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Office of Disability Resources - 2020-2021 Updates for Students

The Office of Disability Resources (ODR) announced the following updates via e-mail to returning students who previously worked with the office. The updates pertain to academic accommodations for the Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 semesters. The e-mail update was sent to students prior to and during the Fall 2020 and Spring 2021 semester.

Renewing Academic Accommodations

The semester requests process remains unchanged for the 2020-21 academic year. To renew your academic accommodations, please log in to Accommodate and complete the steps listed in the “How to Renew Academic Accommodations” guide, which are posted on our website. Please make sure to review your renewal and only request accommodations applicable to the format of each course (e.g. Reduced Distraction Environment/Testing Center is not applicable for online classes).

Throughout the first week of the semester, the Office of Disability Resources will host virtual drop-in office hours on Zoom for students who have questions about the office or want assistance in renewing their academic accommodations for the semester. For more information about how to join Spring 2021 drop-in office hours, please reference the Virtual Drop-In Office Hours Calendar Event on our website.


How will exam accommodations work for Spring 2021 classes?

For the Spring 2021 semester, most exams and quizzes will take place online. As a result, the Testing Center will not be operational throughout the Fall 2020 semester. If you have an in-person assessment, please contact ODR directly to discuss proctoring arrangements ASAP. 

The online-only format for exams and quizzes means that a number of testing accommodations will not be applicable this semester. The following are examples of testing accommodations that will apply to online exams and quizzes:

  • Extended Time on Exams
  • Text-to-Speech
  • Short Breaks When Medically Necessary
  • Use of a calculator

Most other testing accommodations will not apply to online examinations. However, if you believe that a particular testing accommodation that you are approved to receive should apply to online exams and quizzes in addition to the ones listed above, please contact our office ASAP to discuss further: or 914-251-6035.

Faculty Responsibilities

For exams and quizzes administered via Moodle, faculty are responsible for logging in to Accommodate and reviewing their class roster(s) to determine who has extended time for exams/quizzes in order to adjust the administration time accordingly within Moodle. They will receive information on how to do this via the notification e-mailed to them with your approved accommodations.

Student Responsibilities 

For the Spring 2021semester, you will no longer schedule testing accommodation appointments via Accommodate with the Testing Center. This means that faculty will no longer get a notification that you are requesting to use your accommodations for an exam or quiz. Therefore, if you have a timed test or quiz in an online course, we are requesting that students either:

Send a reminder e-mail 48-hours in advance to the Professor of your online course to indicate your intent to use your extended time accommodation for tests and quizzes, or e-mail ODR ( 48 hours in advance, the course name, date of your test or quiz, and request that ODR send an e-mail to the Professor to indicate your intent to use your extended time accommodation for tests and quizzes in that specific course. ODR will reach out to your Professor on your behalf.

How do I use text-to-speech for exams or quizzes on my personal device?

If you are approved to receive text-to-speech as an accommodation for exams, you can use ReadSpeaker, a brand new text-to-speech program that is currently integrated into Moodle. The controls for ReadSpeaker are located at the top-left corner of every Moodle page. If you experience any technical difficulty with ReadSpeaker, please contact our office immediately for assistance.

Please note that ReadSpeaker is designed to work with all exams and quizzes in Moodle, including those that utilize the Lockdown Browser extension. No other text-to-speech programs will work when Lockdown Browser is active. Read Aloud Extension for Google Chrome can continue to be used to read website text aloud, but it will not read aloud exams and quizzes in Moodle if Lockdown Browser is active.


Due to the switch to online learning, some of the audio note-taking technologies that have been offered by our office in the past will not be suitable for usage in virtual classes. For this reason, we have announced the addition of a new audio note-taking software which has been specifically designed to be utilized for use with Zoom-based lectures – Glean – from the makers of Sonocent.

Glean is a Google Chrome browser-based application that can be used to audio record everything you hear during your online Zoom lectures. Just like with Sonocent Audio Notetaker, you can add your slides, diagrams, and text notes to the audio recordings you make, as well as highlight key points for you to review later with just one click. If you are currently approved to receive note-taking assistance by our office, we recently sent you a separate e-mail regarding Glean. If you have additional questions regarding note-taking accommodations for the Spring 2021 semester, please contact our office.

Supplemental Accommodation Requests

The barriers that exist at the intersection of a student’s disability and online course design may be different from the original course format. Some accommodations students used before may no longer apply to online formats, and some accommodations not considered previously may need to be considered now. If students are experiencing a barrier in their course and want to discuss additional accommodations, please follow our process to submit a supplemental accommodation request via Accommodate.

If you have any problems with the receipt or the quality of accommodations being provided, please contact our office immediately: or 914-251-6035.