ILCCO Growing Online Learning Conference 2019 Keynote Presentation – Accessibility: A Civil Right

ILCCO Growing Online Learning Conference 2019 Keynote Presentation – Accessibility: A Civil Right


JEFF NEWELL: Welcome everyone,
to Growing Online Learning. This is presented by Illinois
Community Colleges Online. The theme for this
year’s conference is Accessibility,
the Road to Success. We hope the conference
will provide strategies and practices for you
to use to improve accessibility in online instruction. I’m Jeff Newell, I’m the
director of Illinois Community Colleges Online, or ILCCO. And we appreciate
you being here today. And for those of you who will be
reviewing the recording later, we appreciate you taking
time to do that as well. ILCCO would like to
thank College of DuPage for providing the web
conferencing platform for use in this year’s conference. College of DuPage
is an ILCCO member. Please note that
live captioning is available for the conference. You probably got
a message to ask whether you wanted to use
that or not at the beginning. But if you need assistance
with that feature, please use the chat
to ask and we’ll see what we can do to
provide assistance. And I want to thank Lara
Tompkins from College of DuPage for doing live captioning
for us for this session. Our schedule is on the screen. We have six sessions
this conference. And we will address topics
like using universal design for the development of
effective, accessible learning environments, basic principles
for creating accessible print and multimedia items, how
institutions can approach improving accessibility, and
how different LMSs address accessibility. Links and session
information can be found at the conference
website at ILCCO.net under Resources and Events. If you have any question–
any questions on registration [INAUDIBLE] in the sessions you
can contact me, Jeff Newell, at [email protected] Archives of these
presentations will be available at the conference
website on ILCCO.net net following the conference. ILCCO is pleased to
welcome Dr. Vance Martin. Dr. Martin is the campus
accessibility specialist for the Center for Online
Learning, Research and Service, or COLRS, at the University
of Illinois Springfield. Vance has been working in
accessibility since 2007. He teaches classes and
workshops on accessibility. At UIS, he has worked
with faculty and staff to help train them on
accessibility laws, and how to make
materials accessible. He also leads a team of
[INAUDIBLE] since 2018, have made all the files for
over 100 courses accessible. He has consulted with multiple
higher education institutions in Illinois, and works
with Microsoft engineers to help make Office
products more accessible. If you have questions
during the presentation, you can put them
in the chat room. There will be a couple
of [INAUDIBLE] where– where Vance will pause
to take questions. And also as a reminder,
please mute your lines. If you’re on the phone
or using a headset and you have a
microphone, just mute that so we don’t get any
feedback or any crosstalk during the presentation. With that, I would
like to welcome Vance. Thank you, Vance,
for being here today, and I’ll turn it over to you. VANCE MARTIN: Thanks, Jeff. I’m going to put video on
here for just one second so they can all
see me, and you can see that I have a lovely
colorful tie on and did dress up for this. But I’ll save your bandwidth
and turn the camera off for the rest the presentation. But this gives you a
little bit of a sense of who’s talking to you. So I’d like to thank Jeff
and the conference committee for asking me to give this talk. So I entitled it
“Accessibility, A Civil Right.” And I’ll be using that term
throughout the presentation. And I’ll probably
refer to capital CR Civil Rights versus
lowercase cr civil rights, whereas, at least in
the United States, we often refer to
capital CR civil rights as specifically focusing on
African-American voting rights and equality within the US. Whereas civil rights is
much more open and includes LGBT, and people with
disabilities, and Latinos, and women at a
much broader scope. So when I do use
those terms, that’s kind of how I’m talking
about lowercase and uppercase civil rights. So this first section is going
to focus a bit on background. And I promise that
this is the furthest that I will go back, is to
ancient Sparta, and about 500 BC. I was a historian
for many years, and so I guess I just
can’t get away from this. But we’re not actually sure
that the Spartans did this. However, historians from
about 2,300 years ago at least used to say that the Spartans
would inspect babies at birth and deem them
either fit or unfit. And those that were
unfit were thrown off of a cliff to die to
create a better gene pool for the Spartan nation. And I would say
that that idea has stuck with us, as
we’ll see as we go through this presentation. So that being said
with Sparta, we’re now going to jump about
2,300 years forward in time. So when we think
about disability, there’s several periods
in it, in recent history. So around 1800 in
France, there was a boy who was found living
out in the wilderness who was called Victor, or
the Wild Boy of Aveyron, as can be seen here
in this drawing by a young boy, who was found
by John Marc Gaspard Itard, who attempted to train or
rehabilitate this boy to make it into everyday society. And I would characterize, at
least, this rural agrarian point in history as
a point in which we tried to accommodate
and integrate people into society, who had
what we would today term learning, cognitive,
