Overcoming professors’ skepticism about digital accessibility

Dan Smith was frustrated. A colleague had just told him he needed to make his online Introduction to Theater course more accessible, in compliance with federal law and a new mandate from the Michigan State University administration. Smith immediately objected on two fronts: he didn’t have time, and he didn’t feel he should have to do something…

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Student debt is worse for women

As an undergraduate at Christopher Newport University, Kelcie Chandler did not know that there was a significant difference in how much debt women and men hold after graduating from college. But she did notice that her female classmates were much more likely to talk about their debt than were the men she knew. Women talked…

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Accessibility rules the conversation

Kelly Paynter and Jimmy Barnes have been teaching online courses for nearly two decades. They consider themselves veterans of the modality at this point. But when their boss, the dean of the School of Education at Jacksonville State University, in Alabama, not so subtly requested that they enroll in the institution’s new certificate course in…

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Help that hurts women

Some scholars have questioned academe’s reliance on letters of recommendation, saying they’re onerous for the professors writing them or speak more about connections to “big-name” scholars than substance, or both. A recent study explores another concern about letters of recommendation: whether they’re biased against the women they’re supposed to help. The short answer is yes. The longer answer —…

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Empathy and collaboration: Accessibility in IT

IT accessibility has been an important legal consideration for quite some time, but what that means, how it looks, and what end users should experience when interacting with technology are much more challenging issues to address. Often, people will talk about accessibility as a binary—as if something is accessible or not accessible—but accessibility doesn’t work…

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