[Athen] Accessibility for Online Course Student Using JAWS

Jon Gunderson jongund at uiuc.edu
Tue Feb 26 07:09:05 PST 2008

I think that if they were an on campus student, there would be some type of assistance provided to help the student "get through" the class.


---- Original message ----

>Date: Tue, 26 Feb 2008 09:42:33 -0500

>From: "Ron Stewart" <ron.stewart at dolphinusa.com>

>Subject: Re: [Athen] Accessibility for Online Course Student Using JAWS

>To: "'Access Technologists in Higher Education Network'" <athen at athenpro.org>


> I'll bite on this one. It makes on difference if

> the student is degree seeking or not they are still

> a student.




> YES there are major issues with working with Visual

> Studio and Visual C++ with any screen reader. From

> my last look there were typically work arounds for

> the basics but the user needed to be a very

> competent screen reader user. There are also a lot

> of issues with the drag and drop development

> controls which I believe there are no work arounds

> for.




> It sounds like it may be necessary to separate the

> lack of technical proficiency issues from the

> accessibility issues. Being unable to install a

> program does not sound like a access issue. Is the

> Textbook CD and accessible piece of content? If not

> then that is also an issue but not one I would have

> agreed to provide a tutor for.




> The fast majority of students I have worked with are

> not, regardless of the flavor of screen reader used,

> able to be fully proficient with many of these

> products, especially when they are being exposed to

> is as student. As you may have found out VPAT's are

> pretty much worthless for actually determining

> usability.




> As far as the WebCT interface it has pretty much the

> same issues as any other CMS but for the most part

> the portal is fine with the exception of the Chat

> and the other interactive tools. I have recommended

> that a student be allowed to work outside of the

> WebCT portal since that is just a delivery system

> not an actual part of the course content.




> Sounds like a lot of specificity on the part of the

> student is missing, and from this it is hard to

> determine what are issues of access and which are

> issues of ignorance.




> Ron Stewart




> From: athen-bounces at athenpro.org

> [mailto:athen-bounces at athenpro.org] On Behalf Of

> Larry Kiser

> Sent: Tuesday, February 26, 2008 9:00 AM

> To: Access Technologists in Higher Education Network

> Subject: [Athen] Accessibility for Online Course

> Student Using JAWS




> Dear Colleagues:




> A non-degree seeking student who is blind and uses

> JAWS at home elected to register for an online C++

> course. As the term began the student waited for

> the instructor to send a personal email rather than

> entering the WebCT course site. After I explained

> to the student the necessity of doing so I spent

> considerable time writing up command protocols for

> the student so the student could navigate the site.

> I was surprised that the student was unaware of many

> available JAWS commands but the student appeared to

> be able to access the course material with the

> protocols. The student then encountered problems

> downloading and installing Visual Studio and using

> the CD that came with the textbook. At the

> student's insistence the instructor located a tutor,

> who is paid by the Division of Blind Services to go

> to the student's home for tutoring sessions. Last

> week I got a call from the student who reported that

> he was unable to access certain windows in Visual

> Studio with JAWS. The tutor was supposed to meet

> with me in order that we could open the applications

> with JAWS and determine if there was a work around.

> That has not yet occurred. The student also claims

> some of the course elements in WebCT are graphics

> and inaccessible.




> I am clear that if inaccessible graphics have been

> incorporated into the course material I need to

> collaborate with the instructor to make an

> accessible alternative. However, I am not clear

> what the college's responsibility is regarding

> problems with JAWS interacting with Microsoft's

> Visual Studio. Have any of you encountered similar

> situations and how did you resolve it? I did

> download the VAT for that application from Microsoft

> and noted that Microsoft claims it is 508 compliant

> with some exceptions. At this point I do not know

> if the exceptions are the problem the student is

> encountering. The student has expressed the feeling

> in an email that an alternative course format should

> be made available in lieu of WebCT. Would that be

> considered a fundamental alteration of the course?





> Larry Kiser, Counselor


> Disabilities Resource Center


> Santa Fe Community College


> Gainesville, FL







>Athen mailing list

>Athen at athenpro.org


Jon Gunderson, Ph.D.
Coordinator Information Technology Accessibility
Disability Resources and Educational Services

Rehabilitation Education Center
Room 86
1207 S. Oak Street
Champaign, Illinois 61821

Voice: (217) 244-5870

WWW: http://www.cita.uiuc.edu/
WWW: https://netfiles.uiuc.edu/jongund/www/

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