W3C home > Mailing lists > Public > w3c-wai-ig@w3.org > April to June 1998

computer and info. access at u. of illinois

From: Kelly Pierce <kelly@ripco.com>
Date: Wed, 29 Apr 1998 20:11:31 -0500 (CDT)
To: w3c-wai-ig@w3.org
Message-ID: <Pine.SV4.3.91.980429200635.7298B-100000@golden.ripco.com>
With the University of Illinois highly involved in the WAI, I thought that
some might be interested in the following Americans with Disabilities Act
complaint with the University of Illinois for failing to provide
information access to blind students.  This effort was a cooperative
project among the members of Digit-Eyes:  The Chicago Blind Computer User
Network.  Specifically, the complaint addresses access to technology and
the fields of math and science.  We believe that the university's
discriminatory practices, such as refusing to hire readers and proctors in
these specialized areas, resulted at the time with no students majoring in
these fields of study.  We believe further that the failure to provide
computer accommodation was an attempt to discourage and prevent blind
students from attending the institution. 

The complaint, related correspondence and developed policies are
shared in this space as an example of how well-researched and
planned advocacy combined with an institutional leadership that
is committed to diversity, open to change, and flexible in its
approach can yield highly positive results for all involved.  We
are pleased to report that full and total cooperation was
received from the university administration and the chancellor's
office.  As of April, 1998 all of the issues identified in the
complaint have been fully resolved to the satisfaction of the
various parties.  It is hoped that our work here in Chicago can
be useful in expanding access to information and technology to
people  with disabilities in higher education.  

The student named in the complaint has been fully accommodated in
a timely manner since the complaint was filed internally with the
university.  He can,for the first time, focus nearly all his
energy on his studies and academic program.  Policies and
services are now in place that would provide the same
accommodations to needs similar to that of the complainant.  This
student and two others are continuing to raise issues of
information access as part of the Chancellor's Committee on the
Status of People with Disabilities.

To learn more about access to information, computers, and
software for people with disabilities, check out the Project EASI
web site at http://www.rit.edu/~easi/  To obtain copies of the
letters of finding referenced in the complaint, go to the law
section of the Project EASI web site
(http://www.rit.edu/~easi/law.html).  To discuss the legal rights
of accommodation of people with disabilities, join the ada-law
mailing list or the blindlaw mailing list.   To subscribe to
these and other blindness and technology access mailing lists via
the World Wide Web, go to BLIST: The Comprehensive Index of
Blindness-Related E-mailing Lists at
http://www.hicom.net/~oedipus/blist.html   To obtain BLIST via    
 e-mail, type the line "GET BLIST INFO" in the body of an
electronic message, and send it to
LISTSERV@MAELSTROM.STJOHNS.EDU, omitting the quotation marks.  

The full text of the complaint filed with the university is
below, followed by official correspondence between the
university, the student, and myself.  An alternative formats
policy and computer accommodation policy developed as a result of
the complaint follow and conclude this package.  The various
documents are separated by a line of asterisks (**).  My personal
log of the case as well as drafts, notes and incidental
correspondence are not included.


June 21, 1997

Patricia Gill 
ADA compliance Officer 
Office of the Chancellor 
University of Illinois at Chicago 
802 S. Marshfield 
Room 717 
Chicago, IL 60612 

Dear Ms. Gill:

I am a blind student at the university, and will be continuing my
junior year this fall semester of 1997.  I am writing this letter
to inform you of some of the access problems I have had at UIC,
and to request services I feel will help to solve them.  I
believe that these problems are violations of Section 504 of the
Rehabilitation Act and Section 35.160 of title II of the
Americans with Disabilities Act.  I will assert in this complaint
that the practices, policies and procedures of the University of
Illinois have posed significant barriers to my attainment of a
degree in my chosen major and have negatively impacted my
comprehension of course material and the grades received in
particular courses.

The discrimination started after registering for classes my first
semester at UIC.  I was told then by the disabilities
coordinator, Jean Goreman, That it was my responsibility to
contact Recording for the blind and Dyslexic to inquire if my
text books were available on tape, and if not, it was my
responsibility, to purchase the text books from the UIC
bookstore, and take them to another not-for-profit agency, the
Blind Service Association of Chicago at 22 West Monroe, and have
them read on tape there.  I was also told by Jean Goreman, that
if the text books were not available at the UIC book store within
a week before classes start, to call the disabilities office, let
her know, and she would try and find some one to read the books
on tape for me.  These policies turned out to be disastrous as
there was not enough time to find qualified readers in my
specific area of study, math and statistics.  Because of this, I
would receive the chapters needed for my classes a couple days
before an exam, a couple of weeks after an exam, or not at all.  

In the Spring semester of 1996, the two text books required for
Psychology 100 were not available at RFB&D, and I was forced to
find readers on my own after classes.  In a Fall, 1996 Math 160
class, the text book was not available at RFB&D.  I requested
that the text be provided in Triangle/Ascii text format, which
would allow me to read the material using my computer, screen
reading software and a speech synthesizer.  I was promised that
the text would be provided in this format by the disabilities
office.  However, because of the late start, the first chapter of
the text was not ready until two days before the first exam. 
Because of this, and the fact that sometimes I would be assigned
a proctor that could not read the exam, I believe I lost positive
points on the exams, which had a negative effect on my final
grade.  In the spring of 1997, I had the following access

In Economics 218, the text was not available at RFB&D, and I was
forced to find readers for some parts of the text, scan and have
the disabilities office edit other parts.  Because of the
graphical nature of the class lectures, the text, and the exams,
and the lack of adequate accommodation, my final grade was
negatively effected.  The text book used in IDS 270 was also not
available at RFB&D.  For access to this class.  I had to scan the
entire text, and submit it to the disabilities office for
editing.  Unfortunately, I received some of the chapters only
days before exams, and I did not get the last chapter at all.  I
had to both scan and edit the textbook for my Accounting 110
class myself, as it was also not available at RFB&D.  

