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|Experiences of Deaf and Hard of Hearing Students in Undergraduate and Graduate Students in Distance Education
|Jones, Tom (Faculty of Graduate Studies, Centre for Distance Education)
|Cleveland-Innes, Martha (Internal) (Faculty of Graduate Studies, Centre for Distance Education)
Koole, Marguerite (External) (Department of Curriculum Studies, College of Education, University of Saskatchewan)
|Centre for Distance Education
Hard of hearing
Universal instructional design
|This exploratory case study investigates the experiences of university distance education (DE) students with hearing loss. Nine individuals responded to an online questionnaire designed to obtain information about demographic characteristics, education level, hearing loss, and experience with academic accommodation and support services. Six respondents completed the questionnaire, and three participated in semi-structured interviews in which they described their experiences in DE, and their perceptions of accessibility issues, particularly related to instructional design. Results showed that, despite their physical limitations and any accessibility barriers, participants were able to navigate DE courses and support themselves with limited, if any, institutional assistance. Students who did not seek accommodation did not consider it necessary or did not think to ask for it. To continually promote universal accessibility, course designers should consistently ensure that all audio-video content is captioned, and that all assignments with an audio or video component have a grade tied to accessibility.
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