[Athen] RE: Distance and online counseling options

Shuttlesworth, Rachel rsthompson2 at ua.edu
Wed Aug 7 10:23:03 PDT 2013

I am attaching the VPAT for Blackboard Collaborate. Our campus uses tis tool for fully online, synchronous courses and for a lot of other web conferencing needs, including online advising.


Dr. Rachel S. Thompson
Director, Emerging Technology and Accessibility
Center for Instructional Technology
University of Alabama

From: Brian Richwine <blrichwine at gmail.com<mailto:blrichwine at gmail.com>>
Reply-To: Access Technology Higher Education Network <athen-list at u.washington.edu<mailto:athen-list at u.washington.edu>>
Date: Tuesday, August 6, 2013 8:08 AM
To: Access Technology Higher Education Network <athen-list at u.washington.edu<mailto:athen-list at u.washington.edu>>
Subject: Re: [Athen] RE: Distance and online counseling options

We've discovered that how an Adobe Connect session is opened in the Web browser itself increases the accessibility of Adobe Connect by quite a lot. Apparently the Adobe Connect software has two possible user interfaces, and one is coded for accessibility with screen-reading software. There is a page on the OSU web site that discusses how to best use Adobe Connect with screen-reading software and it includes information on how to invoke the more accessible interface. The page is located here: https://ocio.osu.edu/elearning/services/connect-pilot/resources/screen-reader/

That page mentions that to invoke the more accessible interface, add ?launcher=false to the session URL, prior to launching the session. For example: https://osu-pilot-conc.adobeconnect.com/YourRoomURL?launcher=false.


On Tue, Aug 6, 2013 at 8:40 AM, Schwarte, David M. <schwarte at purdue.edu<mailto:schwarte at purdue.edu>> wrote:
Our campus currently uses Adobe Connect and I have had a little experience using it. The keystrokes only work if you have downloaded and installed the Adobe Connect plugin. The platform also has to be a Windows machine. I have also had varying results, depending on the computer and screenreader used. When the accessibility works Connect is not bad to use. Adobe Connect does require some preparation on the screenreader users end so it may not be the ideal solution for your situation.

Unfortunately, I do not know about the accessibility of the communication software you list below. Our campus is currently evaluating alternatives and I would be curious about accessibility as well.

David Schwarte

From:athen-list-bounces at mailman1.u.washington.edu<mailto:athen-list-bounces at mailman1.u.washington.edu> [mailto:athen-list-bounces at mailman1.u.washington.edu<mailto:athen-list-bounces at mailman1.u.washington.edu>] On Behalf Of Kluesner, Bryon K
Sent: Monday, August 05, 2013 3:12 PM
To: athen-list at u.washington.edu<mailto:athen-list at u.washington.edu>
Subject: [Athen] Distance and online counseling options

Hi all,

I posted this in early July to the DSSHE listserv with no luck. So I am posting this on here to see if I can get some feedback.

Our University has investigated Adobe Connect to use as a platform for online counseling should the need arise for students outside of Tennessee who are enrolled in an online/distance learning course. Adobe connect has a link of "Accessibility features", which include keyboard strokes "as much as possible without a mouse." When I was enrolled as a student in a Meeting session and activated JAWS, the keystrokes would not interact with ADOBE. I am not an avid JAWS user, so there may have been something I missed. Anyone out there use Adobe Connect and interface with JAWS? One comment by the Adobe rep. which caught my attention was this comment: "Please note that the Adobe Connect Hosted servers are not HIPAA compliant and therefore, UTC's Adobe Connect Hosted account does not meet the HIPAA compliance."

It was my recommendation not to pursue Adobe Connect as an online counseling avenue. Do any of you have any suggestions on which platform is accessible and could be used in a counseling scenario. The following are a list of other recommendations. If you have any knowledge of their accessibility features, please reply back Once I compile a list of suggestions, thoughts, concerned I will post to the list.

Cisco Webext
Citrix GotoMeeting
Blackboard Collaborate
Saba Meeting
Microsoft Live Meeting



Bryon Kluesner, RhD
Adaptive Technology Coordinator
Disability Resource Center
Adjunct Professor
College of Health, Education & Professional Studies
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
615 McCallie Ave., Dept. 2953
Chattanooga, TN 37403


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