Accessibility of software tools and course materials

As you move to remote 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:

  • When you introduce or change course material (whether web pages, PDF or multimedia files, etc.), make sure to consider accessibility for students with disabilities. Please contact the Student Disability Center at with questions and for assistance. 
  • SensusAccess has been integrated into UC Davis Canvas to support accessibility. SensusAccess can automatically convert files into alternate and accessible formats. For more information on SensusAccess please visit our conversion options page or ask for assistance through
  • Zoom sessions can be captioned in real-time (CART) allowing the student full academic access to the course. If captioning services are required, you will receive a request to add a SDC captioner, as an observer, to the course through Canvas. Contact SDC Captioning/American Sign Language supervisor, Beth, at for assistance. 
  • Consult the Accessibility with Zoom advice from UCOP.
  • Post video and audio recordings to Aggie Video and request closed captioning. YouTube’s automated captioning is generally insufficient to meet UC accessibility expectations and should be avoided. 

Understanding general accommodations for students with disabilities

As the University moves to remote testing environments, the Student Disability Center (SDC) is available to assist you.

  • 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, 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 13 of "Instructions for Faculty to get started with Examity, located at the UC Davis KeepTeaching site.


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 Spring 2020.


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 12-1 Zoom session for Faculty occurring Monday-Friday during Spring 2020.

Steps for setting extended times within Canvas

Note: When setting extended times for students within Canvas, please ensure that you take the extended time into consideration when setting exam schedules. Extending the exam schedule to include extended accommodation timelines will prevent the exam from shutting down early. (This is the second bullet point on the linked page)

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, and iPads. This does not work with personally owned 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 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. 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.