CAMBRIDGE, Mass. Feb 12, 2015
Advocates for the deaf sued Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology on Thursday, saying the universities failed to provide closed captioning for online courses, podcasts and other educational programs.
The National Association for the Deaf filed class action lawsuits in federal court, saying Harvard and MIT discriminated against the hearing impaired and violated the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The association said much of Harvard’s and MIT’s online content was not captioned, was inaccurately captioned or was unintelligibly captioned, making it inaccessible. Advocates for the deaf say they’re not seeking a financial windfall but rather permanent injunctions against the universities mandating that all their online materials include closed captioning, interpretive text displayed onscreen.
Harvard, MIT Sued Over Lack of Closed Captioning Online full article
A new study has found that poorly-designed Irish higher education websites could be contributing to significant dropouts among students with particular disabilities because they cannot access certain assignment services.
The study which was undertaken by Siteimprove analysed 20 Irish higher education websites with every site failing to meet 44 basic international standards to allow students with disabilities access the same online materials and tools that those without disabilities can.
Quoting the Institution of Education Sciences, the report says that the number of students with disabilities dropping out of higher education before completing their degrees is nearly double that of the average student.
Higher Education Websites Unsuitable for Special Needs Students, says Report full article
SAS, Space Telescope Science Institute Inspire Passion for Science in Students CARY, NC–(Marketwired – September 04, 2014)
A free, multitouch iBooks Textbook for iPad® is now available to inspire students of all abilities to pursue futures in science. Reach for the Stars: Touch, Look, Listen, Learn (opens in new window/tab) incorporates new, assistive technologies so children with visual disabilities, too, can experience striking deep-space images like never before.
Free for download from Apple’s iBookstore(SM), Reach for the Stars (opens in new window/tab) was created for iPad by analytics provider SAS and the Space Telescope Science Institute (STScI).
New iBooks® Textbook Helps Visually Impaired Visit the Stars Through Touch, Sound full article
Jasmin Simpson, who is deaf and blind, says it’s unfair that she had to pay 60 per cent more than non-disabled university students for the same education.
Jasmin Simpson, 39, overcame her deafness, her blindness and her lupus, to earn a master’s degree in social work. By: Carol Goar Star Columnist, Published on Tue Jul 29 2014
The government of Canada can outmuscle, outspend and outlast Jasmin Simpson. But it can’t deflect her from her goal.
Deaf-Blind woman Tests Canada’s Equality Guarantee: Goar full article
WASHINGTON Jun 24, 2014
By KIMBERLY HEFLING AP Education Writer
The Education Department announced Tuesday that it will begin to look at graduation rates, test scores and other measures of academic performance to help determine if states are meeting the needs of students with disabilities.
The department called the change a “major shift” in the way it assesses special education programs, since such benchmarks weren’t stringently applied to special education students previously. An estimated 6.5 million children and youth have such disabilities, the department said, and have lower graduation rates overall and don’t do as well on average in reading and math as their peers.
Education Dept. Issues New Special Ed Rules full article
Online programs today benefit from advances in technology and offer rigorous curricula that rival those of in-classroom programs. The freedom to learn from anywhere at any time, and often at a student’s own pace, is attractive to many. But for students with disabilities, online learning can offer additional advantages. The College Database gathered input from more than 20 college and university disability services and online learning experts to compile the latest information on:
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Posted March 24, 2014
by Ben Johnston
It’s hard to imagine not using technology every day in the real world.
I can’t think of many jobs that don’t require it.
In the real world, using technology is seen as being “tech-savvy.” And yet in our schools, technology is often seen as giving an unfair advantage.
Only a few percent of students with disabilities ever use technology beyond word processors, web browsers, and SMART boards.
It’s disheartening to see non-verbal students struggling to communicate despite the advances in augmentative communication devices. Likewise, it’s difficult to see students with dysgraphia struggling to write simple sentences with pencil and paper despite the advances in word prediction software.
The Case Against Assistive Technology full article
By Daniel Vance Posted Jan. 6, 2014 @ 8:43 am
You could say Dr. Richard Davenport, president of Minnesota State University, has a great deal of personal experience with and an open mind toward people with disabilities, especially communication disorders, such as stuttering, and also voice challenges caused by cleft lip or palate, developmental disabilities, learning disabilities, deafness, brain injury or stroke.
College President Offers Disability Advice full article
Office of Communications | December 03, 2013
UMass Boston students will develop the necessary skills to become a massive force of inclusion.
The University of Massachusetts Boston (UMass Boston) and IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced a new research initiative to advance accessible technology solutions for people with disabilities, the growing elderly population, those with low literacy and novice technology users.
As part of IBM’s Academic Initiative, IBM will provide access to technology and industry expertise to students, professors and researchers at UMass Boston’s newly formed School for Global Inclusion and Social Development.
UMass Boston and IBM Advance Technology Accessibility Research full article
St. Louis, MO (PRWEB) November 06, 2013
St. Louis Children’s Hospital occupational therapist Nicole Weckherlin says the tablet devices help special education students on multiple levels.
