7 Things You Should Know About Technology Procurement for Accessibility
Wednesday, October 10, 2018
Lori Kressin Kyle Shachmut Christian Vinten-Johansen Sue Cullen
ELI Educause : Technology Procurement for Accessibility PDF document
Despite general agreement among institutional leaders that they are obligated to provide accessible technology, efforts at many colleges and universities to fulfil that promise are often ad hoc, incomplete, or not fully implemented. Including accessibility requirements or guidance in institutional policies and practices for how technology is procured is one way for colleges and universities to demonstrate a commitment to ensuring equal access to information, programs, and activities and to comply with applicable legal requirements.
Due to decentralized purchasing and contracting practices, as well as the growing ecosystem of easy-to-deploy learning apps, applications and services are often deployed with little or no oversight from an accessibility perspective.
George Mason University, the university counsel, purchasing office, libraries, and IT services are collaborating to establish purchasing guidelines that ensure all IT purchases are reviewed for accessibility and conform to explicit standards and guidelines. The California State University system has developed system-wide vendor accessibility requirements, as well as an Equally Effective Alternate Access Plan (EEAAP) to address accessibility barriers while the product development team addresses remediation of those barriers (which are outlined in a product Accessibility Roadmap). Penn State University updated its policy for accessibility of electronic and information technology to reflect evolving standards and new best practices. The University of Washington uses a step-by-step checklist, including suggested language for contracts, to help users across campus ensure accessibility compliance in technology acquisitions. The University of Wisconsin–Madison tells stakeholders that they “must consider accessibility early and throughout the process as one of the criteria for [technology] acquisition.” As part of a process of “growing a culture of access,” Wichita State University has developed an in-depth Foundations of Accessibility course for staff and a technology audit rubric, among other tools
Consistent adherence to accessibility policies for technology purchases can be challenging because some technologies might need to be deployed even though they are not fully accessible.
Campus policies allowing decentralized technology purchases can create gray areas where buyers may be uncertain about—or may not even be aware of—their responsibilities to ensure that such purchases comply with institutional accessibility policies.
Changes in pedagogic practice to ensure broader adoption of accessible technology are tangible demonstrations of that enhanced awareness. Broader adoption of the principles of Universal Design for Learning may stimulate more institutions to be intentional about policies that ensure accessible technology purchases.
Overstream: free online subtitle editor
Overstream is a free online editor for creating and synchronizing subtitles to any online video (YouTube, Google Video, MySpace Video, Veoh, Blip.tv, Archive.org and Vimeo.com), store subtitles on the Overstream server, and send the link to the subtitled video to other users, friends or colleagues.
Overstream supports all languages, however, in order to work, the language must be installed on the viewer’s computer.
For more information, visit the FAQ section of the webste http://www.overstream.net/help.php
more on subtitles in this IMS blog
Urgent: Today’s students need a digitally fluent college website-here’s how
A good school site should:
- Demonstrate its brand
- Be easy to navigate
- Show students a clear pathway to success
- Highlight the best qualities of the school
- Provide information visitors want to find
Pay close attention to your website’s analytics. Where are visitors going? How long are they staying? When do they leave? Are they finding where they want to go while they are there?
92 percent of Americans 18-29 years old own a smartphone. They will interact with your site from their phone. If it is frustrating, they will be frustrated with the school. The site needs a responsive design that will allow it to adapt to the size of any screen.
implement A/B testing to make sure the new design is improving on functionality and not just aesthetics. Also, make sure your website is ADA compliant.
more on academic web page design in this IMS blog
Report: Video Captions Benefit Virtually All Students
By Leila Meyer 11/02/16
The Oregon State University Ecampus Research Unit conducted the national study in collaboration with 3Play Media. The researchers surveyed 2,124 students across 15 public and private universities throughout the United States. Of all respondents, 19 percent reported hearing difficulties, and 37 reported vision difficulties. However, only 13 percent had registered with an office of disability services, and less than 12 percent reported they require academic accommodations.
The study revealed that students find closed captions and video transcripts helpful, whether the student is deaf or hard of hearing or not.
Key findings from the study:
- Almost 100 percent of survey respondents had at least one course — either face-to-face or online — that included some video content;
- 75 percent of students use captions as a learning aid in face-to-face and online classrooms;
- 98.6 percent of students who use captions say they are helpful;
- 71 percent of students without hearing difficulties use captions at least some of the time;
- Students reference video transcripts as a learning aid 85 percent of the time;
- 66 percent of English-as-a-second-language (ESL) students find captions extremely or very helpful;
- 61 percent of students with learning disabilities find captions helpful;
- More than one quarter of students were unsure about the availability of closed captions for video content in their course; and
- Almost one-in-five students were unsure about the availability of video transcripts for their course.
Further details about the study and a link to the full report can be found on 3Play Media’s site.