Accessibility Services UpdatesIn line with BCIT's response to the recent COVID-19 developments, BCIT Accessibility Services remains committed to playing our part in ensuring the health and wellbeing of our community and supporting our clients needs. Equally important is our commitment to three core activities:
- supporting students to complete their term,
- working on adjusting accommodations applicable to online learning, and
- supporting students and faculty through the transition.
To best support the need for social distancing, all communications are being moved to phone appointments, virtual meetings and e-mail conversations. Please contact us by phone or email between the hours of 8:30am and 4:00pm, Monday to Friday. Please note that our in-person services are suspended until further notice.
StudentsFor answers to common questions, see our FAQs below. If you still have questions, or need to discuss new barriers due to the new online learning format, please contact your Vocational Rehabilitation Specialist at 604-451-6963.
Stay up-to-date at bcit.ca/breakingnews.
FacultyPlease contact Accessibility Services at 604-451-6963 and ask to speak to any of our Vocational Rehabilitation Specialists for more information about the following:
- how to translate face-to-face accommodations to the online environment for students with disabilities,
- how we can support you and your students who may be experiencing new barriers related to the transition to online learning, and
- how the course design and the disability intersect in each case.
- Is the Accessibility Services centre still operational?
- Are my accommodations still applicable with the new online format?
- How do I request exam accommodations for an online course?
- I previously had a note-taker for my in-person class. Now that the class is online, will I still receive a copy of the notes?
- How do I get a reader for my exams?
- I have 1.5x and a reader as exam accommodations. Can I have 2.0x as the reading technology/software slows the process?
- With the switch to online instruction, I anticipate new barriers and would like to request new accommodations. What are my next steps?
- I am feeling anxious about COVID-19 and am experiencing a flare up of my disability. My courses are ending soon, can I have additional time to complete my course work or study for my finals?
- I do not have an IAP, but I have been sick and may have COVID-19. I’ve been advised to stay home and self-isolate and I am unable to engage with my studies due to being sick. Does Accessibility Services help me to be able to write my exams and hand in assignments at a later time?
Yes, our centre is still operating Monday – Friday, 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. All appointments and services will be conducted via phone, email, or virtual appointment until further notice.
If you have a question or concern, please call 604.451.6963, email the front desk, or contact your assigned Vocational Rehabilitation Specialist.
You may find that you no longer need a note-taker due to the course design changes. For example, lectures that are pre-recorded videos can be watched at your own pace. On the other hand, some Instructors may still opt for scheduled class meetings with real-time communication. There may be other aspects of the online class format that you find helpful:
- Does your Instructor provide the class with electronic copies of notes, hand-outs, etc.?
- Can the online lecture be recorded?
- Does the online platform allow you to save transcripts of discussions or online material?
The first option is to determine if your computer already has reading technology. For example, if you have a Mac, highlight the text you want read out loud and right click, select Speech, then select Start Speaking to have the selection read out loud. Please trial to ensure it’s functional.
There are also a number of reading software programs that you can access. Read&Write Gold is a program licensed by BCIT and available for free to BCIT students. Download the reading software or find it by searching Read&Write Gold on the BCIT website.
Read&Write Gold is a self-taught program, and the software contains short video tours to teach you how to use it. Once you download and open the program, click on the drop down menu found on the purple “rw” button at the top right and choose “All Video Tours”. This will open the list of all of the different tutorials. It may be useful to start with the “Speech Video Tour”.
There are other free to low cost reading and writing software programs on the market that are available for computers, tablets, and smart phones. Explore other possible options.
If you are already registered with Accessibility Services please contact your Vocational Rehabilitation Specialist, or reception at 604.451.6963.
Please remember that there are other student services at BCIT to support you, including Counselling & Student Development who are now offering services via phone and virtual appointments.
I do not have an IAP, but I have been sick and may have COVID-19. I’ve been advised to stay home and self-isolate and I am unable to engage with my studies due to being sick. Does Accessibility Services help me to be able to write my exams and hand in assignments at a later time?No. COVID-19 and similar acute conditions (e.g., flu, colds, sore throats, etc.) are not considered a disability and therefore are not accommodated for through Accessibility Services. Please contact your program area/Instructor for assistance pertaining to this matter.