Student Accessibility Services

COVID-19 Questions

The following are answers to common questions regarding COVID-19 and accessibility. If you have any additional questions or concerns, please contact Student Accessibility Services (SAS) directly at (319) 273-2677 Relay 711 or


What if I have a chronic health condition and am concerned about in-person classes, living on campus, or academic programming?

Students who have concerns about an underlying health condition(s) and the risks of attending classes, living in a residence hall due to COVID-19, or any other aspect of the educational experience should consult with their health care provider. Please get connected with SAS as soon as possible to discuss accommodations specific to your access needs.

Please contact SAS directly at (319) 273-2677 Relay 711 or if you have any questions or concerns regarding the accommodation process, and a member of the SAS team will follow up with you right away.

I am fearful of getting COVID-19. Do I qualify for support?

If you have fears about COVID-19 related to a medical condition(s), students should get connected with SAS to engage in the accommodations process. Please be prepared to provide medical documentation that supports your fear with a medical condition during this process. During the individualized process, SAS staff will discuss with you options for removing the barrier to access within the educational environment to best meet the student’s accessibility needs.

All students will be required to complete training and the Student Commitment and Acknowledgement of Risk, which includes the following two sentences, "At this time, no one can guarantee an entirely COVID-19-free campus environment. The COVID-19 virus is unpredictable, extremely contagious, and can lead to mild or more severe health effects."

What if I live with someone who has a chronic health condition and am concerned with passing COVID-19 to them? 

Students who are concerned about the risk of attending in-person classes, being on campus, or any other aspect of the education experience due to living with someone with a chronic health condition should connect with the Dean of Students office at or (319) 273-2332 Relay 711. The Dean of Students office will be able to provide guidance and resources, including determining whether any in-person or hybrid courses can be taken online.

Academic Support/Resources

What if I am approved for the accommodation of online courses and have some remaining classes which need to be transitioned to online?

SAS will work with you and the following individual from the appropriate college of your major for either single courses or full course loads:

  • College of Business (COB)- Jenny Connolly
  • College of Education (COE) - Stephanie Schmitz
  • College of Social and Behavioral Sciences (CSBS) - Bill Henninger
  • College of Humanities, Arts, and Sciences (CHAS) - Individual department heads
  • Undeclared/Deciding majors - Kim Bock

If you have any questions or concerns about your class schedule, please contact your academic advisor. Your advisor’s name and contact information is posted in the advisor section in the right hand column of My Student Center in MyUNIverse.

I am concerned that if professors only allow a certain amount of missed classes, students may show up to classes when they are not feeling well and potentially spread COVID-19 to others.  Do you know if UNI will be issuing a relaxation on these policies during this time?

The following changes will be in place for faculty in the 2020-2021 academic year:

  1. All faculty are asked to include the following statement regarding face coverings and distancing in their class syllabi:

Protecting our campus from COVID-19 depends on all of us acting with care and responsibility. To protect each other and our campus community, we are required to wear masks or face shields that cover our mouths and noses inside all campus buildings, including throughout the duration of class. We are asked to self-screen for COVID-19 symptoms, stay away from others and seek medical attention if we’re not feeling well and/or experience any symptoms such as a fever over 100.4°, and to communicate and plan proactively to make up for missed learning. We will maintain physical distancing by sitting in designated areas in the classroom. Failure to follow these requirements can result in students being referred to the student conduct process and faculty being referred to the Associate Provost for Faculty. We take these steps together recognizing that my mask protects you, your mask protects me, and together wearing masks protects the entire UNI community. Our collective actions will determine our ability to remain together in an in-person learning environment.

  1. When students need to miss class for illness, self-isolation, or quarantine, faculty must provide a means for students to remain current on material or a way to make up work missed. Students must notify their instructors right away. If students think they might need additional accommodations, they should contact SAS to get connected with our office

Absences related to COVID-19 illness, self-isolation, or quarantine: Faculty teaching Face-to-Face must be prepared to also offer online instruction and/or have assignment alternatives for individual students who are unable to attend class due to COVID-related issues. This should also extend to field experiences that students may not be able to attend for the same reasons.

