OFFICE OF THE ASSISTANT SECRETARY
- The DCL states that where accessible technology is not available, a school can comply with Section 504 and the ADA if it provides students with disabilities “accommodations or modifications that permit them to receive all the educational benefits provided by the technology in an equally effective and equally integrated manner.” From a practical standpoint, what questions should schools ask to determine if this standard can be met?
A: In making this determination, the questions a school should ask include:
- What educational opportunities and benefits does the school provide through the use of this technology?
- What can the school do to provide students with disabilities equal access to the educational benefits or opportunities provided through the use of the technology?
- How will the educational opportunities and benefits provided to students with disabilities compare to the opportunities and benefits that the technology provides to students without disabilities? Three relevant questions are:
- Are all the educational opportunities and benefits that are available through the use of the technology equally available to students with disabilities through the provision of accommodations or modifications (i.e., do students with disabilities have the opportunity to acquire the same information, engage in the same interactions, and enjoy the same services as sighted students)?
- Are the educational opportunities and benefits provided to students with disabilities in as timely a manner as those provided to students without disabilities (i.e., do the time frames under which opportunities and benefits are received by students meet the requirement that students with disabilities be provided benefits and opportunities in an equally effective and equally integrated manner)?
- Will it be more difficult for students with disabilities to obtain the educational opportunities and benefits than it is for students without disabilities (i.e., does ease of use for students with disabilities meet the requirement that students with disabilities be provided benefits and opportunities in an equally effective and equally integrated manner)?
Example: A high school teacher creates an online course that includes
instruction, posting of assignments and other course content, and a forum where
students can discuss their course work with the teacher and each other. The
teacher would like to incorporate video clips into the course, but is unable
to obtain the video clips with audio