Accessibility Services

Division of Academic Affairs

OAS Contact Information

Office of Accessibility Services How do I get started?

To get started, submit the Accommodation Request Form.

Supportive documentation MUST be uploaded as part of your request.

Once you submitted the request for accommodations, a member from the OAS will contact you to schedule an intake appointment.

To ensure that students receive the accommodation needed in a timely manner, and due to advance planning requirements for housing-related accommodations, the following deadlines have been stablished:

  • Returning students: April 1st
  • New Students starting Fall semester: June 1st
  • New students starting spring semester: November 1st
Accommodation Request Form Contact Us
  • Maintaining Confidentiality of Student Disability Information

    The Office of Accessibility Services (OAS) at Barry University treats all student information with the strictest confidentiality. The information we have about students are mostly educational records and are thus governed by The Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) guidelines. However, documentation of a disability often includes psychological or medical reports that fall under the category of health information. The OAS does not meet criteria as a “covered entity” under the Health Information Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), but we will nevertheless protect student information by following both FERPA and HIPAA guidelines. Specifically:

    • All records are maintained in a secure electronic medical records program. Documents that have been scanned and saved to the secure program are shredded.
    • All paper records containing student information are kept in locked file cabinets. The rooms containing the file cabinets are locked when the office is closed.
    • Routine communication about a student with faculty or other members of the Barry University community will not reveal information about a student aside from acknowledgment that the student is receiving services through the OAS and the nature of the accommodations that the student is entitled to.
    • When a staff member of the OAS needs to communicate with a third party beyond routine communication (as described in item three above), we will obtain a Release of Information (ROI) by which the student grants permission for information about them to be shared.
    • All OAS Staff receive training about confidentiality and are required to sign a Confidentiality Agreement.
    • Records are maintained for seven years, after which time they are deleted and/or shredded.
  • Students in higher education are entitled to “reasonable accommodations” if they have a disability. Accommodations are modifications or adjustments to the tasks, to the environment, or to the way things are usually done so that students with disabilities have an equal opportunity to participate in an academic program and campus life.

    The exact accommodations you may be granted depend on your disability and individual needs. Academic adjustments may include extended time for testing; acquiring your textbooks in an alternate form; arranging for priority registration; reducing a course load; substituting one course for another; providing note takers, sign language interpreters, and adaptive software or hardware. The purpose of meeting with the OAS Director after initiating services is to create an accommodation plan tailored to you.

    Please note that accommodations must be “reasonable.” For example, we may not change the substantive content of a test, reduce the requirements of a course, or make adjustments that would fundamentally alter the nature of a service, program, or activity. Nor may we provide an accommodation that would result in an undue financial or administrative burden.

  • Emotional Support Animal (ESA) Policy

    In general, pets and animals are not allowed on the Barry University campus or in the residence halls. An exception to this rule is if an animal is an Emotional Support Animal (ESA).

    An ESA is a pet that provides therapeutic support or comfort to an individual who has a documented disability. The animal does not have to have specialized training, but must be able to alleviate one or more symptoms of a disabling condition. The Fair Housing Act (FHA) sets the regulations related to ESAs. The FHA stipulates that an animal kept in residence is a reasonable accommodation if: 

    • the student has a disability;
    • the animal is necessary to afford the student an equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling;
    • there is an identifiable relationship or nexus between the disability and the assistance the animal provides.

    Following are the Barry University Office of Accessibility Services (OAS) policies for students who require an ESA:

    • The student must be registered for services with the OAS at Barry.
    • The student must provide to the OAS documentation from a healthcare provider explaining that there is a connection between the student’s disability and the use of an ESA, and that the student will not be able to use and enjoy the residences at Barry if the animal is not permitted. A form to facilitate this documentation is provided, and must be updated at the beginning of each academic year during which the student plans to have an ESA in his/her dormitory.
    • ESAs are only allowed in the residence halls.
    • Policies related to ESAs in the residence halls are stipulated and strictly enforced by Housing and Residence Life. After the accommodation to have an ESA is granted by the OAS, students must check with Housing and Residence Life to be apprised of their policies.
  • The Office of Accessibility Services (OAS) Appeals Committee is comprised of faculty, staff, and administrators from across the university who review student requests for appealing a decision of the OAS or its Director.

    Appeals Process

    If the student disagrees with the decision(s) proposed by the Office of Accessibility Services, he or she may appeal the decision to the OAS ADA Appeals Committee. The student will be allowed to present a written appeal to the committee.

