Frequently Asked Questions about COVID-19 Response and AEC

Q: Is the Accessible Education Center open?    

A: AEC is currently working with students Monday – Friday 8AM - 5PM via phone, video or email.  If you have a question or concern, or to schedule an appointment please contact AEC at (541) 346-1155, email  or use our online form. Appointments are available over the phone or virtually via Microsoft Teams*.  The AEC Accessible Technology program is available to students with questions about assistive technologies and accessible course formats via   

*All registered University of Oregon students are encouraged to download Microsoft Teams for free. 

Q. I’m taking an exam online and it doesn’t look like my accommodation for extended time has been implemented. 

A: If you log in to a Canvas exam and notice that your extended time has not been applied, please email your instructor and copy immediately. Your instructor may not be able to remediate the situation retroactively, so it is important that you email your instructor as soon as you notice any issues. 

Q. How will AEC conduct remote appointments?  

A: The Accessible Education Center and many other units on campus are moving to remote advising by phone and using Microsoft Teams. This application is free to all UO students, faculty and staff. Download the app to your phone or computer in advance of your remote advising appointment. Students may elect to have either a phone or a video chat appointment.  

Q: Is the Access Shuttle operating during Finals Week and Spring Break?  

A: At this time Access Shuttle services are suspended. Please check the Access Shuttle website for updates on potential changes.


Spring Term Considerations

Q: With the switch to remote instruction for the beginning of Spring term, how do I notify my instructors of my accommodations? 

A: Notification Letters will be sent as usual. Log into AEC Connect to send your Notification Letters either in advance of Spring term, or early in the term (ideally during week 1). Review your course syllabus and connect with your instructor to discuss how your accommodations may apply to their course.  

Q: I anticipate disability-related challenges in one or more of my courses and would like to request new or additional accommodations. What steps should I take?  

A: Contact our front desk to set up an appointment with one of our advisors. You may do so by calling 541-346-1155 or by using the online scheduling tool. If accommodations are related to a new experience of disability or one for which you are not already receiving formal AEC support, please provide documentation of disability, if at all possible, prior to your appointment. This can be emailed to or faxed to 541-346-6013.

Q: How will my testing accommodations be facilitated? 

A: AEC will not be proctoring exams while University classes are being conducted remotely. Please log in to AEC Connect to send your Notification Letters* and communicate with your instructors to discuss your exam accommodations in their courses.  If you have questions or concerns about your testing accommodations, please contact

*Please note: When requesting your notification letters, testing accommodations are grouped under the category titled "Alternative Testing". To view your established accommodations, log in to AEC Connect and click "My Eligibility" on the left toolbar.

Q: What about other accommodations that I usually use? 

A: AEC is communicating directly with students who utilize accommodations such as sign language interpreters, captioning, and document conversion, and will coordinate with instructors to identify the most effective approaches for access given the remote class structure. If you have questions or concerns about how your accommodations will be facilitated in a remote setting, please contact our office to set up an appointment with an advisor: call 541-346-1155, email, or use our online scheduling tool. 

Q: What about barriers I experience related to class policies?  

Reasonable modifications to class policies, such as attendance and deadlines, may be needed with the shift to online instruction. Please contact your instructors to discuss any additional barriers presented by the course format and consult with your Access Advisor as needed. We anticipate that barriers will be experienced by students for many other reasons, so believe that there will be more flexibility in general for all students. 

 Q:  How will my notetaking accommodations be facilitated?  

A: Students are encouraged to review the structure of each course before requesting notetaking accommodations. We anticipate that many classes will be recorded and available for up to two weeks, which may remove barriers related to notetaking. If you find that you still need a peer notetaker for a course, you can confirm your need for notetaking as usual via AEC Connect. Students who have used technological supports for notetaking (such as Sonocent Audio Notetaker) will still have those resources available to them, although they may not be as useful in a remote setting. If you have questions or concerns regarding taking notes for classes in a remote setting, we encourage you to schedule an appointment with your advisor to discuss your options.  


Student Questions

Q. Are there any AEC workshops that might be useful for me this term?

A. AEC is sponsoring 6 workshops open to all students this this Spring. 

Q: Have there been changes to university academic policies for Spring 2020?  

A: In a memo to all students, Doneka Scott, Vice Provost for Undergraduate Education and Student Success, shared updates to policies effective spring term. These are summarized here: Academic modifications and support during COVID-19  

Q:  Will my flexibility with attendance policy be supported with remote classes? 

