Nov. 17, 2014
One deaf student is falling through the cracks when it comes to getting help from disability services.
Christine Remacle is a freshman music major and has had several frustrations in her first semester at UCCS.
According to Remacle, some faculty members are not adhering to the accommodations required by the Disability Services Office.
Christine is hearing impaired and finds it difficult to watch films or videos in class that are crucial to the itinerary.
“How am I supposed to sit there and watch this important video in class when I have no idea what it is about?” she said.
“At the beginning of the semester, the DSO sends out an email saying that all my classes will need to have closed captioning for my classes, and if they have any troubles with the accommodations, they need to contact the DSO. But there have been a few classes where there is only audio available with no closed captioning.”
After contacting the DSO to let them know about the lack of accommodations, they helped by re-iterating her needs, but Remacle said the problem adds stress to her class load.
“I told the teachers I would contact DSO if they didn’t fix things, and they told me I didn’t need to do that because they would fix it, but they didn’t. That was when I sent a text to my disability coordinator telling her that it wasn’t happening.”
Remacle said that the DSO sent out reminder emails since then and there has been more consistent closed captioning.
“If [teachers] can’t access it, they’re supposed to contact DSO, but they usually just send me video links so I can sit there at home with headphones. So essentially, I’m required to do the work twice.”
Remacle outlined a technology that would help her and other disabled students.
“There is this thing called ‘real time captioning’ where the speaker wears a microphone, and someone else listens to what the teacher says and types out a transcript,” Remacle said, “which then pops up on a screen or my iPad, so essentially I can read whatever the teacher says without needing to hear it.”
In addition to new technologies, Remacle also believes that there are other steps the DSO can take to help disabled students.
“Checking in with the students to see if there is anything they can help with would be nice,” she said. “It’s not just for me, it could be for veterans or others that are hard of hearing and don’t want to disclose it.”
“The teachers don’t want you to tell because they are afraid they will get in trouble because of the ADA.”