The iPad enables Emma to complete school work more efficiently.
The universal access to the iPads really levels the playing field for regular ed and special ed kids.
“I have that app. But I don’t use it all that frequently.”
Listening to St. Louis Children’s Hospital patient Emma Allison speak, the only giveaway to her age is the high-pitched voice of a little girl. According to her mom, she’s 8 – going on 18. But the fact that she’s swiftly navigating advanced technology is nothing new.
Therapist Introduces iPads as Educational Tool for Children with Special Needs full article
Jul 23, 2013
The Justice Department announced today that it has reached a settlement with Louisiana Tech University and the Board of Supervisors for the University of Louisiana System to remedy alleged violations of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
The settlement resolves allegations that the University violated the ADA by using a version of an online learning product that was inaccessible to a blind student.
The student’s lack of access to the course materials persisted nearly one month into the University quarter, at which point the student was so far behind in his coursework that he felt compelled to withdraw from the course.
Justice Department Settles with Louisiana Tech University Over Inaccessible Course Materials full article
Last updated: 18 April 2013
Birmingham University researchers have published the findings of a survey of teachers training to become qualified teachers of children with a visual impairment. The report “The use of Apple iPads amongst Trainee Teachers of Visually Impaired Students” provides a snapshot showing how 49 teachers are currently using iPads to support their work with children who have a vision impairment.
The questionnaire gathered data about the use of the Apple iPad:
iPad Use With Blind and Partially Sighted Children full article
- in the teachers’ own work
- by other professionals and colleagues they knew of, and
- by students with visual impairments.
Ed Tech Accessibility
June 14, 2013
By Ry Rivard
Disability rights advocates and book publishers are pushing for federal regulations to ensure higher education technology is accessible to tens of thousands of students with visual impairments.
A federal study in 2011 found college students with a range of disabilities face “unintended and nearly impenetrable barriers” thrown up by some new technology products. Now, the National Federation of the Blind is floating a draft bill designed to ensure students with disabilities are not left behind on college campuses by a wave of new technologies.
The proposal has the support of other disability rights groups and the Association of American Publishers.
Disability Rights Advocates and Publishers Push for National Standards for Ed Tech Materials full article
Purchase your copy Today!!
April 16, 2013
“The Old Hat Guide to iPhone Accessibility” chronicles the most common challenges a new user faces when picking up Apple’s revolutionary, accessible technologies for the very first time. But as our guide will demonstrate–once conquered, blind and low vision users will unlock a limitless number of possibilities on the job, in the classroom and at play.
Read more at
WISCONSIN RAPIDS, Wisconsin.
April 2, 2013 /PRNewswire
Renaissance Learning™ announced today that the newest update to the Accelerated Reader™ (AR™) Student App for iOS includes VoiceOver support to enhance learning for visually impaired and blind students.
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March 2, 2013
In conjunction with the release of the first ever multimedia ebook created for the blind, by the blind, Fedora Outlier, LLC, is offering an opportunity to win a free 16GB iPad Mini to those who
enter the giveaway and answer the question, “What was your biggest challenge when learning to use your iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch?”
The Old Hat Guide To iPhone Accessibility full article
McGill University takes the lead implementing Universal Design
By Karen Seidman, GAZETTE universities reporter January 5, 2013
As a McGill University student with a learning disability, Cedric Yarish hates when professors rely on “chalk and talk.”
What helps him with his attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is when professors engage students in discussion, present their material in a variety of interesting ways and provide options for student evaluation, such as a choice between exams or papers or other types of multimedia projects.
Accessible Learning for Students With Disabilities full article
MLA Kent Hehr’s private member’s motion calls for an end to private school subsidies
CBC News Posted: Dec 4, 2012
Some parents of children with learning disabilities are joining the debate over public funding to Alberta’s private schools, arguing in favour of taxpayer money in some private classrooms.
Parent Colleen Willmer said she noticed big changes in her son since he switched from a public school to a private one called Foothills Academy that specializes in teaching students with learning disabilities.
“His self esteem has grown a thousand per cent. His marks this year are unbelievable and he loves coming to the school.”
Parents Defend Private Schools for Learning Disabled full article
THE CANADIAN PRESS November 9, 2012
The Supreme Court of Canada has ruled the North Vancouver school district discriminated against Jeffrey when he was in elementary school by failing to accommodate his learning disability.
Photograph by: ExternalVANCOUVER —
By the time he finished Grade 3, Jeffrey Moore still didn’t know the alphabet and could not read his own birthday cards.
His parents sought help for the eight-year-old boy’s dyslexia from his public school, but funding cuts gutted the program. So they instead remortgaged their home to put him into a private school catering to learning disabilities.
North Vancouver School District Discriminated Against Dyslexic Boy, Supreme Court Rules full article
Posted October 30, 2012
Finding a sustainable, accommodating job can be difficult for someone with a disability; while the unemployment rate for those without disabilities is about 8%, for individuals with a disability, it is a whopping 15%.
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