The SWAT Team

We know what you may be thinking, but the SWAT (Student Workers in Assistive Technology) Team under Student Accessibility Service are not police officers! The SAS SWAT Team is a group of highly-trained undergraduate and graduate student workers  who strive for the highest standards of equitable access to assistive technology and digital accessibility for students with accommodations. The SWAT Team is led by Jordan Colbert, the Associate Director for Assistive Technology at SAS.

Learn more about: SWAT Team Members and Bios

Accessibility Assistants

Accessibility Assistants (AA) are both undergraduate and graduate students that work to create accessible course materials for lecture and seminar courses. Led by the Graduate Accessibility Assistant, AAs receive course PowerPoints, Word docs, and PDFs from Canvas courses and make them accessible for individuals that use text-to-speech and screen reading technologies. AAs also work with creating electronically accessible mathematic content.

Alternate Format Assistants

The Alternate Format Assistants (AFA) are responsible for the conversion of educational materials into specified electronic formats. They work to make sure any physical materials (handouts, textbooks, etc.) are available in accessible electronic formats. This includes obtaining electronic textbooks, separating them into chapters, and making sure they are able to be used in text-to-speech programs. Additionally, AFAs are also well-versed with various alternative format material conversions, such as BRF and Word doc, along with assistive technology applications that promote accessibility and literacy-related skill-building.

Assistive Technology Assistants

Assistive Technology Assistants (ATA) are graduate and professional students responsible for the implementation and training of new educational technologies for students with disabilities. The ATAs are knowledgeable about tools such as voice control/typing, notetaking, presentation technology, and organizational tools. Training sessions for assistive technologies are conducted daily for students with accommodation requirements, and much of the work the SWAT Team does strives to maximize accessibility for every student’s technology needs.

Communication Access Assistants

Communication Access Assistants (CAA) are graduate and professional students that work with communication technologies such as captioned media and remote Communication Access Real-time Translation (CART). In collaboration with Yale’s ITS department, CAAs  provide microphone and captioning support for classroom accommodations related to sensory disabilities. CAAs also coordinate services for students utilizing in-person or remote American Sign Language interpreters and provide back-end support with videos located in Canvas courses.