About the Education Access Center
The Education Access Center manages academic support resources for qualifying students in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act who attend Tulsa Community College's four campuses and other locations. The Center's staff partners with students to provide access to classroom instruction and college accommodations. Students use the Center for academic support resources, studying, tutoring and socializing. To receive accommodations in a timely manner, students should contact the Education Access Center as soon as possible. The Education Access Center is also a resource for employees and community agencies regarding disability issues in post-secondary educational institutions.
The Education Access Center Empowers Learning Through Accessibility.
Contact email@example.com. For assistance on other TCC campuses you may contact or visit the locations below:
909 S. Boston Ave. Room MC331B
Tulsa, Oklahoma 74119
3727 East Apache St Room NE2163-L (within room NE2163)
Tulsa, Oklahoma 74115
10300 East 81st St Room 4224, Building 4
Tulsa, Oklahoma 74133
7505 W 41st Street Room WC I-144
Tulsa, Oklahoma 74107
What Accommodations Really Mean
Accommodations are tools that grant students with disabilities access to educational opportunities. Accommodations are not intended to alter or lower the standards or expectations of a course or exam; they are designed to assist students in learning the same material and meet the same expectations as their classmates who do not have a disability. In certain cases, the EAC needs professional documentation to support the request of certain accommodations.
Examples of Accommodations
- Alternative Format Books – Alternate format books include instructional materials, textbooks, and/or other reading materials presented in formats that are accessible by individuals with disabilities. Examples of alternate format books include audio books and books in PDF formats. Students requesting alternative format books should contact the EAC prior to the start of a semester.
- Assistive Technology and Training – Assistive technology refers to software or various tools that help people who have difficulty speaking, typing, writing, hearing, and/or seeing. Examples of assistive technology includes Assistive Listening Devices, Dragon Naturally Speaking, Screen Readers, among others. Individual assistance or training on assistive technology is available by appointment only.
- Reduced-Distraction and/or Extended Exam Time – Instructor exams, as well as the Accuplacer are administered in different reduced-distraction environments located on each TCC campus. Depending on the nature of the disability, students can test for a longer period of time. All exams are administered by appointment only.
- Reading and Scribing – EAC staff members are qualified to read an exam to a student and/or write his/her answers based on professional documentation. Readers and scribers are available as needed for exams by appointment, and they are not responsible for ensuring proper grammar and punctuation.
- Special Seating – Reserved seating, adjustable desks and/or chairs are available for students registered with the EAC based on the student’s disability. Special seating can be placed in different locations of a classroom, e.g., front row, center, depending on the need. Special seating is also arranged through the EAC for any TCC event.
- Note-taker – A note-taker is a qualified individual whose job it is to take notes for students who, due to their disability, find it difficult to take notes for themselves. The EAC provides note-taking paper and assistance with recruitment of note-takers in the classroom. Students who would like to record class lectures may check out a digital recorder from the appropriate EAC Counselor.
How To Register For Services
New Students - Requesting services for the first time:
- Meet all admissions and academic standards to attend Tulsa Community College.
- Self-identify and submit appropriate professional documentation in accordance with guidelines established by the EAC at Tulsa Community College's Metro Campus. Documentation can be turned in at the time of your intake appointment.
Documentation can also be:
Emailed to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Mailed to: Tulsa Community College
Education Access Center, Room 331B
909 S. Boston Ave
Tulsa, OK 74115
- Complete and submit the Accommodation Request Form. Once you have completed this form, and we have received your documentation, you will be contacted within 48 hours to arrange a meeting.
Returning Students - Complete a Student Service Agreement Each Semester.
Returning students who wish to have services for a semester, may request services by completing a Student Service Agreement form. You will be asked to update information that has changed and then agree to understanding each of the Student Service Agreement terms by entering your initials.
Pam McGowan Scholarship
The Education Access Center is a resource for TCC students, employees, high schools and community agencies regarding disability issues in post-secondary educational institutions. As a means of creating an educational environment that fosters academic success and removes educational barriers from students, the EAC is proud to announce the 2015 Pamela McGowan Education Access Center Scholarship. The scholarship will provide funds for tuition, fees, books, and academic (tutoring) assistance for five qualified students taking at least 6-credit hours at Tulsa Community College. Two students will be selected from Metro Campus, one from Northeast, one from Southeast, and one from West Campus. Thanks to our generous TCC Foundation, we received approval again to offer these scholarships.
TCC Students with a documented* learning, emotional or physical disability who are registered with the Education Access Center, have completed at least one semester (with a 2.5 GPA) and are currently enrolled in at least 6 credit hours.
*Documentation can include: Individual Education Plan, 504 plan, a Physician’s or Psychologist’s evaluation.
