Providing COVID-19 Accommodations

Student Disability Services (SDS) is here to offer support as you adapt your teaching methods and classroom environment to promote health and safety. Our team coordinates disability-related COVID-19 accommodations and services to ensure equal access to the learning environment including:

  • Coordination of remote instruction for students with underlying conditions
  • Facial covering alternative when reasonable and appropriate
  • Provision of accessible auxiliary aids
  • Remote Technology (e.g. microphones, webcams)

Students must register for services, submit verifying documentation that meets university guidelines and follow the COVID-19 Accommodation Procedure to be eligible for accommodations. Our team meets with each student individually to discuss reasonable accommodation plans and may contact you to engage in the interactive accommodation process.

Remote Instruction

In some cases, students may request remote instruction due to an underlying medical condition. Our team will contact you and your Department Chair to explore and coordinate these requests. Remote instruction should be provided when reasonable and appropriate and should not fundamentally alter essential course requirements. Consider the following questions when evaluating these requests:

  • Is physical presence necessary to meet essential course or degree requirements?
  • Has this course been previously taught in a remote format?
  • Does the course include clinical or field experience components?

Facial Covering Alternatives

SDS promotes use of facial coverings to support the health and safety of all University members. Under some circumstances, students may need to use facial covering alternatives due to disability-related and medical reasons. In these instances, the student’s disability symptoms are significantly exacerbated by use of a facial covering and medical necessity is verified.

All reasonable accommodation options are explored as part of the interactive accommodation process including remote instruction. Some students may be unable to engage in remote instruction due to specific circumstances such as essential academic program requirements that require face to face student engagement. In these instances, students may request a Facial Covering Alternative accommodation. 

Student eligibility will be noted in your Faculty Notification Letter or SAM: Students Accessing Miami Faculty Portal. We encourage you to use the recommended Facial Covering Syllabus Statement: 

Facial coverings are required during all class meetings to promote the health and safety of all university members. There may be university approved alternatives to this requirement. Students who cannot wear a facial covering due to medical or disability-related reasons should contact Student Disability Services at sds@MiamiOH.edu.

As part of the interactive accommodation process, SDS works with faculty and eligible students to develop alternative precaution strategies including use of plexiglass partitions and classroom seating with additional social distance footage.

Auxiliary Aids and Remote Technology

SDS is providing a wide variety of auxiliary aids and remote technology to promote equal access to the learning environment in the era of COVID-19 including transparent face shields to ensure access for Deaf and Hard of Hearing students, webcams and microphones.

Faculty FAQs

What are accessibility best practices for remote learning?

We encourage you to review the Remote Learning Accessibility Toolkit for detailed information.

Can I require a face covering for students with disabilities?

Students who are registered with SDS are required to adhere to the classroom facial covering policy unless they have an approved Facial Covering Alternative accommodation. This accommodation will be included in the student’s Faculty Notification Letter and can also be viewed in your SAM: Students Accessing Miami Faculty Portal.

As part of the interactive accommodation process, SDS works with faculty and eligible students to develop alternative precaution strategies including use of plexiglass partitions and classroom seating with additional social distance footage.

What is SDS doing to ensure facial covering accessibility for Deaf and Hard of Hearing students?

SDS provides transparent face masks and shields to faculty teaching face to face courses for Deaf and Hard of Hearing students who have indicated they need full view of the instructor’s face during classroom instruction. Transparent face coverings permit lipreading and view of facial expressions. Coverings can also be provided for group interaction. We recommend maintaining physical distance as an additional precaution when using facial coverings.