The Importance of Student Accessibility Services

May 10, 2019

by Megan Murphy (COLA, '22)

In our current learning environment, it is essential that college faculty ensure that videos used in their courses are accessible to all students.  Whether content is presented in lectures, classwork, or homework, this objective is critical and can be advanced through the implementation of closed-captioning.

“Accessibility issues should be considered in all cases regardless of whether or not any particular student is hearing-impaired”, said Academic Technology Senior Manager David Blezard.  “Elements such as close-captions help not only hard-of-hearing students, but also foreign language-learners and those who simply process information better by reading rather than listening.”

AT’s proposed solution to increasing video accessibility lies in Kaltura- a software that uses machine-based captioning to subtitle any videos uploaded to its database.  Moreover, it also provides tools allowing users to fix words or phrases that are translated incorrectly.  Whether it’s a video taken straight from one’s phone or an outside source such as YouTube, Kaltura is not only the most beneficial option, but is easily-accessible by simply logging in with one’s UNH user account.  

Federal laws such as the Americans with Disabilities Act have made it clear that waiting for a problem to arise before addressing an accessibility issue is not recommended.  Thanks to Kaltura, faculty now have access to video recording and accessibility tools that make creating accessible content easier than it has been in the past.

For more information about using Kaltura, click the link below.  If any additional problems, questions, or concerns arise, please consult AT knowledge base articles or speak with a representative during the Parker Media Lab drop-in hours. 

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