The Legacy of Judy Heumann, “The Mother of Disability Rights”
As a child in 1949 living in Brooklyn, New York, Heumann contracted polio and began using a wheelchair for mobility. At the age of five, she was deemed a “fire hazard,” and denied entry to school, according to her website. As a child, her mother advocated for her and she was eventually allowed into school. Though this was among the first discriminatory acts against her, it was not the last.
“Some people say that what I did changed the world, but really, I simply refused to accept what I was told about who I could be. And I was willing to make a fuss about it.”
“It was still a radical claim that disabled people didn’t see themselves, or their conditions, as something to be pitied. Or that they insisted what most held them back wasn’t their health condition but society’s exclusion — maybe attitudes that they were less capable to do a job, go to college or find romance; or a physical barrier, like a sidewalk without a curb cut,” said NPR’s Joseph Shapiro in an article about Heumann.
Shapiro shared that he wrote an article about disability rights in 1987 in which Heumann said “Disability only becomes a tragedy when society fails to provide the things we need to lead our lives — job opportunities or barrier-free buildings, for example,” she said. “It is not a tragedy to me that I’m living in a wheelchair.” The article was not published because the idea she relayed seemed so “unexpected and strange.”
Starting a Revolution
In 1970, after Heumann passed her oral and written teaching exams, but she ultimately failed the medical exam where she was again deemed a “fire hazard.” This time, examiners said she would not be able to evacuate children or herself during an emergency. Heumann sued the board of education to allow her to become a teacher. The New York Times headline read “Woman in Wheel Chair Sues to Become Teacher” and the article noted she would be the city’s first teacher in a wheelchair. Her lawyers said the case was the first such civil rights suit ever filed in a federal court.
She was instrumental in the development and passage of Section 504, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Rehabilitation Act, and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which “have been advancing the inclusion of disabled people in the US and around the world and fighting to end discrimination against all those with disabilities.”
“Section 504 became a model for the ADA, which would extend the principles of non-discrimination to all public accommodations, employment, transportation, communications and access to state and local government programs,” NPR said. That means if you’ve ever used an elevator in a subway station or busy public area, if you used the curb cuts to more easily get on a sidewalk, or if you’ve used the accessible restrooms in a public space, you’ve benefited from the ADA. Closed captions, transcripts, and website accessibility, are all other examples of services for disabled people that benefit everyone.
When Richard Nixon vetoed the 1972 Rehabilitation act, Heumann helped lead a protest that shut down traffic in Manhattan. She also launched a 26-day sit-in at a federal building in San Francisco to get Section 504 of the revived Rehabilitation Act enforced. “(The sit-in) has often been described as the longest nonviolent occupation of a federal building in American history,” The New York Times reported.
More Advocacy Efforts
Heumann never stopped at securing rights for herself, but continued her work for others. Heumann co-founded the World Institute on Disability (WID), which was among the first global disability rights organizations led by people with disabilities. The institute is “dedicated to designing, building, and supporting whole community solutions by removing barriers to include people with disabilities.”
Heumann served the Clinton Administration as the Assistant Secretary for the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services in the Department of Education from 1993 to 2001. From 2002 to 2006, she was the World Bank’s first Adviser on Disability and Development.
She was appointed by President Barack Obama as the first Special Advisor for International Disability Rights in the U.S. Department of State, a position she held from 2010-2017. She also was the Director for the Department on Disability Services and responsible for the Developmental Disability Administration and the Rehabilitation Services Administration.
The American Civil Liberties Union said she traveled to countries on every continent to help change the way people perceive those with disabilities and to help remove barriers they face in their everyday lives. Between 2000 and 2015, 181 countries passed disability civil rights modeled after the ADA, according to NPR.
Documentary and Book Release
Just before the pandemic, Heumann was featured in a documentary released at the 2020 Sundance film festival. “Crip Camp: A Disability Revolution,” was about Heumann and others who attended a summer camp (Camp Janed) for children with disabilities in the Catskills. Heumann later was a counselor at the camp. Camp Janed became “the beginnings of a revolution.”
