Building and Equipment Accessibility
Students with disabilities that impede mobility may be unable to access certain facilities. Since most buildings at the University are accessible, students with mobility impairments can be scheduled into sections of courses held in accessible areas and/or buildings. If necessary, consideration will be given to relocating a class scheduled in a room or building that is not accessible. Other architectural barriers may also exist. Offices may be inaccessible to a student using a wheelchair or scooter either because of office size or furniture arrangement. Use of computer or laboratory equipment may also be difficult for some students. Adaptive equipment may be needed. The SSD Office may be helpful in suggesting solutions. The Office of Facilities Planning and Management has current information on architectural building accessibility standards (836-3411.)
It is suggested that instructors work with students and the SSD Office to identify means to make lab activities accessible. Visual limitations may require significant magnification of slides and objects. Models using tactile and size values can assist students with greatly limited or no vision. Restructuring laboratory experiences to include the use of a partner for students with hand and arm dexterity problems may be needed. The partner can perform the active parts of the assignment at the direction of the student with a disability. Completion of a lab, in which long periods of standing or sitting are required, may present difficulties. Completing a lab or taking exams through partial attendance at two different sections of the course may accommodate the student with limited standing or sitting tolerance. Another issue which may need to be addressed is the height of lab counters. The SSD Office can assist instructors in developing adjustments to meet the needs of individual students. When labs are being remodeled or updated, accessibility must be considered in both the planning process and during construction.
Access to Technology
In recent years, advances in educational and information technology have been a boon to students and educators alike. However, as institutions embrace these new tools, it is incumbent upon them to ensure that the technology does not create new barriers for individuals with disabilities. These individuals often require modified or adapted hardware or software to gain access to electronic information. The provision of this assistive technology is legally required to ensure equal access to all institutional information technology resources and services.
The requirements of equal access also apply to the Internet and Web.
- Web-based activities and online courses must be accessible to persons with disabilities;
- Captioning and transcripts should be provided for audio and video clips; and
- If instructors make use of Web-based material; programs and equipment must be in place to provide access to the required material for all persons enrolled in a course.
A listing of available assistive technology can be found at http://www.uwec.edu/Library/services/ada.htm
Questions regarding access to technology and related materials should be directed to Craig Mey, Director, Learning Technology Services, 836-3263, firstname.lastname@example.org.