or physical disabilities. It was a bit easier
to do in that society. And as long as people
were from that community, the community was
willing to do so. If people were more
affluent, it might have been more
practical for them to, kind of in the “Jane
Eyre” sense, from the book, you know, how is the
person in an upper room and they didn’t see
much of society? But people could at
least participate in certain activities in
societies at that time. If people were not from
a community, though, they would often be pushed
around from town to town, usually leading to their demise. So within the
United States then, it’s only a little
over 200 years ago that we get this idea that we
need to help those people who have one of the physical
disabilities, either blindness or deafness. And so as you can see
here, this drawing of a neoclassical mansion
in a pastoral setting, is a drawing of the
Connecticut Asylum for the Education of the
Deaf and Dumb Persons created in 1817. So we start to get, within
different states, a center where people with these
specific disabilities can go to learn many
of the basic things that we want people within
our young nation to know. Basic, what we would normally
term as reading and writing, which may have to be
in a different form based on the form of disability. And I’m sorry, I didn’t– I’m trying to follow on two TVs
since I hadn’t clicked that. So here is that
pastoral building. So shortly thereafter,
we get the foundation of the Perkins Institute
for the Blind, in Boston, Massachusetts. This is an image of one
of the initial buildings, a five-story
Beaux-Arts building, which was originally a hotel. And so Perkins is
still around today, and is a big leader in
education, and advocacy, and creation of new technologies
that help people who are blind or deaf-blind
access modern life. Probably one of their
most famous graduates was probably Helen Keller,
who we’ll speak about here in just a few moments. But again, so we go from
Connecticut to Massachusetts, and shortly thereafter, you
get the publication of Braille. And so you can see
here in this image, it is a representation of the
Braille alphabet, A through Z, along with numbers
one through zero, which was first
published in 1834. And so this is
innovative as a method for people who are
blind to be able to use raised pins in paper to
figure out the letters, and be able to thereby read. It was a very cost
prohibitive exercise to do because the publishing. You had to use thicker paper. The bindings would be
bigger because of the way it was published. It couldn’t be
done on two pages. But this was a way
for those people who were blind to be able
to understand anything anybody else could read. Today, I will talk about,
just in a few minutes, the way Braille has advanced
a bit in our digital age. Today, you can also
expect that about 37% of people who are
blind can read Braille. That’s mainly due
to screen reading software, which we’ll also talk
about here in a few minutes. So at the height
of the Civil War, we actually get the Foundation
of the National Deaf Mute College, which has changed
its name to Gallaudet. You can see here, a very
early picture, about 1870 of the campus with only four
buildings in Washington DC. So again, we’re still
thinking about how to educate people who
have these disabilities, and even avenues for
higher education of people in American society. Along with that, we
also start to begin to think about, how do we
train the actual teachers? So it’s in 1884,
in New York City, at Columbia, within
their Teachers College, with an image here
of the exterior of their famous Gothic building
which houses the Teachers College, that we see the first
program within the United States that can train
teachers who will then go to teach at
institutes for the blind, typically in the various states
throughout the United States. So typically, every state
has at least one school for the visually impaired,
one school for the blind. I can say that I’m originally
from Jacksonville, Illinois. And Jacksonville, Illinois
is the home for the Illinois School for the Visually
Impaired and the Illinois School for the Deaf, as we’ll
discuss a little bit later also, used to be the Illinois
State mental institution. But as we all know,
agrarianism ends, or begins to end, around 1850. And industrialization
takes its toll on many things within
American society. So we have an image here from
the 1850s, 1860s, of a factory floor with a lot of women packed
in a room with many machines. And so as we get more
people moving to cities, as we get more people packed
into factories, whose jobs may be stationary and
mundane, but require certain physical attributes,
or potentially require certain levels of being able
to read at a basic level, that excludes a larger
segment of society. People who may have been
able to lift hay, and lead horses, and plow
fields, and things like that, who are unable
to stand and do, you know, fine dexterous things, and pick
spindles, and things like that, off of blooms, or put them on
there in order to make fabric. And so who is
worthwhile in society begins to change because
of some of these ideas. Similarly, our view on
education changes drastically because of the
Industrial Revolution. So in this image, it’s
from the mid to late 1800s. It’s a classroom with
a teacher drawing on a chalkboard with a lot
of students apparently rapt, paying attention to the teacher. And I’m sure that
most of us have seen this exact same
image, or at least what occurs in this
image, probably today. And it probably didn’t
look too much different, as you may have
