COVID-19 and Accessibility

During the suspension of classroom instruction, ARC remains available for students, faculty, and community. In-person/Main Office: Monday, Tuesday, and Thursday 10:00AM to 2:00PM. Remote services available Monday through Friday from 8:00AM to 4:30PM.

Online Coursework Tips

Online learning may be a new experience for you, but don’t worry… here are some tips we’ve put together to help make this experience a positive one.

Online Coursework Tips

Accessibility Tips for Online Courses

  • Accessible Teaching in the Time of COVID-19
  • Create and Verify PDF Accessibility
  • With any on-line/video demonstrations or visual substitutions for “hands-on” classroom activities, please consider offering detailed verbal descriptions of the activities and visual information provided. This will enable increased access, in the event that you have a student in your course who is blind or visually impaired, and will also be helpful for many other students (universal design).

Tip from UWM instructor, Dr. Kelly Kohlmetz

I have used Collaborate Ultra to proctor testing for students with disabilities.  This allows me to watch them (I’ve used webcam but students could use their phones) while they take the tests.  This allows students to still ask questions of the instructor if needed.  For online tests, I use Zoom rooms (free and 40-minute limit is being waived) to watch students (via webcam) and have the student share their screen with me so I can see they aren’t visiting other sites.

Masking Guidelines

On June 17th, the Chancellor announced UWM’s reopening plan for the fall semester which requires the use of masks/face coverings (including neck gaiters) when social distancing is not possible.  If a person with a disability is not able to wear a face mask, state and local government agencies, as well as private businesses, must consider reasonable modifications to a face mask policy so that the person with the disability can participate in, or benefit from, the programs offered or goods and services that are provided. 

Campus requirement for Masks and Face Coverings

Outdoors: All employees, students, and visitors are required to have a mask or face covering readily available on their person when on campus outdoors and to put on their mask or face covering when it is NOT feasible to maintain physical/social distancing measures (i.e., at least 6 feet of separation between others). 

Indoors: Anyone entering a building must put on a mask or face covering prior to entering building and to continue to wear mask or face covering in common areas such as elevators, lobby, bathrooms, when traveling around the building and working in shared spaces. 

Examples of reasonable modifications to a face mask policy

  • Allow a person to wear face masks with different materials and ways of securing (around the ears or behind the head), wear a scarf, loose face covering, bandanna or gaiter type of face covering

Medical Accommodation 

Employees unable to wear a mask or face covering due to a medical condition or other protected reason may submit an ADA workplace accommodation, please contact Human Resources at 

Students unable to wear a mask or face covering due to a medical condition or other protected reason should contact the Accessibility Resource Center at  

Alternative Testing

How will students approved for alternative testing take exams?

Until further notice, ARC will not be proctoring exams in person while the University’s instruction remains online only. The beginning of remote learning for all in-person classes means that exams will also need to be completed remotely.  Your instructors will be communicating changes with you so make sure you are checking email or any other course communication platforms regularly. If you have questions, please communicate with your instructors to discuss your exam accommodations in their courses.  ARC is available to instructors and students to consult about unique circumstances.

Instructors can extend testing time in Canvas following the guidelines outlined in this document.

Captions Required for Live Classes Online

Standards published by the World Wide Web Consortium (WC3) suggest that real-time captions are provided for all real-time online presentations.  More information about this standard is available at W3C Captions (Live).