Have you ever used an automatic door around campus? Used subtitles on Netflix or social media? Ever chosen to use a ramp instead of stairs? These resources all exist to aid people with disabilities and make life easier.
Durham College’s Access and Support Centre (ASC) offers many different resources to aid students with all kinds of needs, including peer note takers, dictation software, recording devices, peer coaches, and accessible formatting for course material.
Global Accessibility Awareness Day 2018 specifically focuses on accessibility in technology and software.
Douglas Howard is a Broadcasting – Radio and Contemporary Media student at Durham College with a visual impairment. He has extensive knowledge about the different resources offered by Durham College.
He says although DC has great options for people with disabilities, there is always room for improvement.
“Resources were limited in classes when we had to look at PowerPoints or presentations, for example,” he says. “Sometimes working with online text-to-speech can be a challenge. The college has been working on their website for the past couple years to make it more accessible because it doesn’t work with the screen reader.”
Howard also says the software used in the Broadcast program, such as Adobe Audition, is not very accessible or fits his needs. However, when needing alternative methods of receiving course material, Howard says teachers have always been accommodating and supportive.
“Sometimes it can take some time to explain to teachers why things did or didn’t work for me in classes, but from my experience they have always been patient and understanding of my needs overall,” he says.
Global Accessibility Awareness Day has been running for seven years and aims to raise awareness and inclusion for people with disabilities around the world.
To find out more about the resources offered by Durham College to accommodate various disabilities, visit the Access and Support Centre in the B-Wing of the Gordon Willey building.