walked past classrooms and seen an individual
in front of a whiteboard. Perhaps they were at a
computer with a projector, projecting a PowerPoint, which
kind of conveys the same idea. Maybe our students were
less enrapt in what was being covered
because they might have had cell phones or something. But this is our model of
education for the last 150 years. However– and I won’t
go too much into this here, as I have in
other presentations, but there was no real research
done in 1850 saying, hey, the best way to
educate people is, let’s have one person
in front the class and 24 students in the
class, and they’ll just sit there and pay attention. There weren’t
those studies done. What was done was they
applied the industrial model of how these factories
were working, and they said, hey, this would
be a very efficient method for training people. And so we had a
lot of immigrants starting to flood the country. We needed to teach
them basic English. We needed to also
teach order, that we arrive at a school
at a certain time, we do what the person
in charge tells us, we leave at a certain time. So that this would help train
people for that future work life on that factory floor. It also changed our view of– somewhat of a meritocracy in
how people make it in society. In that we go from we have a
child of x age attends y class. And after a year of being in y
class, if they do well enough, they get to go to z class. And then a class, and
b class, and c class. And then those people
that succeed potentially go to college and become
the movers and shakers and cotton gin– or cotton mill owners
in our society. This change that
occurs in society, and it excludes a large group
of people within the United States. So then the question
becomes, what do we do with these people
who are being excluded? And so as you can see
here, in this image, it’s a cover of a
book from around 1900, “Societal Control–”
or “Social Control of the Mentally Deficient.” So our answer is, we’re going to
attempt to control the problem. So I would say that
in this period, if we were to take much
of the political discourse of our modern day which
surrounds immigrants and replace that
with people who have physical, cognitive, or
learning disabilities that the same ideas are
attempted to be applied in the late 1800s
and early 1900s within the United States,
attempting to figure out, how do we control the problem
of these unwanted people in society? These people who now no
longer will fit in society that we have no place
for, and we don’t want to continue within our society. And so the answer is we’re
going to control them. Or we’re going to hide them. And so as I said,
Jacksonville is also famous– and every other state had
one, too, the Illinois State mental hospital. So it was a very large piece
of land, a lot of buildings. So that you could put people
into it, people who today we would typically put in
the category of learning or cognitive disabilities. Or at that point
in time, women who had strange ideas about what
their place within society should be, or people
who didn’t quite feel in the right place in society. And so they would get housed
in these large asylums and hidden away so
that we didn’t have to see what the problem was. And so we have an image
here, again, from about 1900. So you can see in the image,
it’s a lot of older women, presumably with some sort of a– a mental issue,
although we could we could certainly argue
over whether that was a warranted issue at the time. But we’re trying to hide
our problems with the in society in this period. Or we could just get rid of
the problem to begin with. And so eugenics, while we
may often associate eugenics with the World War II
German Nazi regime, was actually something that
started in the United States. It started in 1907 in Indiana. And so between 1987
and the mid-1980s, there were 62,162
sterilizations of people with mental, physical,
cognitive, or learning disabilities within
the United States. As you can see in this image
here, I highlighted in yellow– and I doubt anybody can see it. I can barely see it on my very
large screen monitor here. But it’s an image of
Oliver Wendell Holmes. The quote says, “Three
generations of imbeciles is enough,” declared Associate
Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes of the United States Supreme
Court in a recent opinion, almost unanimous, upholding
the Virginia Sterilization Law of 1924. So that was an 8 to 1
decision supporting that law. And so during this period
in American society, which isn’t really that far
away at the 1980s, we made people
inable to reproduce. And I would say 39 states
had these laws on the books. Some of these laws are
still on state books. Most recently,
California, in 2014, used these exact same laws
to sterilize female inmates. So the spectre of these
laws, and the spectre of our idea, which isn’t really
too far from the Spartan ideal, or at least what
people attributed to the Spartan ideal,
was to make sure that these problems
don’t continue to arise within society. And so we do have
some individuals that become advocates and
famous for their roles in supporting people
and speaking out for people with disabilities. So Helen Keller
was from Alabama. Here’s the image of her with
her nurse, Anne Sullivan. She lived from 1890 to 1968. So she died a few years
before I was born. But she was born without
any disabilities. And due to childhood
illness, became deaf-blind. So she could not speak– or she could not hear,
she could not see. And then over time,
learned how to use Braille and sign
