A Passionate Speech from President Alger for DAW's Keynote Address
by Brennan Maupin and Sarah Humphreys
I found it moving and inspiring to see the President of James Madison University speak passionately about students with disabilities and accessibility on campus. President Alger outlined activities around campus, both in the classroom and outside of it, that enhance diversity and encourage accessibility. He gave examples of students, faculty, and staff making real differences in the lives of students with disabilities. He even mentioned an engineering project that fellow students developed, designing a bike for a local student with disabilities. It was cool to hear how students, that I know personally, are making a difference and how the JMU community is making a difference as a whole."It was cool to hear how students, that I know personally, are making a difference and how the JMU community is making a difference as a whole."
Not only did President Alger speak on accessibility and diversity, his speech was an excellent example of universal design. ODS designed a program that could be enjoyed and appreciated by a diverse audience. A sign language interpreter stood beside President Alger on stage, making it easy to watch both of them at the same time. On the other side of the stage, there was a Communication Access Real-time Translation (CART) reporter. She was responsible for the captions—word-for-word, speech-to-text interpretation—projected on the large movie screen behind President Alger. By taking such a universally designed approach, President Alger’s Keynote address truly celebrated a world of differences.