As disability services providers, we’re skilled in working with students and faculty (and in documenting the process) to ensure that courses and campus resources are accessible. What we may not have the time to do or know how to do effectively, is figure out to mount an institution-wide campaign to get buy-in from faculty, staff, and students, especially in the area of electronic information technology (EIT).
While it is possible to get the attention of campus leaders and others by pointing out the increasing number of OCR investigations and lawsuits, it is far more effective to frame the discussion about accessibility and why it is critical to put more resources into accessibility in the context of civil rights.
In this article for Educause Review, Art Morgan states,
In my opinion, the most successful campaigns have a common thread: they promote accessibility as a civil right and explain how accessibility fosters diversity and inclusiveness.
The complete article may be found at Accessibility as a Civil Right.
Art Morgan is vice president for partner development at Automatic Sync Technologies, a leading provider of closed captioning services for education and educational publishers.
Accommodating students in STEM fields can often be challenging. Resources to support STEM faculty have not always been available.
Produced by the Institute of Physics, the guide, Supporting STEM Students with Dyslexia contains good practice examples and case studies to help those teaching STEM subjects to make simple adjustments to their practice, benefiting all students and not just those with dyslexia. A Word version can be found here: Supporting STEM Students with Dyslexia
The Institute of Physics is a leading scientific membership society working to advance physics for the benefit of all. Membership is worldwide enthusiastic amateurs to those at the top of their fields in academia, business, education and government.
LexDis has a short and informative post on color blindness (color deficiency) The post, Colour Deficiency, includes several links to additional information, including a link to an 8-page best practice guide for instructors in STEM fields that addresses how to effectively support students who experience color blindness. The guide, released in April 2017, has been produced by the Institute of Physics, London, UK
LexDis 2.0 is supported by researchers in the ECS Accessibility Team (University of Southampton) to allow us to share strategies related to the use of technology for studying.
As the use of digital content continues to rise, it behooves teachers and procurement officers to be mindful of the needs of students with disabilities and the expectations and obligations inherent in complying with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Much of the digital content available is delivered via e-books. Unfortunately, not all e-books are accessible to students unable to read standard print.
Brad Turner, Vice President Global Literacy at Benetech, recently posted seven accessibility questions for procurement teams to ask publishers to help ensuring that the e-books they purchase are accessible. To read Turner’s post, visit, Ebook Procurement Must Serve All Students