Another barrier I encountered was the accessibility of classroom
lectures and presentations.  At the beginning of the Spring 1997
semester I believed that my need for reading and description of
material on blackboards and displayed on overhead projectors
could be provided by professors and their teaching assistants by
simply describing material written or displayed in class. This
assumption turned into a disaster when instructors would fail to
read or describe this material.  

This was particularly evident in my IDS 270 class.  The Professor
would sometimes fail to read tables, equations, and graphs.  When
I interrupted his lecture to reiterate my request for
accommodation, he became upset and irritable.  Additionally, I
asked the teaching assistant for assistance in describing some of
this material.  She declined, telling me it was "my problem" and
to go to the disabilities office and get it from there. 
Obviously, the staff at the disabilities office could not do this
because they were not familiar with the course material.

Yet another problem I am having is taking exams.  I am an IDS
(Information and Decision Sciences) major, and many of the
proctors assigned to administer the exams to me are unfamiliar
with charts, graphs, and/or the symbolic mathematical notation on
these exams, and are unable to read and write questions and
answers for me.  I discovered this when I took exams in my ECON
218 course, where students assigned by UIC to assist me were not
at all familiar with advanced mathematics.  I believe that I
should have exams administered by competent persons who can read
and write mathematical notation.   
An additional accessibility barrier is in using computers and
computer software.  The Business computer Laboratory in the
Educational Social Work building does not have a computer
accessible to the blind, equipped with speech synthesis to read
the monitor.  Access to this lab is essential because many
business classes are taught there.  This includes IDS 270, which
I took in the Spring 1997 semester.  Because of the lack of an
accessible computer in this classroom, I purchased the Minitab
software program with my own funds and installed it on my laptop
computer which I brought to class.  I do not believe that I
should have to provide my own computer, accommodation, and
software to take a class when the other students are not expected
to do so.  Further, I will be penalized if my equipment were to
break.  I will be taking other classes which require the use of
this  lab in the fall.

I believe that the university comes under the provisions of
Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and its
implementing regulation at 34 C.F.R. Part 104, which prohibits
discrimination on the basis of disability in programs and
activities receiving Federal financial assistance from the U.S.
Department of Education.  UIC receives such financial assistance
and, therefore, is subject to the provisions of those statutes
and regulations.  

The Regulation, at section 1 04.43(c) states: "A recipient to
which this subpart applies may not, on the basis of handicap,
exclude any qualified handicapped student from any course, course
of study, or other part of its education program or activity." 
Section 104.44(d)(1) states: "A recipient to which this subpart
applies shall take such steps as are necessary to ensure that no
handicapped student is denied the benefits of, excluded from
participation in, or otherwise subjected to discrimination under
the education program or activity operated by the recipient
because of the absence of educational auxiliary aids for students
with impaired sensory, manual, or speaking skills."  I also
believe that UIC is subject to the regulations under Title II of
the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 and its implementing
regulation at 28 C.F.R. Part 35.  UIC is a public entity as
described in the regulation.

Title II at 28 C.F.R. SS 35.130 (b)(1)(iii), states, that
recipients and entities in providing any aid, benefit or service,
may not afford a qualified individual with a disability an
opportunity to participate that is not as effective as that
provided to others.  Title II recognizes the special importance
of communication, which includes access to information, in its
implementing regulation at 28 C.F.R. SS 35.160 (a).  The
regulation requires a public entity, such as a state university,
to "take appropriate steps to ensure that communications with
applicants, participants, and members of the public with
disabilities are as effective as communications with others."
Thus, the issue is not whether I or any other student with a
disability is merely provided access or an accommodation of some
kind, but the issue is rather the extent to which the
communication is actually as effective as that provided to
others.  Effective communication for me might include textbooks
produced by the university and delivered in a timely manner
consistent with my course schedule, in-class readers or
notetakers to describe complex charts and graphs and readers
competent in the subject material for exams.  Title II also
strongly affirms the important role that computer technology is
expected to play as an auxiliary aid by which communication is
made effective for persons with disabilities.

In order to remedy the access problems stated above, I am
requesting the following accommodations given that title II
Section 35.160 (b) requires a public entity to "furnish
appropriate auxiliary aids and services where necessary to afford
an individual with a disability an equal opportunity to
participate in, and enjoy the benefits of, a service, program, or
activity conducted by a public entity."

1.  The university must provide access to textbooks, workbooks
and related course materials in a timely manner with competent
and qualified readers or scan the text into an ASCII text file
with Triangle format enhancements for scientific notation.  To
accomplish this, the University of Illinois would need to change
its policy of accepting textbook production requests only one
week before the beginning of a semester.  This is a policy and/or
practice that without question sets up the student with a print
impairment for failure and below par performance as such a late
start cannot keep pace with academic reading schedules.  

Although referral and identification of community resources that
could assist people with disabilities is welcome, it does not
lessen the university's responsibility in respect to the ADA or
the Rehabilitation Act to provide access to textbooks to blind
students.  The reading services coordinator of the blind Service
Association stated in a June 18 conversation with Kelly Pierce
that the association has no contractual relationship with UIC to
assist the university in meeting its legal obligations in respect
to the ADA or the Rehabilitation Act.  Providing university staff
to students to read textbooks in person is not acceptable.  The
U.S. Department of Education Office for Civil rights in a letter
of finding dated January 15, 1992 (Docket Number 09-91-2157.)
states:  "Although readers may supplement audio-cassette and/or
Braille versions of textbooks, because accessibility through
readers is much more time consuming and provides significant less
flexibility to the student, it does not meet the purposes of 34
C.F.R. 104.43 and 104.44."  In addition, the letter of finding
concurs with the belief that blind students who are not read to
or provided material in a specialized language,  such as scienti
ic notation, prevents students from participating in university
programs and majoring in particular subject areas.  "Failure to
translate specialized material, such as mathematical symbols and
equations, into a language specifically created to communicate
such material to the visually impaired, has the result of
strongly deterring visually impaired students from taking
courses, or concentrating in areas, that involve higher
mathematics," the Department of Education states.  