“What I want is for the book and the film — and other books and films — to allow people to recognize the real absence of representation of disability in media, broadly speaking”
Heumann also has a memoir, “Being Heumann: An Unrepentant Memoir of a Disability Rights Activist.” Heumann told The Cut, “What I want is for the book and the film — and other books and films — to allow people to recognize the real absence of representation of disability in media, broadly speaking. Black disabled people, Latino disabled people, Asian disabled people, indigenous disabled people, disabled people with visible and invisible disabilities — they’re pretty absent. And yet, in the United States, it’s more than 20 percent of our population. Disability is something that all families experience, temporarily or permanently.”
“Some people say that what I did changed the world,” she wrote, “But really, I simply refused to accept what I was told about who I could be. And I was willing to make a fuss about it.”
Learn more about Judy Heumann on her website.
Photos courtesy of Judithheumann.com
YuJa Contributes to Heartland Community College and Illinois Community Colleges Online’s Accessibility Efforts
Heartland Community College, a public community college with four campuses in Illinois, has made tremendous strides in accessibility and has helped lead Illinois Community College Online’s accessibility efforts. One of the primary drivers has been YuJa Panorama, one product in YuJa’s suite of high-impact media solutions that help institutions deliver accessible, engaging video and media content to users.
“…the shining star of this transition is (YuJa) Panorama.”
YuJa Panorama enhances accessibility with auto-generation of a number of Accessible Alternatives of course material in the background — from HTML, to electronic Braille, EPUB, audio (speech-to-text), high contrast, tagged PDF files and more and provides a Visual Gauge for a quick check of accessibility. Detailed reports at a course and institution level help measure and track accessibility.
Anna Catterson, Ph.D., Executive Director, Online Learning & Instructional Technologies at Heartland Community College and an Assistant Professor, Baker University School of Education and Jewel Crowley-Custis, Coordinator of Instructional Technologies at Heartland Community College recently published a white paper Breaking Down Barriers in the Heartland to highlight the institution’s journey to accessibility.
“When Heartland Community College began this journey, the college was not aware of many accessibility laws and regulations, especially when it came to Section 508 Refresh,” the whitepaper states. “Our college was not alone, in fact, after a poll completed in 2019, over 85% of community colleges in Illinois reported that they had no accessibility plan or timeline (Illinois Community Colleges Online, 2019).”
“Panorama is integrated into every course and is viewable on both the faculty and student side. The faculty are provided an accessibility score for their entire course with suggestions on how to improve accessibility.”
The institution launched YuJa’s Enterprise Video Platform and YuJa Panorama for Digital Accessibility this past fall. “While YuJa has expanded options for video recording, including the automatic addition of captions to each video recorded or uploaded, a video editor and various options of recording features, and video quizzing, the shining star of this transition is Panorama,” the authors note.
“Panorama is integrated into every course and is viewable on both the faculty and student side. The faculty are provided an accessibility score for their entire course with suggestions on how to improve accessibility, especially for their documents. Each document that is uploaded is also provided with a scale of how accessible it is. Students have the option to download every document, such as a syllabus into various formats, including braille, epub, text-to-speech, and more. To date, since the implementation of Panorama, Heartland Community College’s overall accessibility rate for Canvas courses is 64% with over 2000 uploaded files with no accessibility issues.”
Read the full whitepaper on LinkedIn.
The Leading Alternative to VidGrid Chosen By the Majority of Former VidGrid Customers
Benefits of Migrating to YuJa Enterprise Video Platform
YuJa empowers learning enterprises to create engaging educational experiences. “Switching technology solutions doesn’t have to be a burden. Our experienced implementation and support teams understand all the logistics and can help create a seamless transition for the institution and students alike,” said Nathan Arora, Chief Business Officer at YuJa Inc. “YuJa is an innovative, robust, affordable alternative to VidGrid for educational enterprises.”
YuJa’s Enterprise Video Platform is an all-in-one solution that empowers instructors and course designers to securely create, manage, discover, collaborate and stream accessible content across devices.