A:  In the UO Virtual Town Hall (3/30/20) Provost Patrick Phillips encouraged faculty to “eliminate all attendance requirements for courses” for Spring Term 2020. How this recommendation is implemented for all students will be course specific. We anticipate that this flexibility in general will make it easier for students and instructors to address formal accommodations needed around attendance, and hopefully greatly reduce the need. Please connect with your instructors to discuss use and limitations of this accommodation in their course proactively (prior to needing it).  

Q:  I usually am involved in an AEC group. Will those be available?  

A: Yes! Our groups will be available in a remote format. If you have been attending a group this year, you will be contacted by the group facilitator.  Please check out our AEC Group Opportunities page if you are interested in learning more about our ADHD Strategies and Support Group, our Cultivating Self-Compassion Group, and our Social Connectedness Group.  

Q:  What AEC support will still be available this Spring term? 

A:  All AEC supports that can be modified to comply with social distancing measures will be available during Spring term 2020. These include, but are not limited to: advising, use of approved accommodations in your spring term courses, support with faculty communications, meetings with graduate employees for ongoing support, and remote offerings of AEC groups.  

Q:  What do I do if I am unable to access documentation of disability? 

A:  Please work directly with an Access Advisor to discuss your specific situation and what support may be possible, including assistance in accessing documentation, or setting up provisional accommodations.  

Q:  Can I get assistance with sending out my Notification Letters through AEC Connect? 

A:  Yes. Information is available in both text format and via Youtube tutorial on our website.  

You may also contact the AEC to request a remote appointment for an “AEC Connect orientation”. During this appointment you will see how to access your AEC Connect student portal and send out Notification Letters of academic accommodations to your instructors. 

Q:  I checked out an Echo/Smart pen last term and still have it.  How do I return it to AEC? 

A:  We are not collecting equipment at this time, but ask you to take care of it, and return when possible. 

Q:  Are there resources available for expenses related to COVID-19 and classes moving online? 

A:   If you are in a financial crisis that may negatively impact your academics, you may apply to receive financial support from the Dean of Students Students in Crisis Fund. If you are experiencing financial difficulty related to disability-related access needs, please contact the AEC to inquire about possible funding support.  

Q: I’m not deaf/hard of hearing, but captioned videos are helpful.  If my professor doesn’t put them up, can the AEC help me get them? 

A: If you have a specific disability that creates barriers to viewing video materials without captions, work with your access advisor to make sure you can access course materials, including videos. 

Q:  If I am not enrolled this term will AEC be available to assist me? 

A:  AEC advisors are available for consult with students and parents of students who are not currently enrolled. Priority for appointments will be given to currently enrolled students.  


Faculty Questions 

Q. Where can I get more information about making my course more accessible? 

A: The Provost has prepared  Academic Continuity Planning Resource and Guidance ; AEC has created Primary Accessibility Considerations to go along with this information, including how to record lectures. 

Q.  How do I make sure students get the testing accommodations that are outlined in the AEC notification letter?

A. Instructors who administer timed online exams, are responsible for adjusting exam lengths to facilitate extended time accommodations. For help, refer to this Canvas guide. Please note that availability windows set in Canvas still apply even after you moderate a quiz to include extended time. For assistance with adjusting availability windows for Canvas exams refer to this guidance from TEP.

Q:  I would prefer students attend my scheduled remote class time.  Why would I also record my lecture? 

A: In the University of Oregon’s Virtual Town Hall meeting on March 30, 2020 Provost Patrick Phillips made the recommendation to eliminate all attendance requirements for Spring Term 2020. How this recommendation is implemented will be course specific. Many students may face challenges with accessing a course at a specific time for numerous reasons, including time zones, distractions, pets, children, etc..  For students with an accommodation of flexibility with attendance policy, recording lectures will ensure your course is accessible and provides the accommodation.  

Q: How do I auto transcribe my recorded Zoom lecture? 

  1. Follow the Zoom guide here: 
  1. It is important to review and edit the transcript for accuracy. 

Q: AEC has informed me that a student in my class will be accessing captions during my live Zoom Session. How do I connect the transcriber to my session when this is a required accommodation? 

A: Instructions for Live Caption on Zoom class meetings: 

  1. Send the Zoom link to  
  1. In Zoom settings, you will need to enable Closed Captioning BEFORE the class starts.  Once enabled, it should remain that way for the term.  
  1. Make sure “Save captions” is also turned on.  
  1. For each class the writer will need to be assigned as a closed captioner by right clicking their name or selecting the dropdown arrow.  There will be a couple of options and select "assign this person to type.” Video and written tutorial here.  
  1. Don’t end the session abruptly. Because of how Zoom is designed, the transcribers are not able to save a copy of the transcript if the Zoom meeting is shut off right away. Allow a minute or two for the transcriber to save the transcript for the student.