Students File Complaints about Inaccessible Online Courses at the University of Montana

The University of Montana has come under fire for inaccessible online courses.The University of Montana's online program has proven to be inaccessible to disabled students. There are approximately 1,121 students who are registered with UM's Disability Student Services, yet 75%-90% of the average student's classes have an inaccessible online component. This is not conducive to a vision impaired student's path to graduation.

Complaints about the schools learning management system, Moodle, include the inaccessibility of live chat and discussion board functions, inaccessible class assignments and materials, and inaccessible library database materials. Travis Moses, a blind senior at the university, cannot use a screen reader for the school's online system. While he has been promised on numerous occasions that the issue would be fixed, he, along with many other students, have yet to see any attempt from the school to make learning more accessible.

The Alliance for Disability and Students at the University of Montana (ADSUM) filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Education due to the discrimination disabled students experience on campus. The complaint is currently under investigation.  Meanwhile, within the past couple of years, there has been a policy change in effect. Disability Services has secured funding for the use of sign language interpreters, and added a student staff to specifically address video captioning used in the classroom. Teachers have also been instructed to leave enough lead time within their videos to allow students to write captions.

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