[Athen] Blackboard Ally and captioning

Joseph Sherman Joseph.Sherman at cuny.edu
Mon May 22 09:16:47 PDT 2017

Can you point to any case or DOJ complaint where documents or content in an closed course were required to be accessible prior to a request by an enrolled student? What is currently required is timely and equally effective access.

Looking at the recent cases (note am not a practicing lawyer, and am describing the current situation as I understand it, not what should be the case):

Berkeley was required to caption their open MOOCs because they were publicly available. Same with Harvard and MIT through EdX. Berkeley decided (unfortunately) to remove their MOOCs from public view to stop the lawsuit. If you look at any of the College accessibility resolutions, like Miami University, it requires WCAG AA for all public web sites and documents. It requires accessibility for the LMS and any similar required tools. http://www.d.umn.edu/~lcarlson/atteam/lawsuits.html

However, for course content, students must register with Disability Services and receive Timely equally effective communication of curricular materials. As far as I know, no one has yet been required to make all course materials accessible from the outset for enrollment limited courses.

Joseph Sherman
Accessibility Specialist
CUNY Computing & Information Services
395 Hudson St 6FL, 6-236
646-664-2167| Joseph.Sherman at cuny.edu<mailto:Joseph.Sherman at cuny.edu>

From: athen-list [mailto:athen-list-bounces at mailman13.u.washington.edu] On Behalf Of Susan Kelmer
Sent: Monday, May 22, 2017 12:05 PM
To: Access Technology Higher Education Network <athen-list at u.washington.edu>
Subject: Re: [Athen] Blackboard Ally and captioning

I disagree, Joseph. At the very least, there should be a mandate in place that says all materials need to be accessible moving forward. Backward remediation of older materials can be done upon demand or on a well-thought-out schedule, but anything that is put up currently or in the future should be accessible before it is put up.

You are begging for the DOJ to come in and ding you, and they will not accept your excuse of the time and money involved to remediate. And they certainly won't accept that you haven't been requiring that current and upcoming materials be accessible before they are released.

Susan Kelmer
Alternate Format Production Program Manager
Disability Services
University of Colorado Boulder

From: athen-list [mailto:athen-list-bounces at mailman13.u.washington.edu] On Behalf Of Joseph Sherman
Sent: Monday, May 22, 2017 9:32 AM
To: Access Technology Higher Education Network <athen-list at u.washington.edu<mailto:athen-list at u.washington.edu>>
Subject: [Athen] Blackboard Ally and captioning

Looking for thoughts: Given the current understanding that course content that is not public doesn't need to be accessible until an accommodation is requested, how are folks justifying large outlays of cash for things like universal captioning and Blackboard Ally? It's got to be cheaper to rush caption and fix for accommodations than slow caption and fix everything when we have thousands of courses.

Ideally, I'd want and love for all content to be captioned and completely accessible from the start. But I can't propose spending money we don't have without a really good reason.


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