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Options for Accessible Distance Education for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students Cindy Camp & Michelle Swaney

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Presentation on theme: "Options for Accessible Distance Education for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students Cindy Camp & Michelle Swaney"— Presentation transcript:

1 Options for Accessible Distance Education for Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students Cindy Camp & Michelle Swaney

2 One National Center Mission: To increase the educational, career and lifetime choices available to individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing. Goal: To improve postsecondary outcomes individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing, including those with co-occurring disabilities.

3 What is Distance Learning? Fully online Hybrid or Blended classes Traditional classes with a course management component Synchronous Asynchronous

4 What Does Accessible Mean? Barrier Free Obtainable Can easily be used, reached, entered

5 Benefits of Synchronous DL Fits non-traditional students No travel time Connects students from various locations Maintains face-to-face contact

6 Benefits of Asynchronous DL Unlimited access to course materials Flexibility in class participation Access to the class at any time and from any computer with Internet access. Access to adaptive technology without requesting a specific accommodation For some individuals with disabilities online can be more accessible than face-to-face classrooms.

7 Drawbacks of Distance Learning The myth of accessibility Inaccessible formats & content Need for technology Lack of IT support for students Lack of personal contact It is not for everyone but not everyone knows that.

8 Avoiding Problems Educate faculty Design accessible courses Communicate clearly with students Establish reasonable policies Enforce your policies Plan for the unexpected Be flexible

9 Avoiding Problems Ask vendors to demonstrate the accessibility features. Get an accessibility statement, which includes upgrades, from vendors in writing before buying. Have a review process of distance classes to ensure accessibility. Provide faculty with an accessibility checklist. Don’t wait for a request for accommodations. Design classes to be accessible from Day 1.

10 Accessibility in Synchronous Distance Learning

11 Those were the days... Old fashioned correspondence courses

12 Technology evolution Project ADEPT – Accessible Distance Education for Postsecondary Teaching University of Arkansas at Little Rock Started Spring, 2004

13 Technology progression University of Tennessee – Rehabilitation Counselor Education – Deafness Focus Program Fall – 2009 *Deaf Instructor *Mixed audience *Accommodations: Interpreters (STV & VTS) and Speech-to-text

14 Online media platforms

15 Progression of technology to today’s delivery methods: available anytime – anywhere! Delivery methods are endless!!

16 Identifying Barriers in Synchronous Classes What are some barriers that Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students face related to online/distance education course delivery? What are some barriers specifically that your institution has faced?

17 The Challenge Rehabilitation Counselor in Education (RCE): Comprehensive System of Personnel Development. State of Tennessee – Rehabilitation Counseling Staffing Needs Rehabilitation Counselor Education Program began offering distance education classes to meet the needs/demands Service Provision for Deaf & Hard of Hearing Students

18 The Parameters Classes for Fall semester were scheduled to begin August 22, 2007. Initial meeting with the Associate Professor in the Rehabilitation Counseling Education program, Director of Distance Education, Coordinator for Centra, Director of PEPNet South and Technology Specialist for PEPNet, Interim Director for ODS, Interpreting Coordinator for ODS, Interpreting Services Scheduler for ODS was scheduled for August 22, 2007. The program had already admitted and confirmed attendance of one student who would be in need of interpreting services. Services needed to begin immediately.

19 How did it start? Collaboration... Collaboration!!! Office of Information Technology/Distance Learning Dept/Tech Support Remember – creativity may be required!!

20 Technology - 2007 Saba Centra Voice-over-IP (VoIP) technology with the ability to include class materials Video capability was negligible Bloomsburg University was utilizing Wimba to deliver online courses with a video of an interpreter and captions

21 A – Video opening area B – Undocked video shifted on the screen C – Participants list D – Agenda (this is the list of the agenda materials that will be shown during the meeting E – Materials area (PDF, PPT, etc) F – Text Chat box G – Captioning box area

22 Accommodations & Dilemmas Service Delivery: Provision & Challenges Disconnect between the student, ODS and service provision Fiscally irresponsible Duplication of effort

23 Technology 2008-09 Saba Centra Meeting with ODS, ITC, and PEPNet-South to discuss potential options with review of Bloomsburg University and Wimba Use ITC determined that testing with the Centra system and video was needed PEPNet-South/ITC/ODS tested equipment along with the video component in Saba Centra

24 Lights, Camera… Action! Trial period during Summer 2008 Successes Student was extremely pleased with the video quality Student was able to access class from places other than her office More cost efficient Better controls (hiring and supervising Interpreters) Needs Improvement: Technology – Bigger screen for Interpreters to view class – Better camcorder (with internal harddrive) – Advanced webcam – Recording video

25 Evaluating Other Possibilities Fall 2008 - UTK Office of Information Technology evaluates several online software solutions UTK Center on Deafness/PEPNet-South invited to participate to evaluate accessibility Asked ODS to participate for evaluation of Typewell compatability Evaluation of video & captioning components Results

26 Reviewing Accessibility Features for Deaf & Hard of Hearing Participants  Video Component  Single or multiple videos onscreen?  Adjustable sizing for viewing?  Clarity of video for signing?  Captioning component  Ability to utilize multiple programs (such as CART and Typewell/C-Print)  Does the user have ability to control color/font/size?  Audio switching – automatic or moderator controlled?

