[MUSIC] Hi, I'm Mary Goldberg. I'm an assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh, and welcome to Disability Resources & Support. The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 defines disability as a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one ore more major life activities, a person who has a history or record of such an impairment, or a person who is perceived by others as having such an impairment. Using the United States as an example, approximately 6% of undergraduate students in United States post-secondary institutions are identified as having a disability. In the past 20 years, have you noticed more ramps, curb cuts, automatic doors and elevators to increase physical accessibility on your college campus? Greater numbers of students with disabilities are taking advantage of higher education opportunities due to enactment of laws and conventions regarding equal opportunity and accessibility technology enhancements in classrooms. And successful inclusion of students with disabilities in k to 12 public schools. Overall, we are seeing a greater acceptance of individuals with disabilities by the general public, and striving to create an inclusive environment in many parts of society. Just as there are strategies to enhance the physical design of buildings, institutions rely on established best practices and student support, course design, and teaching to meet the individual needs of students with disabilities in the classroom. Support services help students to document their disability and receive appropriate accommodations or learning modifications to be successful learners. Faculty can provided accessible course materials that allow students, regardless of disability status, to engage with course content, other students, and the instructor. Developing accessible course materials takes proper planning, time, and knowledge. However, there are adjustments instructors can make to existing course content that positively affect readability, usability, and accessibility for all students. Please let me introduce you to one student who benefits from student support services and inclusive course materials. Tony Sanchez is an undergraduate in the School of Public Policy in a mid-sized public university. Tony is blind and an expect screen reader user, which is software the reads the text that is displayed on a computer screen with a speech synthesizer. Tony controls the speed of his screen reader and typically reads a web page or electronic document faster than most people who have no visual impairments. He also has a keen memory and intense level of concentration that has allowed him to excel in his studies. This term, Tony is taking an urban planning course with Dr. Smith. He is able to comprehend the diagrams, photos, and maps in the course, because Dr. Smith is extremely clear, organized, and deliberate in her communication. She is keenly aware that she has a vision impaired student in her class. She's come to realize that her concrete language, and detailed descriptions benefit all of her students. For example, she might focus on the purpose of map demonstrating traffic patterns by stating Madison Avenue and Sixth Street intersect at an X or 45 degree angle. Madison Avenue runs one way to the northwest and Sixth Street runs one way to the southwest. In addition, kudos to Dr. Smith who shares all electronic documents for the entire term through the university's learning management system and email by request. Having materials prior to the class sessions allows Tony to prepare for each lecture and discussion. If he is not able to access materials with a screen reader, he has time to contact disability services for help. On the other hand, please let me introduce you to Jenny Nap who has a hearing impairment. Jenny is beginning a masters degree in library information and science. The course Jenny is currently taking, introduction to information management, Is based on a teaching approach that requires students to independently view online lectures with PowerPoint slides and prepare to discuss the concepts in a face to face classroom. Jenny is struggling in the course because the videos are not closed captioned. She is an expert lip reader but cannot translate large chunks of content. The disability services office created transcripts for Jenny that she receives approximately three weeks after the lecture. And to make matters worse, Jenny has to try to align unnumbered PowerPoint slides with the transcript text. It takes her many hours to decipher one lecture because it is a juggling act involving a video, transcript and slides. The face to face classroom component of Jenny's course is just as frustrating as the online videos. The classroom interaction is completely discussion based. The disabilities service office has provided Jenny with a sign language interpreter. But without understanding the pre-class videos, Jenny's participation in the discussions is quite limited. Jenny dropped her second course because this foundation course is taking an extensive amount of time and energy. Understandably, Jenny is worried about her ability to complete a master degree in this program. She is considering dropping out of the program. I hope you will consider students such as Tony and Jenny as you complete the readings and tasks for this course. My goal is to share strategies and best practices, that will proactively make your courses as accessible as possible to all students. A theme you will hear repeatedly throughout the course, is that creating a positive learning experience for students with disabilities, requires collaboration and communication among the students, instructor, and disability services specialists. In addition to helping students with disabilities, international students, non-traditional students and students using mobile devices will all appreciate the clarity of your course materials and teaching strategies.