Regardless of your course delivery type, your UNI faculty will make themselves accessible to you both during class and outside of the classroom. Faculty members will host office hours, and continue to focus on building relationships with you and your peers. One of the hallmarks of a UNI education is the connection with outstanding faculty both inside and outside of the classroom.

Face Coverings & Vaccination

Am I required to wear a face covering on campus?

The Iowa Board of Regents (BOR) has said face coverings are no longer required for faculty, staff, students, and visitors on campus, but "Unvaccinated individuals are strongly encouraged to continue to wear a mask or other appropriate face-covering while on campus."

Am I required to get vaccinated in order to attend the University for the 2021-2022 academic year?

No, faculty, staff, students, and visitors are not required to receive a COVID-19 vaccine in order to attend any on-campus services, programs, or activities. The University strongly encourages everyone to be vaccinated. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), people who have been fully vaccinated not only have a very low risk of developing serious illness from COVID-19, they are also less likely to transmit the virus to others. If you have questions or concerns about any of the COVID-19 vaccines, please consult with your medical provider.

I am vaccinated and would like to continue wearing a mask. Is that okay?

Yes, individuals who are fully vaccinated can continue to wear face coverings on campus.

What should I do if I see someone I believe has not been vaccinated not wearing a mask?

Please refrain from asking other members of the campus community about their vaccination status or requesting that individuals share their personal or private information, as it may lead to disclosure of disability and/or protected medical information.

Due to a medical condition, I am concerned about returning to campus and attending in-person classes and/or being in public spaces on campus with individuals not required to wear a face covering. What options are available for me?

Students who have concerns about returning to campus related to a medical condition(s) should get connected with SAS to engage in the accommodations process. Please be prepared to provide medical documentation that supports your request during this process. Although no two situations are the same, continuing to wear a face covering will be explored as an option. If the barrier to access cannot be removed, the next step would be moving the student into online courses and/or making other schedule adjustments that would best meet the student's medical condition.

I am a student who is D/deaf or hard-of-hearing. To aid in my communication, it’s important that I be able to read lips. My instructor is continuing to wear a face covering during class. What are my options? 

Please connect with SAS, so we can engage in the interactive accommodation process. Potential solutions may be asking the faculty member to wear a face shield, a clear mask, or utilize assistive technology that would aid in communication. SAS has a limited supply of clear masks available for students and their instructors to use. If a clear face covering is not available, consider whether you can use written communication, use closed captioning, or decrease background noise to make communication possible while wearing a cloth face covering that blocks your instructors' lips. Google Live Transcribe is a free Android app that automatically transcribes words that it hears. This might be really useful for those situations when a face shield or clear mask is unavailable. Like in any approved accommodation situation, if your faculty has concerns about any of the alternatives for which you are approved, please contact SAS right away, so we can support you by connecting with your faculty member.

Campus Life

I am concerned about eating in the dining centers due to COVID-19. What safety measures have been implemented to support students?

For additional information on the safety measures and options available in campus dining facilities as the University transitions its COVID-19 safety measures for the upcoming academic year, please contact Housing & Dining (UHD) at (319) 273-2333 Relay 711,, or Redeker Center 010.

I am concerned about living on campus, including moving into the residence halls and common gathering spaces. What safety measures have been implemented to support students?

For additional information on the safety measures in campus residence halls as the University transitions its COVID-19 safety measures for the upcoming academic year, please contact Housing & Dining (UHD) at (319) 273-2333 Relay 711,, or Redeker Center 010.

Additional Questions/Concerns Regarding 2021-2022 Plans

If you have any additional questions or concerns regarding University plans for the 2021-2022 academic year with COVID-19 safety measures, please refer to the UNI Forward Together website.