language, and speak, and speak other languages. And as she learned
more about the world, she began to see that there
were a lot of injustices within the world. And so, yes, she did create
the Helen Keller Foundation. She did work with the American
Lighthouse for the Blind. She also campaigned for women’s
suffrage, for labor rights, for pacifism. She, along with Jane Addams,
helped found the ACLU. And she was a socialist as well. So many times when we look
at late 1800s, early 1900s advocates for these
issues, they often get painted with a very
broad swath, a red swath usually, saying that it was nice
that they did what they, did but that because they looked
out for all these other groups, that they may not have
been as warranted. I think that Helen
Keller certainly shows what is possible,
and what anybody can do. And she did a lot for
people with disabilities and other minority
groups, because this is a period in American
history in which we begin to have people speak out. That’s probably rightly so. As we can see, this is a mid– about a 1950s image
of an institution. So as you can see in
this image, there’s a bunch of crib-like
beds, adult-sized, crammed into a room. And people with
physical, or learning, or cognitive
disabilities would often be housed in large
rooms like this. I know growing up as a
child, I had several friends whose parents were nurses
and doctors in the state mental hospital. I visit once or twice. This, from 1950, looks about the
same as it did in about 1987. So this is how we’re
treating these people that we’re hiding
away, and decreasing their abilities and– to integrate into society. So this may seem
like an odd image to incorporate into a
discussion on accessibility. But this is really
about civil rights. And so when we think
about disability law within the United States,
one of the key cases is that of Brown v.
Board, from 1954. And so we have an image here,
of Thurgood Marshall celebrating after the win of Brown v.
Board, which overruled about a 60-year-old finding that
separate cannot be equal. So in that finding
of, course it, meant that you could not have
a school for African-Americans and a school for white people,
and that they could be equal. By integrating them is
how we get to equality. And so this is a key case, this
finding of separate cannot be equal. And so while this case
will lead to many protests in the American South, such
as at the Pettus Bridge, and many documentations. So this is we have the image
of people protesting in– for equal rights on
the Pettus Bridge. And many images on TV of people
being hosed down and attacked by dogs. This movement will gain a lot of
traction for African-Americans, but it will also
have a lot of impact on people of various
other minority groups within the United
States, women, Latinos, LGBT a little bit later, and
people with disabilities. So we have here, an image
of– if we look back– so it had only been 10 years. We have an image here of
LBJ signing the Civil Rights Act of 1964 with Martin
Luther King behind him. So within a 10
year period, we go from integration of
schools in America to federal support
of voting rights and equality within
the United States. One could argue
that these rights have been guaranteed by the
13th through 15th amendment. But this would allow
greater federal enforcement to uphold those laws. And at this time in
American history, there were voices within the
decision-making that said, should we include within the
civil rights legislation, also wording to protect
people with disabilities? At the time, it didn’t
seem apparently politically expedient to do so. However, those voices
only gained momentum within the next decade. And so it’ll only be a decade–
less than a decade later before we actually
get to our first, basically, Civil Rights Act
for people with disabilities. But in this period, we’re
going to begin having people protest for LGBT rights. As we can see, from
a LGBT protest– this would be after Stonewall– people protesting for the
Equal Rights Amendment, which still has not passed. But this image would’ve been
from the 1970s in a Reagan era, California, right near the
end of his governorship there. But also for the protesters,
are often forgotten those people with disabilities, who
protested to say, hey, we do need protection and
civil rights in America to help us be on an
equal footing and setting with everyone else
within the United States. And so as I said, within
a decade, in 1973– so we can see from this picture
of President Nixon signing the Rehabilitation Act of 1973– I’m going to, in a few
slides, get a little bit more into detail. And I think that
that’ll be kind of– in one more picture actually– a
place if people have questions, I can certainly answer some. But the Rehabilitation
Act is really the first major legislation
to support people with disabilities within the
United States, almost 160 years after the founding of
the Connecticut asylum. It is also interesting to
note that in this image, it is Nixon and a
bunch of apparently able-bodied white guys
standing behind him, versus the picture here,
of President George Bush the first, sign the
Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990, surrounded
by people who did have various disabilities. So it’s also kind of a changing
culture that we get to. So I’ll take a brief second
here to take a sip of coffee and see if anybody has any quick
questions that I can answer. OK. Not seeing any yet. I will go on. So I have this list
of laws here because I think it’s helpful to
look at what the laws are within the United States,
