Wednesday, December 7, 2016

South West Wilderness, Tasmania: How could WUaS collaborate with MIT and Harvard to provide positive solutions to this situation and law suit, and help people with disabilities in all 7,097+ living languages with {information} technologies and languages and translation that help them? "NAD Lawsuit Against Harvard and MIT Moves Forward," Assistive Technologies to inform all of WUaS in all 8k languages, and for STEM research too, edX: "Tsinghua Chinese: Start Talking with 1.3 Billion People," Hmmm ... Tsinghua Chinese isn't in Glottolog, How could information technologies for people with disabilities help musician Derek Paravicini, someone with remarkable disabilities and remarkable musical disabilities ?

How could WUaS collaborate with MIT and Harvard to provide positive solutions to this situation and law suit, and help people with disabilities in all 7,097+ living languages with {information} technologies and languages and translation that help them?  For example, if a group of people speaking Tsinghua Chinese - "Tsinghua Chinese: Start Talking with 1.3 Billion People" - had a specific disability, how could they benefit from courses translated from (MIT) OCW and MITx on edX in English (since MIT Associate Dean of Digital Learning Cecilia d'Oliveira - - has oversight for both) for their disability (and vice versa)?

Article on lawsuit against MIT and Harvard on-line learning as discriminatory against the hearing-impaired, below.  Thoughts? Let's discuss this and MUSIC at our next coffee meetup!

Scott, what do you think about mobilizing your resources and working with the non-profit activist organizations at the end of the article, including NAD, to help good change happen? 

Could be a great opportunity to use the power of World University and School to promote positive social change and create open access to learning for a LOT of people that otherwise are shut out.  Just a thought.


NAD Lawsuit Against Harvard and MIT Moves Forward

Obligation To Ensure Equal Treatment Applies In Emerging Technologies
(November 4, 2016) Judge Mark G. Mastroianni of the District Court of Massachusetts denied Massachusetts Institute for Technology’s (MIT) and Harvard University’s motions to dismiss the National Association of the Deaf’s (NAD) and other named plaintiffs’ complaint that the institution discriminates against deaf and hard of hearing people by failing to caption the vast and varied array of online content they make available to the general public, including massive open online courses (MOOCs). Today’s decision affirms that plaintiffs’ case will be going forward.
MIT and Harvard suffered a huge blow to their positions that the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act do not require the institution to provide closed captions on its online videos that it makes open and available to the world.Plaintiffs are represented by Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund (DREDF), Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center (CREEC), NAD, and Disability Law Center (DLC) in the lawsuit against MIT, and by CREEC, NAD, and DLC in the lawsuit against Harvard.
Arlene Mayerson, DREDF Directing Attorney, said, “I am thrilled that we have made this important inroad into ensuring that 21st century online education is accessible to all.”
Today’s decision rejected Harvard’s and MIT’s arguments that they were “entitled to statutory exemptions for accommodations that impose an unreasonable financial or administrative burden, or require a fundamental change in the good at issue.” Judge Mastroianni noted Defendants’ arguments were “inappropriate for resolution on a motion to dismiss. A motion to dismiss addresses the plausibility of a plaintiff’s claims, not the strength of a defendant’s affirmative defenses.”
Tim Fox, CREEC Co-Executive Director, said, “We are very pleased with the Court’s decision, and believe that it will pave the way for deaf and hard of hearing persons to have equal access to the lifelong learning opportunities that higher educational institutions are now offering.”
Judge Mastroianni adopted, in full, the February 2016 findings made by Magistrate Judge Katherine Robertson on both cases. Unhappy with Magistrate Robertson’s decision, Harvard and MIT had filed objections to the report and recommendations with Judge Mastrioanni.
“Access to education is paramount for all, and the Court’s order makes it possible for deaf and hard of hearing people to have access to online education,” said Howard A. Rosenblum, NAD Chief Executive Officer.
“We are very pleased that our clients will have the opportunity to establish that these world renowned institutions must ensure that individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing are able to gain access to the same learning opportunities that everyone else has,” said Christine Griffin, Executive Director of the DLC.
The February 2016 report found, in part, that:
  • “Plaintiffs’ theory of discrimination – that the deaf and hard of hearing lack meaningful access to the aural component of the audiovisual content [MIT] makes publicly available online – fits squarely within the parameters of Section 504 as delineated by the Court. There is nothing novel about premising Section 504 liability on a federal fund recipient’s failure to provide the deaf and hard of hearing with meaningful access to aural communications.”
  • “…key principles of Federal disability discrimination law: the obligation to provide an equal opportunity to individuals with disabilities to participate in, and receive the benefits of, the educational program, and the obligation to provide accommodations or modifications when necessary to ensure equal treatment,” in the context of the use of emerging technologies.”
The report also rejected the universities’ claims that plaintiffs’ request for closed captioned videos deprives it “of the flexibility to choose an appropriate auxiliary aid [to access the aural content on the videos]. . . Here, Plaintiffs have alleged that [MIT/Harvard] is not providing effective communication and have requested captioning. The flexibility to choose an appropriate auxiliary aid does not extend so far as to allow a public accommodation to choose to provide no auxiliary aid when one is required for effective communication if a reasonable one exists.”
The cases, filed in U.S. District Court in Massachusetts, asserts that Harvard and MIT each deny deaf and hard of hearing people access to thousands of videos and audio tracks that each university makes publicly available, for free, on broad-ranging topics of general interest. These include, for example, campus talks by luminaries such as President Barack Obama and Microsoft founder Bill Gates; educational videos made by MIT students for use by K-12 students; and entire semesters’-worth of courses. The purported claim is that their content is available free to anyone with an Internet connection. Millions of people have visited the websites.
National Association of the Deaf (NAD)
The National Association of the Deaf (NAD) is the nation’s premier civil rights organization of, by and for deaf and hard of hearing individuals in the United States of America. NAD represents the estimated 48 million Americans who are deaf or hard of hearing and is based in Silver Spring, MD.
Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center (CREEC)
The Civil Rights Education and Enforcement Center is a Denver-based membership organization that has the goal of ensuring that everyone can fully and independently participate in our nation’s civic life without discrimination based on race, gender, disability, religion, national origin, sexual orientation, or gender identity.
Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund (DREDF)
Founded in 1979 by people with disabilities and parents of children with disabilities, the Disability Rights Education & Defense Fund (DREDF) is a national law and policy center based in Berkeley, CA and is dedicated to protecting and advancing the civil rights of people with disabilities.
Disability Law Center, Inc.
The Disability Law Center (DLC) is the Protection and Advocacy agency for Massachusetts. DLC is a private, non-profit organization responsible for providing protection and advocacy for the rights of Massachusetts residents with disabilities.
Yes, thanks, interesting, Scot ... hadn't seen this. And yes WUaS would like to plan to build in when WUaS moves into Wikidata, and both be a (MIT inspired STEM and brain) leader and far-reaching research center for most ALL of this (ethicall and also Stanford informed too) as they develop ... in ALL lsnguagrs ... will check this out further.

