Questions and answers on providing services to children with disabilities during the … The rapid development of adaptive technology makes it possible for almost anyone to access computing resources. But, what is required to ensure that a distance learning class taught over the Internet complies with the ADA? For example, his speech system will simply say "image map" at the place where an image map would be displayed to someone using a multimedia web browser. Printed materials, videos, and other visual materials also create access challenges for him. The field of universal design provides a framework for this discussion. Alternatively, a student who is deaf might be able to participate in a telephone conference by using the Telecommunications Relay Service (TRS), where an operator types what the speakers say for the deaf student to view on his text telephone (TTY) and translates his printed input into speech, however this system might be too slow to allow participation in lively conversations. The interactive video sessions, proctored examinations, and retreats for students in some distance learning courses require place-bound meetings. Real-time captioning (developed at the time of the presentation) or sign language interpreting should be provided for videoconferences when requested by participants who are deaf. __ DLP Accessibility Indicator 7. Statement on Accessibility to Distance Learning Gallaudet University and its Office for Students with Disabilities (OSWD) is committed to providing a rich and comprehensive learning experience for all distance-learning students taking online courses from Gallaudet. (202) 401-1576 or press@ed.gov, New Fact Sheet Provides Additional Information on How Distance Learning Can be Used to Meet Students’ Needs During COVID-19 National Emergency. __ DLP Accessibility Indicator 2. Some distance learning programs employ real-time communication in their courses. People who need to operate a computer but whose hands are occupied with other activities face challenges similar to those who use a hands-free input method because of a disability. Planning for access as the course is being developed is much easier than creating accommodation strategies once a student with a disability enrolls. "Universal design" is defined by the Center for Universal Design at North Carolina State University as "the design of products and environments to be usable by all people, to the greatest extent possible, without the need for adaptation or specialized design." The content of this web page was adapted with permission from Burgstahler, S. (2012). Besides providing scheduling challenges, synchronous communication is difficult or impossible for someone who cannot communicate quickly. A student who has limited vision can use special software to enlarge screen images. Some specific learning disabilities impact the ability to read, write and process information. The following paragraphs discuss access issues and present design guidelines for ensuring that a distance learning course is accessible to potential instructors and students with a wide range of abilities and disabilities. A statement about how people can obtain alternate formats of printed materials is included in publications. Making the content of printed materials available in an accessible web-based format may provide the best solution for students who cannot read standard printed materials. Real Connections: Making Distance Learning Accessible to Everyone. In instances where technology is not accessible or where educational materials are not available in an accessible format, educators may still meet their legal obligations by providing equally effective alternate access to the curriculum or services provided to other students. Students with speech impairments cannot effectively participate in teleconferences that might be part of a distance learning course. Some simply consider it to be the right thing to do. Course designers using development tools, such as Blackboard™, can employ product accessibility tools to create accessible courses. Besides elevators in buildings, reserved spaces in parking lots, and lifts on buses, the ADA accessibility requirements also apply to Internet-based programs. 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