Information for Staff

UCD Access & Lifelong Learning provides support and training to staff as well as students.

We are here to advise staff and encourage you to contact us if you have any questions or concerns about any of the student groups we work with; Students with a Disability, Mature Students, Students who have entered through the Higher Education Access Route (HEAR), University Access Programme Students, Open Learning Students, Lifelong Learning Students, Students with Temporary Exam Supports

Supporting Students Learning at Distance

  • How do I provide additional time for students with disabilities in Brightspace Exams?
    Instructions for providing additional time in Brightspace Exams can be found in this guide.
  • Can students use grading guidelines for online exams?
    Yes, students who are entitled to the accommodation of 'Refer to Grading Guidelines' can use this support for online timed exams. Students entitled to this support will be sent a piece of text to insert at the beginning of the exam script. Module Coordinators are encouraged to confirm that students are entitled to this support by checking the Module Class List on Infohub.
  • How do I provide Readers for students for online exams?
    Students currently using the Read and Write Gold extension will be able to continue to use this for any online exams. If a student does not currently use a text to speech tool and has the Reader accommodation, we recommend that they install the Read and Write Gold extension for Chrome. They just need to ensure that they access Brightspace from the Chrome browser and use the 'hover speech' function which will read aloud the text wherever they place the mouse pointer. We recommend that the student tests this out before exam time. If you or the student require any further information, please contact
  • A student has requested temporary exam supports. How can this be provided?
    Students with a temporary illness or injury have been advised to contact the relevant module coordinator to request temporary exam supports. Most requests will be for additional time which is granted at 10 minutes of extra time per hour. If module coordinators have queries on how to provide exam supports which are not answered here, please contact Access & Lifelong Learning directly at A self-declaration should be accepted for temporary exam supports, where the request is deemed to be reasonable and the support appropriate, to avoid putting additional pressure on health services at this time. 
  • A student has requested additional time for an open book exam which they have already been allocated several days to complete. Do I need to provide additional time in this instance? 
    Additional time is allocated for timed exams only i.e. if the student has a 2-hour exam to complete within a 48-hour period, they should be allocated 2 hours and 20 minutes. However, some students with disabilities may have challenges with meeting deadlines for assignments and we would encourage leniency to be applied where possible. Guidance can be sought from Access & Lifelong Learning staff at

  • How can I ensure that students have access to Virtual Classes?
    When recording virtual classes, please ensure to enable to download option before you start recording the session. This ensures that students with poor internet connections or other accessibility issues will be able to access the material. This option is available in the session settings as demonstrated in this very brief video

Further Guides for Staff

Financial Support for Students

Do you have an access student experiencing financial difficulty?
There is financial support available through the Student Assistance Fund (SAF) for access students who entered via the HEAR Pathway, students who are lone parents, part-time student, and students on PME/Education Courses. Please also feel free to refer students to us at 

Tips for Brightspace Accessibility

There are more video tips available on our YouTube Channel