Helpful Hints for Faculty on Managing Student Accommodations Remotely

Managing Disability Accommodations

  1. The method of notification of accommodations will be the same in remote learning environments. Students are responsible for notifying instructors in a timely manner of approved accommodations via the emailed notification letter.
  2. Keep a record of any accommodation notification letters you receive from SDS on behalf of students in your course. Many instructors save the letters in a separate inbox email file in Outlook to avoid having to search their main email inbox for the letters.
  3. Respect the student’s right to confidentiality about their disability status. Discuss accommodations with students privately. When communicating with a group of students by email about the exam arrangements, blind copy the students to avoid sharing their identities with their peers.

Implementing Exam Accommodations for Students with Disabilities

Assessment Options

Consider using alternative methods of assessing what students have learned that do not have restricted time requirements (e.g. 1 hour). These alternatives can include papers, take-home exam, essay, video presentation, slides, oral exams, etc.

Timely Notification

Students are encouraged to email their instructors to finalize testing arrangements after sending the accommodation notification letters. They have also been instructed to email their instructors 7 days prior to each exam to notify them of their intent to use accommodations for a specific exam.

Important Exam Clarifications

    1. When finalizing exam arrangements, it is helpful to discuss if you would like to utilize a different notification method, if you will allow an exam to be rescheduled (i.e. in cases with back-to-back classes and exams with extended time), and what options will be available to a student if there is an administrative error regarding an exam.
    2. Clarify what type of testing supports will be permitted during testing (i.e. calculator, scratch paper, graph paper, study sheet).

Extended Time

Extended time (i.e. 50% extended time) would only apply in cases where students are expected to work on the exam for the duration of the time-limited exam (i.e. an exam designed to take 1 hour would be extended to 1 hour and 30 minutes).

One helpful way to determine if extended time is applicable would be to consider the design/format of the exam. If students must complete the exam within a set period of time, then extended time would need to be applied. However, if there is no timer and students have the ability to self-determine how long to work on the exam, then the extended time would not be applicable, as students would not be expected to work on the exam for the entire window (i.e. 24 hours). Instructors should contact SDS with any questions or if clarification about an accommodation is needed.


If a student has breaks during exams as an accommodation, add in their total break time to their exam if there is no way for the student to stop and restart. The accommodation notification letter will detail the amount of time allotted to the student for consideration of breaks.

Extended Time for Canvas Quizzes

When giving students extra time for a timed quiz in Canvas, please make sure that the Until date includes the extra time for the students with approved extended time accommodations. Otherwise, once the Until date passes, the Quiz will automatically submit for all students, and students with extended time accommodations will not receive extra time. If the Until date is set for the exact length of the Quiz for the rest of the class (usually done to avoid collaboration), the Quiz will need to be assigned to the students with extended time with the Until date set to allow for the extended time, and the Quiz will need to be moderated to allow the students extra time on each attempt, as per their approved accommodations. If you would like assistance with setting entering extra time for a timed Quiz in Canvas, please see this guide.

Additional Helpful Resources

  1. Additional information detailing the implementation of accommodations and options available to instructors are included in accommodation the notification letter respective to an individual student.
  2. SDS Proctoring Staff are available to address any questions or concerns you have regarding exam accommodation implementation. Feel free to call 773-702-1301 or email
  3. While previously formatted for in-person exams, the Faculty Testing Guide (PDF) provides helpful information and additional insight into exams.
Scroll to Top