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Introducing New Accessibility Tools for Faculty and Staff


Posted 09/07/2018
Submitted by Bevin Rainwater
Category: Campus Announcements

As part of the University Strategic Plan, the ITEC Accessibility Subcommittee is pleased to announce the availability of two new tools designed to help faculty easily make content accessible to all students. Accessibility has been the recent focus of many universities across the country and the University of Hartford is committed to providing an accessible and inclusive education for all students.

The first tool is the Automatic Captioning tool in Ensemble.  All new videos uploaded to Ensemble (the University’s streaming media server) will be automatically closed captioned.  Previously uploaded videos can be automatically captioned at the click of a button.  For more information on Ensemble, view the Getting Started with Ensemble guide: http://hartford.edu/academics/faculty/fcld/files/pdf/technology/webex_echo360/Getting%20Started%20with%20Ensemble.pdf

The second tool is Ally, which is a Blackboard add-on tool.  Ally will automatically convert PDFs, Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents to an accessible format for students upon upload into Blackboard, and also converts files already in your Blackboard courses.  Ally also offers faculty just-in-time, step-by-step tips for making documents more accessible to students, indicating those that can be improved with a color-coded gear icon (students do not see this).  Making corrections is easy!  Just click the gear icon and a panel will pop-up on the right with suggestions and corrections can be made right there in Blackboard.  For more information on Ally, please view the Ally guide: http://hartford.edu/academics/faculty/fcld/files/pdf/bb9/ally/Ally.pdf

Faculty with questions or concerns about Accessibility or accommodations for students should contact Tracy Carlson, Director of Access-Ability Services at 860.768.4312 or trcarlson@hartford.edu.

Faculty needing help or support with Ensemble Automatic Captioning and Ally, should contact their departmental mentor or The Faculty Center for Learning Development (FCLD) at 860.768.4661 or fcld@hartford.edu.