2.  Develop a written procedure that complies with the cited laws
that permits effective and timely production of written course
materials.  At a minimum a replacement system to provide access
to course materials should permit the receipt of production
requests following course registration or admission to the
university.  The textbook should be available on tape in digital
form, or in braille at the same time the reading assignment is
made to the class, or if the reading assignment is made after the
semester commences, at least one month before the due date of the
assignment.  Handouts should be made accessible at the time they
are handed out to the classmates of the student.  

3.  Provide proctors who have some background and/or
familiarization in the course the student is being tested for. 
These could include departmental graduate students or others
familiar with the chosen field of study with the student. 
Additionally, the request for auxiliary aids extends to the
examination and the answers to the same degree provided to non-
disabled students.  This could be accomplished by recording the
test on an audio cassette, followed by the answer, and a
description of the accuracy of the response or by professors or
teaching assistants reviewing the test and its answers personally
with the student.  Any policy developed that requires the student
to make an appointment with the disability services office may be
unworkable as it may not provide the explanation and context
needed for the student to learn from inaccurate responses on the

4.  Establish written procedures of how course materials and
exams will be provided in specialized languages, such as
mathematical notation.  The procedure includes identification and
selection of readers and proctors as well as textbook production.

5.  Provide in class readers or note takers in classes to read
blackboards, equations, charts, graphs and elsewhere where

6.  Provide access to the universities computer labs, classrooms,
and software using screen reading software, and electronic speech
synthesizers.  Specifically, I request that the business computer
lab be equipped with speech synthesis and be accessible to the
blind, including any instruction or documentation of software.  I
believe that I should be accommodated with adaptive technology
and not merely supplied with a reader.  The Office of Civil
Rights in the U.S. Department of Education has stated in a letter
of finding dated January 15, 1992 that a state university has a
responsibility under Section 504, as set out in 34 C.F.R.
104.44(d) to "make its computer services accessible to the
visually impaired student upon request."  This accommodation
should include that access to the software for students to use be
available during the same hours and in the same conditions in an
integrated setting that is available to non-disabled students.  

In a letter of finding dated January 25, 1996 (Docket Number
09-95-2206) the Office of civil rights in the U.S. Department of
Education notes that "the 'information superhighway' is fast
becoming a fundamental tool in post-secondary research.  Rather
than implementing adaptive software, some institutions have
attempted to utilize personal reader attendants as the exclusive
or primary way of making this form of computer information
accessible to persons with visual impairments.  In most cases,
this approach should be reconsidered.  One of the most important
aims in choosing the appropriate auxiliary aid has been to foster
independence and autonomy in the person with a disability.  When
reasonably priced technology is available that will enable the
visually impaired computer user to access the computer, including
the World Wide Web, during approximately the same number of hours
with the same spontaneous flexibility that is enjoyed by other
nondiabled computer users, there are many reasons why the
objectives of Title II will most effectively and less expensively
be achieved by obtaining the appropriate software programs.  (An
institution's reliance on adaptive software to provide access
includes a responsibility to provide the special training
necessary to teach the computer user with the disability how to
use such software programs."

I am currently registered in the following classes for fall 1997:
Accounting 111, Math 205, and IDS 371.  For Math 205, I have two
textbooks that are not available from any source and request that
UIC provide them to me in an accessible format in a timely
manner.  The texts are "Introductory Linear Algebra with
applications, by B.  Kolman, 6th ed.  Prentice Hall, New Jersey;
1997 textbook #2 for Math 205 Prof. Raghavan Chapters 1-5 from
Mathematical Statistics with applications by Mendenhall, et. al. 

I authorize UIC to communicate with Kelly Pierce regarding this
matter or any related claim.  He is assisting me with this
complaint.  He can be reached by e-mail at kelly@ripco.com or by
telephone at (773) 472-7206.

If there is no response that substantially resolves this
complaint within 30 days, I will assume that UIC is not willing
to provide the accommodations requested above or change its
practices that would allow me to participate on a basis of


Robbie L. Miller
7651 South Hoyne Ave.
Chicago IL. 60620
Voice: 773 723-1403
Internet: robb@netcom.com


3257 N. Clifton Ave. 
Chicago, IL  60657-3318 
(773) 472-7206 
Internet:  kelly@ripco.com 

Saturday, 28 June 1997 

David Broski, Chancellor  
University of Illinois 
601 S. Morgan 
Room 2833 
Chicago, IL  60607 

Chancellor Broski:

     I was disheartened to discover the barriers and hostility
faced by people with disabilities described in an Americans with
Disabilities Act complaint filed recently with your university. 
I have enclosed a copy.  I am highly concerned about the charges
raised given the expertise and vast resources of the University
of Illinois.

     Your university is one of the leaders in developing advanced
computing and information technology.  It is one of the leaders
in Internet II--a high-speed computer network that is a
generation beyond today's Internet.  Through the National Center
for Supercomputing Applications, the University of Illinois has
helped develop graphical browsers that make access to the World
Wide Web possible for millions of Americans.  The university and
its technological expertise has been featured in recent months in
such elite media as the "New York Times" and on the BBC. 
Additionally, the University of Illinois has been highly involved
in efforts for access to advanced technology for people with

     On January 6, 1997 Joseph Hardin of the University of
Illinois met at the White House with Tom Kallil, Senior Director
of the National Economic Council and top officials from the
Federal Communications Commission, the Department of Education,
the National Science Foundation, the World Wide Web Consortium,
Microsoft, and Netscape Communications among others.  The meeting
discussed a project, in which the university participates,
designed to expand the access people with disabilities have to
the World Wide Web.