Keep in mind that:
- A change in your enrollment plans for the fall will affect your scholarship eligibility
- No preference is given based on the type of disability
- Former scholarship recipients are not eligible to re-apply
When Does the Application Process Start?
The applicant is responsible for ensuring that all items are submitted electronically by December 18, 2015. Review of applications will start immediately following Christmas break, and recipients of the Pamela McGowan EAC Scholarship will be notified via email no later than January 30, 2016.
**Recipients of this scholarship will have their $500 award directly applied to their TCC account for the spring of 2016**
To make the application process easier, have the items below available before starting:
- A statement indicating personal, professional and career goals
- A statement indicating extra-curricular Activities
- A statement indicating self-advocacy and self-determination strategies used in high school and college
- A statement indicating the impact that the Education Access Center has had on continuing your education
- A statement indicating the impact of your disability on your educational goals
- The contact information, i.e., full name (first and last), email address, and telephone number (with area code) of a professor, current employer, minister, vocational rehabilitation professional, or director/academic counselor not affiliated with the Education Access Center who can provide a letter of recommendation. Please notify this individual of your application for the Pamela McGowan Scholarship so that he/she can be aware of an email that will be sent to him/her requesting this letter.
Resources - Accessibility Law, Responsibilities, and Information
The Department of Education has information regarding student transition from high-school to post-secondary institutions and rights and responsibilities for students and post-secondary institutions.
- Questions and answers on disability discrimination under Section 504 and Title II.
- United States Department of Education Office of Civil Rights Publication. More and more high school students with disabilities are planning to continue their education in post-secondary schools, including vocational and career schools, two and four-year colleges, and universities. As a student with a disability, you need to be well informed about your rights and responsibilities as well as the responsibilities post-secondary schools have toward you. Being well informed will help ensure you have a full opportunity to enjoy the benefits of the post-secondary education experience without confusion or delay. Knowing your Rights and Responsibilities.
- Students with Disabilities Preparing for Post-secondary Education
- Auxiliary Aids and Services for Post-secondary Students with Disabilities: Higher Education's Obligations Under Section 504 and Title II of the ADA
- Department of Education Issues Dear Colleague Letter to Provide Guidance Under Amended ADA Legal Standards
The "Dear Colleague Letter" provides Guidance Under Amended Legal Standards. The Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights has issued a Dear Colleague letter concerning the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act. The letter provides additional guidance on the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act in elementary and secondary schools, given the changes to those laws made by the Amendments Act.
The ADA home page offers information and technical assistance on the Americans with Disabilities Act.
- Revised ADA Requirements: Service Animals
- Testing Accommodations
- Guidance on the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design
The Disability Rights Section works to achieve equal opportunity for people with disabilities in the United States by implementing the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Oklahoma's EITA law reflects an ongoing commitment to provide access to information resources and technologies to individuals with disabilities.
The mission of the Oklahoma Disability Law Center, Inc. is to protect, promote and expand the rights of people with disabilities. Since 1977, ODLC has helped people with disabilities achieve equality, inclusion in society and personal independence without regard to disabling conditions. We are a system of protection and advocacy for people with disabilities in the State of Oklahoma. We are federally funded through the Administration for Children and Families, the Center for Mental Health Services and Health Resources Services Administration of the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Education and the Social Security Administration.
Ability Resources: "Our mission is to assist people with disabilities in attaining and maintaining their personal independence. One way this can be achieved is in the creation of an environment in which people with disabilities can exercise their rights to control and direct their own lives."
OK-AHEAD's Mission: "To further full participation for individuals with disabilities in Oklahoma post-secondary education through collaboration, information dissemination, advocacy, professional and policy development, and research, Oklahoma Association on Higher Education and Disability continues its mission for disability service providers and the students they serve."
The ODC is an independent state agency whose purpose is to help state government develop policies and services that meet the needs of Oklahomans with disabilities. The ODC serves as a resource, to people with disabilities, who want to present their views and recommendations to the Governor, the State Legislature and State agencies.
Resources - Making Information and Communication Technology (Websites, Electronic Documents, Videos, Audio) Accessible
Why do we have to make Information and Communication Technology (ICT) section 508 accessible?
- It is the Law under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), Federal Rehabilitation act Sections 504 & 508, and Oklahoma's Electronic and Information Technology Accessibility (EITA) act. Section 508 does not directly apply to Higher Ed. however, because we receive federal funding and because Oklahoma's EITA is based on Section 508 and because 508 has been changed to align with international standards, it is an appropriate measure and guide for gauging and implementing web accessibility.
- We accept federal funding & like it.
- Students like going to accredited schools.
- Lawsuits are expensive.
- Having to add accessibility may be time consuming, difficult and impossible.
- Making ICT accessible makes it more accessible for all.
Generally speaking it is information in electronic form, e.g: Word documents, PowerPoints, PDF's, Online Surveys, E-mail and Websites.
