Accommodate software by Symplicity  

What does it do?

The software will eliminate much of the paperwork associated with accommodation requests and allow accommodation requests to be processed and tracked by Meighen Centre staff via the software program.

What does this mean for faculty?

While there will be minimal changes to our existing procedures for accommodating students with disabilities, you will likely notice a few changes:

- Instead of receiving a Test Accommodation Form from students in advance of a midterm or exam, you will be presented with a Letter of Accommodation. This letter will outline the accommodations a student is eligible to receive for the semester and will require your signature before accommodations are given final approval. (Please note: Any accommodations that a student is eligible to receive is dependent on the essential requirements of each course. If you feel an accommodation that a student is eligible to receive violates an essential requirement of your course, please contact the Meighen Centre so that an amenable solution may be put in place.

 - Once you have signed the Letter of Accommodation, students will register their test accommodation requests via the software system. You will receive an email notification of the students in your class who have registered to write a test in the Meighen Centre.  

- As usual, you will receive an email reminder to provide a copy of the test to the Meighen Centre. As was the case previously, you may drop off or email copies of your exams to the Meighen Centre or now you have the option of uploading the exam to us via the Accommodate Software system.

How do I know the student has been approved for these accommodations? Does the new automated system mean that the student selected what they wanted?

Please rest assured that our procedures still involve the student meeting with a Disability Advisor and providing documentation. The accommodations will then be determined as they have been in the past. The letter will then be generated based on that meeting, the documentation received, and advisor input.

The faculty member will have an opportunity to review the accommodations. The faculty will review the accommodations taking into consideration the essential course requirements. This will ensure that the recommended accommodations fit within the course objectives.

There was an info session prior to the start of class and I missed it. How do I get more info?

We are happy to meet with you to answer questions you may have. You can always email us at mkalichuk@mta.ca or you can call Anne Comfort directly at 364-2527.

What does the new Letter of Accommodation look like?

The following is a sample of a Letter of Accommodation. As you can see, it can include much more than just test accommodations: SAMPLE

How will we know that the student has entered the correct date and time?

Accommodate will allow Meighen Centre staff to screen students’ schedules. Additionally, faculty will receive confirmation emails the date and time they have requested to write their tests and exams. This will allow you ensure students are writing at the time you have stated.

What if the student is registered in a lab for which there is a lab instructor? Lab instructors did not always get to see the “old” accommodation forms.

One of the advantages of the Accommodate software is that it recognizes the lab sections as individual courses and associates those with the lab instructors. This means that moving forward students should be approaching you with an accommodation form to be signed and that you should get the email reminders and notifications the software will generate for the lab sections. The only time this will get missed is if the student makes a mistake and registers a lab test under the course rather than the lab. We will be reminding students of the proper procedure and you may feel free to do so as well.  

What if I have questions about the new system? 

Matt Kalichuk has been the lead on this new project. You can contact him by emailing him at mkalichuk@mta.ca  

Test accommodations

All tests, midterms, or final examinations for students with disabilities are written at The Meighen Centre (MC) and supervised by MC staff.

To write an evaluation at the Centre, students must:

- be registered with the Meighen Centre (for more information on registration see guidelines for learning disabilities and other disabilities.)

- have been approved for test accommodations and provided with a Semester Request Form through the Meighen Centre

- have received a signature from each accommodating instructor on a Semester Request Form and returned it to the Centre

- have booked their evaluation through the Meighen Centre's Accommodate platform

Should professors need more information before, during or after having signed the form, they are encouraged to contact Matt Kalichuk at the test centre at 364-2604.

Recording of lectures

Over the course of the semester, you may be seeing assistive technology devices in your classrooms and labs that have audio recording capabilities. This technology is often prescribed for students with learning disabilities and attention disorders, such as ADHD. A common technology recommended for such purposes is the Livescribe Smart Pen, which allows students to take handwritten notes while simultaneously recording lectures, and has the capability to review lectures in written and audio format, using a special notebook.  

With the advent of mobile devices (e.g., iPhone, iPad, Android) it is quite possible that students both with and without disabilities have been using such technology in your classroom already without your direct knowledge.  

Students with certain disabilities have a right to produce audio recordings of class lectures, including class discussions, for educational use. Failure to permit students access to such technology may constitute a violation of the New Brunswick Human Rights Act. The position of Student Affairs is that faculty members are our partners in this effort to accommodate students with disabilities.  

Students with disabilities using such technology must sign an agreement to use classroom recordings for personal study use only, and these recordings are not to be shared or distributed via any form of media, and must be destroyed by the end of the grade appeal period of a given semester. Students are made aware that their violation of this agreement could result in judicial disciplinary action and/or legal recourse if it is determined that they have abused the privilege of using such technology in the classroom. The agreement can be found below. 