    The appeal letter must include:

    • Student name and ID number.
    • Statement of formal diagnosis and reason for requesting accommodations.
    • The Reason for the appeal.
    • The current impact of the disability on academic performance.
    • List of accommodations requested by the student to the OAS.
    • The History of accommodations.

    The request must be supported by documentation following these guidelines:

    • Professionals rendering the diagnosis must be qualified in the specific area for which they are making recommendations.
    • Professional must be licensed within the U.S.
    • All documentation must include the name, title, and credential(s) of the professional providing the documentation.
    • Documentation must include:

      • Specific diagnosis.
      • Description and severity of the symptoms.
      • Description of the current functional limitations as it applies to the academic environment.
      • Treatment history.
      • Treatment plan and frequency of appointments.

    The committee will review all relevant documents submitted with the written appeal before rendering a decision. The student will be notified in writing of the committee’s decision within ten business days from when the appeal request is received (please note that this timeframe could be extended depending on the requirements of the requests). The decision of the OAS ADA Appeals Committee will be final and binding upon the student without further appeal.

    ADA Accommodation Appellate Committee Guidelines

    Upon receipt of a notice of appeal, the committee chair shall schedule a committee meeting at a time and place convenient to all the committee members. Proceedings of the committee shall be kept in strict confidence.

    In reaching its decision, the committee may consult with recognized experts in the field of disabilities and/or organizations such as the Association on Higher Education and Disability.

    The committee will make every attempt to notify the final decision to the student within ten business days (however, this may take longer depending on the specifics of the request) from the date the request was received.

  • If you are a student with a disability, you have rights at a post-secondary institution such as a college or university. It is important to be well informed about those rights, and to also understand that you play a critical role in advocating for yourself. This document is provided to give you an overview of your rights and responsibilities as you transition from high school to college. Much of the information here comes from the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights.

    The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504), and the Americans with Disability Act of 1990 (Title II) are the laws that govern how students with disabilities are to be treated. These laws state that post-secondary institutions cannot discriminate against students with disabilities, and also specify that institutes of higher education are required to provide accommodations to students with disabilities.

    How is getting accommodations in college different from high school?

    The laws referenced above prohibit discrimination of students with disabilities at any level of their educational pursuits. However, the laws require some actions on the part of elementary and secondary schools that are not mandatory for post-secondary institutions. Most notably:

    • Public elementary and secondary schools are required to identify the educational needs of all students. Post-secondary institutions are not required to recognize the needs of students. It is the responsibility of the student to inform the college or university that s/he has a disability. You are not required to disclose your disability, but if you want to have accommodations for that disability you have to reveal information about your condition.
    • In elementary and secondary school, school personnel often do testing and make observations to substantiate the existence of a student’s disability. This information is typically reflected in an Individualized Education Plan (IEP). When requesting accommodations at the post-secondary level, IEP’s are not sufficient evidence of a disability. Post-secondary students may be required to obtain additional testing (at their own expense), and are likely to be required to have documentation from a healthcare provider who can make a formal diagnosis and provide other helpful information.
    • Elementary and secondary schools often make substantial adjustments to their curriculum for students with disabilities. For example, they may reduce class workload for a student with a disability or give him/her a different version of a test. Post-secondary institutions cannot make changes to course requirements or examinations. They cannot fundamentally alter the nature of an academic program or activity.
    • In elementary and secondary school, teachers and school administrators are responsible for arranging everything a student with a disability needs. When attending a post-secondary institution, a student who wants accommodations has to follow procedures to initiate and maintain accommodations. For example, at Barry University, students who have the accommodation of extra time for testing have to inform the Office of Accessibility Services and their professor whenever they want to take a test with extra time.
    • In elementary and secondary school, parents of students with disabilities are usually the people who meet with educators and administrators to talk about accommodations. At the post-secondary level, the student (not his/her parent) is responsible for engaging in the interactive process necessary to arrange for accommodations.
  • U.S. Department of Education
    Office for Civil Rights
    Washington, D.C. 20202

    Rights of Students with Disabilities in Higher Education

    As a student with a disability leaving high school and entering postsecondary education, will I see differences in my rights and how they are addressed?

