A&P Lab Accommodations Town Hall Series Wrap Up

The Accommodations subcommittee hosted a series of events at the beginning of the spring semester. The subcommittee members are truly inspired by how earnestly our audience members want to provide a classroom for all. We have gathered tremendous information by hearing your experiences, and together we will create a guidebook including suggestions for HAPS members on how to approach specific accommodations.  Keep in mind that all students typically perform better when accommodations are provided. It’s not an advantage for the student receiving accommodations. Accommodations enable an inclusive learning environment so everyone has a fair and equitable opportunity.

Pictured Left to right. Top Row: Jennifer Stokes, Abbey Breckling, Rachel Hopp 
Middle Row: Youlonda FitzGerald, Heather Armbruster, Barbara Heard 
Bottom Row: Sarah Greene, Jennifer Ellsworth, Jim Clark
Not Pictured: Molli Crenshaw, Margaret Weck, Liz Dement

These sessions were purposely designed to be at the beginning of the semester due to the fact that this is typically the time instructors are receiving accommodation(s) requests from students. The purpose of this series was to spark discussion, learn about specific accommodations, and gather information on current accommodation requests being fulfilled in A&P labs. We want to remind our HAPS members to work closely with their respective institution’s office of support services (or equivalent) as early as possible, and most often these centers want to work with you. 

In case you missed any of the 4 sessions, recordings of the live session or voiceover PowerPoints are posted to the HAPS website here. If you are interested in receiving ppt files, please email abreckling@hapsconnect.org.

January 19th – Incorporating ADA approved accommodations into A&P Labs by Jim Clark and Jennifer Ellsworth 

In this session, we highlighted ADA Guidelines and discussed how to include Universal Educational Design into the curriculum to create an inclusive learning environment for all students. We also included common accommodations i.e. extended time on exams, reduced distraction environments, and how to approach students who may need frequent breaks/absences. 

January 26thSupporting Students with Visual Impairments in A&P Labs, presented by Heather Armbruster and Barbara Heard 

In this session, we touched on many Universal Educational Design aspects when planning your lectures/labs i.e. fonts, accessible documents, alt text, etc. This session also described different levels of student visual capabilities and how to approach impactful learning for low vision, legal blindness, and total blindness. 

February 2nd – Creating an Inclusive Learning Environment for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students in A&P labs led by Sarah Greene 

In this session, we heard from two panelists: Dr. Alicia Wooten, Ph.D., Assistant Professor at Gallaudet University, and Holly Jackson, M.Ed., Sign Language Interpreter. They shared their experiences in the Deaf community as a student, professor, interpreter, and advocate. 

February 9th – Providing ADA Accommodations for Physical Limitations and Service/Support Animals in A&P Labs, presented by Youlonda FitzGerald and Jennifer Stokes 

In this session, we simulated an A&P lab set-up and used Universal Educational Design to ensure all activities and instruments were accessible to students who might need accommodations based on physical limitations or a service animal in the A&P lab. 

Thank you again, for your time and willingness to share. We look forward to hearing from you at the Annual HAPS conference where we will be having an interactive poster presentation on Thursday, 5/26, and an interactive workshop on Sunday, 5/29 at 8:30am where we will also share the first glimpse at our Accommodations Guidebook!

If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to the following:

Accommodations Subcommittee chair: Abbey Breckling  abreckling@hapsconnect.org

C&I Committee Chair: Rachel Hopp rhopp@hapsconnect.org

HAPS Lab Survey 2022

In our quieter moments, I’m sure we can all recall long-planned projects and events that should have happened in the spring of 2020. For HAPS, one such project was the third offering of the Lab Survey. Results from the first and second surveys came out in 2014 and 2017, and we were looking forward to documenting how our laboratory learning outcomes and activities have developed and changed over the years. In our monumental and collective efforts to adjust ourselves and our courses to remote instruction, learn new software, problem-solve, and keep our families and friends safe, the lab survey was pushed into the ‘Important but Not Urgent’ category. 

The virtual HAPS Annual Conference in 2021 gave us, as a subcommittee of C&I, a chance to refocus and plan for launching the third offering of the lab survey. Our dedicated subcommittee members met twice monthly from June through October to revise and refine the survey. Subcommittee members volunteered for one of the three content areas (i.e., demographics, learning outcomes and activities, and teaching during the pandemic). Within each content area, members represented a diverse range of teaching experiences, institutions, geographic areas, teaching challenges, and individual perspectives. After several rounds of reviewing, revising, and test runs with naive reviewers, we were able to take the next step of obtaining IRB approval and planning the timeline for the survey launch.

