Assistive Technology

Lectern featuring Assistive Technology

Academic Technologies (AT) is committed to providing assistive technologies that help faculty, staff and students with disabilities make the most of their GW experience.

Accessibility Supported Computers

All of the computers supported in the AT environment have Microsoft and Apple accessibility options available.

  • Microsoft Windows 7Located in the Control Panel, the Ease of Access Center provides a convenient, centralized place to locate accessibility settings and programs to make your computer easier to use. These features include Magnifier, On-Screen Keyboard, Narrator and Visual Notifications, Speech Recognition, and more.
  • Apple OS XLocated in the System Preferences, the Accessibility pane provides features such as VoiceOver, Zoom, Speakable Items and Switch Control.

Accessibility Supported Classrooms

The layout and technology in GW's classrooms and labs offer accessibility features, as guided by AT's Classroom Design Guidelines (PDF) published in May 2013.

  • Classroom Lecterns: Computer monitors are mounted to lecterns on adjustable arms, allowing faculty to see the monitor from various positions and angles. Some of AT's classrooms are equipped with new lecterns with flip-up shelves for faculty to use laptops or project course materials using ceiling-mounted document cameras from a seated position. Faculty may also request a wireless presenter from our Classroom Support Center to manage their slides for presentations without standing at the lectern.
  • Assistive Listening Devices (ALDs): Classrooms that seat 50 or more students are equipped with an integrated sound reinforcement system. These systems have Assistive Listening Devices (ALDs) that are available to students who are hard of hearing. Contact our Solutions Center for information on how to check out this equipment.
  • Wheelchair StationsAT's computer labs have wheelchair-accessible stations. Tiered classrooms with fixed seating positions, including lecture halls and auditoriums, have designated wheelchair stations.

Services that Support Accessibility

  • GW Lecture Capture course recording technology provides accessibility options for faculty and students. GW Lecture Capture automatically generates two files: an audio-only and an audio-video file with all of the presentation material. Faculty and students can adjust volume settings, zoom levels and playback speeds when watching these recordings. This service is currently available in 27 classrooms on three campuses.
  • Colonial Printing has two ADA print kiosks that provide access for individuals in a wheelchair. Kiosks are located in Eckles 113 on the Mount Vernon Campus and near the entrance of Gelman Library on the Foggy Bottom campus.
  • Blackboard web tools are compliant with the WCAG 2.0 and Section 508 web content accessibility guidelines. Blackboard received a gold level certification from the National Federation of the Blind for non-visual access to its web products. The Instructional Technology Lab is available to assist faculty members in the creation of accessible documents for their courses.