What is my responsibility to help slow the spread of COVID-19 in my community?

Everyone is encouraged to practice social distancing. Students should avoid in-person study sessions and meetings. The UW’s guidance is that we have a shared responsibility to ACT by staying home, avoiding groups and crowds, and maintaining a minimum of 6 feet of personal space.

Remember: YOU have the power to protect others from COVID-19, but you have to ACT NOW. Help stop the spread. Stay home, maintain social distancing and you can help save lives.

This aligns with advice from the federal government and the CDC, and Washington State.

What do I do if I am feeling sick or have come in close contact with someone who is positive for COVID-19?

See the UW COVID-19 website for guidance on health, wellness, and prevention.

I am feeling anxious about COVID-19. What can I do?

It’s completely expected and appropriate to experience anxiety during situations like these. It’s also important to know how to manage overwhelming anxiety and keep perspective as the situation unfolds. Here are some resources and tips that may be helpful:

  • CDC guidance on managing mental health and coping during COVID-19
  • World Health Organization (WHO) information on travel, media resources, and other research on COVID-19
  • Science-based strategies and tips for coping with COVID-19 anxiety from Anxiety and Depression Association of America Psychologist Jelena Kecmanovic
  • The JED Foundation’s tips for practicing good self-care
  • UW Medicine’s Right as Rain blog on coronavirus anxiety
  • The UW Counseling Center and Hall Health are available to help. Hall Health has also produced a useful flyer for coping with COVID-19 related stress.
  • UW Community Resources There is a lot of information circulating about resources for students, staff and faculty. This is a link to an excellent compilation of support services for members of our UW community. It was started by advisors in the College of Engineering and will be added to by the entire advising community as we move forward. There is information and resources around technology, internet service, food, healthcare, etc. Please don't hesitate to reach out to Student Services if you need assistance getting connected with resources as we move forward.
How do I know if I need to self-isolate?

When a UW community member is diagnosed with the novel coronavirus, the relevant local health department and the UW initiate appropriate protocols to evaluate the situation and protect the health of anyone deemed to be at risk.

Academics & Events

Why is all of my UW SPHSC classroom instruction online?

The Department of Speech & Hearing Sciences, in concert with the University of Washington, is providing all instruction virtually, or online, for the entirety of Spring Quarter 2020. These actions are being taken in response to recommendations from public health agencies to avoid bringing large groups of people together in close proximity to events and gatherings. The sizes of our classrooms do not generally allow for requisite social distancing.

UW SPHSC is not suspending operations, but moving all didactic, lab and clinical learning experiences into virtual environments. Our faculty are using this current crisis as an opportunity to model and teach students about the best practices for extenuating circumstances, emergency preparedness, teamwork and to prepare the next generation of practitioners to be safe and competent clinicians.  We are also using case studies, virtual simulations and telehealth to continue delivering high-quality clinical instruction.

Will I be able to complete my program on schedule?

The Department of Speech & Hearing Sciences is planning for all undergraduate and graduate students to graduate at the intended time, according to their program of study, if possible. The University Provost has encouraged faculty to do everything possible to ensure that high-quality instruction is provided and student learning outcomes are met in a timely fashion. The faculty members are committed to ensuring that all students have the opportunity to demonstrate their knowledge and expertise and are ready for course completion.

For students in clinical graduate programs there are additional challenges. The UW Speech & Hearing clinic will be closed for all of Spring quarter and students will not be providing any SLP or audiology client services during this time. In addition, all student clinical placements in the field have been cancelled for the Spring quarter. As such, we are working hard to determine the most efficient and effective use of resources so that we may graduate all students as close to their original schedule as possible. However, it is necessary that we ensure student programs meet the requirements of our national accrediting agency (CAA) and certification agency (CFCC), who are currently not making any exceptions to the requirements for clinical education. We will advise all students on the best options for achieving these outcomes as soon as information becomes available.

Will the CAA, CFCC, Washington State Department of Health, and OSPI recognize the quality of instruction provided online, as well as simulation experiences for clinical skills as adequate for licensure?

The Speech and Hearing Sciences faculty and administration are in conversation with these entities to ensure we are providing the approved learning opportunities students need to be licensed and certified as Audiologists and Speech-Language Pathologists.  We will continue to send updates as more information is made available to us.

