Accessibility of software tools and course materials

In any mode of instruction, it's important to keep in mind the accessibility of software tools and course materials for students with disabilities. The following are suggestions to keep in mind:

Understanding general accommodations for students with disabilities

The Student Disability Center (SDC) is available to assist you in a range of assessment environments.

  • If you have questions about how to manage an accommodation, please contact the SDC Specialist listed on the student’s Letter of Accommodation or send questions to
  • Resources for you: Visit the Faculty Tab for general information about accommodations. If you have received notification that a student has been approved for services, check the Faculty Portal to review their accommodations. If a TA will be delivering services, ensure that they are aware of the student’s accommodations. 
  • Canvas: If providing an exam through Canvas, you may adjust testing times for exam accommodations. Follow this link for detailed instructions.
  • Examity: For online, proctored exams, you may enter accommodation information for a student into the Examity interface. The proctor is expected to review and honor those accommodations.
  • Zoom: Ensure that the proctor is fully aware of all accommodations such as breaks, standing, speaking aloud, etc.
  • SDC Faculty Forum video and PowerPoint: On March 26, 2020, the Student Disability Center (SDC) hosted a faculty forum where we shared general information, answered questions, and connected you with SDC resources ready to assist you in remote learning environments. Click this link for the video and access slides from the Faculty Forum below.

Online Exam Accommodations

Need a proctoring service for online exams? Extended times are not the only accommodations students request for online exams. Here is a list of proctoring services available at UC Davis with recommendations on how to ensure your exams are accessible and inclusive to all.


Examity is an online video proctoring service for exams. There is a requirement of a webcam for monitoring of students during exams by Examity proctors. The browser, not the computer, is locked down during the exam. Due to this, students can use assistive technologies without issues, but proctors need to be made aware of these technologies since they can see the running programs on the computer.

When making accommodations for students within Examity, extended times are not the only accommodations which need to be submitted. Please include accommodations for reading aloud, breaks as needed, as well as use of technology. These are accommodations that the Examity proctors may flag as cheating attempts unless properly marked in the Examity dashboard.

The instructions to add accommodations within Examity can be found on page 6 of "Instructions for Faculty to get started with Examity."


Zoom is being considered by some faculty as a proctoring service for exams. To ensure privacy of student accommodations, the Student Disability Center can assist with additional Zoom rooms and proctors. Please reach out to or join the 12-1pm Zoom session for Faculty occurring Monday-Friday during Fall Quarter 2021.


Accommodations can be set within Canvas, per student. Instructors can set dates and times to restrict when students can take an exam. You can only set extended times for student accommodations within Canvas. You must use other services to secure computers or proctor exams.

Please reach out with any questions on how to ensure accessible exam to or join the 12-1pm Zoom session for Faculty occurring Monday-Friday during Fall Quarter 2021.

Steps for setting extended times within Canvas

Note: If an extended time doesn't work as intended, you can now allow students extra attempts to take the quiz/exam. Steps for allowing extra attempts.

Respondus Lockdown Browser

The Respondus Lockdown Browser is a tool which restricts the functions of what the student can do on their computer during an exam. It does not require the use of a webcam and is available for use to secure Canvas exams on PC, Mac, iPads, and, as of August 2021, Chromebooks. Please note that accommodations such as extended times would still need to be entered into Canvas.

Respondus Monitor

The Respondus Monitor is an add-on to Respondus Lockdown Browser which includes video monitoring features and requires that the student have a webcam. This tool does not interfere with assistive technologies, but not all students have cameras available. Use of Respondus Monitor may result in false positives as it is an automated service flagging video for instructors to review.

Mac Accessibility Requirements for Respondus

Version of the Respondus Lockdown Browser is accessible to the Mac VoiceOver screen reader.

Windows Accessibility Requirements for Respondus

Version of the Respondus Lockdown Browser is accessible to Windows screen readers such as: NVDA, JAWS, MS-Windows Narrator, ReadSpeaker webReader, and Windows-Eyes. It is not accessible to ClaroRead, but NVDA could be used as an alternative.

ZoomText can resize fonts, but the reader is not functioning. NVDA could be used as an alternative reader

Dragon can be used within Respondus by disabling the Dragon pad.

Additional Questions or Concerns?

Due to the ever-changing online environment, we do have drop-in Zoom support for faculty between 12-1, Monday through Friday during Fall Quarter 2021. Staff is ready to assist with accommodation, accessibility, or exam questions instructors may have and have a limited number of proctors available to support instructors and our students.