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ADA Compliance - Knowledgebase / Instructional Design & Learning Technology / Best Practices & Policies - ITS Service Desk

ADA Compliance

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As students across the University have unique, diverse needs that may require assistive technologies, faculty should understand Penn's accommodation process and the role that the Penn Nursing Instructional Design and Learning Technology (IDLT) team plays in facilitating many forms of accommodation for Nursing students. For optimal results, please make sure to involve our team early and often so we can help set your students up for success in a timely fashion. 

After students submit documentation of a disability to Disabilities Services at Weingarten and once they receive written approval of accommodations, the instructors will receive a letter verifying the accommodations for each student. When your course first receives a Disability Services request, please notify the Nursing IDLT team at for the Canvas and Panopto-related accommodations described below. For questions about other types of student accommodations, reach out directly to Weingarten staff for assistance. 

The following sections outline best practices for the accommodation request process.

Learning/Assessment Accommodations 

A common request for learning accommodations is extended time for in-class tests and quizzes. Disability Services has a set of standards in place for exam accommodation. These standards include the student signing the Penn Code of Academic Integrity, the instructor informing the student about the extended exam end time prior to the beginning of the exam, and the permitted exam window during the proctored time period. 

For extended exam time requests, course faculty will need to add extra time to the student’s Canvas quiz attempt. Faculty needing assistance should contact at least 48 hours before the start of the exam.

Canvas guide: adding extra time and attempts in Canvas quizzes

For faculty: Working with Disability Services for accommodations

For students: Important exam information for students requesting accommodations

Deaf/Hard of Hearing Accommodations

In the remote learning environment, pre-recorded lectures and other video content are an important element of the learning process. The School of Nursing uses 3Play Media, a captioning and transcription company, that integrates with our Panopto video workflow. After completion by request, ADA Section 508-compliant captions are automatically uploaded and available to toggle on and off for each video for which it has been requested.

When a student is hard of hearing and requests closed captioning through SDS, notify the Nursing IDLT team immediately so that captions may be made available to the student in a timely fashion. To request captions, please email

Please note: standard turnaround time for captioning is between 4 to 10 business days.

Visual Impairment Accommodations

As some students may use screen readers that assist with keyboard usage to navigate web pages, visual impairment is another important accommodation to consider when distributing teaching and learning materials remotely. For reading materials that need e-text conversion for use with screen reading software, as an instructor, please reference the Assistive Technology and Alternative Format Materials guide shared by Weingarten. There are procedures in place for students to request e-text and other alternative formats (even for textbooks) through their office.

In addition, faculty can ensure that Canvas course materials are accessible to all students, including those who require assistive technology, through the use of universal design features like headers and alt-text. Contact to learn more.

Assistive technology and alternate format materials

Universal design in Canvas

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