Accessible Learning Opportunities

Technical Standards

  • The first and most basic element in providing equal access to offerings within colleges and univerities has to do with the admission policies, technical standards, and program requirements.
  • Ensuring that these are designed to be fair and that reasonable accommodation can be put in place as needed is critical.

Instructional Techniques

  • Faculty are building flexibility into their courses so students who experience health problems, family needs, work or military obligations have reasonable ways to proceed
  • Faculty are using technology in innovative and exciting ways and using best practices to do so:
    • When video is embedded online or in distance education courses, it should be captioned content and have transcripts available.
    • Tablets can be used to project examples during class and to record those examples for later review within Blackboard
    • Livescribe digital pens are used on campus in a variety of ways:
    • Recording pencasts as rich lecture notes
    • Faculty can have students take turns taking notes to share with the rest of the class
    • Supplemental Instruction type approaches use Livescribe during facilitated study sessions

Learning Management Tools

  • Blackboard's newest release was recently endorsed by the National Federation of the Blind, and the newest release of Elluminate Live features some great improvements for accessibility in regard to event notifications.
  • These systems aren't perfect, but they are improving, and there are sessions for faculty through both CAFE and the Faculty Technology Center each semester to promote best practices.