and how they kind of form this tapestry of
where we are today, and where disability rights are. So as I said, Brown v. Board,
the big finding is separate cannot be equal. This is certainly evident in
the Civil Rights Act of ’64. And then with the Rehabilitation
Act, what this does is, to a great extent, it
does similar to what the Civil Rights Act does. It puts teeth in the
law, and basically ties federal funding, so
money, to making sure that, for the most part, when
we’re talking about education and training, that places are– allow equal access. So for the most
part, initially, this is going to tie to physical
parts of buildings. So I would guess that– though I’ve been accused many
times of writing this law, I was born in 1973. This law probably is– has made such changes in the
United States that most of us don’t notice them. I’m sure every one of us today
passed some form of ingress or egress that was put in place
because of the Rehabilitation Act of ’73. So perhaps a ramp that goes into
your building, an elevator that takes you up floors
within your building, a door that is of
the proper width to allow people with
wheelchairs or walkers to enter the building,
perhaps a bathroom that had a specific stall
that might have handles, and is wide enough to
allow for a wheelchair to get into, maybe even an escalator. I don’t know if
anybody listening today has an escalator
at their school. We do not at mine, but it
could it could be that as well. So these things have kind
of become just something that we have at buildings. And I don’t think
that too many of us probably complain about them. I do happen to remember,
in my hometown, when the post office had
to close because it was one of those classical buildings
with stairs that could not be made accessible. And so they had to build a
new one which was accessible. But by today, I
think that most of us are pretty accepting
of these things. And I will admit that, you
know, when I broke my leg or I pulled my calf
a year ago and had to use a one of those carts,
it made it a lot easier getting into the building. So from the standpoint
of digital files, which is one of the things that I
work with the most, the next law that affects us is
Section 508 which applies to electronic and IT. So saying that electronic
and IT must be accessible. Now if we remember 1986, and
we remember the technology that we had available,
most of the computers were probably one-piece
molded monitors with keyboards attached,
probably a 5 and 1/4 inch floppy drive, maybe
a 3 and 1/2 inch drive. Maybe still even some
sort of a tape recorder used for storing data. At this point, at least from
the standpoint of accessibility, it would have been not
too difficult to make this accessible. We’re probably operating
on a MS-DOS system, which is all textual. If we think about even
video games at this time, we’re probably thinking
about those games that say, you are in a dungeon. You can go north,
or south, or east. So it was a much lower
level of technology. Also thinking about
things like voice-to-text. So if people were
deaf, making it so that somebody could call
through a TTY service and talk to the TTY service. And then the voice would come
out as text for those people to be able understand. Later, that was automated. I’m sure that
probably most of us are familiar with some
sort of technology we use today like that. But it was at least technically
easier to do in 1986. In 1990, as we saw with
President Bush signing the ADA act, that basically
takes Section 504 of the Rehabilitation
Act and applies that to private industries. So perhaps this
weekend, some of you went to Chili’s, or Cheddar’s,
or Outback, or Walmart, or Target, or something. Basically, saying that
if you have a business that employs over– you know, I forget the– 20 or 50 people, that you have
to make sure that the business is accessible to
those individuals. So again, handicapped stalls in
bathrooms, wide enough aisles, wide enough doors,
probably automatic doors. So again, I would say that
1990 is far enough back in time that most of us probably accept
these things in society today. So you can see again, this
refresh of Section 508. So the refresh means, hey,
we noted that technology has changed a bit– 15– thank you, Christine. 508 got refreshed in ’98. So they said, hey, technology
has changed a bit in 12 years. Maybe we need to make this
law applicable to the changes in society. So in 1998, our
computer situation would have been a bit different. So I had a cell phone in 1998. It was rather bulky and had to
be plugged into my cigarette lighter. I probably did
have two monitors, but they were VGA or SVGA. Video games were a
lot more graphical. Al Gore had created
the internet, though it was still
slow back then. So it might take you
several minutes to– to load an image. But our interaction with
technology and computers had become a lot more visual. And so the law changed
to reflect that. We’re going to hit
then a dry spell when it comes to at least
federal legislation. But that hold’s going to be
made it by two things, industry standards and then case law. So in 1998, you get what we
often today refer to as WCAG, so WCAG 1.0. It just WCAG in ’99, which
stands for the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. So these were industry standards
set up by about 400 programmers across the world
industry to say, hey, we need some sort of
language to speak about, and standards to assess
the technology we’re creating to make sure that
they are accessible for people who have disabilities. So if we’re making
digital files, we need to make them
