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Accessibility and Universal Design for Learning

Accessibility and Universal Design for Learning

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Accessibility and Universal Design for Learning

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  1. Accessibility and Universal Design for Learning What’s the Difference and What You Need to Know Jim Julius and Jon Rizzo Instructional Technology Services

  2. Federal Law • “no otherwise qualified individual with a disability in the United States…shall, solely by reason of his disability, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any program or activity receiving federal financial assistance…” (Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, 1973)

  3. CSU Policy • “It is the policy of the CSU to make information technology resources and services accessible to all CSU students, faculty, staff and the general public regardless of disability.” (EO 926, 2005)

  4. SDSU Policy • “San Diego State University is committed to providing an educational environment that assures comparable access to electronic and information technology for individuals with disabilities. … To the extent possible, the University shall provide course material that is accessible to all persons regardless of disability.” (Senate Policy, 2008, p. 37)

  5. Timeline • 1973 - Federal Rehabilitation Act • 1986 - Sec 508 amendment • 1990 - Americans with Disabilities Act • 1998 - Sec 508 updated • 2003 - California Government Code 11135 applies Section 508 to the CSU via SB 302 • 2005 - CSU adopts EO 926, Policy on Disability Support and Accommodations • 2006 - CSU announces the Accessible Technology Initiative • 2008 – SDSU Senate adopts Universal Access to Information Technology Resources and Services policy

  6. Sections 504 and 508 Complementary but different laws • Section 504: Accommodations Model (Reactive) providing accommodations or modifications based on a request by a person with disability • Section 508: Access Model (Proactive) proactively providing access in advance regardless of individual’s request or disclosure based on the universal design principle

  7. CSU Accessible Technology Initiative • Three priorities announced September 2006: • Web Accessibility • Instructional Materials Accessibility • Accessible Electronic & Information Technologies Procurement

  8. Original CSU Timeline - ATI • Year One (2006-07): PLANNING &EVALUATION • Year Two (2007-08): FULLIMPLEMENTATION • Year Three (2008-09): ASSESSMENT

  9. Official CSU Timeline – Instructional Materials • June 15, 2007: Submission of Instructional Materials Accessibility Plan (IMAP) • December 1, 2007: Campuses implement the IMAP provisions related to timeliness of alternate formats for print-based instructional materials for Spring 2008. • Fall 2008: New courses and new course content to be accessible. Existing course content will be made accessible at the point of course redesign or when a student with a disability enrolls in the course. • Fall 2012: Instructional materials and websites for all courses will be accessible, or alternative methods offered.

  10. Not an Absolute • “If incorporating accessibility is not possible or would constitute an undue burden, a plan to provide equally effective alternate forms of access shall be developed.”

  11. Elements of the IMAP (1) Timely textbook adoption (2) (including for late-hire faculty) (3) Early alert when alternate format instructional materials needed (4) Increased use of learning management system and electronic posting of instructional materials. (5) Purchasing of accessible digital or multimedia instructional materials (6) Accessibility as a component in educational policy addressing course development and delivery. (7) Support for faculty. (8) Communication and training about the campus Instructional Materials Accessibility Plan.

  12. SDSU: Basic Steps • Post syllabi on Web sites ASAP. • Notify Student Disability Services sufficiently in advance when texts must be converted to Braille. • Order textbooks by the deadline. • Provide clean copies of materials to ECR or Montezuma Publishing. • Order from publishers that provide electronic versions, or use already-converted materials. • Use media owned by the university rather than personal tapes. • See

  13. SDSU: Thoughts from Bonnie Zimmerman • As a university, we wish to take an educational rather than compliance approach, but we must follow the law and provide accessible materials to students with disabilities in a timely fashion. • We don’t want to stifle creativity or academic freedom, so success must involve faculty freely embracing the principles and goals of the ATI; however, academic freedom would probably not be considered a defense for not providing students the access they need to instructional materials of accessible web sites.

  14. SDSU: Next Steps/Questions for Faculty (1) How can faculty members be encouraged to submit their book orders and course reader packets in a timely fashion? (2) How could we develop a process for identifying textbooks for late-hire faculty that respects their academic freedom but also allows for the production of alternate media? (3) What would be required to increase the number of faculty who use Blackboard or other learning management systems? (4) What current resources have you found helpful in making course materials available to your students? (5) What type of training and support would you need to learn how to make your course content more accessible?