    Yes. Section 504 and Title II protect elementary, secondary, and postsecondary students from discrimination. Nevertheless, several of the requirements that apply through high school are different from the requirements that apply beyond high school. For instance, Section 504 requires a school district to provide a free appropriate public education (FAPE) to each child with a disability in the district’s jurisdiction. Whatever the disability, a school district must identify an individual’s educational needs and provide any regular or special education and related aids and services necessary to meet those needs as well as it is meeting the needs of students without disabilities.

    Unlike your high school, however, your postsecondary school is not required to provide FAPE. Rather, your postsecondary school is required to provide appropriate academic adjustments as necessary to ensure that it does not discriminate on the basis of disability. In addition, if your postsecondary school provides housing to nondisabled students, it must provide comparable, convenient, and accessible housing to students with disabilities at the same cost.

    Other important differences that you need to know, even before you arrive at your postsecondary school, are addressed in the remaining questions.

    May a postsecondary school deny my admission because I have a disability?

    No. If you meet the essential requirements for admission, a postsecondary school may not deny your admission simply because you have a disability.

    Do I have to inform a postsecondary school that I have a disability?

    No. But if you want the school to provide an academic adjustment, you must identify yourself as having a disability. Likewise, you should let the school know about your disability if you want to ensure that you are assigned to accessible facilities. In any event, your disclosure of a disability is always voluntary.

    What academic adjustments must a postsecondary school provide?

    The appropriate academic adjustment must be determined based on your disability and individual needs. Academic adjustments may include auxiliary aids and services, as well as modifications to academic requirements as necessary to ensure equal educational opportunity. Examples of adjustments are: arranging for priority registration; reducing a course load; substituting one course for another; providing note takers, recording devices, sign language interpreters, extended time for testing, and, if telephones are provided in dorm rooms, a TTY in your dorm room; and equipping school computers with screen-reading, voice recognition, or other adaptive software or hardware.

    In providing an academic adjustment, your postsecondary school is not required to lower or substantially modify essential requirements. For example, although your school may be required to provide extended testing time, it is not required to change the substantive content of the test. In addition, your postsecondary school does not have to make adjustments that would fundamentally alter the nature of a service, program, or activity, or that would result in an undue financial or administrative burden. Finally, your postsecondary school does not have to provide personal attendants, individually prescribed devices, readers for personal use or study, or other devices or services of a personal nature, such as tutoring and typing.

    If I want an academic adjustment, what must I do?

    You must inform the school that you have a disability and need an academic adjustment. Unlike your school district, your postsecondary school is not required to identify you as having a disability or to assess your needs.

    Your postsecondary school may require you to follow reasonable procedures to request an academic adjustment. You are responsible for knowing and following those procedures. In their publications providing general information, postsecondary schools usually include information on the procedures and contacts for requesting an academic adjustment. Such publications include recruitment materials, catalogs, and student handbooks, and are often available on school websites. Many schools also have staff whose purpose is to assist students with disabilities. If you are unable to locate the procedures, ask a school official, such as an admissions officer or counselor.

    When should I request an academic adjustment?

    Although you may request an academic adjustment from your postsecondary school at any time, you should request it as early as possible. Some academic adjustments may take more time to provide than others. You should follow your school’s procedures to ensure that the school has enough time to review your request and provide an appropriate academic adjustment.

    Do I have to prove that I have a disability to obtain an academic adjustment?

    Generally, yes. Your school will probably require you to provide documentation showing that you have a current disability and need an academic adjustment.

    What documentation should I provide?

    Schools may set reasonable standards for documentation. Some schools require more documentation than others. They may require you to provide documentation prepared by an appropriate professional, such as a medical doctor, psychologist, or other qualified diagnostician. The required documentation may include one or more of the following: a diagnosis of your current disability, as well as supporting information, such as the date of the diagnosis, how that diagnosis was reached, and the credentials of the diagnosing professional; information on how your disability affects a major life activity; and information on how the disability affects your academic performance. The documentation should provide enough information for you and your school to decide what is an appropriate academic adjustment.

    An individualized education program (IEP) or Section 504 plan, if you have one, may help identify services that have been effective for you. This is generally not sufficient documentation, however, because of the differences between postsecondary education and high school education. What you need to meet the new demands of postsecondary education may be different from what worked for you in high school. Also, in some cases, the nature of a disability may change.

    If the documentation that you have does not meet the postsecondary school’s requirements, a school official should tell you in a timely manner what additional documentation you need to provide. You may need a new evaluation in order to provide the required documentation.

    Who has to pay for a new evaluation?

