[Nfbc-info] promoting access to higher education

Angela Fowler fowlers at syix.com
Fri Jul 17 15:54:49 UTC 2015

Hello folks,

                The increasing prevalence of online instructional material
has the potential to present blind students with unparalleled opportunities
to participate equally in course work with our sighted peers. In a perfect
world, textbooks and study materials in electronic format greatly reduce the
need for readers and disabled student services, while lectures, feedback and
grades posted online eliminate the need to haggle with the professor about
making material available to a blind student. 

As we all know, this is far from a perfect world. Much of the electronic
material out there is in a format which is inaccessible to the blind, and
there are no minimum accessibility standards which developers can use to
make their products accessible. 

The NFB's governmental affairs team along with NABS are advocating for
legislation which would establish these guidelines, commonly known as the
SMART act, and they need our help. They are looking for personal stories
from students and former students across the country which highlight the
importance of accessibility of online instructional materials. 

                We have all known the excitement of finding out that a
course, or an important component of a course is available online, and the
bitter disappointment of finding that we can't access it. We've also had our
lives made immensely more efficient by material which has been beautifully
accessible. Let's turn these disappointments and triumphs into personal
stories which will lead to positive change. 


In your story please include:

An anecdote which illustrates the importance of accessibility in higher

An assertion that voluntary guidelines need to be in place so that
developers have ready access to information on how to make their material


Please email your stories to Kathryn Webster at:

kathrynwebster.nfb at gmail.com


          Kathryn is looking for 10 stories from California, but I think we
can do better than that. Let's give her 20!



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