I have a disability that requires accommodations. How can I complete my courses as expected?

As always, please coordinate spring quarter accommodations through UW Disability Resources for Students (DRS). Their Seattle office is open via phone/video/email for Spring Quarter. They are closed for Spring Break. If you have any issues related to device access, internet connectivity, or a disability due to the move to online instruction, immediately contact DRS and Student Services for assistance.

My family was making plans to visit Seattle for Graduation. Will UW Commencement be canceled, postponed, or moved online?

June events are still under discussion by UW Administration and faculty. They are contingent, in part, on state and local restrictions on holding events being lifted in advance of that date. We will continue to send updates as more information is made available to us.

How do I request help for access to online instruction?

The UW IT group is able to handle these requests while working remotely. Email help@uw.edu with questions regarding the technical components of online instruction.

What should I do if I don’t have a device to use for online instruction?

The UW updated its FAQ on technology available for students who do not have access to computing at home: The Student Technology Loan Program allows students to borrow laptops, tablets and other equipment for free. Students can view a real-time equipment inventory.

What should I do if I don’t have access to reliable Wi-Fi?

Internet service providers are offering a variety of ways to gain access for individuals who have increased need for Wi-Fi services at this time. The UW Community Resources document is continuing to update the options that are known to be available.

Will tuition rates or fee-based program rates change for spring quarter?

The provost's office has also compiled an FAQ to address many student concerns, including financial considerations. Explanations for your spring quarter tuition and fee rates will be updated there.


Why did the department make the decision to cancel traditional in-person clinical experiences for students?

Many of our clinical partners are unable to host students at this time for a variety of reasons including state and national restrictions and categorization of SLP and Audiology personnel as non-essential. In an effort to protect students and faculty from exposure to COVID-19 when staffing levels are low and personal protective equipment (PPE) supplies are in short supply, a prudent decision was made to cancel off-site clinical experiences for students in Spring Quarter and to close the UW Speech & Hearing Clinic. This decision supports CDC guidelines to reduce non-essential personnel in the areas of higher risk for exposure.

When will students be able to resume their in-person clinical learning?

The faculty, fieldwork coordinators and program directors are working to ensure that all clinical experiences can provide a safe learning environment for students. We are asking that faculty and students continue to be flexible as we navigate this unprecedented situation. At this time we are unable to determine an exact timeline for when the UW Speech and Hearing Clinic will re-open and students will be able to resume off-site experiences. We will continue to send updates as more information is available.

How will I make up the required clinical hours?

Faculty are preparing to provide a variety of simulation activities using Simucase as well as telehealth experiences, to maximize the 75 allowable hours of clinical simulation for certification and licensure. The Department is in conversation with the CAA and CFCC to ensure that all learning opportunities are adequate and will be considered when determining a student’s required clinical hours. While clinical hours are of course important and required for practice certification, during this time the faculty will be focused on student learning and providing high quality learning activities for students.

How will the department ensure that all students have the knowledge and skills they need to enable safe clinical practice?

Speech & Hearing Sciences faculty are very skilled at assessing the knowledge and skills of our students to ensure that all expected student learning outcomes are met. Students will be given many opportunities to demonstrate their competence and showcase their accomplishments through the use of simulation and telehealth experiences until such a time as in-person clinical service delivery is safe.

Other impacts to students

I live in campus housing. Is UW planning on closing dorms and/or dining halls?

Please see the UW coronavirus site for updates on the residence halls. On March 16, the governor-mandated that colleges and universities end in-person dining services, while still allowing students to pick up grab-and-go food in dining halls — more clarity on this transition will be forthcoming.

I am a parent/caregiver and I am struggling to complete my coursework due to widespread closures of schools and care facilities. Is there emergency support available through UW?

Yes, the UW has an Emergency Aid page that specifies the support it provides.                                                                                    

My financial situation has changed. Can I get additional help?

Yes, the UW has an Emergency Aid page that specifies the support it provides. Most students may be able to request changes to their existing financial aid packages as well, if applicable.

I am an international student, veteran, and/or student on financial aid. How will the transition to online instruction impact my visa, OPT, CPT, or financial aid?

For international students, please see the UW guidance.

For all students, universities across the country are seeking guidance from the federal government on these issues. Please watch the UW coronavirus page for the most updated information about these and other topics.