“Switching technology solutions doesn’t have to be a burden. Our experienced implementation and support teams understand all the logistics and can help create a seamless transition for the institution and students alike,” said Nathan Arora, Chief Business Officer at YuJa Inc. “YuJa is an innovative, robust, affordable alternative to VidGrid for educational enterprises.”
- It’s designed with institutions in mind, and quickly integrates with your LMS.
- The Media Platform is a comprehensive Video Content Management System (VCMS) that hosts video and digital media in a secure Cloud environment.
- YuJa facilitates flipped classroom and classroom capture, with hardware, software, browser and mobile capture options.
Consolidate Your Ed-Tech Tools
In addition to lecture capture, YuJa’s solutions enable consolidation of many ed-tech tools into one platform. Solutions include:
- Live Streaming
- Video Conferencing
- Test Proctoring
- Digital Accessibility,
- Archiving and Compliance
- Real-time audience response
Support You Can Count On
We pride ourselves on our second-to-none customer success, implementation and support teams. Customer service is always included with each deployment license, which includes live, total user customer service, dedicated account management staffing and consistent support, all backed by the team’s award-winning product engineering and operations teams.
Our Experience is Broad
YuJa has experience migrating hundreds of thousands of terabytes of video data from all competitors, including VidGrid. YuJa also has a highly-experienced Customer Success team that has performed migrations at scale, from start to finish, in a matter of weeks.
Student Perspective: How YuJa’s Accessibility Tools Helped a University of Alberta Student in Their Final Semester
Odayh Jamal recently earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Environmental Engineering at the University of Alberta, a Top 5 Canadian university located in Edmonton, Alberta. During his last semester, two of his instructors started using the YuJa Enterprise Video Platform’s Lecture Capture tools to record and disseminate lectures to students.
Student Use Case
“Videos captioned in other platforms were often unreliable and inaccurate. It wouldn’t catch certain words, making it hard to find what you’re looking for later.”
Odayh used the Video Platform for three primary purposes, all of which reflect the university’s goals of providing accessible and inclusive content to learners:
- Transcripts: YuJa features like transcripts, which provides text of spoken words, made searching simple. “The transcripts made it easy to read everything that was said during class,” Odayh said, adding that transcripts also simplified searching by keywords when reviewing for exams. “The ability to search the text allowed me to find exactly what I was looking for.”
- Auto-Captions: An accessibility feature, many students use captions for an added layer of comprehension. Instructors were using another vendor prior to YuJa, but Odayh said the captions weren’t reliable. “Videos captioned in other platforms were often unreliable and inaccurate. It wouldn’t catch certain words, making it hard to find what you’re looking for later,” he relayed.
- Rewatching Lectures: Before starting an assignment, and particularly before midterms and finals, Odayh said he would rewatch lectures to review any problem concepts and to ensure he was prepared. “(The other software) wasn’t optimized for learning,” Odayh stated. “In my final semester at the University of Alberta, YuJa made it easy to find information in eClass (Moodle Learning Management System).”
Embracing New Technology Improve the Learning Environment
Odayh said instructors embraced the new technology, which provided another avenue to connect during the pandemic. “If institutions want to make a positive switch, using YuJa could help improve the learning environment for students,” he concluded. “It’s definitely easier than other platforms.”
How Higher Education Can Leverage Data Lakes to Manage the Onslaught of Video and Digital Media Content
The good news for administrators is that data is and can stay a college or university’s friend, helping record and distribute lectures, capture information, streamline processes and create more efficient systems for managing information. The key, of course, is ensuring your organization has proper storage, management and security/compliance protocols.
Here are some top tips to working with large amounts of data, particularly video data:
Ensure Your Platforms Are Scalable
Ensuring your platforms are scalable and that your organization is using the right platform for each data type is important. Basic file management systems, like Learning Management Software (LMS) platforms, are inadequate for storing video content. That’s because video files are large, which means not only do they take up a lot of space on your device, they also require a lot of bandwidth to send, download or stream. To handle video content, make sure you have a system designed for video content management.
