Student or Faculty Requests for Course-Related Accommodations for Fall 2021

MEMORANDUM June 16, 2021

FROM: M. Elizabeth Magill, Executive Vice President & Provost

 

The default mode of instruction for all courses, except for courses previously taught online as part of an online program, is in-person. School deans may identify a small number of courses to be offered in a different instruction mode for pedagogical reasons, in consultation with the provost. The use of some online lectures or recorded material to enhance learning within the context of an in-person course is not considered an online class and does not require approval.

Student Requests for Course-Related Accommodations Due to COVID-19 

For the full current policy on disability accommodations for students, please see https://studenthealth.virginia.edu/sdac/proceduresandguidelines. The following provides guidance on how this policy will be implemented in fall 2021:

  • Student Disability Access Center (SDAC) will only consider medical/disabilityrelated requests, not requests based on any other reason, such as general population concerns about exposure to COVID, housing/living concerns, financial concerns, caregiving concerns, preference for online course modality, etc.
  • For the fall 2021 semester, SDAC has modified their process for students claiming a COVID-related medical/disability condition to request a temporary, one-semester accommodation to allow them to participate in a way other than in-person.
  • If a student is deemed to have a verified medical/disability-related condition, there are several accommodations that could be considered, such as recording lectures for asynchronous viewing. Converting an otherwise in-person course to hybrid or online is generally not an accommodation that would be considered.
  • For each student with an approved medical/disability-related request, SDAC will work directly with the instructor and a school representative to determine what accommodation is appropriate and workable for a particular course. There are some courses that may not be appropriate for modifications in any form (labs, small discussion seminars, etc.). In that case, the student would have to select another course.
  • Students seeking additional information may contact Barbara Zunder, Director of the Student Disability Access Center. 

Faculty Requests for Teaching-Related Accommodations Due to COVID-19

For the full policy on disability accommodations that apply to faculty, please see Procedures for Employees with Disability to Request Workplace Accommodations. The following provides guidance on how to implement this policy in fall 2021:

  • Academic affairs, in collaboration with ER/HR, will consider disability/medicalrelated requests to teach classes using a mode of instruction other than in-person, not requests based on any other reason, such as general population concerns about exposure to COVID, residing away from the local area, caregiving concerns, preference for online course modality, etc.
  • Requests for accommodation(s) due to a disability should follow the University’s normal processes; please refer to the policy. In accordance with our procedures, the faculty member’s dean or department chair will be informed of the employee’s request, and they will be included in the interactive process required by the procedures.
  • If a faculty member is deemed to have a verified disability/medical-related condition, viable accommodations will be considered via the interactive process with the faculty member, the faculty’s member’s dean or department chair, and ER/HR.
  • Teaching in-person is an essential function for instructional faculty at UVA and can only be performed at the worksite. Changing the modality of a class from inperson to online for faculty is generally not considered a reasonable accommodation. Faculty seeking additional information may contact Maïté Brandt-Pearce, Vice Provost for Faculty Affairs.