PSU news by
Penn State's student blog

Topics

About

We Are…Discriminating Against Blind People?

The National Federation for the Blind filed a formal complaint against Penn State last Friday, November 12. The complaint, which was issued by the largest organization for the blind in the U.S., claimed that blind students and professors suffer “pervasive and ongoing discrimination” because of the inaccessibility of the technology available on campus.

The Federation’s main beefs are with course-management software, library catalogue, departmental websites (the Office of Disability Services website isn’t even fully accessible to blind students), and ANGEL. Blind students must use a “PDA mode” of ANGEL, which limits features and ease of use (If it’s any consolation, ANGEL and the rest of the PSU domain aren’t easy for other Penn Staters to use either). Yet, the latest version of Blackboard (the company in charge of ANGEL) software has in fact been approved by the National Federation of the Blind. Penn State’s alleged slights against blind faculty include the limited use of touchscreen keypads found in classrooms, in addition to a lack of online tool availability.

The group insisted Penn State begin to deal with the issues, suggesting hiring accessibility coordinators, conducting accessibility audits, and creating an accessibility policy. Penn State Spokesperson Annemarie Mountz said of the matter, “Issues of equity and accessibility are immensely important, and we take them very seriously.”

The complaint was filed a day after a report warning that many colleges and universities could be held liable for discrimination against the blind because of the lackluster manner in which they guarantee compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. The Federation seems to be using this instance as a warning for other schools.

About the Author

Caitlin Silver

Caitlin is from a small Pennsylvania town called Unionville, which is by West Chester, which is by Philadelphia. She is a sophomore in the Smeal College of Business and will probably major in accounting. Caitlin loves "How I Met Your Mother" and dougnuts.

Comments

More by Caitlin

Kiwi Fro-Yo Comes to Penn State

The Kiwi Yogurt chain is opening its newest store right here in State College, next to the Student Book Store at 324 E. College Ave, this February (no word yet on exact date). Kiwi is a Maine Line, Pa.-based, family-owned company founded in 2008 set on providing “the ultimate dessert experience.”

And it is quite the experience. When you walk in, there is – prepare yourselves – a wall of frozen yogurt options. You get to walk up to this beautiful wall and vend yourself as many flavors as you like.

IFC-PHC Producing YouTube Video to Feature Greek Leaders

Vote For Edublogs!

Athletics

Penn State Hockey Releases 2018-19 Roster

Brett Murray is no longer on the team after an uneventful tenure in Happy Valley that saw him score just one goal in 33 games.

Penn State Women’s Soccer Sophomores Start Season Strong

Penn State Women’s Soccer Beats Duquesne 6-0

Shea Moyer Lifts Penn State Women’s Soccer Past West Virginia 1-0

Penn State Women’s Soccer Poised For Strong 2018 Season

Student Life

Your Fall 2018 Sylly Week Playlist

Whether this is your first semester or last, welcome to Sylly Week.

While You Were Gone…

Involvement Fair Returns To HUB Lawn Syllabus Week

Plans Submitted For New KFC In State College

Developers have submitted preliminary land development plans to build a new KFC restaurant at 1780 S. Atherton St. in State College.

Join Onward State: Fall 2018 Application

Onward State is hiring for the fall semester and we’d love to have you join us.

While You Were Gone…

Here’s a roundup of what went on around Penn State during summer break.

Be the first to know

  • Top posts and the best Penn State stories

Thank you for subscribing.

Something went wrong.

What Changed In State College While You Were Away

With another summer in the books, here are all the changes to State College that happened while you were gone.

Send this to a friend