Special Considerations for Disability Resource Center (DRC) Students

You may have DRC students with Authorized Academic Accommodation Letters already in place. Other students with disabilities may face challenges as you move away from a face-to-face environment.  As a result, please be sensitive to student needs by considering all of the following.

Items to Consider (per Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments of 2008 mandates)

  • Accessibility of course materials and teaching;
  • Students’ reliable access to computer/internet/telephone and skills/knowledge of the platforms; and
  • Potential needs to update/revise authorized accommodations based on the change in the learning environment.

Videos and PowerPoints with Audio

  • Captions will be needed for all videos and power points with audio required/recommended for students.  ATRC can assist faculty with captions.  Visit ATRC’s Accessibility Portal at https://www.palomar.edu/accessibility/
  • Courses in which there is a student registered with the DRC, the faculty member should contact DRC’s Alt Media Specialist for assistance at aholmes@palomar.edu.

Discussion Boards

  • Discussion Boards can pose challenges for students with vision impairments using screen reading software to access the discussion questions, posts, and threads. Contact the DRC Counselor listed on the Authorized Academic Accommodation letter to discuss alternatives.


  • Alt tags will need to be added for all images to allow students with vision impairments equal access to this instructional material. The alt tag should include what the instructor is trying to convey with the image and any words that are contained within the image. If the image is used purely for visual aesthetics, the alt tag can be a space “ “. Alt tags can be added in all Microsoft Office documents as well as on Canvas pages. Contact the ATRC for any guidance on how to add alt tags.


  • All documents (i.e. pdf, MS Word, etc.) will need to be made accessible for students who access these materials with document and screen reading technologies to access these materials. For assistance, visit ATRC’s Accessibility Portal at https://www.palomar.edu/accessibility/. If you need further assistance contact DRC’s Alt Media Specialist at aholmes@palomar.edu.

Will there be synchronous dialogue?

  • If Zoom or other web conferencing tools or even telephones will be used to facilitate synchronous dialogue and discussion, students with hearing impairments will need to be able to participate fully.  One way in which to do so would be for the student to work with the DRC for a remote real-time captioner or sign language interpreter. Please note that the remote real-time captioner or sign language interpreter will need to be given access to the Zoom meeting, or phone conference, etc. and that ample notice is provided to allow the DRC to make these arrangements. For questions please contact: interpretercoord@palomar.edu.

Exams and Quizzes

  • Students participating in the DRC who seek to use prescribed accommodations on an online exam or quiz, should e-mail you a copy of their Authorized Academic Accommodation Letter generated by their DRC Counselor. This letter details the prescribed accommodations.
    • One common accommodation is extended time for quizzes or exams at 1.5x or 2x. If the exam/quiz is delivered through Canvas, extended time can be added to the student’s exam.
    • Right now in Canvas there are two different quizzing engines, so the procedure for extending time is different depending on which type is used. Canvas seems to be using the terms “Classic Quiz” and “New Quiz” to refer to them, so faculty would need to determine which they were using.If it’s a Classic Quiz the instructions are at https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-13053-4152276279 . This allows, per student per quiz, for a specific amount of extra time to be added.If it’s a New Quiz there are two possibilities. The way that matches the Classic Quiz method is documented at https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-15038-4152790671 . But the other option is to simply allow either an additional set amount of time or a multiplier for a student, so all New Quiz attempts have the time limits automatically adjusted. That’s documented at https://community.canvaslms.com/docs/DOC-16842-41521110302 .For what most students need, the very last option will probably work best (so Billy gets 1.5 times the time limit), but many faculty are not using the New Quiz engine yet.

If there are other exam accommodations such as reader/scribe, please contact drcproctor@palomar.edu for guidance.

For further information, please contact Palomar College DRC at 760-744-1150, x2375 or email drc@palomar.edu.