Music for all kinds of disabilities? Derek Paravicini inspired too (re these blog links here ... ... ... (Multilingual medical hardware designing and development opportunity here too).

(Fundraising plotting too ... )




WUaS's approach, for subtitles too especially, would be focused both on translation in video captioning and for for our 5 main degrees in all countries' main languages. ... Wikidata/Wikibase,  MIT OCW in 7 languages, Google for Education + its ecosystem ... active development ...

I think there are already multiple voice to text applications from Youtube to many related ones, for example but they probably aren't perfect and probably require some human tweaking still and possibly further planning  ... so beyond building out and planning for this, and possibly paying Google, for example, or finding funding such that collaborating with Google (my first choide - hiring wise too) was feasible, and then including a build out / study plan for I.T. for all disabilities (brain chips?) and implementing it with wiki pages plus researchers  ... is all doable, but one also has to begin to know what's available and what make interesting developing (comprehensive eventually) research trajectories - multi-lingually too ... and then getting the monies ... Simply adding further to this http://worlduniversity.wikia.c om/wiki/Assistive_Technologies  would open beginning ways ...

People with disabilities have already probably got some lists of their communications' needs + quite well developed, especially in English ... let's add them to http://worlduniversity.wikia.c om/wiki/Assistive_Technologies


Sounds good, Scot:
You'll find a fascinating 60 Minutes' video about Derek Paravicini (from England) ... 

How could information technologies for people with disabilities help musician Derek Paravicini, someone with remarkable disabilities and remarkable musical disabilities?

Hopetoun Falls, Australia: Example here of savant pianist Derek Paravicini is fascinating re thinking about the brain as computer, Great model also of sociality in my thinking, and very English, (less so Italian re his last name), and his sociality and warmth are also examples to aspire to, Piano, Brain and Cognitive Sciences and Brain Computer Interface wiki subjects at WUaS, The language and culture of psychology is opening ... and possibly liberating ... Oliver Sacks' "The Man Who Mistook His Wife For His Hat," Derek's brain differentiates music and counting and friendliness and connection with his piano tutor, nearly lifelong, in unique ways that provide a basis for understanding brain processes in human behavior, Derek seems very very happy, (In a way this is a model for a quality, or code even, of loving bliss for me), Another fascinating thing is his sociality, How to incorporate this sociality, and happiness too, into online piano learning? "Playing/Practicing a musical instrument" and "Loving Bliss" wiki subjects, Prof. Alia Crum at Stanford and Prof. Ed Boyden at MIT

Biological neural network: Each time Piano savant Derek Paravicini does something a light bulb turns on is the way I think of it, Scientists probably know and could hypothesize pretty well about some of this, but "a read" on overall brain circuitry with a neural net hat some years in the future would be fascinating, How to apply such knowledge to learning to play and practice the piano, Like especially to extrapolate more about how this piano learning as social experience could work re Derek's sociality
Lots of creative possibilities here in millions of people with unique disabilities to develop further helpful information technologies.

I'm happy to give you all a brief practical introduction to editing WUaS and re the WUaS SUBJECT TEMPLATE (this Sunday, 12/5?), which should become much easier to use after WUaS moves into Wikidata.
Hoping too that WUaS will get monies re a Friday grant writing workshop in Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi's office - and to set up a space for volunteers and developers in the Quaker Meeting House on 9th, eventually M-Th, 9-5, and re multiple languages and editing / teaching to / learning from WUaS as Wiki ... and re helping people with disabilities especially. 




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