Virtual Instruction Accessibility FAQ

Student FAQ

Is Accessibility Resources and Services (ARS) open?

Yes, ARS is still open Monday – Friday, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. All drop-ins and student appointments will be conducted via phone or virtually until further notice. Generally, Student Disability Resource Center will (SDRC) proctors course exams for academic departments will not be proctoring exams while virtual instruction is in place at Pomona College.

What happens now that exams are online? How do I get extended time for an online exam?

SDRC will not be proctoring exams while the College’s instruction remains online only. Please communicate with your instructors to discuss your exam accommodations in their courses.

Some instructors may opt for alternative assessments (e.g. essays, untimed exams) which would not require exam accommodations.

If your instructor is creating online timed exams, please notify your instructor if you will need extended time. Faculty are responsible for setting up extended testing time in Sakai.

ARS is available to instructors and students to consult about unique circumstances.

I currently have a volunteer note-taker assigned in my in-person class. Now that class is online, will I still receive a copy of the notes?

Once you have learned from your instructor on how they will adapt the course for virtual instruction, please let your note-taker know if you would like to continue receiving notes.

You may find that you no longer need a note-taker due to the course design changes. For example, lectures that are prerecorded videos can be watched at your own pace. On the other hand, some instructors may still opt for scheduled class meetings with real-time communication using Zoom.

Regardless of your decision to continue receiving notes, all established note-takers will receive compensation for their notes.

With the switch to all-virtual instruction, I anticipate barriers and would like to request new accommodations. What are my next steps?

If you are not currently registered with ARS, please follow the steps outlined on the Registration Process page.

If you are a ARS  registered student, please contact Mace Mikaele.

Instructor FAQ

As I am adapting my course materials for virtual instruction, what should I be considering with regards to disability access? How do I best support my students?

We acknowledge the significant effort required to quickly adapt your courses to online instruction. We want to collaborate with you to ensure that access for students with disabilities is maintained through this transition. Some students may encounter disability-related barriers with online instruction or assessment (e.g. students who use assistive technology, students with medical limitations on screen usage). ARS is available for consultation regarding best practices and accessibility. (Phone: 909-621-8319; Email:

If you have students in your course who are utilizing accessible media e.g. dragon software or Kurzweil, please notify SDRC at

Below are some tips to keep in mind as you are creating virtual course content (adapted from DO-IT):

  • Use clear, consistent layouts and organization schemes for presenting content, and make instructions and expectations clear for activities, projects, and assigned reading.
  • Offer outlines, scaffolding tools, and adequate opportunities for practice to help students learn.
  • When selecting new materials, try to find videos that are already captioned, and articles that are available in a text-searchable format (meaning you can highlight and search the text within the document; click here for an example).
  • Images can be made accessible to blind and low-vision students by providing captions or inserting alt text into the image. Use large, bold fonts on uncluttered pages with plain backgrounds and color combinations that are high contrast.
  • Provide flexibility and understanding as this experience may cause disruption to the student’s home life and available resources – which may negatively impact a student’s disability symptoms.

Are there resources that is available to me to make my course accessible?

You may utilize this accessible online course toolkit. As always, Mace Mikaele is available for consultation regarding accessibility and accommodations in addressing potential barriers in virtual courses.

How will exam accommodations work? Will SDRC proctor online exams?

Extended time on exams as an accommodation generally only applies to traditional, time-limited exams. If you decide to offer alternative means of assessment (e.g. essays, non-timed exams, project work), then a student’s extended time may no longer be applicable. We encourage you to speak with registered students if that is the case.

SDRC will not be proctoring exams while the College’s instruction remains online only. All exams should be administered online or through other remote assessment methods by faculty. Academic departments are responsible for setting up extended testing time in Sakai.

Please communicate with your students to discuss their exam accommodations in your courses. ARS is available to instructors and students to consult.

How do I give students their extended time for online quizzes/exams?

Prior to making time allotment adjustments, please confirm how much extended time each of your students should get for their quizzes/exams. You can view the extended time multipliers (1.5x, 2x, etc.) for students with this accommodation via an email sent by throughout the semester. If you have questions about how to verify a student is qualified for additional time please email

Extended Time in Sakai

The "Tests & Quizzes" tool in Sakai is the tool with the capability of assigning timed assessments.

To manage individual time limit needs, select the drop down "Select Action" menu to the right of the test or quiz in question. Hit "Settings" and then navigate to the "Exceptions to Time Limit and Delivery Date" tab. In this tab, you can edit both the due date and time limit for individual site members or groups of site members. You may build in as many exceptions to these general settings as needed. Exceptions can be made to both draft and already-published assessments.

If you have Questions regarding this feature on Sakai, please do not hesitate to contact ITS at or phone (909) 621-8061.

If you have a question or concern, please either call the office (Phone: 909-621-8319) and leave a voice message or email at