Texas A&M’s Department of Disability Resources is making changes to facilitate students’ learning safely in response to COVID-19. They are now implementing remote communication policies. Students can reach the office by calling 979-845-1637 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org to make an online appointment on Zoom.
Kristie Orr, director of Disability Resources, said the department’s mission is to achieve an equitable learning environment for students with disabilities.
“Disability Resources will provide information to faculty about designing accessible online materials and providing accommodations for students who need them,” Orr said. “Access coordinators will continue to work with students to determine barriers that they face and accommodations that [they] may need.”
The staff will remain on campus under university directives but are now administering new precautions. The department has decided to shift from traditional to online communication to maintain safety through social distancing.
“Disability Resources staff are spending time connecting with other on-campus resources, contacting peer institutions, consulting professional organizations, and accessing training in order to make sure that students have access in this online environment,” Orr said.
People are being encouraged to speak digitally to the department on the phone or through Zoom rather than in-person.
“Students will be discouraged from coming to campus to meet with the office,” Orr said. “Students not yet connected with the office will be asked to submit information to [them] through email using Filex rather than bringing it in or mailing it.”
Orr said the department will continue to work with faculty, staff and students to make sure that disabled students have access to their education.
“Students experiencing any disability-related barriers to accessing their courses should contact Disability Resources immediately so that we can work on a solution,” Orr said.