In June 2010 the Office of Civil Rights(OCR) wrote a Dear Colleague letter (DCL) to all College University Presidents regarding the use of technology. It was stated: “It is unacceptable for universities to use emerging technology without insisting that this technology be accessible to all students. Providing individuals with disabilities full and equal access to educational opportunities is as essential today as it was when the ADA was passed. Ensuring equal access to emerging technology in university and college classrooms is a means to the goal of full integration and equal educational opportunity for this nation’s students with disabilities.”
To read the entire letter please visit the U.S. Department of Education
There was some misunderstanding and limited action taking place, thus a follow up to the DCL was needed. The OCR posted a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ’s) on May 26, 2011 which stated,
From this point further all materials and tools used in the classroom must be accessible to all. A university needs to be fully accessible to individuals with disabilities. Technological advances need to be used to the benefit of all students and must be accessible to all, unless the benefits of the technology are provided equally through other means.
All paper documents must be available electronically. A student with learning or reading disability may need material to be read to them. As new technology is integrated into the learning environment we need to be considering the law pertaining to equal access for all individuals with disabilities.
FAQ#5: States the school can be held responsible for a faculty or staff member noncompliance!
FAQ 11: “The DCL states that where accessible technology is not available, a school can comply with Section 504 and the ADA if it provides students with disabilities “accommodations or modifications that permit them to receive all the educational benefits provided by the technology in an equally effective and equally integrated manner.”
To read the entire FAQ’s, please visit, the U.S. Department of Education
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