Dr. Maia Smith, Associate Director of e-Learning at SLCC, has regular contact with other e-learning coordinators and leaders across the system. She heard about YuJa Panorama Digital Accessibility Platform from colleagues at both River Parishes and Delgado Community College, who have been using YuJa Panorama heavily at their institutions. “I didn’t have to make a case to our administration about why YuJa Panorama was such a great product. LCTCS did that work for us,” Smith said.
About the University
About South Louisiana Community CollegeSouth Louisiana Community College (SLCC) was created by Act 1369 of the 1997 Louisiana regular legislative session. The College was established as a comprehensive, multi campus public two-year institution of higher education and was designated to serve the Acadiana region, which is comprised of the eight civil parishes. When the Louisiana Community and Technical College System (LCTCS) was organized in 1999, SLCC joined all of Louisiana’s community and technical colleges as an LCTCS institution, governed by the Louisiana Board of Regents for Higher Education. SLCC is one of the largest community colleges in Louisiana with nearly 12,000 students enrolled and is a leader in training Louisiana’s workforce. SLCC offers more than 50 programs leading to associate degrees, technical diplomas, and certificates, and a wide range of non-credit instruction and training.
“I knew digital accessibility was an important part of that and I focused heavily on making improvements.”
Course Audits Were a Manual and Cumbersome Process Before Adopting YuJa PanoramaWhen Smith began in her role at the college as an e-learning coordinator one of the first tasks she took on was auditing courses against the Quality Matters Higher Ed Course Design Rubric. “I knew digital accessibility was an important part of that and I focused heavily on making improvements,” Smith stated, adding that none of the images in courses had alternative text and aspects like the variability in font and contrast issues were pervasive.
Smith did all of the course audits and updates manually. “We didn’t have any tools to help assess accessibility in classes – just the Quality Matters rubric and going through each individual course, each image, page by page, line by line to check the accessibility by hand,” she explained. She conducted small group faculty training sessions to try to shift the focus for faculty. “Digital accessibility is more than addressing disabilities or students with disabilities. We’re not providing accessibility for one student for one semester, we’re making learning accessible to all people,” she said. “This is Universal Design for Learning, where what’s good for one is good for all.”
YuJa Panorama Helps Boost Accessibility of Course Content Across SLCCYuJa Panorama is integrated directly with Canvas, which simplified digital accessibility for faculty. “Once we could put a number behind what was accessible and what wasn’t and to break down the issues, it became so much easier and less burdensome to identify and make changes in their courses, which strengthened our relations because it enabled instructors to manage their digital accessibility on their own,” Smith said.
Before implementing YuJa Panorama, Smith said she would have put the institution’s overall course accessibility at less than 50 percent. After integrating YuJa Panorama, it steadily increased to about 90 percent. “YuJa Panorama has been integral in making sure we can analyze digital accessibility across our Canvas courses. It doesn’t ensure we do, but it makes sure we can at any time and make changes with a level of efficiency I’ve never seen before,” Smith shared, adding that she is immensely proud of the faculty for striving to reach 100 percent accessibility across courses.
Instructors are using live captioning, adding alt text to images, creating the right contrast ratios and more to ensure their content is accessible. They’re “striving for perfection,” Smith said. “I think instructors are a lot more confident about their digital content. YuJa Panorama has made their jobs easier by making them aware of what needs to be done and enabling them to do it proactively.”