Policy and Protocol for Accessibility of Multimedia Material

Gardner-Webb University is committed to providing reasonable accommodations so that students with appropriately and properly documented disabilities can have access to educational opportunities.  As part of that commitment, any and all audiovisual media used during, with, or in support of classes, including supplemental instruction and "extra credit" assignments, must be made accessible to every student enrolled in the class who has a hearing impairment and has been properly documented through The Noel Center for Disability Resources.

In rare and exceptional cases, faculty members may use inaccessible audiovisual media in a class in which a student with a hearing impairment is enrolled only if the faculty member has consulted the Associate Dean of The Noel Center for assistance in the matter and received the written approval of the Associate Provost or Dean of his/ her department or school. Approval may be granted only when presentation of the material in an inaccessible format is critical to the scholarly value of the class and that critical need is documented prior to the first class session.

There are several options faculty members can use to ensure audiovisual materials are accessible to students with hearing impairments.

Option 1:  Purchase Audiovisual Materials Containing Captioning

Each department and school will need to review the format of all videos and determine whether the material is accessible.  Academic departments and schools will have the fiscal responsibility to cover all related purchasing and captioning expenses unless otherwise arranged with his/her Associate Provost.

If this option cannot be achieved; then move to option 2.

Option 2:  Request to Borrow Captioned Audiovisual Materials through Inter-library Loan Program or Free Loan of Captioned Material

Exchange of a captioned audiovisual work may be accomplished through an established "loan" program.  Most library and learning resource centers cooperate with other library systems, and have entered into inter-library loan program agreements. Consultation with the university librarian would be useful to identify the procedures and process already in existence on campus.

If Option 2 cannot be achieved, then move to option 3.

Option 3:  Obtain Permission to Caption Audiovisual Materials

If a closed-captioned version of the needed video is unavailable from the publisher, the next best option is to request permission from the copyright owner to caption the video.  It is important that you obtain written permission to caption the video. You should not interpret a lack of response from the copyright holder as permission to caption. Academic departments and schools will have the fiscal responsibility to cover all related captioning expenses.

If Option 3 cannot be achieved, then move to Option 4.

Option 4:  Provide an Alternate Selection of Instructional Material

The copyright holder may be unavailable, unknown, or unwilling to provide permission to caption.  Under these circumstances, you must select an alternate video, as long as it is captioned, for use by all students.