We have some very good news – there is a new Accessibility Support role in Canvas that will commence this Summer session.
Why do we need the accessibility support role?
Students registered with Accessibility Services are supported for reasonable adjustments such as notetaking or accessibility assistance for their classes. The casual employees for these positions need access to the subject materials in Canvas to provide accurate notes and subject assistance.
The Accessibility Support role enables access to Canvas resources, subject materials, H5P activities, discussions, announcements, subject outlines, Kaltura videos, Zoom and Microsoft Teams.
Who will this role support?
Notetaking services are provided to students whose disability or health condition impacts on their ability to write notes; for example, to assist with concentration or speed that may be affected by processing or mobility conditions, and those with hearing or vision loss.
Notetaking is available for scheduled class activities – most commonly lectures, but also seminars, practical classes, and field trips. Discover more in the Notetakers: reasonable adjustments resource.
An accessibility assistant is usually a PhD student from the same faculty as the student is studying. They are employed when a student requires additional support than notetakers may provide for accessing subject materials. For example, describing visual components of subjects with technical and subject-specific information.
Adding the Accessibility Support role
If you have a student who requires a notetaker or Accessibility Assistant, they will be automatically added as an Accessibility Support role to your Canvas course and subjects using their staff ID number. There may be times when you might be asked by Accessibility Services to add the Accessibility Assistant or other employees that will fall into this category. This includes captioners, Auslan interpreters, Audio Describers or any position that may need access to the subject materials to support the student.
This new role provides a much clearer way for the different types of Accessibility Support to be added to Canvas. The previous workaround added notetakers as students under their Staff ID, which often caused confusion.
Who supports students with access requirements?
Accessibility Consultants (ACs)
Accessibility Consultants (ACs) work one-on-one with students to assist them in building their independence through their transition to university, during their course, and in preparation for the workplace. In consultation with the student, ACs make recommendations for reasonable adjustments and inclusive learning arrangements. These are developed via an Access Plan that is provided to the Academic Liaison Officer when a student registers with Accessibility Service.
UTS staff can also refer students to the Accessibility Service by directly emailing Accessibility (firstname.lastname@example.org) and scheduling an appointment.
Academic Liaison Officers (ALOs)
Academic Liaison Officers (ALOs) are the link between the Accessibility Service and the faculties. They are a good contact for academic staff to consult about access responsibilities/processes within faculties.
ALOs are responsible for assisting students with disabilities or medical conditions, and students with carer responsibilities. They approve reasonable adjustments in assessments to ensure academic integrity is maintained.
Getting support for accessible teaching and learning
LX.lab can assist you if you need any additional support with implementing inclusive practices and digital accessibility requirements in your subject. Get technical support or advice around inclusive teaching practice by lodging an Inclusive Practices support ticket.