Like many of her peers, Ann Wai-Yee Kwong struggled in statistics while working towards a bachelor’s degree in psychology at UC Berkeley. But because she is legally blind, she had an added challenge of not being able to see the diagrams and notes projected in the lecture hall or assigned for homework.
Tools like screen readers could ease this issue for Kwong, who is now a Ph.D. student at the Gevirtz Graduate School of Education at the University of California Santa Barbara. But a common problem prevented that: some faculty have been slow to catch up with technological advances, and many wait until students ask for accommodations rather than having accessible materials from the start.
“I think the onus is still placed on the student with a disability” to ensure they have learning materials that they can benefit and learn from, says Kwong. “You have to advocate for yourself.”