     While such high-end access efforts as Java Applette
interoperability and robust HTML standards are laudable, it is
apparent that through its policies and practices, such resources
are not available in your classrooms so that blind students can
participate on an equal basis.  To what benefit is the effort and
handsome expense on access to technology for people with
disabilities if it cannot be used to produce a textbook for a
blind student or allow him to participate on par with his
classmates in a computer classroom?  It is incredible that an
institution with some of the world's top scientists cannot find a
single person to read a test in statistics or advanced
mathematics in scientific notation to a blind student.

     Is this an example of the University of Illinois being only
interested in federal grants and contracts and the status and
prestige of White House meetings?  Whether it is your intention
or not, the failure to translate mathematical symbols and
equations into a means of communication for the visually impaired
has the result of preventing blind students from taking certain
courses and excluding them completely from certain fields of

     Attitudes that blind persons have no place in the fields of
math, science and engineering are evident with your professors
and in their classrooms.  This includes the IDS 270 professor
identified in the complaint who apparently told the student on
the first day of class that he could not give a passing grade to
the student because he was blind.  

     I urge you to take every possible step necessary to
eradicate the disgust and derision facing blind students studying
in math, science, and technology at the University of Illinois. 
I became blind at age 20, while a junior in college.  Despite
accessibility barriers that cannot exist today, I finished my
degree and now work at the Cook County State's Attorney's Office. 
In my job I use a computer equipped with speech synthesis and a
scanner that converts printed documents into computer files that
I can read.  For me, such access is essential to do my work on
par with my sighted co-workers.   


Kelly Pierce 


                               August 6, 1997

Mr. Robbie Miller
7651 South Hoyne Ave.
Chicago, IL 60620

Dear Mr. Miller:

I am writing in response to your letter of June 21, 1997
regarding accommodations for yourself and other students with
visual impairments at the University of Illinois at Chicago
(UIC).  I do appreciate that you have given us
the opportunity to remedy the difficulties you had during your
previous semesters at UIC and I believe Jane Moore has worked
diligently in identifying the solutions outlined below as
beginning steps towards ensuring full  access to the programs,
services and activities at UIC in your future semesters here.

The following is our response to your enumerated requests for

1.   The University agrees that it must make a good faith effort
to provide textbooks, workbooks and related course materials in a
timely manner with competent and qualified readers.  To obtain
qualified readers who are familiar with the scientific notation,
UIC will make every effort to hire graduate assistants or upper
level undergraduates in the area of study to do the reading.   In
addition UIC agrees in the alternative it may scan text into
ASCII text files with enhancements for scientific notation for
use with a computer with a voice synthesizer.

UIC has had a policy whereby students are to bring the texts to
the Office of Disability Services (ODS) for taping when they were
unable to obtain their texts on tape from outside sources. 
Students were to bring these texts not less than four weeks in
advance of the beginning of the semester in order for them to be
taped in a timely manner.  The policy which was
     agreed upon in an Office for Civil Rights Resolution
agreement is attached.  We are currently reviewing it so that it
ensures that textbooks and other educational materials are
provided to students in alternate formats. 

2.   The current written procedure is being reviewed with a draft
rewrite of the policy expected to be completed by Tuesday August
12, 1997.  Working on the policy revisions are the Office for
Access and Equity and the The Office of Disability Services.  The
revised policy will address the concern for providing qualified
and competent readers in specialized languages of certain subject
areas and back-up systems for ensuring that materials are
provided in a timely fashion if equipment breaks down.  In
addition the policy will address how faculty members have a
responsibility to provide in advance any printed materials that
will be used in the class so they can be made available in an
accessible format prior to their use or assume the obligation of
providing the material in an alternate formate, i.e. either
through scanned textx of the provision of reader services.

3.   UIC will make a good faith effort to provide you with
proctors who have background and familiarization in the course
the student is being tested for.  We will aggressively attempt to
hire graduate assistants or senior level undergraduates  as
proctors for exams that require specialized knowledge of language
and scientific notation.  Currently the College of Business
Administration has agreed to assign a Graduate Assistant to
proctor your exams and sit with you in your Accounting and IDS
class to serve as a reader and notetaker.  We are presently
working to have the same arrangement with the Math Department in

4.   In our review of the current policy for providing text
materials in alternate format we will be including a section
regarding how course materials will be provided in specialized
languages.  Procters will be selected in accordance with their
ability to perform the duties in an accurate manner for the

5.   In-class readers and notetakers will be provided to read
blackboards, equations, charts, and graphs.  

6.   The University is meeting with consultant Dave Porter on 
August 7, 1997 to discuss making our computer labs accessible to
students with visual impairments.  In attendance at this meeting
will be the Manager of the Student Computer Labs and the Manager
of the Business School Computer Lab as well as a representative
from the Office for Access and Equity.  From this meeting we will
put together a proposal for the funding necessary to provide
access to the University■s computer labs and classrooms.  We are
in agreement that UIC has an obligation to make our computer labs
accessible to people with disabilities including individuals with
visual impairments.

In reviewing your textbooks for the Fall 1997 semester we have
received assurances that all the textbooks will be available in a
timely fashion for your use. 
For Math 205 the textbooks ■Math Statistics■ by Mendenhall,
■Calculus for Business■ by Hoffman and ■Introduction to Linear
Algebra■ by Kolman are all available from the Recordings for the
Blind and Dyslexic (RFBD).  Tiffany of RFBD confirmed that
ordered them on July 16, 1997.  We also were assured by the
Executive Director and Mair Ben-Koil at RFBD that Chapter 14 of
the Accounting textbook would be available to you in a timely
fashion for the course Accounting 111.  You did not indicate in
your letter that you were having any
difficulty obtaining texts for the IDS 371 class.  

If during the semester any of the arrangements break down or you
feel you are not being accommodated appropriately, you should
contact our office immediately so the issue can be investigated
and hopefully resolved.  While the Office of Disability Services
is the service provider for you as a student with a disability,
we are the office that handles complaints should you be
dissatisfied with the services or the system breaks down.  We
will then make every effort to expeditiously resolve your
concerns so they do not interfere with your course of study.


