Response to COVId-19

The information provided on this page is meant to help provide guidance and support to faculty, staff, and students during the COVID-19 pandemic. We will update the information below as needed as the university’s response to COVID-19 changes. 

Please visit Mason’s COVID-19 webpage for the most up to date information related to university operations and plans for operations. 

Updated Disability Services Testing Center Policies and Procedures

Students who have access to testing accommodations should review the updated Disability Services Testing Policies and Procedures in addition to the Fall 2020 Addendum, both found below. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Below are answers to frequently asked questions by faculty, staff, and students related to how the COVID-19 situation is impacting accommodations and services. For more specific questions, please contact us at ods@gmu.edu or 703.993.2474.

Student FAQ's

Yes, on-line courses are subject to honor your approved accommodations. However, the format of on-line courses may impact what the implementation looks like. Contact your Disability Services Specialist if you have specific questions.

Please follow the steps below:

  • Connect with your academic department or review Patriot Web to see if there are courses offered online.
  • Connect with your faculty member to determine your options.
  • If you and the professor cannot come up with a solution please contact Disability Services. If you have not already, Disability Services will have you complete the registration process .
  • Disability Services will connect with the department to discuss options. This will be an interactive process with Disability Services, student, and department.

Due to COVID-19 and the Safe Return to Campus plan we have created the following policies and procedures. Please see the following:

  • Testing center will be available for students with assistive technology (i.e. CCTV for a paper-based exam; screen readers such as JAWS and RWG for electronic exams; and ZoomText as well for electronic based exams) accommodations, if you need a scribe/reader, or on a case by case basis based on the accommodations on your faculty contact sheets
  • Students who solely have the accommodation(s) extended time on exams/quizzes or reduced distraction environment will need to work with their professor in a collaborative process to determine how your testing accommodation will be provided. Professors are responsible for providing these accommodations during class or another time when your testing accommodations can be met. Disability Services can provide support during these conversations, if needed
  • Testing requests must be submitted at least 48 business hours before the exam/quiz is to take place
  • Testing requests will be done through Clockwork Online Test Booking (link on website). We will have the test proctoring form through Fall 2020 and discontinued after this semester. If you use this option the form needs to be emailed to dstests@gmu.edu or dropped off in the blue box outside SUB I Room 3313 48 hours before the exam
  • For pop quizzes professors will need to let us know 24 business hours before the pop quiz is to take place
  • With the limited space in the testing center there will be no walk-ins. We recommend that you work with your professor and ensure that the testing form has been submitted. Remember only students with assistive technology (i.e. CCTV for a paper-based exam; screen readers such as JAWS and RWG for electronic exams; and ZoomText for electronic based exams); scribe/reader; or on a case by case basis based on the accommodations on your faculty contact sheets are permitted to use the Disability Services Testing Center
  • There will be no walk-ins due to limited seating, as we are operating at 40% capacity
  • Bring limited belongings to the testing center, if possible

For more information, please review the Policies and Procedures Addendum (PDF). If you need assistance communicating with your professor please reach out to Disability Services Testing Center via email at dstests@gmu.edu, call 703-993-1708, or email your Disability Services specialist directly.

Please email your documentation to ods@gmu.edu, submit your documentation when completing the Disability Services intake form as attachments, or fax your documentation to 703.993.4306.

  1. A student should complete the Disability Services intake form and submit documentation from a diagnosing/treating healthcare provider.
  2. Disability Services will schedule an initial meeting with the student, review documentation and determine of what, if any, adjustments are necessary for the student.
  3. Disability Services will provide a letter to the student with approved accommodations.

Please note that accommodations related to COVID-19 are temporary and will be reviewed on a semester by semester basis. A student will need to fully register with Disability Services and a full consideration for accommodations will be individualized to the student’s situation and request.

Please connect with Disability Services as we can direct you to the appropriate campus resource.

This is all determined based on the disability (some disabilities/conditions do not change) and Mason policies.

A student can request accommodations at any time. Accommodations are not retroactive.

Student will need to register with Disability Services and provide the necessary documentation from a relevant/treating healthcare provider that speaks to the request. Our registration process and requirements have not changed. See GMU university policy for more details: GMU Face Mask Policy.

Please contact us directly to discuss the registration process and documentation needed for this request.

In addition to exploring online learning options, we encourage you to consider the campus support services available to you, including Counseling and Psychological Services. Mason’s COVID-19 webpage also has outlined available resources during this time in addition to procedures being followed to ensure campus safety.

Disability Services can support any student diagnosed with COVID-19 by proctoring tests, quizzes, and/or exams virtually, if needed. Students need not be registered with Disability Services.

Students who cannot wear a face covering (mask) based on a condition as outlined by the Center for Disease Control will need to contact and register with Disability Services to determine eligibility for accommodations.

 

If you are or might be at increased risk for COVID-19 as outlined by the Center for Disease Control and are requesting accommodations you are encouraged to work with your faculty member(s) directly to determine appropriate arrangements. Should a student/professor need assistance with this conversation they may contact Disability Services for support.

Please contact your course faculty and/or academic department in order to discuss appropriate arrangements. Should you need additional guidance, you may contact the Student Support and Advocacy Center or the Dean of Students.

