- Rachel Kruzel, Territory Sales Director, Texthelp
- Length of Session: 1-hr
- Format: Lecture
- Expertise Level: Beginner
- Type of session: General Conference
Providing accessible course materials can be challenging and time consuming. Between the acquisition, remediation and distribution of materials, institutions need an easier, more time efficient process given the variety of file types and educational environments where course content lives today. This session will discuss how Texthelp tools interact with and help students reach varied types of content while supporting institutions as they remediate content and provide accommodations to learners.
Course content is becoming more complex and varied each year. Given the robust development of technology, these essential pieces of the curriculum come in a variety of places and file formats: printed and digital textbooks, journal articles, websites, learning management systems, third party websites, PDFs, ePubs, documents, and more. Each of these file types and content hubs must be accessible and be able to interact with the text-to-speech tool that a student with a disability uses. Due to the continued focus on doing more with less in higher ed paired with an increase in the number of students accessing support through the Disability/Accessibility Resource Office, professionals are struggling to keep up with the demand expected of them when it comes to accessible course materials. A more user-friendly and time-efficient process is needed for the sustainability of our institutions and our offices both today and in the future.
This session will focus on how Texthelp tools can augment and support the process of creating, providing, and consuming accessible course materials through the lens of both professionals and students on campus. Attendees will learn how students can independently gain access to the myriad of course content formats and online environments by using Read&Write and OrbitNote. Through the use of these tools and their direct interaction with course content, campuses will see a decrease in need for post-production remediation of course content. For those creating STEM materials such as faculty or content remediators, Equatio provides a quick and easy process to make content accessible to all learners including those with learning disabilities or who are blind/low vision. Through the use of these tools, professionals can focus their time on key files, formats, or complex content while students will have increased levels of independent access to their course content in all the places they work and learn.
- Students with disabilities need tools in order to effectively and efficiently interact with course content.
- The evolution of campus processes around accessible course content should be sustainable moving forward.
- Technology exists to support the ease of access and the creation of accessible course content campuswide.
Cognitive/Learning, Psychological, Vision
Accessible Educational Materials, Alternate Format, Assistive Technology, Uncategorized, Universal Design for Learning
Rachel Kruzel, ATP, is the Territory Sales Director for Texthelp supporting Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois, and Missouri. She is a RESNA Certified Assistive Technology Professional. Rachel spent ten years working as an Assistive Technology Specialist in Disability Resource Offices at two colleges and universities in Minnesota. During her time in higher ed, she built and developed assistive technology programs at both schools, as well as coordinated the provision of accommodations. At both institutions, she helped to lead the campus’ digital accessibility initiatives and EIT Committee. Rachel is a national expert in the areas of assistive technology, digital accessibility, alternative format course materials, and accommodation provision around testing and notetaking. Rachel presents both regionally and nationally on these topics and others, as well as consults with students, parents, schools, and organizations.