                               Patricia A. Gill
                               Associate Chancellor

cc:  Roy Golden
     Ahmed Kassem
     Lawrence Officer
     Kelly Pierce
     John Wanat


Patricia Gill 
ADA compliance Officer 
Office of the Chancellor 
University of Illinois at Chicago 
802 S. Marshfield 
Room 717 
Chicago, IL 60612 

Dear Ms. Gill,

     Thank you for the August 6, 1997 letter outlining steps the
university is taking to eliminate the problems I have had at UIC
as indicated in my accessibility complaint with the university. 
It is obvious that we have come a long way since June and that my
needs and those of others will now likely be met when the
semester begins later this month.  I appreciate the work and
effort that you, Jane Moore, Roy Golden, and others have done in
the past month to make UIC a place where I and others with
disabilities can learn and grow.

Your letter is a gigantic leap forward in resolving the problems
that I outlined in the complaint.  While I recognize that
additional work is necessary on such areas as policy and computer
accommodation, I will share some feedback on the progress so far
in the hope that it will bring us even closer to closure in this

1.  I am pleased that UIC has agreed to provide course materials
in alternative formats in a timely manner.  I am pleased as well
that UIC recognizes the benefits of scanning technology for this
purpose.  While it may not be appropriate for every request, it
adds flexibility and increased access for students.

I was never aware of any policy that UIC has or had regarding the
production of course materials and textbooks.  Despite claims in
the letter, the policy was neither included in the printed
information mailed to me at my home nor provided 
in the accessible electronic version that was sent by e-mail.  I
request   a copy of this document  for my records.  I believe
that one of the difficulties in obtaining accommodations from UIC
was the failure to communicate various services, policies, and
procedures applicable to students with disabilities.  While
aspects of these documents may have been communicated to me
orally in a piecemeal fashion from time to time, such a practice
cannot substitute for providing students with a written copy that
is explanatory and can be reviewed independently.  

2.  I look forward to reviewing the revised policy and ask that
it be e-mail to me and Kelly Pierce for our review.  

3.  The arrangement described in this section and in the first
section seems to satisfy my needs for qualified readers and

4.  I am pleased that the university recognizes the need for
qualified readers and proctors in certain areas of study, and
that the university will provide them as outlined in your letter.

5.  I am satisfied with this point and consider it resolved.

6.  I am pleased that UIC has taken steps to provide computer
access for me and other students with disabilities for the fall
1997 semester.  I am pleased that the university is now committed
to providing computer accommodations in an integrated setting
with the spontaneity and flexibility that nondisabled students

Again, I am pleased at the effort so far in resolving this matter
and look forward to continued partnership on the unresolved
issues above.


Robbie Miller 
3257 N. Clifton Ave. 
Chicago, IL  60657-3318 
(773) 472-7206 
Internet:  kelly@ripco.com 

Monday, 11 August 1997 

Patricia Gill 
ADA compliance Officer 
Office of the Chancellor 
University of Illinois at Chicago 
802 S. Marshfield 
Room 717 
Chicago, IL 60612 

Dear Ms. Gill:

I am pleased that the University of Illinois has worked
extensively in bringing the issues raised in a June 21, 1997
discrimination complaint to a close.  Most of the issues if not
fully resolved are close to being so.  I appreciate the
university's willingness to cooperate with the complainant and
the disability community to develop solutions and remedy stated

However, I remain concerned about computer access for people with
disabilities at the university.  I am unclear if the university
will develop a policy of how it will provide computer
accommodation and how it will define the term "access" as it
applies to computers.  While I realize that work is ongoing on
this issue as UIC awaits recommendations from a consultant, it is
important to recognize that computer access for the blind
requires more than plugging in speech synthesizers and installing
screen readers.  It often means the coordination of various
service units of a university who have defined roles and
responsibilities in providing computer accommodations.  In the
case of Robbie Miller, after making a request for computer
accommodation in the business computer laboratory/classroom to
the disability services office, he was referred to the
university's computer services office.  He was then bounced back
to the disability office, with no one eventually taking
responsibility for either providing or coordinating the

The generalized approach outlined in your letter recognizes the
affirmative duty that a public entity has to establish a
comprehensive policy in compliance with Title II in advance of
any request for auxiliary aids or services [see Tyler v. City of
Manhattan, 857 F. Supp. 800 (D. Kan. 1994)].  While this approach
overall is positive as it dramatically departs from the prior
practice of simply responding to individual requests for
accommodation in an ad hoc fashion, an ADA violation, it may not
eliminate the need to make specialized or specific requests or
inquiries for computer accommodation altogether.  How will people
with disabilities be able to make specific requests for
accommodation or learn about the computer accommodations
The June 21 complaint demonstrated that the university has an
obligation under Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act
to make its communication for people with disabilities as
effective as those for nondisabled persons.  The complaint
documented that the term "communication" in this context meant
the transfer of information, including computer software and
computer networks such as the Internet.  It should be noted that
in determining what type of auxiliary aid and service is
necessary, a public college shall give primary consideration to
requests of the individual with a disability [28 C.F.R. ss
35.106(b)(2)].  Sometimes open, responsive, and direct
communications about complex accommodations can be as important
as the specific accessibility tools themselves.

Again, I appreciate the work and effort that you, Jane Moore, Roy
Golden and others have invested in the past month and a half to
increase opportunity and make UIC a welcome place for students
who are blind or print impaired.


Kelly Pierce 
cc:  David Broski 
     Roy Golden 
     Ahmed Kassem 
     Robbie Miller 
     Jane Moore 
     John Wanat 


From jmoore@uic.eduFri Aug 22 23:18:02 1997
Date: Fri, 22 Aug 1997 12:26:56 -0500
Cc: KELLY@ripco.com

Robbie Miller
7651 South Hoyne Ave.
Chicago, IL  60620

Dear Mr. Miller:

I am writing to confirm the accommodations that UIC will make for
you this Fall semester of 1997.

