Alamo Colleges District

In a Nutshell
Leadership at Alamo Colleges District is helping to push accessibility measures forward on a district level. Accessibility needs were highlighted by the shift to online courses due to the novel coronavirus. Alamo's usage of Verbit’s services has grown substantially since January 2020, accounting for lecture-heavy classes by supplementing them with captions and interactive transcripts. As a result, the district is seeing strong student retention rates amidst the shift to online.

The Challenges

In March, all Alamo courses were moved online to Zoom to replace face-to-face interactions. The district had been utilizing Verbit’s captioning and transcription tools prior to the pandemic, but needed to ensure not only students with reported needs, but all students could participate remotely. “Colleges and universities have to think about those silent disabilities or invisible disabilities,” Hilton said. Students who didn’t need accommodations in the in-person classroom then reported to DSS to help them learn via Zoom.
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A need to shift all courses online quickly

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A technology to help students learning on Zoom

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A technology specializing in higher-ed requirements

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A trusted partner for accurate captions and transcripts

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A reliable, yet low-cost alternative to meet ADA requirements

"Alamo is committed to access. The students have really relied on [Verbit’s] transcription and the captions if they miss the interpreter. They can then catch what’s happening. Hard of hearing students without ASL can follow along and participate. Transcripts are great for saving for later for notes and study materials."

Jo HiltonInterpreting Services Manager, Alamo Colleges District

The Solution

Equal opportunities for all students
A fair chance to succeed in the online environment with accessible videos and materials

Ease of use
Verbit’s platform provides integration with preferred LMS, CANVAS

Competitive pricing
Verbit's pricing ensured all students were granted accessible materials at budget

Live services
Verbit's real-time CART services allowed online students to effectively follow along

The Results

Accommodation of growing needs

Alamo has seen a growth in the number of students reporting disabilities over the past few semesters. “We don’t have the option of saying ‘we can’t accommodate you.’ A lot of colleges try to go with an internal system, but it’s cumbersome in terms of equipment, personnel, scheduling and driving. They don’t have the manpower,” which is where Verbit comes in.

Accessibility to benefit all learners

“I use captions all the time, and I don’t have a disability that makes it necessary. It’s just convenient. So when we have a student who has any kind of hearing loss, it’s the most reliable way to present them with the information. Captioning can make it easier to digest.”

Faculty buy-in of accessibility benefits

“We started adding live captions and emailed teachers to include them with their online classes… Not one teacher wasn’t on board. They were asking ‘Am I doing it right? What more can I do?’ We are in a better position for when [the crisis] is over. It really makes me very proud.”

Verbit worked really hard to set Alamo up with a contract that would work for our needs. It’s just been really easy. The invoicing is super easy to see what we’ve spent. I can go in and see that students are appropriately scheduled. It’s just a very easy system to work with.”

Jo Hilton, Interpreting Services
Manager, Alamo Colleges District

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