Make Sure You’re Using the Right Platform for Each Data Type
Similarly, Zoom isn’t an ideal storage space for video data. The YuJa Video Content Management System (Video CMS) enables organizations to store, manage, and stream media content both inside-and-outside their enterprise with a scalable platform designed for your organization.
If your organization is saving files strictly for compliance reasons, it’s best to turn to an e-discovery and storage compliance solution like YuJa Himalayas, where institutions can store data lakes in a searchable, compliant and cost-effective manner.
What Are Data Lakes and How to Manage Them
Data lakes are central repositories for internal, external, structured and unstructured data accumulated from a variety of sources. Organizations can store data in its original form, thereby allowing the flexibility to analyze and build optimized data architectures. This makes it not only possible, but simple for IT professionals, administrators and others to efficiently and quickly extract insights from enterprise data.
According to recent Aberdeen research study, the average company is seeing the volume of their data grow at a rate that exceeds 50% per year. The same study noted that organizations who implemented a Data Lake outperforming similar companies by 9% in organic revenue growth.
Tools that help organizations identify regulatory and corporate compliance risks in video, audio, and documents are optimal for managing large volumes of data. These tools can provide searchable transcriptions of spoken words, and optical character recognition (OCR) of screen content.
How a Security and Compliance Solution Can Help
As organizations scale video and audio collaboration, the challenge of compliance makes it difficult to increase usage within regulated sectors. YuJa Himalayas provide a unified Platform to review and search video conference recordings, analyze and search visual content, and provide compliant archiving of video content.
Your institution’s video can be integrated into existing compliance programs, whether it’s data archiving, storage tiering, visual search, policy management or automated ingestion. Himalayas automatically provides tools to identify regulatory and corporate compliance risks in video, audio, and documents by providing the searchable transcriptions of spoken words and optical character recognition (OCR) of screen content. Additionally, YuJa Inc. is a SOC 2-compliant firm achieving the highest standard for corporate and information technology (IT) governance.
YuJa, Inc. Obtains Data Privacy Certification Through IMS Global
“YuJa, Inc. connects millions of students to learning applications daily. Data privacy is a top concern and something we’re committed to now and in the future,” said Nathan Arora, Chief Business Officer at YuJa, Inc. “This certification solidifies our commitment to data privacy and security to protect institutions and their users.”
The certification was awarded after a rigorous application and certification process that was vetted by IMS staff. To earn the certification, organizations must also complete training on the IMS TrustED Apps vetting process, followed by a self assessment, and organizational leaders must commit to resolving any issues that arise in the vetting process or in the evaluation rubric as it evolves in the future.
“In addition to maintaining standards for interoperability, the IMS Global Learning Consortium community strives through its rigorous community-developed app vetting process to ensure that educational technology applications fulfill requirements for privacy and security and assure responsible usage of the information gathered by these applications,” IMS Global says.
What is the TrustEd Apps & Data Privacy Certification?
Most educational applications are created and managed by vendors who do their best to protect the identity of the individuals accessing the system and the data that they generate. However, a comprehensive review of student privacy, data security, and other safety issues is the responsibility of the school or district to ensure that appropriate safeguards of student data are in place, the IMS website states.
Vetting educational applications can provide additional assurance that the information gathered by these educational applications is being used responsibly. The TrustEd Apps program is the process that IMS has developed to vet applications and certify them for data privacy. As part of its ongoing effort to provide privacy and security in its product lineup, YuJa, Inc. has obtained the IMS TrustEd Apps™ Seal for Data Privacy Certification.
What Does This Seal Mean?
For suppliers, the IMS TrustEd Apps Seal certifies that an application satisfactorily completes the rigorous and trusted IMS TrustEd Apps vetting process, and its ratings on the IMS TrustEd Apps Rubric are fully disclosed and meet a specified level of expectation of data privacy.
What is IMS?
IMS enables a plug-and play-architecture and ecosystem that provides a foundation on which innovative products can be rapidly deployed and work together seamlessly.
“IMS member suppliers are the market leaders in innovation,” IMS Global says. “IMS member institutions are getting to the future of digital learning faster. IMS certification is a bond of trust and commitment to creating innovative products that work together for the benefit of instructors, students, and institutions.”