1.   Graduate Assistant Felice Chang will serve as a reader and
note taker for you in your IDS  371 Business Statistics course
and your Math 205 Advanced Business Math course meeting on
Tuesdays and Thursdays.  She will also proctor your exams for
these courses.

2.   A fellow student, Michelle Garcia will serve as a reader and
note taker in your Accounting 111 course.  She will also proctor
your exam after she has taken it herself.

3.   During the first week of classes a student from the Office
of Disability Services, Juana Gonzalez, will serve as note taker
and reader for the Math 205 classes that meet Monday, Wednesday
and Friday at 3:00 pm.  We will continue to solicit advanced math
students in graduate programs , the Honor's College or a student
who is in your course to serve in this capacity on a permanent

4.   Faculty members and teaching assistants will still be asked
to read what they are writing on blackboards or overheads so you
can follow along with them as well.

5.   The Business Computer Lab at ECSW has purchased Window Eyes
software and a voice synthesizer for use in both the lab and in
the classroom.  The software is on stand alone computers for
which you will have priority.  You can obtain the synthesizer
from the graduate assistant who is on duty. There is always a
graduate assistant available suring the hours the computer lab is
open.  If you  have questions about the lab, the equipment or the
software please feel free to contact the lab manager Jan Sunjaya
at (312) 996-3775 and he will be able to assist you.

6.   All of your course text books were available from RFBD and
we have not had any indication from you that you have not
received them.  Please let Roy Golden know immediately if there
is a problem in any of the textbooks you are using.

7.   Roy Golden, Kelly Pierce and myself will review the Policy
on Alternate Print Format in a conference call on  Wednesday,
September 3, 1997 at 2:00 pm.

I would suggest you contact Roy Golden on Tuesday, August 26,
1997 to obtain your letters of accommodation for your faculty
members  and make sure arrangements are set for the first week of
classes.  Also, if you have any questions about the above
accommodations or if problems arise concerning them please feel
free to give Roy Golden  (3120996-8332 or myself (312)413-8145 a
call so we can quickly resolve the issue.  I do hope this
semester at UIC proves to be a more positive one for you.


Jane A. Moore
Deputy Associate Chancellor
Office for Access and Equity


University of Illinois at Chicago               Office of
Disability Services 1200 W. Harrison, 1190 SSB, m/c 321           
       Chicago, IL  60607-7163 Phone: (312) 413-2183              
                      Fax: (312) 413-7781


The information in this document is available in alternate
formats upon request.  Students who, due to their disability, may
need text materials in an alternate format, will be provided with
this document upon registering as a client with the Office of
Disability Services.  A copy may also be obtained by request.

There are several sources from which UIC students may request
alternate format text materials.  This policy statement outlines
what those sources are, how to qualify for and use them, and
under what circumstances to use which.

Alternate format text materials are made available to print-
impaired UIC students.  The Office of Disability Services (ODS)
will determine, based on a student's disability and accommodation
needs, if s/he qualifies for alternate format text services. 
Students who qualify will need to apply for membership or verify
current membership in Recordings for the Blind and Dyslexic
(RFBD), Educational Tape Recordings for the Blind (ETRB), and
National Library for the Blind (NLB.)

Documentation of print impairment is frequently available from
your Department of Human Services counselor and can be mailed or
faxed (312-413-7781) to ODS.    ■  For persons with visual
impairment or total blindness:       An ocular report from a
licensed optometrist or ophthalmologist or       documentation
from a physician must be provided along with membership      
application or current membership in RFBD, ETRB, and NLB (as
noted on       page 5, ODS will pay for membership fees as
   ■  For persons with other types of print impairments: 
      Written verification and related testing reports from a
physician, neurologist,       licensed learning disability
specialist, or licensed psychologist must be       provided along
with membership application or current membership in       RFBD,
ETRB, and NLB.

SOURCES (see attached directory for more detailed information)   
■  American Printing House for the Blind (APH)
      ■  Repository which lists alternate format text holdings of
over 200          agencies and organizations (including
Recordings for the Blind and          Dyslexic and Johanna Bureau
for the Blind and Physically          Handicapped listed below)

   ■  Recordings for the Blind and Dyslexic (RFBD)
      ■  Primary source for taped text materials (books only)     
 ■  Books recorded in four-track format

   ■  Educational Tape Recordings for the Blind (ETRB)
      ■  Secondary source for taped text materials (books only)   
   ■  Books recorded in standard cassette format
      ■  Books not already in the libraries of RFBD or ETRB can
typically          be recorded more quickly at ETRB than at RFBD  
    ■  No math or statistics books available

   ■  National Library for the Blind (NLB)
      ■  Good source for literature, fiction, periodicals, and
general library          materials

   ■  UIC Office of Disability Services (ODS)
      ■  Alternative source if materials are not available from
any of the          above sources in a timely fashion
      ■  No library; materials are recorded as needed by a


1. Register with UIC's Office of Disability Services (ODS) upon
being accepted for    admission to UIC.  Registering with ODS
allows its staff to assist students with any of    their
accommodation needs.  Students who need to apply for membership
in RFBD,    ETRB, or NLB can receive assistance from the ODS
staff.  Bringing medical/clinical    documentation of
disabilities to ODS upon registering will expedite the provision
of    any services.
2. After registering with ODS, begin the process of obtaining
alternate format text    materials as soon as possible.  Register
for classes as early as possible to determine    what books will
be needed for the coming semester.  By registering with ODS,
students    will be eligible for priority (i.e., early)
registration. 3. Once registered for classes, students should
request titles of books they will need from    the appropriate
academic departments; in some cases, this may require some   
persistence.  Students having difficulties obtaining book titles
from academic    departments should contact ODS for assistance.
4. After obtaining book titles, contact APH (phone or World Wide
Web) to determine    availability of the books.  Contact
individual agencies with desired books and order    them in
preferred format (as available.)
5. For any books not available through APH's listing, contact
ETRB to determine    availability there.  Order tapes of books
available at ETRB. 6. For any books not available through APH or
ETRB, contact NLB to determine    availability there.  Order
tapes of books available at NLB. 7. If a book is not available
through any of the above sources, contact ETRB, Guild for    the
Blind, or Johanna Bureau for the Blind and Handicapped to request
that the book    be tape recorded.
   A.  Students are responsible for providing ETRB, Guild for the
Blind, or Johanna        Bureau for the Blind and Handicapped
with a copy of the book to be taped.         Books provided to an
organization by students are returned to the students after       
recordings are completed.
   B.  Arrange a schedule with the organization for recording the
book and ask for a        written copy of that schedule.  Specify
that tapes of individual chapters are made        available
weekly rather than upon completion of the entire book.  Arrange
for        actual acquisition of the tapes (e.g., mail, pick-up,
etc.)    C.  Periodically check on the progress of taping. 
Contact ODS for assistance with any        difficulties.

