Accommodations and Services
Disability and Access Services (DAS) provides a variety of accommodations and services to ensure the utmost success for students with documented disabilities. This page outlines some of the services DAS provides.
Notetaking accommodations allow students to take notes using assistive technology or provide students with a classmate's notes.
DAS staff works to help students find notetaking technology that meets their needs and allows them to have agency in their learning. Alternatively, DAS hires peer notetakers to provide supplemental notes. These supplemental notes are not intended to serve as a substitute for class attendance. Students can apply to become a peer notetaker using the Notetaker Application.
Qualified students must request notetaking accommodations each semester so that DAS staff can coordinate the services.
Notetaking accommodations may be provided in one of the following formats:
- Peer Notes: Handwritten or typed notes provided by a fellow student
- Recording Permission: Permission to audio/video record lectures
- Access to Technology: Use of specialized notetaking software/tools
Students may select their preferred format for notetaking accommodations. DAS staff will always endeavor to secure the student's first choice. If their preferred option is unavailable, DAS staff will offer an equivalent alternative.
Qualified students may request peer notes. Students must first complete a request form and indicate any requirements/preferences. For example, recipients should confirm if they prefer typed or handwritten notes and if they can read cursive.
The Student Support Specialist processes completed forms and cross-checks the requests with the current list of notetaker applicants. If there is a match, the Student Support Specialist will offer the position to the potential notetaker, who must confirm before they can upload notes. If there are no viable applicants, the Student Support Specialist will contact the class list to request applicants.
If no students apply for a position, the recipient may utilize notetaking and recording technology as an alternative.
As of May 2020, students who request peer notes receive files from a shared dropbox folder. Once students receive the first set of notes, they should regularly receive notes for any applicable class meeting.
Notetakers do not provide notes for canceled classes. Additionally, if the content does not relate to any assignment/exam, notetakers are not required to take notes on class discussion, guest lectures, or student presentations. Students may refer to the Notetaking Guidelines for more details. If a recipient needs additional information, they must contact the Student Support Specialist to define the notetaker's responsibilities.
These accommodations are a right. If you are missing notes, or if the notes are inadequate, please contact the Student Support Specialist. They will work with the notetaker to resolve the issue or find an alternate notetaker.
If you are interested in working as a student notetaker, please complete the Notetaker Application. You will only be considered for the classes you select. DAS staff will contact you if there is an opening in your course. Contact the Student Support Specialist if you have any questions or concerns.
Recording Permissions/Notetaking Technology
Assistive technology allows students to have agency in their learning and develop strategies they can use beyond the classroom. Qualified students can communicate with DAS staff to find a personalized solution.
Examples of assistive technology may include audio recording software, virtual session video recordings, or permission to loan notetaking software/hardware from DAS.
Considerations for Online Notetaking
Online Peer Notes
Students seeking peer notes in asynchronous online courses should communicate with the Student Support Specialist and confirm their notetaking needs. This way, DAS staff can ensure that notetakers provide sufficient and relevant content.
Online Assistive Technology
Most notetaking technology can be used for online courses. If you would like to learn more about online notetaking tools, please contact the Student Support Specialist.
Sign language interpreters
Disability and Access Services provides sign language interpreters for students who need to communicate via sign language. If you need sign language interpretation services, please contact us to make a request. Keep in mind that the office requires a minimum of seven calendar days’ notice to assign an interpreter for a class or event on campus.
- Students requesting sign language interpreters should provide their semester schedules as soon as possible so interpreters can be arranged for their classes.
- Disability and Access Services determines the need for interpreters based on documentation it receives from students. The office will determine, based on the content of the course, length of course (time per session) and instructor, whether one or two interpreters should be assigned per course.
- Students using interpreters should notify DAS of any difficulty they experience with their interpreter(s), including lateness, lack of communication, professionalism issues and attendance problems. If necessary, DAS will secure a substitute interpreter.
- Students should notify the office, if possible, at least 24 hours in advance if they are unable to attend class or another prearranged appointment for which interpretation services have been requested. Students are also encouraged to contact their interpreter(s) directly in such cases.
- Interpreters will wait 15 minutes per scheduled class hour. If a student does not arrive within that time frame and hasn't contacted both DAS and the interpreter(s) about the late arrival, the interpreter(s) can leave and report the student's tardiness to the office.
