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Blind College Students Shut Out Online

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - Approximately 75,000 college and trade school students are visually impaired and barriers to the use of the Internet deny them equal learning opportunities. Darrell Shandrow, a blind senior at Arizona State University, says accessibility is a “human right” and if a sighted person can use a piece of technology, he should be able to as well.

College web pages are widely inaccessible at 183 colleges surveyed and many have no centralized way to ensure that online courses comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

According to The Chronicle of Higher Education, at Penn State blind students and professors suffer “pervasive and ongoing discrimination” because of inaccessible campus technology. Daniel Goldstein, counsel to the National Federation for the Blind, filed a complaint arguing that blind students are at a greater disadvantage today than they were 20 years ago.

And advocates sued Arizona State over its use of the Amazon’s Kindle e-reader, which lacked audible menus for blind people.

Leading the way, Cal State has waged one of higher education’s strongest campaigns for accessible technology. This is only the beginning. Stay tuned…..

Reported By Dr. Marciene Mattleman, KYW Newsradio

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