Rationale:  The purpose of this action plan/protocol is to address the reopening of the office of disability services in preparation for a safe return following the COVID-19 pandemic.  The following areas will be addressed:

  1. Physical and Emotional Wellbeing (DS Staff and Students) 

According to Mental Health America (MHA, 2020) the mental health effects of COVID-19 are as essential to address as are the physical health effects. And for the one in five who already have mental health conditions – or the one in two who are at risk of developing them we need to take personal, professional, and policy measures now to address them. The following information/literature will be made available to students/staff.

  1. What is Covid-19
  2. Symptoms of Covid-19
  3. How Covid-19 is spread
  4. How to know if you have COVID-19
  5. How to protect self and others
  6. Should I receive care or visit the hospital
  7. Is there a vaccine?
  8. Treatment
  9. The effectiveness of antibiotics
  • Refer students to Counseling Center for those who may be experiencing symptoms of anxiety or stress as it relates to COVID-19.

Source:  CDC (Center for Disease Control, World Health Organization (WHO)

  1. Entry into Disability Services

Entry to disability services will be monitored by DS staff.  After entering, students, faculty and staff will be required to follow procedure outlined for entry.  All persons entering will be required to enter one at a time and follow the following procedures:

  • Staff will be positioned at front door to greet those desiring entry
  • Must have a face mask or facial covering before entering
  • Scan temperature
  • Use hand sanitizer upon entering
  • Complete a COVID-19 assessment
  • Anyone who is sick or indicate they have been exposed to someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 will not be allowed to enter and advised to follow CDC guidelines for quarantine.
  • Faculty will use designated drop box for exams to be proctored. Will wait at door to pick up exam after proctoring.
  1. Social Distancing

Maintaining space is best practice and will be required in the office of disability services to avoid exposure to the COVID-19 virus and to slow its spread. Since people can spread the virus before they know they are sick, it is important to stay away from others whenever possible, even if you have no symptoms. Physical distancing is especially important for people who are at higher risk.

  • Place visual cues such as floor decals, colored tape or signs to indicate where people should stand while waiting
  • Place one-way directional signage for large open workspaces with multiple through-ways to increase distance between people moving through the space
  • Designate or mark tables, chairs, desks, and cubicles to be used by students for testing, or using the computers and studying.
  • Allow no more than 10 students in the lab at one time for proctoring. Arrange for alternate location if more than 10 students.
  • Phone conferences will be used if needed by faculty and DS Coordinator
  1. Proctoring Procedures

As an approved accommodation for students with disabilities, this service will continue.  Proctoring in the office of disability services allows for the opportunity of small group setting and reduced distractions for students with this need.  The following will relate to proctoring in DS. 

  • Students will email or telephone a request for proctoring. Required to email or phone 3 days in advance of testing.  Will not need to come to the lab to schedule.
  • For students who are unable to email or telephone they will be allowed to come to the office to register but will follow procedures for entering.
  • Only use designated areas for proctoring.
  • Remove or turn up chairs from areas that are off limits
  • Designate areas to be used for proctoring
  • Stagger chairs or desks to achieve 6 feet of distance.
  1. Daily Sanitizing Procedures

To reduce the spread of COVID-19 the following practices will be implemented daily.

  • Frequent wipe down of surfaces and equipment by staff and students
  • Sanitize each workstation after each use (students and staff)
  • Use marking to indicate that area has been sanitized.
  • DS staff will place a marking at each section after being used. This could be something as simple as a typed note marked “area cleaned”
  1. Visitors

To protect the health and safety of our staff and students as much as possible from the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19), visitors will follow the same protocol for entry into disability services as previously outlined.

  • The DS Coordinator’s office will be used to meet with visitors.
  • No more than one person should be in the office unless the required 6 feet of distance can be consistently maintained.
  • Face masks/coverings should be worn at all times.
  • Social distancing will be required