Emerging Technologies, Access and Accommodation

Emerging Technologies, Access and
Mark Hale, University of Iowa
Alan Vetter, Iowa State University
• Emerging Technologies
• Accessibility Efforts
• Accommodation and Assistive Technology
Recently Emerged Technologies
Web and Web-based services
iPhone/iPad and other mobile devices
GPS and location-based services
electronic signage
instant video publishing, lecture capture,
clickers, ….
Importance of Technology
• See ECAR National study of students and
information technology in higher education,
2011 (just published by EDUCAUSE)
• http://www.educause.edu/Resources/ECARNationalStudyofUndergradua/
Technology Promise
• The Web
– The power of the Web is in its universality.
Access by everyone regardless of disability is an
essential aspect. (Tim Berners-Lee)
iPhone, iPad and mobile devices
GPS and location-based services
electronic signage
instant video publishing
Technology Problems
• Badly designed web pages
• Visual – only presentation of content
• Online courses that don’t provide access to
screen reader programs
• Videos presented in classes that are not
• Technologies not designed with accessibility in
The legal context
• Rehabilitation Act – accommodation
• ADA – accessibility
• NFB complaints re Kindle, Google Docs, and
Penn State
Extension of ADA
• “There is no doubt that the websites of state
and local government entities are covered by
title II of the ADA. “ (DOJ OCR ANPRM for web
• It is unacceptable for universities to use
emerging technology without insisting that
this technology be accessible to all students.
(DOJ/DOE OCR “Kindle” letter)
NFB and Penn State
• Policy endorsing accessibility
• Plan for improvement, and progress
• Purchasing rules to avoid future problems
• Remediate critical problems in current
Compare to ADA for facilities
• Policy regarding access
• Remediation plan
• Industry standards for accessible construction
UI Web Accessibility Project
• Policy and governance
• Platform
• Support
– Coordinator
– Training
– Web resources
Policy and Governance
• WCAG 2.0 AA for new material
• Units should assess, plan, and make progress
– Remediate 20% a year
• Governance joint between CIO and VPSC
• Technical advisory bodies for web and media
• Drupal 7 with accessible templates
• Institutional assessment tool (HiSoftware
Compliance Sheriff)
Accessibility Tools
WAVE toolbar
SSBART Group InFocus
Deque Ramp
WorldSpace FireEyes
Page Screamer Spider
Hired Web Accessibility Coordinator
Developing and buying training
Developing guidelines, to post on website
Universal Design
as Accessibility Strategy
• Pedagogy, not technology, comes first
• Get design right up front, don’t repair as an
• Accessibility is one part of flexibility, usability
for all users
• However, there is an important exception. For
some students, the use of personal assistive
technologies – e.g., an electric wheelchair,
eyeglasses, or a cochlear implant – is essential for
basic physical and sensory access to learning
environments. Those students will need their
assistive technologies, even during activities
where other students may not use any
technologies at all. Even in classrooms that are
well equipped with UDL materials and methods,
their assistive technology neither precludes nor
replaces the need for UDL overall.
• Focus on individual, not resource
• Assistive Technology often plays a role
• Delivered through Disability Services office(s)
Kurzweil 3000
Read & Write Gold
Dragon NaturallySpeaking
Windows Eyes
Head mounted Mouse Controller
Magnification Devices
Talking Calculators
Talking Alarm Clocks
Audio Equipment for CART captioning
Student Disability Resource Checkout
Program (ISU)
• Combined effort between Student Disability
Resource Office (SDR) and IT Services (ITS).
• SDR interviews student and determines need.
• If approved student is given Student Academic
Accommodation Request (SAAR) to bring to
Solution Center.
• Software is loaded on student computer or
checkout computer for the semester.
• There is a short training session provided for
students new to the program.
Accommodation at Iowa
• SDS (in Student Life)
• FSDS (in HR)
– Much accommodation done at local level
• Assistive tech support scattered
– ITS lab support group
– SDS and library provide e-text
• Need better coordination of AT services
– Proposal – half-time coordinator for assistive tech

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