Many providers are doing what they can to help students make the shift online by providing
free high-speed access. The Federal Communications Commission Agreement states providers will waive late fees, not cutoff service for lack of payment, and
open hot-spots for increased accessibility to the internet. Please visit the following
websites for the latest details on how to sign-up and leverage these services.
Cox Communications Response: Cox Communications offers a range of services and packages for the next 60 days
(free access to over 650,000 Wi-Fi hot spots; residential customers in the company’s
Starter, StraightUp Internet and Connect2Compete packages will be automatically upgraded
to speeds of 50 Mbps).
Comcast COVID-19 Response: Comcast offers free Wi-Fi for 2 months to low income families plus all Xfinity hot-spots
are free to the public during this time.
Charter Free Internet offer for 2 months: Charter will offer free Spectrum broadband and Wi-Fi access for
60 days to households with K-12 and/or college students who do not already have a
Spectrum broadband subscription and at any service level up to 100 Mbps. To enroll
call 1-844-488-8395. Installation fees will be waived for new student households.
AT&T COVID-19 Response: AT&T offers open hot-spots, unlimited data to existing customers, and $10/month
plans to low-income families.
Sprint COVID-19 Response: Sprint is following the FCC agreement and will provide unlimited data to existing
customers. Starting Tuesday, March 17, 2020, Sprint will allow all handsets to enable
hotspots for 60 days at no extra charge.
T-Mobile COVID-19 Response: T-Mobile is following the FCC agreement and providing unlimited data to existing
customers. It will soon allow all handsets to enable hotspots for 60 days at no extra charge.
Strategies for Better Internet Access
You can also use the tips below to use your mobile phone as a hotspot to provide access
to your laptop. There are also tips to maximize your bandwidth.
Turn your cell phone into a hotspot to provide access to your computer if you don’t have High-Speed Internet (see resources
If you do not have a great signal and video/access is breaking up, disconnect or turn
off other devices using the internet such as TV’s and Smart Home devices streaming
content, disconnect your phone from WiFi if you are using your computer for access.
Also, take turns using the internet with others in your household.
If you have older wireless technology, you may have better speeds using a cable to
connect to your cable router instead of using Wi-Fi in your residence.
To make sure neighbors are not streaming from your service, change your password on
Strategies for Staying Connected
Although we are encouraged to physically stay safe from one another to contain virus
infections, we can still connect using technology for studying and socializing.
Use the following tools to connect with other classmates, friends, family through
apps like Zoom, Skype, Facetime, Google Meet:
Note: Automatic transcription does not replace the need to have multimedia captioned
for those with hearing loss
Live transcription can benefit students who may learn better by having visual focus
when listening for long periods of time, such as listening to a podcast.
Live transcription can benefit those students who find it difficult to type or write
for long periods of time, such as students with Rheumatoid Arthritis, Traumatic Brain
Injuries, Repetitive Stress Injuries, or Autism.
Live transcription can support ESL learners as they see and hear the processed language.
Webcaptioner is a browser-based tool that presents captioning of auditory content in a separate
window. You can export the transcript as a document. (Free)
Otter is a cloud-based tool that works on a mobile device or browser. It is an audio recording
tool that has automatic transcription, also, it has a highlighting feature so you
can highlight important statements. You can embed pictures in the transcription, edit
the transcript as well as share and export the transcript. The free version allows
600 minutes of recording, there is an educational discount of 50% off the normal pricing
or about $4.50 per month.
Strategies for Students with Hearing Loss
Please let your Instructor know if you need assistance turning on captions for video
Free Relay NC Services can be used to support talking over the phone or interacting in live meetings with
instructors or staff.
Consider using Google Meet for communicating with other students and instructors as
Automatic Live Captioning is available in Google Hangouts/Meet.
As we move towards an online environment, please consider how you are using your computer.
A laptop was never intended to be a “full” time computer. If you have a docking station
or desktop computer, monitor, keyboard and mouse available that will reduce stress
on your body as you spend more time on the computer, please review these ergonomic
setups and try to make your environment as ergo-friendly as possible.
Consider reducing the strain on your wrists/hands by using Voice Recognition technology.
Strategies for Staying Focused
Strict Workflow is a Chrome add-on that will help you stay more productive at work by temporarily
blocking social and other time-wasting websites. It blocks the sites for 25 minutes
allowing you to work distraction-free and then will remove the block for 5 minutes.
You can repeat until all your work is done.
StayFocused is a Chrome add-on that may increase your productivity by limiting the amount of
time you spend on time-wasting websites.