Student Support

ASL Interpreter helping a student and professor communicate in class
Professor presenting a slideshow to his class
Guest speaker, Ken Petry, speaks at a past Access MU symposium to a large audience
The varsity hockey team glides across the ice with members of the Best Buddies Choir

As a student, you may be hearing more and more about the issue of accessibility and in particular, how it affects you. We hope you will take advantage of the various resources available at Miami so you can make the most of your college education.

What is "accessibility"?

Accessibility can be viewed as the "ability to access" and benefit from a system or entity. Accessibility is not to be confused with usability, which is the extent to which a product (such as a device, service, or environment) can be used by specified users to achieve specified goals with effectiveness, efficiency, and satisfaction in a specified context of use.

Accessibility is strongly related to "universal design," a term used to describe the process of creating products that are usable by people with the widest possible range of abilities, operating within the widest possible range of situations. 

Why is accessibility important? 

Although accessibility focuses on enabling access for people with disabilities or special needs, or enabling access through the use of assistive technology, it's really about making things accessible to all people (whether they have a disability or not). Accessibility research and development brings benefits to everyone. For example, did you know that 75% of mobile design overlaps with accessibility design? Did you know that when creating documents or websites that display well across all mobile platforms, you are actually designing for accessibility? Accessible documents, videos, or web pages might even be a requirement for a class you attend.

How could accessible technology benefit me if I don't have a disability?

Providing software free of charge to anyone with a Miami ID is just one of the ways Miami supports and promotes universal design. Would you like to have software that reads text to you? What about a program that allows your computer to type the words that you speak? You can also use technology to ensure access for others.  Check out some cool examples of Assistive Technology (AT), including Read&Write and mobile apps that help with note-taking.

Accommodations

Students at a classroom table looking at their laptops

Miami's Student Disability Services (SDS) provides a number of support services and reasonable accommodations to qualified students with physical, medical, psychological, and learning disabilities on the Oxford campus.

To be eligible for accommodations, individuals must self-disclose disability information to SDS and may be asked to provide documentation from a qualified professional supporting the accommodation request. All students are expected to meet with the director or a staff member of SDS, to complete an intake interview and finalize registration with SDS prior to the delivery of accommodations.

Libraries

Do you visit the library often? Miami has Accessibile Technology stations with various tools available for student use.

Center for Information Management (CIM) Lab, King Library 112
Open computer lab open late (until Midnight until October 10, 2 am until the end of the semester). The software described below is available in CIM, and there are staff and students available to assist.

Book scanners
B.E.S.T., King Library, and the Art and Architecture library have KIC book scanners available for faculty who need to quickly scan pages from books. KIC scanners will email a .pdf file that will then need to be made accessible using Adobe Acrobat Pro.

MovieCaptioner
A captioning software that will loop video 4 seconds at a time to make captioning easier. It also has many other features to support the addition of captions to digital video. MovieCaptioner is available in the CIM lab.

Adobe Acrobat Pro
Available in CIM, use Adobe Acrobat Pro to make .PDF files accessible.

Accessible workstation
Located along the north wall in our public computing area, this workstation has JAWS, Read Write Gold, NVDA, and Kurzweil installed.

Questions about Library resources? Contact Katie Gibson via email or call 513-529-0190.

Textbooks

Always wanted to see if your book was available online?  Would you like to have it searchable and read out loud through Read and Write? Check to see if the etextbook is accessible before purchasing.   

Have an electronic PDF of your textbook?  Free PDF to HTML tool, great for students use (Does require Adobe Pro): Callas Software – pdfGoHTML

 

Assistive Technology

Whether or not you have a documented disability, assistive technology can help you get the most from your studies. Would you like to have software that reads text to you? What about a program that allows you to talk to the computer and type? Along with various mobile apps, you can take advantage of free tools available to Miami students. You might not be aware that even your PC or Mac provides built-in technology with various forms of assistance at your fingertips. Discover how assistive technology can help you.

Report a Grievance

The Office of Equity and Equal Opportunity (OEEO) ensures that the University provides an equitable environment, and a variety of helpful resources are available for anyone who has a grievance against a fellow student, faculty, or staff member. All discrimination issues are dealt with compassion, understanding, and fairness to all parties involved and act as a resource for all members of the university community.

If you believe you are a victim of discrimination or harassment, you can report a grievance.