Our University is operating in a partially remote/online model for the time being, but DASS staff members are here to support the SMU campus community! We are available for phone calls, emails (, Zoom sessions, and remote appointments including intakes. Our main phone number (214-768-1470) is answered during regular business hours.

This COVID-19 FAQ page was created with everyone in mind- returning SMU students, incoming SMU students, their parents and caregivers, faculty, and staff. We will be adding to it as more information becomes available.

Note that due to COVID-19 developments, the University reserves the right to change certain policies and procedures without notice. 


Students at high-risk for complications from COVID-19

If you are a student with a medical condition that puts you at high-risk for developing complications from COVID-19, you do have options. If you live locally, you can request a local exemption for fall, allowing you to live at home rather than on-campus. There is also a fully remote attendance option, that can be requested alone, or in tandem with the local exemption. If you're new to DASS, follow the steps on our Accommodations page to request accommodations. If you are a returning student, follow the instructions to make a supplemental accommodations request.

Canvas Accessibility

SMU’s LMS is Canvas, and most all classes are using this platform to deliver content, take tests, and interact. Regarding accessibility, Canvas does a good job of working with screen readers and magnifiers/zooming in or enlarging font (to a degree). For more information on Canvas accessibility, see:

Testing Accommodations

-Taking Tests on Canvas with Extended Time

Students with the extended time testing accommodation can still take their tests in the same platform as the rest of the class (within Canvas), with just a time adjustment for their particular test. If a student is having trouble with technology intersecting with accommodations, please contact your DASS Coordinator right away!

Instructors needing help on setting extended time on assessments can visit

-Instructors Monitoring Students During Testing

Instructors are testing students in a variety of ways. If the entire class is being monitored by a live proctor (remotely), by a video camera system, or LockDown Browser, the student with testing accommodations should expect the same monitoring. It is inequitable, for example, to visually monitor only the student with accommodations and proctor other students by different means. DASS can proctor (remotely) a student who requires a reader or a scribe, or where the instructor cannot come up with a workable solution in order for the student to properly receive their accommodations. Call or email our office to discuss early!

-Respondus LockDown Browser

If you use assistive technology to read electronic text from a monitor, you can still use Respondus LockDown Browser to take exams. It is a challenge, but it can be done with Read&Write Gold. See

-DASS Testing Center

DASS Test Proctoring Support: DASS is available for limited virtual proctoring, if you have explored all other options (e.g., technology and departmental support) to virtually monitor the student with testing accommodations. We recommend you ask the student with testing accommodations to take the test with the remote group and monitor that student in the same way you're monitoring the rest of the remote testers. If schedules conflict and you need a virtual test proctor, contact DASS well ahead of time to discuss the need and the technology to be used. At least 7 days before the test, students will need to use DASS Link to schedule the test to be proctored here at DASS.  For more information about virtual test proctoring, see our Test Proctoring page

Enrolling in In-Person, Flex, and Virtual Classes

You can enroll in both in-person and online classes. SMU offers hybrid classes (SMUflex) where both elements of online learning and in person classes are offered. These classes will have a day/time/location. For a completely online experience, select a course that does not list a time/day/location. That course will be 100% online for all students enrolled in that section.

Students designated "Remote Only" by SMU can enroll in any class and attend it virtually, regardless of the in-person attendance policy.

Masks and Students who are Deaf/deaf/Hard-of-Hearing

Dallas County currently requires that people wear masks in public, indoor spaces, and spaces where social distancing is not possible. DASS will have a supply of clear masks for you to provide to your instructors or other key individuals with whom you communicate regularly in order to better facilitate your understanding of spoken language. If you require accommodations beyond the clear mask, please contact your DASS Coordinator to discuss the need.

Emotional Support Animals

Regarding emotional support animals on campus (ESA's), students will be asked to maintain appropriate social distancing for their ESAs, including asking others not to pet or hold the animal, as current evidence suggests that dogs and cats can become positive for COVID-19 or carry droplets in their fur from one person to another. The risk to animals appears to be very low, but we encourage ESA owners to protect themselves, their animals, and their peers. Current advice from the CDC and American Veterinary Medical Association suggests that individuals who have tested positive for COVID-19 limit contact with their own pets (cats and dogs) and whenever possible, have others provide their care. If an ESA owner (especially for dogs and cats) tests positive for COVID-19 and is quarantined (and plans to remain on campus), the University reserves the right to ask that the student make immediate arrangements for the care of the animal off-campus.