To Care & Comply: Accessibility of Online Course Content


[Music] [Garbled Computer Generated Voice]
[Frustrated Mumbling Voice] Female’s Voice: Imagine that
you’re trying to do homework online and this is what you had to deal with. [Garbled Computer Generated Voice] Danial Turnbull: I’m sight impaired and, I have RP which is Retinitis Pigmentosa and it’s as if I’m looking through straws. Danial: For a sighted student, they can just see what’s there on the page
and click on whatever they need and they can go back
and forth to the syllabus and back to the page very easily. I have to navigate back and forth and run up and down the page with a JAWS program that takes a lot longer. Kendra’s Voice Over: Today, everyone uses computers. And PCC students use computers extensively to access online content via the Web. But for students with a disability, this can present enormous challenges that we really need to address. Danial Turnbull is one of our students who faces enormous obstacles
due to his visual disability. Danial: The major that I’ve chosen
is Psychology. I want be a counselor for people with disabilities. Kendra: I’m Kendra Cawley.
I’d like to talk with you today about implementing
some new standards to ensure that all of our online content
is accessible to all of our students. Tanya Mead: I think the frustration that I observe with students with disabilities is that they can’t, they can’t complete the assignments. They’ve got this time set aside and they’re not able to do the work. You see other students
participating in the discussion. You want to participate.
You have a limited time to participate but you can’t do that
because you haven’t been able to watch the film that you need to watch
in order to participate. [Silence] Venessa Robinson: Some of the problems
that I have are that there are no captions, that there are no transcripts available. So if it’s not captioned,
they should at least have a file available so that I can read what’s being said
and then try to fit that in with the video, read it at the same time
then watching the video. Well, I have to work more closely
with my instructors and see if either they can give me,
another assignment or if something that I can learn
from another video or sometimes I need to set up time
with an interpreter to meet with them
and have them interpret the videos, sit down with them
and have them interpret the videos. So it’s almost pointless because sometimes I have to
come here to campus, anyway, even though I’m taking a class that’s supposed to be online. I don’t like having to go and get my counselor or get disability assistance to come and help me because all I need is just-just the voice, the voice that’s on video to be captioned. I should be able to email the instructor and they should be able to fix it right away. Because other students
can listen to their assignments, can listen to the information that’s on the Internet and if a instructor notices that there’s something wrong with the audio, they can fix it right away. Kathy Bernunzio: If there’s no captioning, you know, on the video, then we’re not going to
be learning anything from what you’re saying on the video. So it’s very important that you have captioning. Because we can really be involved, you know, with what’s happening in the world
and in the classroom or whatever. It’s very important. Bryan Dean: My goal is to get a PhD
in Physics or Math. Because, I’m physically impaired,
I can’t use my hands. I use the computer exclusively
to do my homework and access content from PCC; It is my connection to the outside world, it connects me to my family
and my friends, to the school. Without a computer,
I would be pretty much stuck. The most frustrating thing
that I’ve encountered, at PCC are the PDF’s that you have to download instead of being able to fill out the form online. Because once I download the file, I have to find someone to fill it out for me which could take days. It’s frustrating, when a lot of the Web sites timeout on you and I have to re-log in multiple times. People that use the computer
uses the mouse all the time and don’t really recognize
the fact that without a mouse the computer is very hard to use, and dragging and dropping
is almost impossible to do with the mouth stick
without the use of your hands. So any program that
you need to drag and drop is almost inaccessible to someone with a disability. I am picking a time
that I want the light to flash and solving for negative K… When I’m taking tests at school, they give me three times the amount of time that a regular student has to take the test and it’s not because I need more time
to think about it. It’s all entering the data into the computer. Tanya: The reason we need
to be ready for these changes is not just because of the laws
but you, as an instructor, have to think about
when a student comes to your class, are you gonna say to them,
“I’m sorry. You can’t watch the video.” We have to, we have to make sure all of our classes are accessible to everyone. It just, it just makes sense. Kendra: Helping all of our students
reach their educational goals is a shared responsibility. The departments of
Instructional Support and Distance Learning have been working on guidelines and information about how this can be done more easily.
It’s not so difficult. For example, course materials can be designed so that they’re easily accessible. The departments of
Instructional Support and Distance Learning will be here to provide training,
to provide support, provide some of the actual
technical pieces of doing things such as putting captioning on videos. Anything to make sure that all of the materials that go online are accessible. We’ll be starting with new courses
so as courses are developed for an online environment,
the materials need to be made accessible. Franklin Roberts: I believe that as an instructor I want my students to be successful. I wanta give them the tools necessary
for them to achieve and this is one of the ways. This ensures that all students
have the opportunity to be successful and not just those students
that don’t have a disability. It does matter
because everybody should be included and nobody should be excluded for any reason. So even though it’s a small portion of
the population of the school, they have every right to be successful
as anyone else. Tanya: There are a lot of disabilities out there, some that we’re aware of
and some that we’re not aware of. So I think the changes we make for the students who have real strong barriers will help the students with maybe lesser barriers or students who have no identified barriers at all. So I do think that the changes we make will-will help our courses just be
more accessible to all students. I mean I think you, as a teacher, need to decide: Are you gonna open the door,
or are you gonna shut door? Are you gonna provide an academic experience for somebody or not? Kendra: A key part of PCC’s mission
is delivering accessible and quality education. Making sure
that all of our online materials are accessible is important
and it’s the right thing to do. We need to help our students -all of our students- meet their educational goals. Danial: If I was able to take online classes without somebody helping me
navigate all the time and I could do it independently, it would mean the world to me. I wouldn’t have to like
call a friend and have them, tandem in and view my screen for me so they could help me navigate through the site, wasting their time and mine. If I can’t find somebody with eyesight
to help me navigate the pages, I either fail or get an incomplete. Yeah, I believe I’d get through school
a lot faster. I mean, at this rate it’s gonna take me forever. Chris Chairsell: Designing accessible
online curriculum means your courses will serve
a broader audience. Students with disabilities, ESOL students and students with different learning styles
will all benefit. Accessibility is a very important issue
for all community colleges because an average of 12%
of the community college students are disabled. This is an initiative we must move ahead on, not only is it a policy of access
at PCC but it’s the law. We are committed to making
all course content accessible to everyone. It is the mission of PCC and there is no success without access. [Music]

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