    Neither your high school nor your postsecondary school is required to conduct or pay for a new evaluation to document your disability and need for an academic adjustment. You may, therefore, have to pay or find funding to pay an appropriate professional for an evaluation. If you are eligible for services through your state vocational rehabilitation agency, you may qualify for an evaluation at no cost to you. You may locate your state vocational rehabilitation agency at http://rsa.ed.gov by clicking on “Info about RSA,” then “People and Offices,” and then “State Agencies/ Contacts.”

    Once the school has received the necessary documentation from me, what should I expect?

    To determine an appropriate academic adjustment, the school will review your request in light of the essential requirements for the relevant program. It is important to remember that the school is not required to lower or waive essential requirements. If you have requested a specific academic adjustment, the school may offer that academic adjustment, or it may offer an effective alternative. The school may also conduct its own evaluation of your disability and needs at its own expense.

    You should expect your school to work with you in an interactive process to identify an appropriate academic adjustment. Unlike the experience you may have had in high school, however, do not expect your postsecondary school to invite your parents to participate in the process or to develop an IEP for you.

    What if the academic adjustment we identified is not working?

    Let the school know as soon as you become aware that the results are not what you expected. It may be too late to correct the problem if you wait until the course or activity is completed. You and your school should work together to resolve the problem.

    May a postsecondary school charge me for providing an academic adjustment?

    No. Nor may it charge students with disabilities more for participating in its programs or activities than it charges students who do not have disabilities.

    What can I do if I believe the school is discriminating against me?

    Practically every postsecondary school must have a person—frequently called the Section 504 Coordinator, ADA Coordinator, or Disability Services Coordinator—who coordinates the school’s compliance with Section 504,Title II, or both laws. You may contact that person for information about how to address your concerns.

    The school must also have grievance procedures. These procedures are not the same as the due process procedures with which you may be familiar from high school. But the postsecondary school’s grievance procedures must include steps to ensure that you may raise your concerns fully and fairly, and must provide for the prompt and equitable resolution of complaints.

    School publications, such as student handbooks and catalogs, usually describe the steps that you must take to start the grievance process. Often, schools have both formal and informal processes. If you decide to use a grievance process, you should be prepared to present all the reasons that support your request.

    If you are dissatisfied with the outcome of the school’s grievance procedures or wish to pursue an alternative to using those procedures, you may file a complaint against the school with OCR or in a court. You may learn more about the OCR complaint process from the brochure How to File a Discrimination Complaint with the Office for Civil Rights, which you may obtain by contacting us at the addresses and phone numbers below, or at http://www.ed.gov/ocr/docs/howto.html.

    If you would like more information about the responsibilities of postsecondary schools to students with disabilities, read the OCR brochure Auxiliary Aids and Services for Postsecondary Students with Disabilities: Higher Education’s Obligations Under Section 504 and Title II of the ADA. You may obtain a copy by contacting us at the address and phone numbers below, or at http://www.ed.gov/ocr/docs/auxaids.html.

    Students with disabilities who know their rights and responsibilities are much better equipped to succeed in postsecondary school. We encourage you to work with the staff at your school because they, too, want you to succeed. Seek the support of family, friends, and fellow students, including those with disabilities. Know your talents and capitalize on them, and believe in yourself as you embrace new challenges in your education.

    To receive more information about the civil rights of students with disabilities in education institutions, you may contact us at:

    Customer Service Team
    Office for Civil Rights
    U.S. Department of Education
    Washington, D.C. 20202-1100

    Phone: 1-800-421-3481
    TDD: 1- 877-521-2172
    Email: ocr@ed.gov
    Web site: www.ed.gov/ocr

    */ You may be familiar with another federal law that applies to the education of students with disabilities—the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). That law is administered by the Office of Special Education Programs in the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services in the U.S. Department of Education. The IDEA and its individualized education program (IEP) provisions do not apply to postsecondary schools. This pamphlet does not discuss the IDEA or state and local laws that may apply.

    This publication is in the public domain. Authorization to reproduce it in whole or in part is granted. The publication’s citation should be: U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, Students With Disabilities Preparing for Postsecondary Education: Know Your Rights and Responsibilities, Washington, D.C., 2011.

    To order copies of this publication,

    Write to: ED Pubs Education Publications Center, U.S. Department of Education, P.O. Box 22207, Alexandria, VA 22304.

    or fax your order to: 703-605-6794;

    or e-mail your request to: edpubs@inet.ed.gov;

    or call in your request toll-free: 1-877-433-7827 (1-877-4-ED-PUBS). Those who use a telecommunications device for the deaf (TDD) or a teletypewriter (TTY), should call 1-877-576-7734. If 877 service is not yet available in your area, you may call 1-800-872-5327 (1-800-USA-LEARN).

    or order online at https://www.ed.gov/edpubs/.

