Skip to main content

Spring 2020 Updates from AccessibleNU

Dear Northwestern Faculty:

The AccessibleNU staff would like to share some helpful reminders, tips, and announcements as Faculty and TA’s navigate their remote course design, new learning environment, and spring quarter begins. This information was created to support you in understanding your role and Northwestern’s shared responsibility in working with students with disabilities as we all navigate the remote learning environment.

AccessibleNU staff in Evanston and Chicago are currently working remotely and available Monday through Friday 8:30am – 5:00pm by phone at 847-467-5530 and email

With the transition to remote learning and the impact of COVID-19 on our Northwestern community, every Northwestern student could benefit from some flexibility in their courses. Please consider options for asynchronous course delivery. We encourage you to keep in mind that many students will be participating from different time zones around the world, they may have limited access to high-speed internet and other necessary resources, and some may be providing care for sick family members. Additionally, all of us are likely feeling anxious about the current situation in general.

We encourage faculty to record and caption your lectures, especially if your course will be delivered primarily via synchronous instruction. This will ensure accessibility for students and allow them to review lectures on demand.

The AccessibleNU faculty portal provides organized access to all necessary student accommodation information for your class. To access information for students who have requested accommodations, log-in to the ANU faculty portal with your NetID and password. Under “Alternative Testing,” you can view student information regarding test accommodations. Under “Notetaking Services”, the portal displays peer notetaker eligibility, the names of hired notetakers, and uploaded notes. Please view this short “How-to” video for utilizing the faculty portal and contact us 847-467-5530 with any questions. Please note: ANU’s website was recently updated and the Faculty log-in is still on the home page, just scroll down slightly to view.

Accommodation Emails

Students will request spring quarter accommodations as usual and faculty email notifications will be sent via email as in previous quarters. Accommodations for on-ground classes will apply to online classes in most cases. If you have questions about how to implement accommodations, please contact ANU. We have strongly encouraged students to communicate early on with instructors to discuss their accommodations and course design.

Test Accommodations

As shared with the Undergraduate Council, ANU will not be proctoring online exams during the remote learning period. ANU encourages flexibility with what time the exam is to be taken (helping those in different time zones). Making the exam available for several hours allows for this while still holding students to a specified time limit (ex. 1 hour) to complete the exam. Extra time will still apply for exams in an online environment. For more information about adding extra time for online exams, please review our video on extending test time in Canvas. If you have any questions about test accommodations, please consult with ANU.

Please visit ANU’s website for more remote learning resources for both faculty and students.

AccessibleNU welcomed Stephanie King as our new Program Assistant on March 2 and Brianna Malin, as our new Access and Testing Coordinator on March 30. Our new Associate Dean of Students/Director of ANU, Jill Sieben-Schneider, joins us on April 13.

Thank you for your continued commitment to equal access for students. Please contact ANU with any questions or concerns. My colleagues - Jim Stachowiak, Sam Milgrom, Brianna Malin, and Stephanie King (on the Evanston Campus) and Aggie McGrane and Eugenia Ortiz (on the Chicago Campus) - and I are looking forward to a great quarter working with you.

In partnership,
Lauren Pourian, LSW
Interim Director, AccessibleNU