Note: If services by any of the above agencies do not meet your
needs, contact ODS for further assistance.

8. If ETRB, Guild for the Blind, or Johanna Bureau for the Blind
and Handicapped    cannot record materials by the date requested
or will not record them, contact ODS    to request that its staff
produce alternate format text.    A.  Students are responsible
for providing ODS with a copy of the materials to be       
converted to an alternate format.  (To check out materials on
reserve from the        UIC Library, contact Veronda Pitchford
[2nd flr. Reference desk, 996-2728.])    B.  Materials must be
delivered to ODS at least four (4) weeks prior to the start of    
   the semester to enable its staff to prepare initial reading
assignments.  If materials        are not available four weeks
prior to the start of the semester, deliver them to        ODS as
soon as possible (if quicker, faculty may send materials directly
to ODS.)C.If audiotaping, ODS will make every effort to use readers with
an appropriate        background in the subject matter being
recorded.  If ODS cannot identify a        graduate student or
upperclass undergraduate student in a particular major as a       
reader, they will ensure that materials are recorded by someone
with at least some        background in the subject (e.g., a
classmate of the student making the request.)    D.    If a
student provides ODS with the materials to be converted into
alternate format within four weeks prior to when they are needed
ODS will take the steps necessary within their control to ensure
that applicable textbooks will be made accessible to the student
no later than the start of the semester.  If either the student
or ODS cannot meet the time frames required, both parties will
make a good faith effort to accommodate the request for alternate
formats by exploring alternative accommodations (e.g.
requesting a delay in a test, using another type of format that
may not be the student's preference).  Upon timely notice any
handouts, journal articles or portions of texts that are provided
to students in class will be made accessible to the student at
the time the reading assignment is made to the class or if the
assignment is due more than one month after the
date the semester commences, then at least one month before the
due date of the assignment.  Upon timely notice materials will be
provided in alternate format on an earlier basis if this is part
of the accommodation plan.  Timely notice for the above purposes
does not require that notice be given
more than once for each piece of course material in a given
F.  Periodically check on ODS's progress with converting text.   
G.  Converted materials held at ODS for two (2) weeks or longer
will be erased in        order to recycle media and reading will

NOTE: All taped materials must be returned to the loaning agency
at the end of each semester.  A fee of up to $2.50 will be
charged to the student for each tape not returned to the
appropriate agency.  This charge will come directly from the
agency and UIC will not be responsible for the missing tapes. 
ODS will charge a fee of $1.00 for each tape/disk not returned at
the end of each semester.

Membership fees in RFBD and ETRB (see attached directory) will be
paid for by UIC unless they have been paid for by the student
prior to registering with ODS or if fees are being paid on behalf
of the student by another funding source.  UIC will also pay for
any usage fees imposed by agencies external to UIC.


American Printing House for the Blind (APH)
800-223-1839                                  502-899-2363 (fax)
HTTP://WWW.APH.ORG                            No fee.

Repository of alternate format text holdings of over 200 agencies
and organizations nationally.  APH's database will be directly
searchable via their World Wide Web site as of 11/1/97.  Searches
for fewer than five books may be called in to their toll-free
number; for five books or more, please fax in your search

Recordings for the Blind and Dyslexic (RFBD)
18 S. Michigan, Suite 806                     Chicago, IL 60603
Local Office: 312-236-8715                    312-236-8719 (fax)
Main Office : 800-221-4792                    609-987-8116 (fax)
Membership fee (one-time): $50                Annual fee: $25

Books only.  Call or fax the national office with book requests
because the local office has to check with the national office
and this delays the response.  Recordings made in four-track
format, requiring special device to play tapes (see information
on the National Library for the Blind or the Talking Book Center

Educational Tape Recordings for the Blind (ETRB)
3915 W. 103rd Street                          Chicago, IL 60655
773-445-3533                                  Annual fee: $50

Books only.  No math or statistics books available.  Recordings
made in standard cassette format (can be played back on standard
cassette player.)National Library for the Blind 1055 W. Roosevelt Road             
          Chicago, IL 60608 312-746-9210 or 800-331-2351          
       No fee.

Located just south of the campus about 3 blocks west of PEB. 
Good source for literature, fiction, periodicals, and general
library materials.  Also lends four-track tape players.

Blind Services Association (BSA)
22 W. Monroe - 11th floor                     Chicago, IL 60603
312-236-0808                                  No fee.

Live readings or tape recordings of books, articles, or other
written materials.  Ideal for reading articles and handouts.

Guild for the Blind
180 N. Michigan, Suite 1700                   Chicago, IL 
60601-7463 312-236-8569                                  Nominal
fees based onrequest. Records or enlarges text.

Johanna Bureau for the Blind and Physically Handicapped
8 S. Michigan                                 Chicago, IL  60603
312-332-6076                                  Nominal fees based
onrequest. Records text or converts it to braille.Talking Book Center (Harold Washington Library) 400 S. State St.  
                           Chicago, IL  60605 312-747-4001

Lends four-track tape players for free on a long-term basis. 
Users must borrow at least one taped book per year from the
library (free.)