27 Technology Progression - Fall ‘09 Deaf Instructor from remote location Video switching to interpreter for hearing students w/mics Typewell Transcribing through the Captioning Component Recording of video and transcribing for archive purposes


29 Company Mergers Summer 2010 Blackboard acquires Wimba & Elluminate

30 Platform changes – Summer ‘12

31 What have we learned? Collaboration – Student inclusion – Partnering with others on and off your campus Technology – Webcams Zooming – Wireless vs Wired connections – Digital camcorders – Use of dual monitors

32 Considerations for Providing Quality Video Background (solid color) Lighting Interpreter’s clothing (maroon, green, brown – not navy or black) Testing is definitely the main ingredient!!! Determining and eliminating barriers, one problem at a time.

33 Camera Types Low cost solutions (when you can use and when not to use, including what happens if you use a webcam) Mid-range solutions (consumer grade DV cameras) High-end solutions (Prosumer and above)

34 Background Color options Fabric vs. painted wall Contrast between clothing & background Low cost solutions High-end solutions

35 Considerations for interpreting Does the platform include a video component? Background (no navy or black) Lighting Color of clothing (contrasting with background & skin color – maroon, green, brown – dark colors but not navy/black) Rate and speed of signing (speakers/instructors may need to be cautioned as well) Placement Prior testing and signing into the session early

36 Considerations for captioning/speech-to-text Does the platform have an integrated captioning component? Does the platform allow for stenography systems as well as additional other speech-to-text systems? What barriers might the writer face with the integrated component? Will users have flexibility with size, font, color, etc? Prior testing and signing into session early

37 Considerations for DS Offices Is the session/class offered both live and on-demand (archived)? Is the session/class a one-time event or ongoing? What is the requested accommodation(s)? Does the platform have the capability and flexibility to incorporate the accommodation(s) both live and on-demand? Where will the interpreter/captionist be located? For ongoing assignments, is additional space needed to create the best environment for the service providers (audio/video) as well as for the student receiving the accommodations?

38 Potential equipment for synchronous delivery Interpreting Background (low-end to high-end solutions) Lighting Camera (webcam, digital video camera w/firewire, prosumer cameras) Headset w/microphone (echo-cancelling) Computer/laptop (dedicated specifically for online course delivery) Captioning Headset w/microphone (echo-cancelling) Wired ethernet connection *Should be able to utilize laptop that captioning/speech-to-text software is loaded onto

39 Potential needs for asynchronous delivery/recording Studio or designated area Software for recording audio & video Interpreting Background (low-end to high-end solutions) Lighting Camera (webcam, digital video camera w/firewire, prosumer cameras) Headset w/microphone (echo-cancelling) Computer/laptop (dedicated specifically for online course delivery) Captioning Captioning software (free, low-end/low-cost, high-end/high-cost) Headset w/microphone (echo-cancelling) Wired ethernet connection

40 Accessibility in Asynchronous Distance Learning

41 Identifying Potential Barriers in Asynchronous Classes Timed tests Synchronous chats Written English requirements Video or audio clips without captions What are some barriers specifically that your institution has faced?

42 Timed Tests Why are tests being timed? Are there other ways to access a student’s knowledge? Could the test be proctored? Provide instructors information on how to set up extended time in course management systems.

43 Synchronous Chats What is the goal? Is it one on one or group? Is it video chat or text chat? Could an asynchronous chat forum be used instead? Synchronous requirements defeat the purpose of an asynchronous class

44 Written English Requirements Many deaf students have difficulties with written English. Just because a class is all text does not make it accessible.

45 Making Multimedia Accessible Video content should be captioned. – Captions should appear at approximately the same time as the audio is delivered. – Captions should be equivalent in content to that of the audio, including speaker identification and sound effects. – Captions should be and accessible and readily available. Audio content should have a transcript.

46 Captions are only as good as the transcript. A transcript should be verbatim. It should include speaker identification. Spelling, capitalization, and grammar must be correct. Punctuation follows standard rules, but also special rules unique to captioning. All essential sound effects are included, either in words or symbols (e.g., “buzz” or ♫ ). Transcript Standards

47 Captioning in the New Classroom iTunes Captions must be embedded not a separate file. YouTube Transcripts can be uploaded and automatically time synced. DO NOT use the automatic caption generator. Course Management Systems (BlackBoard) Caption files can be uploaded along with video.

48 Additional Resources

49 Resources WebAIM: Web Accessibility in Mind Web Accessibility for All W3C Web Accessibility Initiative W3C Web Accessibility Initiative: Before and After Demo Suggestions for verbal descriptions 31alonzo.htm 31alonzo.htm

50 Video Resources Video Best Practices – Malaspina University-College Top Ten Digital Video Tips – O’Reilly Web Video Guidelines – The University of Texas @ Austin Video Production Handbook, Fourth Edition Gerald Millerson & Jim Owens ISBN: 978-0-240-520803 Digital Video for Dummies Martin Doucette ISBN: 0-7645-0023-6

51 Resources Guide to Online Education – Glossary - glossary/glossary/ glossary/glossary/ Webopedia – http://www.webopedia.com PEPNet Think Tank-2 “Online Media” -

52 Cindy Camp, Personnel Development Specialist Michelle Swaney, Technology & Media Specialist

53 pepnet 2 receives support from: pepnet 2 is funded by the Research to Practice Division, Office of Special Education Programs and the US Department of Education via Cooperative Agreement #H326D110003

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