Accommodations in Brightspace

Student accommodations (perhaps those provided by Brock Student Accessibility Services) can be added to most tools in Brightspace. These will often manifest as time limit, due date, or access windows adjustments, and most will be added through what Brightspace calls Special Access.

Brightspace offers three ways to implement accommodations:

  1. Individual access and timing overrides can be added through Special Access in each assessment tool (Assignments, Quizzes, etc.).

  2. Course-wide timing adjustments for Quizzes can be added in Classlist.

  3. Grade accommodations or exemptions can be managed in Grades.

Instructors can find students' SAS-approved accommodations in the BrockDB OASIS Instructor Portal and should connect with Brock’s Student Accessibility Services (SAS) for further support and guidance when it comes to working to address needs.

Manage Special Access

Special Access refers specifically to the Brightspace options for providing students with extra time or adjusted access dates. It offers the most thorough method of applying accommodations but can also be used to grant extensions on an individual basis.

The Manage Special Access options can be found in different places based on the type of assessment and each will be described below.

Special Access can be used in two distinct ways:

  1. To grant specific students individualized accommodations within a course-wide assessment.

  2. To allow only certain students access to an assessment.

Assignments and Quizzes

Manage Special Access can be found in the same location in both Assignments and Quizzes.

  1. Edit an assignment or quiz (or create a new one).

  2. Click the Availability Dates and Conditions sub-menu in the top-right of the editor.

  3. Find Special Access near the bottom of the sub-menu.

  4. Click Manage Special Access.



Special Access in Assignments allows instructors to override access and due dates to facilitate extra time.

There is no a way to increase the number of submissions for individual students, so it’s best to set the whole assignment to be open for multiple submissions.


Special Access in Quizzes allows instructors to change the following:

  • Access and availability by means of the Start and End Dates.

  • Time limit (by either overriding the default, adding a multiplier, or providing extra time that is added onto the default).

  • Number of attempts.


Special Access can be found in the Restrictions tab near the top of the editing page.

  1. Edit a survey (or create a new one).

  2. Click the Restrictions tab at the top of the editor.

  3. Scroll down to the bottom of Restrictions and select Add Users to Special Access.

Special Access in Surveys allows instructors to give students different due dates for the survey to accommodate extra time.

Self-Assessments and Discussions


Self-Assessments do not give the option to assign Special Access. This is because self-assessments cannot have any sort of restriction placed upon them besides being visible or not to students.


Discussions do not have Special Access. Instructors will need to reopen a forum/topic for all students if a student needs to post after the End Date.

Accommodations via Classlist

If instructors know that they will have to apply a time-specific accommodation for multiple quizzes for a specific student, they have the option to go into the course Classlist and automatically set a student’s accommodations there. At this time, the only accommodation that can be set in this manner is the time limit for quizzes.

  1. Go to Classlist.

  2. Click the drop-down arrow next to the student who will be receiving a timing accommodation.

  3. Select Edit Accommodations.

  4. Select Modify Time Limit and then either choose to apply a multiplier, or set the given extra time for every quiz the student accesses. The multiplier is useful if the student is always granted 1.5x the amount of time as per their accommodations, but instructors can use the extra time box to be more specific.

  5. Click Save. The timing accommodations will now be applied for every quiz the student takes.

Grade Exemptions

Instructors may encounter situations where they need to exempt students from certain assignments. While Brightspace does not allow instructors to tailor final grade weight calculations between students, it does allow instructors to exempt students from assessments. If the assessment the student is being exempted from goes toward their final grade, Brightspace will instead calculate their final grade out of the weight remaining (i.e. If a student is exempt from an assignment worth 10% of their final grade, Brightspace calculates their final grade based on the remaining 90%).

  1. Go to Grades.

  2. Select the Enter Grades tab at the top of the Grades area.

  3. Scroll down and search for the student to exempt from an assessment.

  4. Click the drop-down arrow next to the student’s name, and select Bulk edit exemptions.

  5. Select whichever assessments the student is being exempt from, then click the Save button.

Grouping Students with Accommodations

Instructors may attempt to streamline the accommodations process by placing students with the same accommodations into a Brightspace group, and then just selecting that group when editing Special Access.

This process is not recommended.

There is no way in Brightspace to hide students from seeing other members of a group they are a part of. In this sense, students will be able to see who they share accommodations with, which violates their right to privacy in this matter.

Should instructors desire strongly to implement this form of accommodating, please reach out to to discuss.

Please contact CPI at with any questions or comments about the contents of this site.