University of Montana Students File Complaint Over Inaccessible Online Courses

On September 17, 2012, U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights (OCR) confirmed in an email that a complaint by University of Montana Students concerning inaccessible educational technologies is under investigation.

The Alliance for Disability and Students at the University of Montana (ADSUM) outlined these specific allegations:

  • Inaccessible class assignments and materials on the learning management system, Moodle.
  • Inaccessible live chat and discussion board functions in the learning management system, Moodle.
  • Inaccessible documents that are scanned images on webpages and websites.
  • Inaccessible videos, and videos in Flash format, that are not captioned.
  • Inaccessible library database materials.
  • Inaccessible course registration through a website, Cyber Bear.
  • Inaccessible classroom clickers.

“These barriers to educational technology should not be tolerated by students on campus,” writes ADSUM director Courtney Damron in part of the letter announcing the investigation to the University of Montana campus; she continues, “Inclusionary and exclusionary practices speak volumes for the reputation of our institution. Students with disabilities have a civil right to post-secondary education at federally funded universities.”

The U.S. Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights has jurisdiction and follows up on allegations by students at public Universities regarding inaccessible online materials.

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