Colleges Lock Out Blind Students OnlineBy Parry, Marc; Chronicle of Higher Education,
Publication Date: December 12, 2010
Article discusses accessibility obstacles encountered by blind students to Internet services at colleges and universities in the United States. Based on interviews, a review of federal records, and recent research, the publication found widespread access problems including (1) college Web pages that are “widely inaccessible” to people with disabilities, according to a 5 year study backed by the National Science Foundation that examined 127 institutions in the Northwest; (2) no centralized way for colleges to ensure that online courses comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, according to a report from the Campus Computing Project and the Wiche Cooperative for Educational Telecommunications; (3) inaccessible technology at Pennsylvania State University which, according to a federal complaint by an organization of blind people, includes its library catalog, departmental Websites, and course management software; and (4) the use of Amazon’s Kindle e-reader, which lacks audible menus for blind people, at Arizona State University, according to a pending law suit. Other problems encountered at Arizona State by a blind student interviewed include an inaccessible private Facebook application used to enter the school’s virtual student union, an online workbook for Spanish 101 that fails to correctly label images, and the use of an inaccessible video player in a national multimedia project at the School of Journalism.
Published by: Chronicle of Higher Education (Website:http://chronicle.com)
Link to text: http://chronicle.com/article/Blind-Students-Demand-Access/125695/