If you have students without  disabilities in class who would like to use a recording device, we are happy to share an adapted version of our recording agreement form with you upon request.  

For more information about Smart Pen technology please see www.livescribe.com . If you have any comments, concerns, or feedback we encourage you to contact us directly.

 

Mount Allison Student Affairs

Agreement re. Audio Recording of Lecture Material

I understand and agree that because of my disability I have the right to produce audio recordings of class lectures, including class discussions, for my personal study only.

I understand and agree that the recording is intended solely for my educational use as a student, and no other purpose.  I understand and agree that I will not share the audio recording.

I understand and agree that information contained in the audio-recorded lectures including but not limited to the instructor’s material and any contributions made by my fellow classmates, and any transcription arising from same, may be protected under federal and international copyright legislation, in addition to Mount Allison University’s student governance policies, and may not be published or quoted anywhere, including all forms of social media, without the lecturer’s explicit consent and without properly identifying and crediting the lecturer or other individuals whose comments have been recorded.  Further, I understand this material is being recorded solely for my personal educational use and agree that I will not distribute, sell, upload, or share these recordings in any way.

I understand and agree that I can transfer the recording only to my own personal computer and that no further copying or transferral is permitted.  I further understand and agree that these materials will be destroyed at the conclusion of the grade appeal period immediately following the term in which these materials were recorded.

I understand that in order to use a recording device in the classroom that I must notify all instructors in all classes in which I intend to record. I understand that I may notify my instructors in person or in writing (e.g., e-mail, letter).  

I understand that this recording agreement must be updated each semester that I intend to record lecture material.            

I understand that violation of this agreement may result in the withdrawal of the authorization to audio-record, as well as a review of access to similar services in the future, and potentially could invoke disciplinary proceedings and/or legal recourses by anyone who considers their interests have been damaged. 

 

     

 

___________________________________             ____________________________

Student’s Signature                                                       Date

 

___________________________________             ____________________________

Meighen Centre/Accessible Services Signature           Date

   

 

 

Faculty and Staff Questions and Answers about Audio Recording Agreement

  

How do you determine if recording a lecture is a reasonable accommodation?

We determine accommodations based on a student's needs. So simply because a student has a disability and is registered with the Meighen Centre does not automatically give them the right to use a recording device in the classroom, or have any other accommodation for that matter. The documentation we have been given MUST justify the accommodation as appropriate for that student's disability. Otherwise, we will deny the accommodation before the student even approaches an instructor. We often tell students that the nature of their disability does not warrant a given accommodation, based on the documentation that has been provided to us.

Does the instructor/faculty/staff have the right to refuse the device in their classroom?

An instructor certainly has the right to challenge an accommodation. However, if the accommodation is warranted based on the student's documentation, then the student likely has a right to that accommodation, unless the case can be made that the accommodation violates or interferes with one of the essential components or outcomes of the course. If an accommodation were denied, this places the university at risk for a human rights complaint. If the student decided to file a human rights complaint after all other avenues of resolution have been exhausted, our experience has been that the human rights commission will typically rule in favour of the student, unless it is clearly demonstrated that the accommodation violates one of the essential outcomes of the course. Rarely does it go that far. If an instructor has a concern about recordings in their classroom, we will review the documentation again, discuss the concerns with the instructor, and also discuss these concerns with the student to see if they feel that having the audio recording ofthe lecture is absolutely necessary for them.

Could it be that having a note taker in the class will serve the same purpose?

In our experience, having audio doesn't always benefit all students in all classes. In some cases, depending on the nature of the course and the student's disability, having audio isn't actually that helpful. But for some students and some courses it is exactly what they need and therefore the student will likely have a right to that accommodation.

What should the professor do if they feel that recording will not be valuable?

The first step would be to get in touch with the student to have this conversation with him. You can also contact Matt Kalichuk who can work with you and the student to determine the best accommodation.

Does the Meighen Centre inform the instructor that their lecture is

being recorded?

We certainly understand that there are concerns for some instructors around recording devices for a variety of reasons, and we are sensitive to those concerns. We have drafted up a recording device agreement that each of our students must sign before they use a recording device in the classroom. We have worked with the MAFA union on this document and we consider it to be binding upon the student.

Does the student have to inform the professor?

Our current practice is to instruct the student to inform their instructor that they intend to use a recording device in the classroom, and to let the instructor know that if they have any questions to direct them to the Meighen Centre.

Other academic accommodations

Should other academic accommodations be necessary, the student is encouraged to discuss these with the Centre staff and the professor.

Where necessary, the student may give permission to the Centre to discuss the accommodation with the professor without the student being present.

All attempts are made to ensure that both the academic integrity of courses and the disability related needs of the students are met