Universities charged with meeting federal and state accessibility mandates are getting a head start with campus-wide lecture capture from Echo360. Echo360, higher education’s choice for allowing students to relive the classroom experience on demand, today announced the automatic insertion of closed captioning into its rich media lecture recordings in compliance with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act.
Section 508 mandates that public institutions make technology accessible to individuals with disabilities. For the deaf and hard of hearing, lecture capture changes the classroom dynamic as they are no longer forced to choose between watching the instructor and taking lecture notes. Students can replay Echo360 captioned lectures, resulting in maximum comprehension and engagement. Echo360 worked with Gallaudet University to develop a captioning protocol for the EchoSystem rich media player analogous to broadcast television standards.
“The captions and subtitles in Echo360 lecture capture make it a must-have technology to serve the deaf and hard of hearing student population as mandated by Section 508,” said Phil Bravin, first deaf chairperson of the Gallaudet University Board of Trustees and president-emeritus of the National Captioning Institute.
The EchoSystem lecture capture platform includes a standards-based API, allowing for seamless workflow integration with captioning providers, reducing the manual tasks associated with captioning. Automatic Sync Technologies, a captioning innovator serving hundreds of colleges and universities in the United States, is the first captioning solution to offer automated captioning to Echo360 clients. ”The Echo360 and Automatic Sync partnership standardizes and automates the process to capture, transcribe, caption, synchronize and publish rich media lectures for Echo360 universities,” said Kevin Erler, president of Automatic Sync.
Early lecture capture successes have resulted in department and campus-wide adoption at Echo360 client institutions with Section 508 compliance playing an important role in the widespread offering.
“Our clients demand Section 508 compliance because it expands access for students with disabilities, including the deaf and hard of hearing,” said Mark Jones, president of Echo360. ”It has emerged as a requirement for campus-wide lecture capture much like scalability and automation.”
The full Echo360 press release can be found here.