UIC Library

For library assistance with any issues related to your
disability, contact Veronda Pitchford at 996-2728.  If you know
that you will require special services from the library, contact
Ms. Pitchford as early in the semester as possible to discuss
your needs.

CRIS Radio 

Reads newspapers and magazines on the air.  A free service which
also lends free receivers .  To join CRIS, call: 312-541-8400.ODS ALTERNATE FORMAT TEXT REQUEST FORM

Date __________                                          
Semester __________ Student Name _______________________________
Phone Number (___) ____________

Class ________________                       Instructor

Text Book

Author ___________________                    Publisher

                Copyright ______               Edition ______     

Date contacted:
APH       ________
ETRB      ________
NLB       ________Guild for the Blind   ________
Johanna Bureau for
the Blind and Handicapped   ________
Preferred medium:
Disk                 ______
Audiotape            ______Large print                  ______ Braille                       

____________ ______________

Submit request form and syllabus to ODS in 1190 SSB or fax it to


Final 3/2/98

Policy on Access to Computers for People with Disabilities

The University of Illinois at Chicago is committed to providing
equal access to computer services to people with disabilities. 
This access will occur in an integrated setting and the same
conditions of use that apply to the non-disabled will apply to
people with disabilities. 
Where computers are equipped with accessible software or
hardware, people with disabilities will be given preference over
nondisabled clients and this will be enforced by the Computer
Center personnel up to the University police if necessary.  

1.   Primary responsibility for coordinating computer services    
 for people with disabilities rests with the Office for     
Disability Services (ODS), working with the Computer Center.

2.   If a student first contacts a faculty member, department,    
 college, the Computer Center or any other office on campus     
regarding computer access in a lab or classroom, they will     
be referred to ODS.  ODS will work with the student to     
assess the needs and determine if existing access is
     available or whether the University must look for
     alternative or individualized solutions.

3.   The Computer Center will designate an individual to work     
with ODS and the student to ensure access to computer
     services.  ODS will offer guidance to this individual and    
 the individual will work with ODS to coordinate the
     provision of services.  The designated individual will also  
   be available to the student for training, information and     
demonstration of equipment.

4.   ODS will contact the college or department operating the     
classroom with computers to ensure access.  ODS will provide     
guidance to the department on how to make the equipment     
accessible to students with disabilities.  The department or     
college is ultimately responsible for ensuring the

5.   UIC has an affirmative duty to continually increase the     
number and quality of accessible computer hardware and     
software for individuals with disabilities.  To begin to     
meet this duty UIC will make accessible through speech     
synthesis one third of their computer labs by the beginning     
of the fall semester 1998.  In addition installation of at     
least one screen reader for all applications applied will be     
provided.  If network installation is not possible, than a     
non-network based solution will be put in place.  Finally     
the installation of at least one screen magnification
     software program for all applications will be installed on   
  the network.  If network installation is not possible, then     
a non-network based solution will be put in place. 

6.   As new computer labs and services are planned and existing   
  labs are renovated, equipment and software will be upgraded     
or  purchased so as to incorporate accessibility
     requirements.  This will be the responsibility of the
     Computer Center in most cases or whomever is responsible for 
    the purchase of equipment, upgrades or design of the lab.

7.   ODS has a speech synthesizer available during regular office 
    hours available for students who need access to this
     equipment in other settings not described above.  In
     addition ODS has Dragon Dictate which will be upgraded by    
 Fall 1998.  ODS plans to upgrade their scanner software as     

8.   ODS will send within two weeks after final approval of this  
   policy a copy of such to all students registered with them.    
   ODS will provide automatically all students with
     disabilities that contact their office for the first time a  
   copy of this policy in a format of their choice.  In
     addition reference to this policy will be made in the
     orientation materials provided by ODS to the entire campus.  
    ODS will also inform students with disabilities of the     
Computer Center■s Disability Web Site for computer
9.   This policy will be distributed to all Deans, Directors and  
   Department Heads asking them to distribute it to their     
faculty and staff in the fall of each academic year.

10.  ODS, the Computer Center, the department or college will     
assess the computer needs for the upcoming academic year     
during the summer before the semester.  The Computer Center     
will work towards making speech synthesizers and screen     
magnification available in as many labs as necessary as the     
demand rises.  The Computer Center will give highest
     priority to the most used labs, balancing the availability   
  between the east and west sides of campus.
11.  Financial responsibility for making computers accessible     
will rest with the Computer Center, department, or college.      
If the department or college cannot afford the
     accommodations, an appeal for funding should be made to     
their appropriate vice chancellor.

12.  If a student believes that the current software and hardware 
    available does not meet his/her needs, the following process  
   will be followed:
     A.   The  student should be referred to ODS regarding
          computer needs.   An assessment will be conducted to    
      determine  whether the campus Computer Center or
          classrooms currently meet the accessibility needs of    
      the student.

     B.   If ODS finds that the Computer Center or classrooms do  
        not currently meet the needs of the student, ODS will     
     contact the Computer Center designee, department or          
college and coordinate the provision of accessible          
computer services for the student.  For students who          
request accessible computer services four weeks in          
advance of the semester every effort will be made to          
ensure access when the semester begins.  If a student          
requests accommodations during the semester, ODS, the          
Computer Center or an individual department will act          
upon the request immediately and make every effort to          
provide the service within four weeks.
     C.   The Computer Center, with assistance from ODS will make 
         every effort to meet the needs of the student,
          including the possibility of setting up stand alone     
     machines, purchasing additional or different software,       
   or training the student to use what is available.

13.  A current list of what is available on campus may be found   
  on the Computer Center web page at
     http://www.uic.edu/depts/adn/disabilities.html or at ODS in  
   a format of your choice.  This page will be maintained by     
the Computer Center.

 14. If a student has any complaint regarding access to computer  
   services in the Computer Center or in the classroom they     
should contact the Office for Access and Equity at (312)996-    

End of Document 
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