Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 (Section 504) and Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (Title II) apply to all post-secondary institutions, including colleges, universities and technical schools. These laws, commonly referred to as Section 504 and Title II ensure that students with disabilities are able to access educational services, and are eligible for accommodations to meet their educational needs.
What Are Typical Accommodations?
Disability accommodations in post-secondary education typically go through a student services or disability office, depending on the size of the institution. While students are not required to self-identify as disabled, they do not qualify for accommodations unless they do so. The process requires documentation from a health care provider, as well as meetings with the office. Accommodations are customized to meet the needs of the individual student; however, the student is not typically allowed to select which accommodation she prefers, unless only one option is successful for her needs. Examples of typical accommodations in the classroom might include:
- Additional time for examinations.
- A note-taker.
- Recording devices.
- An ASL interpreter.
- Preferential seating in the classroom.
Technology and Disability Accommodations
All educational technology must meet the legal regulations of Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. YuJa is fully Section 508 compatible and compliant. Students with disabilities can access and make full use of the features of YuJa. YuJa automates many accessibility features for students. Videos are auto-captioned, making them accessible to deaf and hard-of-hearing students. Auto-captioning
creates a word-by-word transcript of your lecture capture; students can both hear and read lectures. In addition, high-quality audio recording and text captioning makes material accessible to students with visual disabilities. For students who may miss classes due to health conditions, lecture capture can make regular class attendance and participation more accessible.
Maximizing the Effectiveness of YuJa
Instructors can choose to make YuJa an even more useful tool for students with disabilities of various sorts. This helps these students to succeed in the classroom, to thrive, and to feel welcomed and accepted, whether it’s a traditional class, a blended or hybrid class, or an online-only class. In addition, some students may not have worked with the disability office, but may benefit from access to the technology provided by YuJa. While these students are not, without filing with the disability office, legally entitled to accommodations, they can thrive with access to improved educational technology.
- Upload instructors’ notes and PowerPoint files to the Course Board. The accessibility of instructor notes can reduce the note-taking responsibilities for the students and enable more effective learning and retention.
- Take advantage of high-quality microphones to produce clear audio. Both podium and headset microphones work well. Students can adjust the volume on their own computer or mobile device, and can refer to the auto-captions for clarity if needed.
- Move discussions online. With online real-time discussions, every student can participate, even if in-class participation might be difficult.
- Offer online office hours. For students with mobility difficulties or episodic illnesses, visiting a professor in-office may pose a challenge. Online office hours allow students to engage and interact from their own homes, or even, if necessary, from a hospital.