Assistive Technology: Unequal Access in Postsecondary EducationBy Whitney, Michael; Upton, Thomas D.; Journal of Applied Rehabilitation Counseling, Vol. 35, No. 1, pp. 23-28
Publication Date: Spring 2004
Article discusses disability legislation enacted to provide equal opportunities in access to electronic information, which has become increasingly more prevalent in postsecondary education. A picture is provided of the current electronic and information technology environments as used in college settings. The level of information technology infusion has become so significant that by 1999, the University of Denver began requiring all incoming freshman to own a laptop computer. Almost every institution provides at least one class that focuses on electronic information technology. Within this requirement, students find themselves setting up an e-mail account, downloading assignments, researching the library, participating in online real time classes, joining listserves, or even taking an entire course over the web. As institutions attempt to mirror the latest technological advances, electronic accessibility issues are often not prevalent concerns. This puts many students with disabilities at a great disadvantage. To remedy this problem, most institutions follow a model of common academic accommodations. For example, students who are deaf or hard of hearing might utilize interpreters, while students who are blind or have low vision could use screen readers. Due to the rapid uprising of technology, however, there is no commonly known model for electronic accommodations. Postsecondary institutions must learn about new electronic barriers, develop means to eliminate them, and develop policies to ensure that emerging electronic barriers are identified and removed, or at least negated.
Published by: National Rehabilitation Counseling Association (Website:http://nrca-net.org)
This publication is included in the library of the National Rehabilitation Information Center (NARIC), accession number J47290