Earlier this month, you should have received an email from HAPS inviting you to participate in the survey. We appreciate you and your willingness to add your anonymous data and perspectives on your successes and challenges in teaching human A&P before our classrooms, and most of our lives, were turned upside down by the coronavirus, as well as how you met new challenges while teaching during the pandemic. A longitudinal analysis of the survey data, with comparisons to the past surveys and publication in the HAPS Educator, will help all of us create the post-pandemic A&P laboratory.

ADInstruments has generously offered to sponsor gift cards in support of the survey, and participants are encouraged to enter into a drawing for the sponsored gift cards. One winner will receive a $100 gift card and four others will each win $50 gift cards.

If you have any questions about the survey, please contact Carol Britson (cbritson@hapsconnect.org) or Rachel Hopp (rhopp@hapsconnect.org ), and once again, our humblest thank you.

C&I Lab Survey Subcommittee

Rachel Hopp (C&I Chair), Carol Britson (subcommittee chair), Ginger York, Janay Dennis, James Clark, Virginia Baker, Heather Arbruster, Chris Kule, Chinenye Anako, Julia Schmitz, Jeff Huffman, Shannon Oldenburg, Marnie Chapman, Cynthia Schmaeman, Roberta Anelli

A&P Lab Accommodations Town Hall Series Preview

The beginning of each semester is an exciting time for both HAPS members and our students, but that excitement may dwindle as our inboxes and to-do lists begin filling with administrative tasks. One common beginning of the term task is fielding accommodation requests. These requests may be routine or repeated, but they may also be confusing, surprising, or even unfeasible if you cannot provide the accommodations in your space(s).

The Accommodations Subcommittee of the HAPS Curriculum and Instruction Committee has created a 4-week town hall series to kick off the spring term. The goals of this series are to spark discussion, learn tips and tricks for specific accommodations, and gather information on current accommodation requests being fulfilled in A&P labs. In each town hall session, subcommittee members will be interacting with the audience to gather data with the intention of creating a useful guide to lab accommodations for all HAPS members. Interested in attending? You can register now! Note: the Zoom link will be the same for all of the sessions, so once you are registered once you are all set!

Town hall sessions will be held on Wednesdays from 3-4 PM EST (2 PM Central, 1 PM Mountain, Noon Pacific) beginning on January 19. An overview of the topics being covered each week is below.  

January 19th – Incorporating ADA-approved accommodations into A&P Labs.

A&P instructors may be asked to provide a variety of accommodations to students in A&P laboratories and may not know how best to meet those requests. Discussions will focus on how to incorporate Universal Educational Design in teaching A&P labs, testing accommodations for laboratory examinations, and how to consider accommodation requests students may need based on academic standards and rigors for your course(s).

January 26thSupporting Students with Visual Impairments in A&P Labs

The discussion will focus on accommodations and other considerations for students with visual impairments in laboratory settings of A&P courses.

February 2nd – Creating an Inclusive Learning Environment for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students in A&P labs

This session will include a panel discussion with 2-3 Deaf and Hard of Hearing students and/or professionals who will share their own experiences related to teaching and learning in the A&P lab. 

February 9th – Providing ADA Accommodations for Physical Limitations and Service/Support Animals in A&P Labs

This session will foster discussion focused on accommodations for students with physical limitations in A&P laboratories. Discussions will focus on physical limitations for testing, laboratory safety for students, and support/service animals.

The same Zoom link will be used for all of the sessions, so once you are registered you are all set. You will receive an email with the Zoom link on the day of each session.

If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to:

Accommodations Subcommittee chair: Abbey Breckling abreckling@hapsconnect.org

C&I Committee Chair: Rachel Hopp rhopp@hapsconnect.org

Remote Proctoring of the HAPS Exams

Remote proctoring of the HAPS Exams always brings up a raft of questions about the process, who does the proctoring, how you can trust the proctors, etc.

To address these questions, HAPS and ProctorU are hosting a joint webinar on Thursday, February 27 at 3:30p central time.

