Students with Diverse Needs

It is important to remember that there are students with disabilities and diverse needs in your classes. As you transition materials online be sure to consider how they are organized and formatted which impacts how your students with access them. TLi has created a Six Steps to Keep CI Teaching and Students Learning Checklist to help you get started.

Formatting Basics

This 6 minute video will show you how to format an accessible page in CI Learn.

Course Organization

  1. Grouping materials on a Canvas Page is better than adding individual content to a Module.
  2. When Creating Quizzes you may need to add extra time or attempts through Quiz Moderation for specific students.
  3. When you add files such as documents to your course students will be able to generate alternative formats that best meet their needs. (Refer to the next section for more information).
  4. When using videos ensure that they include captioning or that a transcript is available.

Instructor Created Video: Think +1

The basics of supporting students begins with providing two paths for students to understand the content.  For example, if you record a lecture, make sure you provide the same information in writing (i.e. a transcript or captions). This is what we mean by +1 thinking. Take your traditional approach (i.e. audio lecture) and add a second point of access (written transcript). For tools and tips to help you achieve accessible instructor created videos, view:

Ally for CI Learn Accessibility Tool

Ally is a tool integrated into CI Learn and works to support you by ensuring that the materials you are creating and using are accessible. Ally scans materials that have been uploaded into Canvas courses (documents, images) and displays a little gauge (red, orange, or green) to let the author know if the item has any accessibility issues. By clicking on the gauge, you can review any issues. 
When you add a file to Canvas, Ally will produce alternative formats that your students can access by clicking the downward arrow icon next to the name and selecting ‘Alternative formats’. 

Accessing Alternative Formats

Fair Use Considerations

In the event of a campus closure, it is important to consider how and if your students need to use resources that are only available on campus. This includes items such as textbooks on print reserve at the library, laptops, tutoring services, etc.  The Fair Use copyright exemption allows instructors to copy 10 percent or one chapter of a textbook. Some intentional, limited, and specific latitude may exist in interpretation of Fair Use in emergency situations.  According to the guidance offered by copyright librarians and the American Library Association, “… making materials available and accessible to students in this time of crisis will almost always be a fair use.”  As long as you limit the increased availability of print materials to the specific needs of your class at this specific and unique time of crisis, copyright law is being interpreted as supporting your efforts.

Under normal (non-emergency) circumstances, if you are teaching from a print text, Fair Use will allow you to copy 10% or one chapter of your assigned text, which could be uploaded to your Canvas course. Remember to remove it at the end of the semester. For specific guidance, contact a librarian. Consider searching for free ebooks and resources available through the library database.

Supporting Students with Disabilities

This page is simply a list of suggestions. If you have questions about accommodations for a specific student with a disability, and you have a faculty notification letter for that student, please contact the Disability Accommodations and Support Services (DASS) office.

  • Email DASS for questions about converting files to alternative media such as Braille and e-text.
  • Email Michelle Resnick for questions about note-taking, remote captioning for live lectures, alternative testing, and any other academic accommodations.
  • Staff will be available for Zoom meetings to discuss any specific issues and to answer any questions you may have. Please email the appropriate person above for scheduling.

Additional Resources

Updated on March 21, 2023

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