accessible for people with learning, cognitive,
and physical disabilities. About 10 years
later, that law is going to be re– or not a
law, but guidelines are going to be re-evaluated as WCAG 2.0. Those were in place until just– I think just a year ago
when I was updated, 2.1. But then we have a
little bit of a gap here. So 2010 is really the big– newest big law,
which was CVAA, which says that if we’re going
to have commercial video, it needs to have captions. And then another gap. And then this refresh of 508. So 508’s refresh 2017
to 1998, that takes us to our modern area of
Netflix, and Hulu, and Amazon Prime, and YouTube,
and smartphones, and streaming video
on your smartphones. And a super, hyper,
digital visual age, which we all live in. So 508 basically says, hey,
we’re refreshing again. But there have been
a lot of changes. And currently, the law basically
points to WCAG and says, you need to follow
what WCAG says. Similarly, in Illinois, at
least for most institutions of higher ed, does not
apply to community colleges. But of course, 508
would, as would 504. The IITA 2.0 also
points to WCAG. So I’m sure none of you
can see this screen. And I didn’t intended
to be necessarily legible or readable. I’m hoping that Jeff is going
to be sharing these PowerPoints, and you can feel free to
click on all of these laws that you want. But in that gap that
I’m speaking about, between actual federal law,
we got a lot of case law. And the case law
that’s listed here are against some major hitters,
like Amazon, Netflix, Hulu, MIT, UCLA, Penn State. And each of these
case laws basically– in that gap, when there hadn’t
been the refresh of 508, basically said, hey, 504
applies to the school, as does ADA, as does CVAA,
as does the last case law. And so the case law starts to
become more and more entwined to get to a point
where, speaking today, we know what we need to do to
make digital files accessible. And for the most part, we
need to follow WCAG 2.1, in most cases, at a AA rating– or level. And the evidence is pretty
clear on the federal law now and the case law. So I’ll take another
quick second here to– if there are any questions yet? OK. I will go on. So this next section,
I want to think about, how do people who have
accessibility issues actually integrate with or
interact with technology? So in this image here,
we have a picture of an adaptive keyboard. So an adaptive keyboard probably
doesn’t act any different than the keyboards
that are probably in front of most of us. However, the difference
is that the keys here are inset instead of raised. And so this is really
developed for people who have some sort
of a motor issue so their hand can rest in
the keys and move to the keys rather than sit on the keys
and slide off of the keys. So I don’t think this
probably is something that’s too difficult to understand. As when we talked about Braille,
this is a refreshable Braille display. And so as I said, about
37% of digital users read Braille and use this. So you can see all of
the tiny pins here. There’s about 40 little spots. And so people could feel
40 characters at a time, and then hit Next, and
can do this very quickly to read a document,
which had hopefully gone through a process to
make it accessible. But, I mean, some people do
interact with their computer and just this, which
makes it really important that web pages, and PDFs, and
PowerPoints, and Word files are accessible, so that the
correct information can make it to the keyboard,
because this is really how some people are interacting
with digital information that we’re producing. Oversized track
balls probably don’t seem to odd, developed
for motor issues. I had one for quite
a while for gaming because it made it a lot easier
than having to maniacally move your mouse over your
desk, which might be cluttered with Coke cans,
and Jolt, and things like that. But again, for motor issues
so that you can move your hand to move the ball instead
of moving your hand to move the mouse across the desk. So if I’d given this talk about
five years ago, some of this might have seemed weird
to say, hey, you know, there are computer programs
that can figure out what you’re saying. However, I’m guessing that most
of us have some form of this, or use some form of
this, either with Siri, or Alexa, or their cell phone. I will admit that sometimes I
will talk text while driving, right? you know, you
need to just say, hey, I’m on my way home. Or I’m 30 minutes away. You pick up your phone, hit
text, hit the mic thing, and say, I’ll be home
in 30 minutes, send. It’s really convenient. It’s based on the technology
developed 20, 25 years– maybe 35 years ago
now, for TTY, people who were deaf to be able
to get talk information through their phone. Yeah, I’m guessing
most of us are very– do that or guilty of
doing it while driving. I hope there are no law
enforcement officers in here. I’m pretty sure that’s
probably not legal. Maybe it is. So a mouthstick is exactly what
it appears from this picture, with a person who has
a stick in their mouth, usually with some sort
of a soft item on the end in order to punch a keyboard. So I will say that I worked with
a faculty member a while back– and I can’t remember–
it was math or science. It was something that
I was not as good at. But their student had a– was using a mouthstick. And their only
accommodation was that they needed extra test-taking time. And I might have been a bit
blunt, and I said, you know, could you put a
pencil in your mouth and try to type out your
name on your keyboard? And they humored me. And they said, well,
