Accommodate Questions and Answers

As of 10/4/17

Why did the Office of Disability Services implement Accommodate?
The Office of Disability Services implemented the Accommodate system to better account for student data, student accommodation requests, testing, and note taking. Many of these processes were conducted by hand or other time consuming methods. The use of Accommodate has increased functionality to serve students and increases accountability for all stakeholders.

 

When did the system come online?
The Accommodate system was formulated over the Spring and Summer, 2017 semesters and went live in early August, 2017.

 

Was I notified this change was happening?
Yes. All faculty were emailed about the change to Accommodate the first day of Fall, 2017 classes.

 

Do I have to use the system?
Yes, please. We are asking all faculty to use the system for students who utilize the Testing Center as part of their accommodations. Students are using the system to manage their accommodations, obtain accommodation letters, and check the status of upcoming exam/test scheduling.

 

Do I have to upload my exam to the system?
The Office of Disability Services strongly prefers you upload your exam to the Accommodate system.

The entire Symplicity database is behind a firewall that can only be accessed through encrypted channels, and information between the Accommodate system and the servers (where the information lives) is limited to a very small network, and is never exposed to any public networks. Students do not have access to the exam booking module beyond seeing dates and times for room availability. Students are unable to see, or access attachments, faculty-only notes, or any other information communicated to faculty.

If still do not feel comfortable uploading your exam you have one of three options:

  1. Proctor the exam yourself – You must ensure you are abiding by the student’s accommodations.
  2. Email the exam – As you might have previous, email your exam to dstesting@vpss.gatech.edu.
  3. Drop off your exam in person – Submit a hard copy of the exam to the Testing Center, Suite 265.

 

Why am I getting so many emails?
The Accommodate system recognizes students as individuals and therefore an email is sent per individual, not per class. Therefore, if you have 10 students in your class who receive accommodations through Disability Services you will receive 10 separate emails. The staff is in conversation with Symplicity to batch students by class and section to decrease your email traffic.

 

Why do I have to approve every student separately? Clicking 20 times instead once?
The Accommodate system recognizes students as individuals and therefore each student’s request needs to be approved (hence clicking the same button 20 times).

 

Why do I have to approve the date/time of an exam?
Students submit requests to take exams with a specific date and time. The Office of Disability Services staff needs you to confirm the date/time the student has requested is the date/time of the exam.

 

A student in my class is requesting notes for the class, have note takers been assigned?
Yes. All students have a note taker or have received an invitation to sign up for Note Taker Express.

 

This semester, one of my students with accommodations printed out a form herself and brought it to me in the first week. The other students were under the impression that I would somehow know about them. Have students been informed of their responsibilities under the new system? Yes. Students were notified that the process did not change in terms of getting their letters and providing the letters to their faculty members. The difference was that they could now obtain their letters from the system rather than coming to the building.

 

One student in my large class requested an exam at the testing center almost two months before it occurs, and the others will presumably wait until much longer. Will the system be patient and allow faculty to respond in the week prior to the exam, when the exam materials will be available, or will it expect early responses for early requests? You will receive an email that the student requested the exam date/time and an email to approve the date/time, which also walks you through the process to upload. If you do not upload you will receive one reminder to upload the exam. The issue of timing is something we are investigating with Symplicity (For instance, can a reminder be went 1 week before the exam).

 

I can only upload one file for an exam, is it possible to upload more than one file?
Symplicity has notified the staff that the developers are working on a solution to this issue. When the feature has been added to the site the staff will notify faculty.

 

Why am I seeing non-credit bearing courses listed in Accommodate?
Accommodate imports information from Banner. Therefore, if you are linked to a class in Banner it will appear in Accommodate.

 

Is there an easy way to switch between my courses in Accommodate?
In regard to faculty interface when switching back to the course list, if you on a different tab (like Enrolled students, Testing Center Exam Request, etc.), you can go back to the Course Details tab and click on "Cancel." That will switch you back to the course list and no need to log out/in to the system.

The Accommodate support staff supplied this video: http://take.ms/iYcRr.

 

I have concerns about the user agreement that Symplicity requires me to agree with before using the system. I am specifically concerned about intellectual property – it seems Symplicity can take the materials I upload, and use the materials. Can you address this concern and why the Institute agreed to use this system?
The content IP use license grant with Symplicity is typical of most major web platforms in which a user uploads content, such as YouTube and Google platforms. Unfortunately, the terms of use for these major platforms are mandatory and non-negotiable. The contractual process to procure a new system is well vetted at the Institute via the Office of Procurement & Business Services with assistance from the Office of Information Technology and the Office of Legal Affairs as needed.

Given that providing accommodations to students with disabilities is a federal requirement, if faculty did not want to use the system to upload exams, the staff is asking the following:

  1. Faculty to access the system to approve the exam date/time of your exam.
  2. Proctor the exam in accordance with the student’s disabilities OR send the exam via email to the Testing Center (dstesting@vpss.gatech.edu).