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Faculty and Staff FAQ's

The Disability Services Testing Center in the Fall 2020 will only be utilized for students who need assistive technology (i.e. CCTV for a paper-based exam; screen readers such as JAWS and RWG for electronic exams; and ZoomText as well for electronic based exams); scribe or reader; or on a case by case basis will have access to the Disability Services Testing Center. Professors are expected to provide the extended time and reduced distraction environment. If professors are not available to provide the extended time or reduced distraction environment during the scheduled exam time, they will need to reschedule with the student to ensure they have access to all of their testing accommodations. Should there be any questions or concerns contact Disability Services Testing Center at dstests@gmu.edu or 703-993-1708.

If a testing form was turned in at least 48 business hours in advance, Disability Services testing staff will do our best to find a seat for the student. However, there might be cases that there is no physical space, should this occur professors will receive an email directly from dstests@gmu.edu. Disability Services Testing Center will work with the professor and student on scheduling a new start time or a new date. Disability Services Testing Center asks for your flexibility during this time. Should there be any questions or concerns contact Disability Services Testing Center at dstests@gmu.edu or 703-993-1708.

All accommodations should be honored as specified on the student’s faculty contact sheet, such as extending the student’s time. Given the nature of online exams, the student might already have access to their testing accommodations (i.e. use of computer, reduced distraction). Should there be any questions or concerns contact Disability Services Testing Center at dstests@gmu.edu or 703-993-1708.

A classroom space next to the classroom could be utilized that way both spaces can be easily monitored while providing a quiet space for the student. It would be appropriate to connect with your department to determine if there is a quiet location within the department for the student. The professor is responsible for proctoring the exam or finding a proxy. Allow a student to wear noise cancelling headphones/ear plugs that are not plugged in. Should professors need assistance with locating a testing space, please contact the Disability Services Testing Center at dstests@gmu.edu or 703-993-1708.

Students who need assistive technology (i.e. CCTV for a paper-based exam; screen readers such as JAWS and RWG for electronic exams; and ZoomText for electronic based exams); scribe or reader; or on a case by case basis will have access to the testing center. It will be based on a first come, first serve basis since the Disability Services Testing Center will have 10 seats in order to comply with the GMU guidelines on social distancing. Should you have any questions or concerns contact Disability Services Testing Center at dstests@gmu.edu or 703-993-1708.

If the class is entirely online then every student will be taking the test remotely and will not use the testing center. If you run into any questions or concerns reach out to the Disability Services Testing Center at dstests@gmu.edu or 703-993-1708 and there may be an exception if they need assistive technology (i.e. CCTV for a paper-based exam; screen readers such as JAWS and RWG for electronic exams; and ZoomText for electronic based exams) or a scribe/reader.

The IT department created a helpful guide on how to extend test time in blackboard. Professors can access it through this link: How to Extend Test Time . If there are additional questions the IT department would be the best option to contact directly. Their contact information is: 703-993-8870 and support@gmu.edu.

These changes have been made due to the impacts of COVID-19 and in accordance with the Safe Return to Campus plan.  Please see the following:

  • Faculty and students will need to make testing arrangements at least 48 business hours prior to the exam/quiz. Pop quizzes require 24 business hour notice from the faculty.
  • There will be no walk-ins to the testing center due to limited seating, as we are operating at 40% capacity.
  • Professors are expected to provide the extended time accommodation. If you are not available to provide the extended time or reduced distraction environment at the scheduled time of the exam/quiz you will need to reschedule with the student to ensure they have access to all of their testing accommodations.
  • Professors are expected to provide a reduced distraction environment. If you are not available to provide the extended time or reduced distraction environment you will need to reschedule with the student to ensure they have access to all of their testing accommodations.
  • The Disability Services Testing Center is available for any assistive technology (i.e. CCTV for a paper-based exam; screen readers such as JAWS and RWG for electronic exams; and ZoomText as well for electronic based exams) related accommodations, for students who need a scribe/reader, and other requests on a case by case basis.
  • Testing requests will now be done through Clockwork Online Test Booking (link on website). We will still have the test proctoring form through Fall 2020, so if you use this option the form will need to be emailed to dstests@gmu.edu or dropped off in the blue box outside SUB I Room 3313, at least 48 hours before the scheduled time of the exam

We encourage faculty to email exams to dstests@gmu.edu instead of dropping off a physical copy of the exam when possible. We use the highest quality scanner and will email exams back the same day. Please note that exams will be collected and left in a bin until the end of the day and will be scanned before the close of business.  In order to limit interactions and practice social distancing, we will not allow students to drop off/pick up exams.

Due to changes related to COVID-19, more than ever, it will be important to collaborate in order to best assist our students. Flexibility and patience are needed during this time to support students and you as a faculty member. We truly appreciate your cooperation and support.

If a student has been approved not to wear a face mask (i.e., face shield, another alternative, or nothing) Disability Services will communicate this with faculty and staff members that directly work with the student (i.e., professor/instructor or any office or department they visit frequently), and the accommodation will be listed on the faculty contact sheet (accommodation letter). No one should make the determination that a student is not allowed in a class or space without consulting with Disability Services. See GMU university policy for more details: GMU Face Mask Policy.

Visit GMU’s HR website regarding next steps for appropriate workplace arrangements.

Please refer the student to complete the COVID-19 Form through Student Health Services on campus.

Yes, both the main office and testing center have different hours.

Main Office SUB 1 Rm 2500

Monday-Friday: 9:00 am- 5:00 pm

Testing Center SUB 1 Rm 3313

Monday-Friday; 9:00 am- 5:45 pm

*Tuesday evening hours until 8:45 pm by appointment

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