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ATHEN Quarterly Meeting 6-10-20

“Accessibility Listserv in Real Time”/ Each participant was asked “what are the current problems or hot topics or issues that you are currently facing?







  • Convincing management/leadership that using automated captions in Zoom or whatever is live captions and sufficient for pre-recorded graduation, etc.

  • Are automated captions better than nothing?

    • Helpful from a UDL perspective, lots of benefits to many, but caveat should be included

    • May be better than nothing but there’s a lag and accuracy is difficult

    • The whole context could change, so post captioning would be better

    • I would add though that as long as the accuracy is fairly high otherwise no. But it can depend on speaker or environment when inaccurate for UDL.

  • Audio descriptions with videos

  • All the video platforms, what are the capabilities

    • 6 LMSs (3 major Canvas, Bb, Sakai)

    • Zoom, MS Teams, Panapto, Kaltura, 

    • Not everyone handles live captioning the same 

      • MS Teams Meeting doesn’t allow this

        • It is on their radar, MS will get back to Sean K, and Sean K will share out with listserv

        • Krista tweeted MSFT Accessibility Twitter account and will share response via ATHEN listserv

      • Google Meets doesn’t either

  • Using zoom and faculty not know the limitation of the different zoom access. Like a smartphone or calling in to the meeting.

  • Convince campus leaders that AT is needed (subtitling, captions, etc.)

  • Using and Zoom for UDL purposes, but ensuring it’s not being seen as a replacement for accommodations

  • A question about transcripts of captions available. Zoom offers to save a transcript of the captions; does Google?

  • ASR = automatic speech recognition

  • Has anyone worked with Yuja Enterprise and their Auto-Captioning Dictionary function?

Potential Solutions/Answers/Ideas


  • Accommodations (to not wear) face masks

    • Students who are Deaf or hard-of-hearing

    • Note: The clear masks are being offered for our interpreters, and are the first alternate we are suggesting for students who cannot otherwise wear a mask.

  • Masks vs. Shields

    • Face shields may not offer the same level of protection as a mask does

  • Plexi-glass

    • Put in front of the instructor

  • Idea: school providing masks to students/faculty

  • Requirement to use masks

    • Situation dependent? For example, if there is a long interaction between two people in a small area

Potential Solutions/Answers/Responses

  • Encourage student to do the online version of the course instead of being on-campus, in-person (BUT there are some serious hesitations)

    • Would need to look at the objectives of the course to see if they are truly equal online vs in-person

  • Put classes at 50% capacity, maintain in-person aspect

  • What to know about clear medical masks for lipreading

  • Purchase clear masks ahead of time (not sure what they look like)

    • Handed out by DS as an support for those who are in-person who cannot use a non-clear mask

  • Disposal masks outside of classrooms

  • Offering courses in flex format to provide choices to students to be in-person vs online

  • Many campuses require masks and no mask = different type of interaction, no service. (I.e. no meeting in person but use phone, Zoom, etc.)

  • Vendor suggestions for clear masks 


  • Delivering ePub as a new format to students

    • Not going bad

    • Been delivering ePub to Kurzweil users

    • Have history of getting some push back from screen readers when introducing new formats

    • Why the shift?

      • Format that getting from publishers

    • Page numbers (lack of) is a known issue

  • Tools to use

  • Jose Amenero currently working on ePub this summer