YuJa Contributes to Heartland Community College and Illinois Community Colleges Online’s Accessibility Efforts

Karen Butterfield
Karen Butterfield
Sunrise in Illinois

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.

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