    This publication is also available on the Department's Web site at http://www.ed.gov/ocr/transition.html. Any updates to this publication will be available on this website.

    On request, this publication can be made available in alternate formats, such as Braille, large print. or computer diskette. For more information, you may contact the Department’s Alternate Format Center at 202-260-0852 or 202-260-0818. If you use TDD, call 1-800-877-8339.

Requirements How do I document my disability?

Documentation requirements vary according to each student’s disability and situation. If documentation of a student’s disability is needed, it should be provided by a licensed professional who has relevant experience and has no personal relationship with the individual being evaluated. In general, that professional should provide information to establish the existence of the student’s disability, describe the nature of the disability, explain the limitations of the student, and offer accommodation recommendations.

Please note that a letter from your healthcare provider stating your diagnosis and that you are entitled to accommodations is not sufficient. It is also important to keep in mind that while your healthcare provider should make accommodation recommendations, his/her recommendations are suggestions. The appropriateness of those recommended accommodations will be determined by the Office of Accessibility Services (OAS) Director. Therefore, you may not be granted the accommodations that your healthcare provider specifies.

Registered Students

Request Forms

Faculty What are my obligations to students with disabilities?

Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 protect students with disabilities from discrimination. Everyone in the Barry community is obligated to uphold those laws, but there is a particular onus on faculty to abide by the Rehabilitation Act and ADA because most efforts to avoid discrimination of students with disabilities come in the form of academic accommodations. If you are notified by the Office of Accessibility Services (OAS) that a student in your class has been granted academic accommodations, you are required to provide those accommodations. 

If, however, you have misgivings about the accommodations granted or feel stressed by your obligation to provide accommodations, you should contact the OAS Director to talk about your concerns. We are here to partner with you and help you meet your obligations with as little inconvenience to you as possible.

Faculty Testing Form Disability Etiquette

Obligation Do's and Don'ts

  • You should only provide accommodations to students who are registered with the OAS. You will know if a student is registered because the student will show you a copy of his/her OAS Accommodation Memo. You may make a copy of the Memo for your records.
  • The Accommodation Memo does not reveal the nature of the student's disability, and you should not ask the student to disclose his/her disability. If the student tells you about his/her disability you must keep that information confidential.
  • If you are asked to solicit for a note taker for a student because your student has that accommodation, the OAS will send you a letter suggesting how you may solicit for a note taker while maintaining confidentiality.
  • If the student has been granted the accommodation of extra time for testing, or testing in a distraction-reduced environment, you may provide those accommodations yourself or have the OAS do it for you. If a student wants to take a test with the OAS, it is the student's responsibility to make a reservation with the OAS and give you a Faculty Testing Form to fill out and return to the OAS with the test. The OAS will return the test and the student's answers to you.
  • Most students register for services with the OAS at the beginning of the semester. However, for various reasons some students register late. When this is the case, you should not provide accommodation retroactively. For example, students should not be allowed to repeat tests. The accommodations take effect on the day the Accommodation Memo shown/given to you.
  • Aside from providing accommodations, you should treat the student with a disability exactly as you would any other student. There is no need to modify policies or take any other actions unless the modification or action were specified in the student's Accommodation Memo.
Checklist for ADA Compliance in Online Courses
  • All faculty syllabi should have a statement indicating the faculty member’s commitment to providing reasonable accommodations to students with a disability, and information about how students should pursue getting accommodations.

    Examples:

    • Any student who needs an accommodation based on the impact of a disability should contact the Office of Accessibility Services (OAS). The OAS phone number is 305-899-3488. The Office is located in Landon, room 102. You may also visit the OAS webpage.

    • If you have a disability that may have an impact on your work in this class and you would like to have academic accommodations, please contact the Office of Accessibility Services (OAS). The OAS phone number is 305-899-3488. They are located in Landon, room 102. You may also visit their webpage.

