As a member of Carleton University’s accessibility team, our primary focus is to foster an inclusive and accommodating environment for all students, faculty, and staff. One of the most impactful ways we contribute to Carleton’s culture of accessibility is through our ongoing initiatives to raise awareness and implement practical solutions that benefit the entire community.

One particular story that exemplifies our commitment to accessibility involves the implementation of a campus-wide captioning service for all pre-recorded lecture videos. Recognizing the importance of providing equitable access to educational materials for students with hearing impairments, we spearheaded a project to ensure that all course content was fully accessible.

Initially, we faced some challenges in convincing faculty members of the necessity and feasibility of captioning every video. Some expressed concerns about the time and resources required to caption their extensive libraries of instructional videos. However, through persistent advocacy and collaboration, we were able to demonstrate the significant impact of captioning on student learning outcomes and the university’s commitment to inclusivity.

We worked closely with faculty members to streamline the captioning process, providing training sessions, resources, and technical support to facilitate the transition. Additionally, we leveraged technological advancements, such as automatic speech recognition software, to expedite the captioning process without compromising quality.

Over time, as faculty members witnessed the positive outcomes of captioning, including improved comprehension and engagement among all students, regardless of ability, the initiative gained widespread support. Soon, captioning became standard practice across all departments, ingrained in the university’s culture of accessibility.

Through this collaborative effort, we not only enhanced the learning experience for students with hearing impairments but also fostered a more inclusive and supportive campus community for everyone. This story underscores the power of collective action and innovation in advancing accessibility initiatives and enriching the university experience for all members of the Carleton community.

Submitted by Zahoor from Biotechnology Department