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This guidance describes the university’s approach to captioning during its response to the COVID-19 public health emergency and will be reevaluated as public health and safety directives change.
Questions about this guidance should be directed to the Digital Accessibility Center at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- A: An event can be best described as anything that is not a regular business meeting. For example, anything where invitations are being sent, registration is taking place, or participants from outside the university are being invited to participate; especially if events are effectively open to members of the general public.
- A: for online meetings and calls that are a routine part of conducting university business, live captioning is not required unless a participant requests that this be done. An employee needing this accommodation for work and business meetings should contact their HR business partner or the Integrated Absence Management and Vocational Services team within the Office of Human Resources. If in doubt whether a particular meeting is a routine business meeting or event, please contact us for clarification.
- A: yes, unless you have an approved Accommodation-based exception The Digital Accessibility Center will work with Academic departments to expedite processing of exceptions for courses moved from an on campus to a blended or remote format as a result of university guidance.
- A: You may not need to provide live captioning under this scenario, however, operating your event under this assumption requires an approved Accommodation-based exception to ensure the appropriate communications and accomodations strategies are in place.
- A: Yes, you can (and should) make an accommodations request part of your registration flow, encouraging requests as far in advance as possible. It is a violation of university policy, state , and federal law to exclude a participant who requests a disability accommodation, even if the university is unable to make the accommodation. No accommodations request should be denied prior to obtaining approval from the Digital Accessibility Center or ADA Coordinator’s office.
- A: We suggest language like the following:
If you require an accommodation such as live captioning or interpretation to participate in this event, please contact Brutus Buckeye at email@example.com or 614-247-5555. Requests made by (date) will generally allow us to provide seamless access, but the university will make every effort to meet requests made after this date.
Note that the contact must be someone in the local unit equipped to understand and path the request.
- A: A failure to adhere to the policy and exception process for a digital event that seems to be based on poor communications resulting in ignorance may result in having the event postponed or cancelled if there is no reasonable way to provide accessibility. Severe or repeated violations will be investigated as potential intentional violation of both the Digital Accessibility Policy (PDF) and our Non-Discrimination / Harassment policy (PDF).
- A: Units should make every effort to plan events with sufficient time to consider all aspects of policy compliance. For time sensitive or last-minute requests, the unit should reach out to the Digital Accessibility Center to discuss the specific situation. Under the current public health emergency, captioning and transcription services generally require 7-10 business days to arrange; however, every effort should be made to fill requests regardless of the time they are received. If you receive a request that you cannot accomodate you must inform the Digital Accessibility Center as soon as you become aware of the issue so that an equitable resolution can be implemented.
- A: An approved exception request is required any time your unit is holding an online event and it will not be captioned as required by university policy and standards. Exceptions may be granted under the following circumstances:
- The event’s audience is known in advance, and no participants require any captioning accommodations.
- The event has a robust communications plan for individuals who need accommodations and an approved plan in place to provide them, if needed.
- A: If the events have similar registration timelines, audiences, and share common accommodation and communications strategies, units may request an exception to cover a set or series of similar events.
- A: Exception requests will need the approval of your Digital Accessibility Coordinator as well as any local budget and/or administrative approvals necessary to carry out the accommodations plans. Your Accessibility Coordinator will automatically be added as an approver to exception requests – be sure to add any additional approvers prior to submission.
- A: In recognition of the extraordinary circumstances surrounding the COVID-19 public health pandemic, the ADA Coordinator’s Office may be able to provide central support for events that are unforeseeably moved online, that are not otherwise supported by existing revenue, and that are central to the ongoing mission of the university. Requests for this support can be addressed through an Accommodation-based exception.
- A: The ADA Coordinator’s Office is committed to working with all university units to ensure that your events are non-discriminatory and compliant with the institution’s obligations under our policies and applicable state/federal law. If your unit is having issues providing appropriate funding, please reach out to us for further assistance.
- A: cost varies based on the length of the event but is generally around $45-$60 per hour.
- A: the university’s obligation is to provide communication to individuals with disabilities that is equally effective as that provided to others; given the complexity and speed at which events are run, generally this task would not be suitable for untrained or inexperienced staff.
- A: there are not currently any university approved tools for this particular use case. We are exploring otter.ai and other similar offerings as potential future acquisitions but we have no timeline or additional information to provide at this time.
- A: Not at this time. No approved tools are available that would meet our standards. This is a rapidly evolving field of technology and we are committed to exploring new tools as they become available.