    • I encourage students with disabilities, including hidden disabilities such as chronic medical problems, learning disabilities, neurodevelopmental disabilities such a SLD or AD/HD, or psychiatric disabilities, to discuss appropriate accommodations with the Office of Accessibility Services (OAS). The OAS phone number is 305-899-3488. They are located in Landon, room 102. You may also visit their webpage.
  • When a student in your class has been granted the accommodation of “Permission to have a note taker” the OAS requests that you facilitate this. To do so, please solicit for a volunteer from among the students in your class. Undergraduate note takers will earn Community Service hours for their assistance. If you prefer that someone from the OAS visit your class to ask for a note taker, please contact us.

    Solicitation may be done is several ways. One approach is to make an announcement in class that a note taker is needed for a fellow student and students should see you after class to volunteer.  Another option is to identify students you believe are strong note takers and approach them individually to request their services. Either way, it is imperative that you not identify the student with the disability by name or other recognizable characteristic. This practice allows the student with the disability to remain anonymous if they wish.

    If the student who needs the note taker is open to being identified, please introduce the two students so they can decide how to proceed. If the student who needs the note taker does not wish to be revealed to the note taker, please tell the volunteer to contact the OAS (305-899-3488) or visit us (Landon room 102) so we may orient them to the processes involved in his/her volunteer service.  If the student who needs the note taker is open to being identified, please introduce the two students so they can decide how to proceed.

  • In general, pets and animals are not allowed on the Barry University campus or in the residence halls. An exception to this rule is if an animal is a Service Animal as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

    Service Animals

    Service animals are those that have specialized training to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. Examples of such work or tasks include guiding people who are blind, alerting people who are deaf, alerting and protecting a person who is having a seizure, and calming a person with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) during an anxiety attack. Service animals are working animals, not pets. Service animals include Psychiatric Service Dogs, Seizure Response Dogs, and SSigDogs (sensory signal dogs or social signal dog). The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) sets the following regulations related to service animals:

    • Service animals are permitted anywhere on the Barry University campus that his/her owner is permitted. That is to say that service animals may be in classrooms, eateries on campus, and so forth.

    • Documentation of a service animal’s training or certification is not required.

    • The OAS maintains a record of service animals on campus, and recommends that students with service animals register with Office so that, if necessary, we may help to advocate for the presence of the animal on campus.

    Emotional Support Animals (ESAs) are NOT Service Animals

    An ESA is a pet that provides therapeutic support or comfort to an individual who has a documented disability. The animal does not have to have specialized training, but must be able to alleviate one or more symptoms of a disabling condition. The Fair Housing Act (FHA) sets the regulations related to ESAs.

    Following are the Barry University Office of Accessibility Services (OAS) policies for students who require an ESA:

    • The student must be registered for services with the OAS at Barry.

    • The student must provide to the OAS documentation from a healthcare provider stating that there is a connection between the student’s disability and the use of an ESA, and that the student will not be able to use and enjoy the residences at Barry if the animal is not permitted.

    • ESAs are only allowed in the residence halls.
  • Universal design (also known as inclusive design) is a term given to a range of ideas intended to make the environment inherently accessible to all people, especially people with disabilities. For example, universal design refers to architectural features such as dropped curbs for wheelchairs.

    The term universal design has also been applied to curriculum. Universal Design Learning (UDL) proposes that instructional methods, materials, and assessments be designed to play to everyone’s unique needs. The three main guidelines of UDL are illustrated on the next page in an image from the UDL Center.org (http://www.udlcenter.org/aboutudlcenter).

    Additionally, universal design refers to the way we create documents to be accessed, especially by students who use assistive technologies like screen reader software. Making a document accessible is easy. Tutorials can be found on the internet/youtube. Essentially, you use the “Word Styles” on the “Home” tab (the right-hand side of the menu) on Microsoft Word. If you do so, your documents will have a common structure. Here are the basics:

    Make Sure your Document is “Normal”

    The first option on “Word Styles” is to make your text “normal.” If you click on a body of text and it has been coded as “normal,” the box on the “Word Styles” tab will be outlined. If not, simply highlight the text and click “normal” to achieve this. Afterwards, you may also change fonts and so forth if you wish.

    Give Your Documents a Title, Heading, or Subheading

    Microsoft Word “Word Styles” lets you create a Title and three different levels of Heading. If you let Microsoft Word do this for you (as opposed to creating Heading and such on your own by changing font and bolding) a screen reader can navigate your document and recognize the structure of your text.

    Use Pre-Set Bullet Points and Numbers

    Instead of using your keyboard to make bullets and numbers, use the Microsoft Word menu to do this. Using pre-set formats like this will make document navigation easier.

    Universal Design for Learning Guidelines

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