that was really tough. And I said, well, can
you imagine taking– it was math. It was math. I say can you imagine taking
this upper level math class and typing out your theorems? He’s like, well, I
couldn’t do that. And I said, well, your
students doing that. They’re just asking for
twice the test taking time because this is how
they’re having to do it. And I think that that
brought across the difficulty that some people are–
they’re still excelling in these classes,
they’re just having a little bit more difficulty
doing it than some of us. And I think that that shows a
very high level of achievement. Similarly, the headwand
is a stick of sorts, strapped to the head to
do the same activity. Single switch access,
so these can be setup in different configurations. So it depends upon
your mobility. Oftentimes, it might be one of
these buttons or switches on– on the right side of a headset,
and one on the left side, and maybe somewhere else. And by moving your
head to hit the switch, it might move your
mouse up or down, or some sort of a cursor
on a keyboard around. So this is how some people also
are interacting with computers to get the mouse to
move up, or down, or left, or right, which
probably we take for granted. The sip and puffs,
so you see here, there’s a gentleman in a
wheelchair with a laptop and a device in his mouth. So sip and puff really
a straw-like device, that by blowing through or
sucking on moves the mouse, or can move a virtual– a cursor
on a virtual keyboard in order to type out information. So I mean, it takes
a lot of extra time, but allows people to
interact the same as everyone else in a digital environment. So I am not going to
show these videos. As I said, I’m hoping
Jeff will send these out. You can click on these
links at your leisure. But the first link
is eye tracking. So this is a way for
cameras to figure out where your eye is
looking and use that as a selection method– thanks, Jeff– As
a selection method to interact with the computer. Initially, it developed
30 years ago or so for doing tests on
how fast people read, and where they’re looking,
or observing certain things. Also screen reader sample. And I would say this is
probably something that– that we hear about a lot,
that maybe people don’t understand as much. So it really is a
computerized voice reading a document to you. Oftentimes, the people who
use screen reading software will jack the speed up to about
five times the final output. That’s about my limit sometimes. They’ll do it to 10. Usually, they have
to accommodate me by taking it down to five. But again, this is only
if we make the materials that we’re using accessible
for the screen reader, because it’s really a piece
of software attempting to understand another
piece of software. So that’s why it’s really
important to do that– that work for these students. So I guess that comes
to the question of where does that leave us today? And so I have this nice
picture here of a map with question marks on us– on it. So I want to think briefly
about US demographics. So I have a breakdown from
the Census Bureau as of– I believe it was 2017. So we have about a
61% white population, about a 51% female
population, about 1 in 4– or 25%, or 1 in 4
people in the US have a disability of some sort. 18% of people are Latino in the
US, 13% African-American, 6% Asian, 3% multiracial,
less than 2% Native American,
Pacific Islander. So I think that in
our teaching, we try to think about, what
are the demographics, who are our students, who are
teaching, what is the breakup, and how do we integrate these
groups into our history, into our math problems? For instance, our math
problems may be binary, talking about x percent
of the population is male, x percent is female, which
really excludes, you know, all sorts of other gender
binary and other groups. So we need to rethink
some of those problems. But I think that to a great
extent, all of these groups relate to thinking
about content. And I think when we think
about people with disabilities, they go into that
category as well. But they also go into
a different category where we actually
need to think about, how do we– we have
to change the medium, or alter the medium, and
not just the content. So that means thinking
about making a video and including captions. If, for God’s sake,
we create a PDF, running it through the
software to make it accessible, which is something that we don’t
have to do for anyone else. So we still have to
do everything else we can do for everyone
else in society, plus this, when we’re thinking
about people with disabilities. And I would say that–
that it often is personal. I mean, I would say that
with a one in four chance that probably everybody
in this audience has– I can say in my own
family, that there’s three or four that I can
readily think of that are very close relatives. So I’m sure that we all have
at least somebody we can think of that has one of these
disabilities that might make it difficult with our current
curriculum or materials that we have, make it
accessible for them. So I have a few thoughts
here on what you can do. So this is my– the biggest things I do. The biggest things
that I see we could do. Making your future
Word and PowerPoint documents accessible. So Word and PowerPoint 2016 both
have an accessibility checker built in. It can walk you
through all of this. It doesn’t take too
much time if you use it as you’re creating something. I can tell you from
my student workers, I do time tests with
them, it’ll take you about three minutes
