Project/funding came out of the Strategic Enrollment Plan to purchase and implement (Including training) a Disability Services System that will integrate with our Ellucian Banner HR Database. CTLE evaluated two software products, i-Sight and Accommodate by Symplicity back in September 2019. Individuals from the CTLE and IT vetted the two products and Accommodate was the chosen product. Enterprise Application Services and the IT Associate CIO used a lighter version of the HECVAT (Higher Education Cloud Vendor Assessment) to evaluate the three third-party systems and to ensure that standard guidelines are met.
The Disability Services System is to replace the existing Disability Services System, which was written in-house by ITDA many years ago. Accommodate software has features that will allow CTLE to scan, store, share and edit ADA documentation from students with disabilities. It will be stored in the cloud (repository) rather than to continue maintaining paper files. The system uses a Case Management Tool, so each student is assigned a case number each semester. A messaging system will allow emails to be sent to students and/ or faculty (either manually or automatically), with attached files such as Faculty Letter and Student Letters. Students will be able to book appointments through the system for both test taking and consultations.
There will also be a Comprehensive Testing Piece to allow students to book exam and testing appointments through the system. A module for note-taking is also a feature that will enable CTLE to arrange for note-takers for students with disabilities for their classes and have a repository where note-takers can upload notes and students with disabilities can download them. The software has a user friendly interface for both students and faculty via a portal for each. Finally, the software provides a robust reporting system. Accommodate is a hosted web-based solution that utilizes the latest technology in Cloud Computing. All software is maintained by Accommodate. This allows for Business Continuity, Data Recovery, Scalability management, Rapid response time, data back-up and restore, Failover procedures, and Load Balancing. The actual purchase was made at the end of March 2020.
Starting this semester, the CTLE plans to use two modules in this software tool. They are the Note-taking feature and the Repository, where CTLE can scan, store, share and edit ADA documentation from students with disabilities. Later in the semester, we plan to implement the other features.
Written by Aileen McHale, Instructional Technologist/CTLE Technical Operations and Projects Manager, Center for Teaching and Learning, University of Scranton