Hosts Wendy Riggs, president elect of HAPS, and Gabriell Darby, Director of Implementation Services for ProctorU will:

  • Outline the benefits of using live online proctoring for the HAPS exams
  • Show how easy it is for instructors to set up an exam
  • Demonstrate the student process in the ProctorU system
  • Cover what an integrity incident looks like, and how to deal with it

Register at the link below to learn how this integration can make your testing process more simple, convenient and secure than ever before:

The HAPS Exams have experienced intense focus over the past several years.  The learning outcomes on which the exams are based have expanded from just A&P to include a stand-alone Anatomy set (and stand-alone Physiology are being constructed now). The A&P learning outcomes had a massive once-a-decade revision released in Fall 2019. Parallel work on the exams themselves, including validation efforts, have resulted in an exam program that is light years ahead of where it was even five years ago.

The back end of the exams have also been a focus for the past two years. HAPS transitioned to a new exam provider in 2019 that has substantially increased the security of the exams. The new provider also allows integrations that we were previously not available. One such integration is to allow remote proctoring through ProctorU.

Remote proctoring is a major step forward for the HAPS Exams. Now faculty can have students take the HAPS Exams before even coming to campus, online courses can use the HAPS Exams, programs with limited funding can use the HAPS Exams by having students pay directly to take the exams. A whole new world of possibilities.


Cleaning Anatomical Models with Denture Tablets

TeethThe weeks leading up to the start of a new semester are busy ones filled with ordering supplies, scheduling teaching assistants, and cleaning the lab. After scheduling custodial services for the big jobs and performing the little jobs, I never seem to have time to clean the models (most of which are 30+ years old!). A couple of models were so covered in grime, grease, adhesives from practicals past, ink, etc., that it was easier to put them back on the shelf and ‘deal with it later.’ In January 2018, however, I found myself with a bit of time and was finally going to clean one of our dental models that I couldn’t, in good conscience, discard without at least trying to clean it. My original plan was to use dish soap and an old toothbrush to clean it. I gave up after 30 minutes as I wasn’t making a dent in the grime. I considered other options, but the model was too big for our ultrasonic cleaner and I didn’t want to put it through a cycle in a dishwasher for fear that the force of water jets and heat would warp the model or remove paint.

SkullsAs I considered my next step, I recalled my recent dental work — two root canals, a bone graft, failed implants, and a temporary bridge. In an example of chance favoring the prepared mind, I thought: ‘I’m holding a model of teeth. It is made of plastic, a little metal, and a bit of paint — just like the bridge I soak every night. Would denture cleaning tablets work? It’s unlikely that I would damage the model by soaking it overnight and worth a try.’

After a 30-second rinse and brushing the morning after the soak, the model was like new. The difference was so striking I felt I had performed a magic trick. I immediately set out to clean another model to convince myself that this was repeatable. I use a basic methodology of 1 denture-cleaning tablet per 250ml of water (approximate) and an overnight soak. Models are rinsed the next day and gently scrubbed with a soft sponge. Paint that is not heat-set can be rubbed off if you scrub too vigorously. An old toothbrush can be helpful for hard-to-reach places.


Why does it work?

Denture cleaning tablets are primarily composed of sodium bicarbonate (i.e., baking soda — a mild alkali which functions as a degreaser), an oxidizer, and a scent (typically mint). I have been testing the use of baking soda and hydrogen peroxide as soaking and cleaning agents with similar results and have been considering OxiCleanTM (composed of sodium percarbonate (i.e., sodium carbonate and hydrogen peroxide), soda ash, and detergents) as a cleanser. Costs for denture cleaning tablets, baking soda and hydrogen peroxide, and OxiCleanTM are minimal and can ‘pay for themselves’ by extending the working life of your models. Limitations are the size of soaking containers and rinsing facilities.


  • Perform a small-model test case before working with larger models or several models at once.
  • I do not recommend using this technique on models made of plaster.
  • Examine models for any puncture holes (for screws, hooks, etc.) and position models during soaking to avoid waterlogging.





Carol Britson is an Instructional Associate in the Department of Biology at the University of Mississippi where she teaches Vertebrate Histology, Human Anatomy, and Introductory Physiology for science majors and Human Anatomy and Physiology I & II for allied health students. In 2018 she received the University of Mississippi Excellence in Teaching award from the PLATO (Personalized Learning & Adaptive Teaching Opportunities) Program supported by the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.