per page in Word and about two minutes
per slide in PowerPoint to go back to all your old
files, and to each [INAUDIBLE].. Limit your use of PDFs. I really only see
the use of PDFs if a library is scanning books. And then they still need to
be going through software to make them
accessible, which means that you have to have
Acrobat DC, which I don’t know what the cost is. But I know that some
schools can’t afford to have a site license for it. And then above and
beyond that, it takes about 35
hours on the whole to train somebody
how to use Acrobat to make stuff accessible. And then you need to keep up
with it in order to do that. So if you’re saving your Word
files or PowerPoint as PDFs, I would advise against that,
because they would still have to go through that extra step. Plan for audio descriptions. So I can discuss
this a bit more. But one of the
things with 508 is we need to have audio
descriptions, which are– I kind of love this example. We had an older dean
who retired recently. And he said, oh,
audio descriptions are like when we listened to
the baseball games on the radio. And I said, exactly. It’s using words to convey the
actions that one cannot see because of the medium
or their situation. And so as I attempted
to do, and think I did it on almost every slide,
except maybe the first one on Sparta, I tried to describe
what was in each image that we looked at. So planning for those when
you do your PowerPoint videos, to include it in the videos. And then [AUDIO OUT] My students work with 1,000
files or so a semester. So I see a lot of files
come across my desk. And very few of them is
the formatting imperative. And in most cases, if
formatting is imperative– I don’t think we’ve
hit a case yet where we couldn’t make it
look exactly as the faculty member wanted it. It’s just that we
often sometimes like to hit Enter a whole
bunch of times in Word in or do spacing instead of
doing things with margins, or inserting page breaks, or
different things like that. That’s a very general
answer for you, but Word can do a lot of stuff. And I will say how my phone
calls with Microsoft engineers, I’m pretty sure they’re
shaking their heads. I don’t actually see them. But when they’re
described what occurs, they’re like, well,
why would somebody use our software that way? Don’t they know
we’ve got x feature? And most people say, no, I’ve
never heard of that feature. But it, in most cases,
is built into that. So I could certainly discuss
your specific cases later. My email will be
at the end here. But, yeah, that would
be my suggestion. So my final thought is that
as technology is ubiquitous, it’s patently unfair to
not make the information accessible for 25%
of the population. So Christine, I
would say– so I’m guessing from what Jeff said,
most of the people attending are at community colleges. I don’t know whether
that’s true or not. If so, I have found at
every community college, there is an expert that
is often overlooked. And that is the person who
teaches the Word classes on campus. I know when we were down at
Kaskaskia, the person who was whizzing through
the presentation, and working on stuff, and
even pointed out one or two things to me was that person
who teaches the word processing classes on how to use Word
and all the features in that. I would say in most cases,
most of the files I– there are very few files I
see that formatting comes out to be that big of an issue. Most cases, it’s a lot
of blank characters. I think Microsoft has
shared that about 50% of accessibility issues are
blank characters, where people hit any combination of
Space, Tab, or Enter more than three times. And depending upon
the way they’re using your screen
reader software, it will read that
out to the user. And I have seen many
instances where people just hit Enter 54 times to
get to the next page. But that accessibility
checker will– I would guess eliminate
80% of those issues. Maybe 20% might even be high
that it’s these formatting issues. But, yeah, I would contact those
Word people on your campus. And it might be news
to them that there’s this accessibility issue. They probably won’t have too
many issues on their files because they like to use all
of these built-in features. So that’s my last slide. If there are any
other questions? It looks like I came in
two minutes short of where Jeff wanted me to be. JEFF NEWELL: Well,
thank you, Vance. Yeah we got about– I mean, five minutes
left in the hour here. I’ll just ask one last time
for any final questions. If not, let’s all give a
big thank you to Vance. In our chat space, there’s
the little emoji area there, and we can all give them an
applause, or a smiley face, or a thumbs up. And so anyway,
thank you very much, Vance, for being here today. I appreciate the content
that you shared with us. Just a reminder to
everybody, our sessions are listed on the screen, but
we have another session today at 2:00 PM, which is mapping
your success, universal design for learning with Zach Petrea,
from Heartland Community College in Normal, Illinois. And as a reminder,
too, we’re recording. So the sessions will be
available on the conference website under– at ILCCO.net under
Resources and Events if you have any questions. Again, I’m Jeff Newell, and
my email is on the screen, [email protected] And I’ll be glad to answer
any questions that we have. So thank you, everybody,
for attending. And have a great
rest of your day. And I hope we’re able to see
you here in about an hour at two o’clock for Zach’s session. Thank you. VANCE MARTIN: Thank you.

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