Contact Us

University of Montana Reaches Agreement With Department of Justice Over Services to Disabled Students [AUDIO]

Main Hall
photo by Brooke Andrus

The University of Montana has reached an agreement with the U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil Rights to ensure educational accessibility for people with disabilities.

Vice President for Integrated Communications Peggy Kuhr said the agreement stems from a student complaint filed in 2012 that the university was discriminating against students with disabilities.

“About two years ago in the spring, a complaint was filed against the university about accessibility with electronic materials,” Kuhr said. “When we learned about that complaint, we immediately convened a task force of people from throughout the campus including people from the library, from IT, in classrooms and from online learning asking whether or not we are as accessible as we need to be, and that includes everything from the kinds of textbooks we use to the types of websites and videos that we have.”

Kuhr said since 2012, efforts have been spent making sure that accessibility has been achieved.

“Over the past two years, we’ve been making sure that in particular our technology is accessible to all students,” Kuhr said. “When that comes to students who are blind or have a visual disability, we ask if they can see our websites, or access materials from the classroom. Similarly, we ask anyone with a hearing disability, how can we make sure all students have access to what we use in the classroom these days?”

The resolution agreement outlines a comprehensive set of policies and procedures ensuring that all electronic and information technology at UM can be used by the blind and other students with disabilities.

Kuhr said much of the work has centered around the campus online learning management system, called Moodle.

“When you’re in class, you get signed into this online website for class materials and we make sure that you have various ways that you can get access to that information,” Kuhr said. “Part that that involves when we purchase new software, that the software itself is accessible, and it includes surveying students to make sure we are serving their purposes and their needs.”

Kuhr said the effort to comply with the terms of the agreement with the Department of Justice Office of Civil Rights goes even beyond the campus itself.

“Today, we have a couple of people giving presentations at a national convention about electronic publications, and about Moodle, our online learning management system, making sure that vendors provide us with materials that are accessible to all students,” Kuhr said. “The work continues with surveys for both students and faculty to make sure that if they need something such as subtitles on a video, or a different way to present a paper or a book, that we have services on campus that can make that translation happen for you.”

UM Vice President for Integrated Communications Peggy Kuhr

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

 

More From News Talk KGVO

Best of the Web

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your points and personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account with your Facebook account, just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing profile and VIP program points. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to http://newstalkkgvo.com using your Facebook account.

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

Register on News Talk KGVO Radio quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!

Not a Member? Sign Up Here

Register on News Talk KGVO Radio quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!