Who is responsible for making or ensuring that ICT is accessible?
Generally, accessibility is everyone's job. More specifically related to ICT, it is the responsibility of the creator, developer, acquirer, or purchaser of ICT.
What does accessible mean?
From the Access-Board.gov: https://www.access-board.gov/guidelines-and-standards/communications-and-it/25-508-standards/720-questions-answers-about-section-508-of-the-rehabilitation-act-amendments-of-1998#19)
"The standards developed by the Access Board explain the detailed technical and functional performance criteria that will determine whether a technology product or system is `accessible.'
In general, an information technology system is accessible to people with disabilities if it can be used in a variety of ways that do not depend on a single sense or ability. For example, a system that provides output only in audio format would not be accessible to people with hearing impairments, and a system that requires mouse actions to navigate would not be accessible to people who cannot use a mouse because of a dexterity or visual impairment. Section 508 focuses on the overall accessibility of electronic and information technology systems, not on providing accommodations at individual worksites. Section 501 (504 for TCC) of the Rehabilitation Act requires Federal agencies to provide reasonable accommodations for individuals with disabilities; it generally covers individual worksites but not overall technology systems. Even with an accessible system, individuals with disabilities may still need specific accessibility-related software or peripheral devices as an accommodation to be able to use it. For example, in order to use an accessible word-processing program, a person who is blind may need add-on software that reads text aloud; if the word-processing program could not be made compatible with a screen-reading program, it might not be accessible."
How do you know if a website or electronic document is accessible?
Hopefully you have not started designing and creating the ICT, in which case you can start finding out how to incorporate accessibility. If you are looking at existing ICT you can first check it for accessibility before deciding to use it. Checking can start with an automated tool, but at this point in time you are still going to do manual checks. A short list of guides and tools for creating and checking ICT is available below.
Blackboard 9.1 Accessibility
Electronic Document Accessibility (PDF's Word Documents, PowerPoints, ... etc.)
Creating accessible Math involves a little more effort.
- AsciiMATH - One method for providing math equation accessibility is using ASCII Math.
- Equations written in AsciiMath are easily read by screen readers and Braille display devices.
- Writing your equations in AsciiMath format will usually allow you to enter them into equation editors such as those within Microsoft Word.
- MathType - We have purchased 30 (thirty) licenses:
"MathType is a powerful interactive equation editor for Windows and Macintosh that lets you create mathematical notation for word processing, web pages, desktop publishing, presentations, E-learning, and for TeX, LaTeX, and MathML documents."
We are currently experimenting with this product. Full-time instructors can have it installed; however, at present, the only explanation is the documentation provided by Design Science.
Purchasing ICT - There is more to this than the Voluntary Product Accessibility Template (VPAT)
Anyone who makes purchases for an institution, not just the purchasing department, is a purchasing agent. By law, It is your responsibility as a purchasing agent to make sure that the ICT you are acquiring is accessible.
A VPAT does not automatically make the ICT accessible. You have to do some checking. Here is advise, questions and guides that other institutions have developed to help you verify ICT product accessibility.
- Stockton University has a page called Evaluating Publisher Content for Accessibility in which you will find an excellent set of questions for checking specific aspects of publisher content including: Accessibility Documentation, Product support, Instructional web site, Video based content, Audio based content, Hard copy text, Electronic text, Data/document repositories, Interactive tools and simulations, and finally, accessibility links for major publishers.
- The University of Colorado has a page explaining 508 purchasing, VPAT's, warning signs, and questions you should ask: Accessibility Resources for Purchasing Professionals
Video & Audio Accessibility
Create Closed Captions using Dragon Naturally Speaking (DNS) and YouTube - Iowa State University - Covers:
- Converting Video to Audio using Video Lan Client
- Transcribing in DNS. The EAC has DNS. Please contact the EAC for more info.
- Retraining Dragon Naturally Speaking
- Syncing Transcription to Video using YouTube.
Besides video, audio also needs to be accessible. Simple solutions include:
- Providing a transcript of the audio or
- Recording or converting the audio as/to a video and captioning it.
General info about Accessibility Evaluation tools - WebAIM. Remember: Do not rely on fully automated tools to check for accessibility. They can not perform important checks such as: keyboard navigation, form accessibility, text contrast with backgrounds, navigation, important text embedded in pictures (pictures of text) and others. You will have to perform manual checks with tools such as:
Online web page accessibility checker from WebAIM.org
Form Accessibility: General info/guide from WebAIM.org. Accessible Form Controls, techniques, Advanced Form Labeling,
Web Accessibility for Designers - from WebAIM.org
WC3 - How to Meet WCAG 2.0: A customizable quick reference to Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 requirements (success criteria) and techniques: This is what Section 508 is based upon. WCAG 2.0 Level AA is what the Access Board has decided upon for new Section 508 standards.