- which can result in discrimination or confidentiality concerns- the DRC recommends leniency with requirements for continuous Zoom camera/video displays as a classroom policy.

The DRC coordinates captioning (CART) and interpreting (ASL) services for synchronous instruction to support hard-of-hearing or deaf students registered with the DRC. Please include a statement on your course syllabus or in advance of a live video meeting referring students to contact the DRC to request captioning or interpreting services. Instructors with students currently receiving CART or ASL services through the DRC will be contacted directly via email with additional information to include service providers in the Canvas online platform. Please note that CART/captioning and ASL interpreting services coordinated through the DRC will be provided remotely during the pandemic. In-person services may resume once MSU resumes regular operations and instruction.

Video conferencing platforms (e.g., Zoom, WebEx, Adobe Connect, etc.) have varying accessibility features and capability. Zoom provides frequent updates regarding accessibility. Please see the Zoom Help Center for current accessibility updates.

Creating Accessible Content

Documents provided on Canvas need to be accessible to students with disabilities. For documents created using the Microsoft Office Suite, the built-in accessibility checkers will provide feedback on errors and guidance on how to fix them. Scanned PDFs are not accessible. If possible, contact the library to find a digital version of the scan or create an accessible version using document tags or other tools. Additional information regarding creating accessible digital content can be found in the Digital Accessibility Initiative.

Providing Online Quiz/Exam Accommodations

The DRC will continue to provide exam accommodations for students who require specific software or equipment during exams in the DRC Testing Area. However, the DRC will not require students to complete the exam in our Testing Area if the exam for the class occurs online and/or the student does not require such assistance. Rather than completing the Alternate Exam Request Form, faculty should extend the online exam timer for students who receive testing accommodations upon request. Canvas has the capability to adjust the online exam timer for an individual or multiple students per exam.Detailed instructions are located in the Moderate Quiz section in the course page or in the Digital Accessibility Initiative.

Further Information

If you’d like to learn more about creating accessible course content and activity in Canvas, check out this tip sheet or the Faculty Resources section on the Disability Resource Center website.