Alternate formats for textbooks and course materials
Textbooks and Readings
How to Request
Eligible students may use the Alternate Format Text Request form to request alternative formats for their readings and textbooks. Examples of alternative formats include EPUB, screen-reader-accessible PDF, and BRF.
Return time for text requests varies as publishers have distinct methods for providing accessible electronic texts.
Students may also upload inaccessible scanned documents.
DAS staff endeavors to return documents as soon as possible, but asks that students please anticipate 1-3 business days for document conversion requests.
Students are required to purchase their books prior to requesting them in an alternative format through DAS. They can either purchase them via the campus bookstore or other organizations that sell books.
Finding Accessible Texts
Students and Faculty may use the Accessible Textbook Finder to check if there is an accessible electronic format available for a text.
There are also several sites that students can purchase or rent books already in alternative format instead of requesting these through Disability and Access Services.
- Chegg Books: Offers e-textbooks at a cost to the student.
- VitalSource: Offers e-textbooks at a cost to the student
If the student cannot obtain a textbook in an alternative format, on their own, they should complete the Alternate Format Text Request form
Printed Course Materials
Students may request printed course materials in alternate formats, including enlarged handouts, use of colored paper, and printed Braille through DAS. Please contact DAS at firstname.lastname@example.org to process print requests.
Other Course Content and Materials
The office coordinates testing accommodations based on students' documentation. Testing accommodations can include extended time, a low-distraction environment, use of a computer, and more, as determined through an interactive process between a student with a documented disability and the office's staff.
DAS Proctored Accommodated Testing
Proctored accommodated testing rooms are located in the DAS office, Academic Center, room 111. Eligible undergraduate and graduate students must contact DAS staff to schedule their exams. DAS does not provide proctoring services for law students.
DAS testing is only available during office hours, from 9:00 am to 7:00 pm Monday through Thursday, and 9:00 am to 4:30 pm on Fridays.
If the campus is operating remotely, DAS will not host in-person exams.
When appropriate, DAS Staff may proctor eligible students remotely using video conferencing software. This proctoring method is only available when it is necessary to ensure equity and access. For example, if a professor is live-monitoring students using video conferencing software, DAS staff can monitor eligible students and ensure they can access their accommodations.
Upon receipt of the proctored accommodated testing form, DAS Staff prepares the exam according to the student's accommodations as well as the exam instructions. This may involve printing a physical copy of the exam, or ensuring the exam is compatible with our text-to-speech technology.
Physical exams are sealed in envelopes and then locked in a secure location until the student begins the exam.
Students arrive at the DAS office and check-in with front desk staff, who will then retrieve the exam from the locked location. If the exam is not ready or if there is an issue with an accommodation, DAS staff will work with students and faculty to prepare the exam.
Students may only bring approved devices and materials into the exam room. Before entering the exam room, students leave any other personal items with the DAS staff. Typically, this includes cell phones, which DAS staff will store in a designated vault. Students collect their personal items after they gave completed the exam.
If a student finishes their exam before the end of their allotted test time, they may exit the test room and return the exam to a DAS staff member. Once the allotted test time is complete DAS staff must collect the exam. The student does not deliver the exam to the professor.
Professors indicate their preferred method of exam delivery in the proctored accommodated testing form. DAS Staff can return exams to the professor's office, hold exams in our secure location until the professor picks them up, or scan exams and email them to the professor. If a professor chooses to have their exams sent electronically, DAS staff will hold the exams in our secure location until the professor confirms they have received the test file. Upon receiving the confirmation, DAS staff will shred and dispose of the documents and delete the files.
Class-specific reference material
Eligible students must confirm the use of class-specific reference material (class notes, readings, or formula sheets) with their professor.
Students may take breaks during the exam. Students who wish to take a break must leave the exam and any related exam materials with DAS staff.
Please refer to the Testing Guide for more information regarding testing accommodations and student/faculty roles.
The University of Baltimore strives to provide a fully accessible campus; all buildings are equipped with accessible entryways, and classrooms are included in the University's accessibility plan.
If a building is not accessible due to maintenance or another unforeseen circumstance, Disability and Access Services will work with the Office of Capital Planning and Campus Operations to assess the situation and to make any changes necessary to ensure accessibility. If an emergency arises (i.e., an elevator not functioning), the office will work with the same office to provide access or, if needed, to email students registered with the office with information about the problem and about options for access to other areas.
To report issues of accessibility on campus, contact Disability and Access Services at 410.837.4755 or at email@example.com.