We are proud to announce that Ohio State University (OSU), the third-largest university in the United States by enrollment, has recently implemented Scribe for Meetings, a product of Pneuma Solutions. Starting this summer, print-impaired students will be able to enjoy access to on-screen slides in Zoom lectures, in real time, just like their peers without print disabilities.
Until now, accessibility for on-screen slides in academic lectures, whether in-person or remote, has been a tedious affair at best. Print-impaired students were required to work with instructors to provide the slides in advance, so the student could read the slides in an accessible format on their computer or mobile device during the class. If alternative formats like Braille or Large Print were needed, students and teachers were at the Mersey of an overburdened office of student accommodations to produce the material in a timely manner, especially on short notice. Even in the best case, when the instructor provided the slides before the lecture, print-impaired students often struggle to follow along with the live presentation, because they wouldn’t necessarily know what slide the instructor was displaying at the moment. Since the start of the pandemic, the need for remote education has exacerbated this problem, by making it more difficult for print-impaired students to ask fellow students or the instructor for clarification about the content being presented on screen. The student is not able to fully engage with their peers in an inclusive manner.
Scribe for Meetings changes all of that. With minimal effort, instructors can now make their slides accessible in real time to students with all types of print impairments. Instructors only need to upload their PowerPoint slides to the Scribe for Meetings cloud service a few minutes before the start of the lecture. Print-impaired students can then follow along with accessible slides through Scribe for Meetings, while they attend the Zoom meeting. Whenever the instructor displays a new slide, Scribe for Meetings will immediately present the accessible version of that slide, so print-impaired students never fall out of sync with the rest of the class.
With Scribe for Meetings, print-impaired students can read the slides at their own pace, and in the way that works best for them, whether that’s with a screen reader, using a refreshable braille display, using the built-in Read Aloud feature of Scribe for Meetings, or in the student’s preferred font size and color scheme. If the instructor allows it, print-impaired students can also download the slides in accessible formats including Braille, accessible HTML, and Tagged PDF, just to name a few, for review after the lecture.
By adopting Scribe for Meetings, OSU enhances their powerful arsenal of accessibility tools, further insuring the academic success for students with print disabilities. Just as online lectures are now expected to be captioned for the benefit of hearing-impaired students, we believe that the on-screen content in these presentations should also be fully accessible in real time to print-impaired students. We are pleased that OSU is taking advantage of Scribe for Meetings to make this ideal a reality, and we look forward to seeing many more universities follow OSU’s lead. Click here to set up a demo to get Scribe For Meetings for your educational organization.
Working with campuses like OSU is an important step in our vision for a more accessible future. No student should feel left out at any point in their educational experience and certainly not in the midst of large scale developments out of their control like a pandemic. It is our desire to put this technology into the hands of as many educators as possible to ensure our students can tap in to all available opportunities. After all, accessibility is a human right.