One of my long-term goals is to have fully accessible property which would give choice of holiday destinations to people with disabilities and mobility restrictions. I started working on this back in 2009 for a couple of years then gave up on it for various reasons. Now I’m back working on my ultimate dream, I thought that it would be good if I completed an introductory course in travel and tourism.
I consulted with one of my best friends, Google. Google only found me one short course that seemed to be ideal because it was a self-paced internet based course freeing me from any timeframes. Well, so I thought.
Enrolling and paying for this course was all done within an hour without a problem. After following their instructions on how to login and access the course material, I was not able to gain access. Being a Friday night, I emailed the college about the problem and patiently waited until Monday to get access. I was sent an email with an apology and was asked to try to login again which I did successfully.
I was eager to start because I knew that for the next couple of weeks I had more time on my hands to complete something that I could do independently. I read all about how the course was structured and run and read the first lot of Readings until I reached an assessment piece. The instructions on how to complete the assessment were clear and straightforward. The only problem for me was though, there was a 10 minute timeframe for in which the test had to be completed. This was not only unfair, it was expecting the impossible as my typing speed is about seven words per minute and that’s on a good day.
I waited a week before sending a follow-up email which asked whether I would be locked out if I took longer than the 10 minutes to complete it. In my follow-up email, I politely requested that my question be answered or that I would be refunded what I paid for the course. It may have been rude but a reply was sent back to me within half an hour. Digging my heals in and not being distracted by their unprofessionalism or rudeness, I proposed my original question for the third time as it still had not been answered. “I would like to know if the quiz will timeout if I take longer than the 10 minutes to complete it?” is really not a difficult question, you would’ve thought.
Finally the time limit was removed from my assessments and I completed my first test. Yay, finally, first test done! I clicked on ‘Submit’ and not a thing happened, I clicked it again and nothing happened! I decided to try to do the test again to see if it would go through and nope, nothing! I sent yet another email explaining this problem and I was just instructed to move on to the next lot of Readings.
I believe as an individual with a disability I represent the disability community to some degree. This particular college has clearly discriminated against me directly, by being reluctant to remove the time limit, and indirectly, by using a derogatory term in the course content. I have never given up on something like this before but this time, I would rather put my energy into my goal, which will benefit a lot more people.