Policies and Disclosures

Introduction

Perkins eLearning requires its instructors to resolve or disclose any commercial or personal interest that exists between them and the material presented in their sessions. Conflicts among participants or between participants and instructors are addressed according to an established procedure within Training and Educational Resources Programs. Registered students will be provided with a description of course completion requirements, including attendance requirements, on or before the educational experience begins. In the case of multi-session workshops, participants may be entitled to a partial refund in accordance with their date of withdrawal. For the complete text of these, and other, program policies, please read the disclosures and policies below.

The Perkins Training & Educational Resources Program identifies its goal as "sharing the experience and educational expertise of Perkins staff and partners with other professionals." Program objectives include continuing education (CE) activities presented by experts in the field of visual impairment and deafblindness. These programs fulfill the program's mission statement "Knowledge is Most Powerful When it is Shared."

Online learning opportunities include Online Classes, Live and recorded webinar sessions, On-demand webcasts, and Self-Paced Tutorials.

Onsite Training opportunities include face-to-face, blended workshops.

Read disclosures and policies pertaining to our programs

eLearning Credentials

Perkins has been approved as a professional development credit provider by the following organizations/agencies:

  • Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (MA DESE)
  • The Academy for Certification of Vision Rehabilitation and Education Professionals (ACVREP)
  • The American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA)
  • The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA)

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Learner Expectations

Record Keeping

Perkins will maintain for 7 years records for all participants in professional development activities (online and in person training) by keeping a file of sign in sheets (for in person training) and maintaining a log of participants for each training.

Perkins will maintain the electronic records securely by ensuring that password protection is in place.  Paper records will be stored in a locked area.  Only the staff involved in the production of professional development activities will be able to access these records.  Persons interested in obtaining information related to his/her training records will need to contact the designated administrator.

Persons interested in seeking information related to his/her training records must contact the designated administrator and provide specific information regarding what information is being sought (training, date, presenter, etc.)

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Attendance and Progress

Attendance for Online training will be monitored via completion of online requirements including tests, discussion forums, web research assignments, journals, etc.

Attendance for On-site training will be monitored by sign in /sign out sheets for each training. Each participant will be required to sign in at the beginning of the training and sign out at the end of the training.

Course completion is defined as completion of sufficient assignments, projects, assessments, and other activities defined by the syllabus to constitute a final grade. Participants will receive a letter or numeric grade, or a Pass/Fail status, as defined by the course materials, according to a grading rubric provided by the facilitator at the opening of the class or workshop.

Participation in class discussions and cooperative groups is expected.  All candidates are responsible for meeting required deadlines on projects and assignments.

All of these behaviors regarding attendance, preparation, and meeting deadlines are critical for successful teaching and thus are factored into the final grade.

If you have questions for the instructor please post them in the Q&A forum found at the top of the home page for the course. Your instructor will respond to any questions posted within 48 hours. This is the best place to post all non-private questions that pertain to the course since other members of the class will benefit from the answers as well.

The instructor will make every effort to check email frequently. However, please avoid any last minute issues regarding any of your assignments by reviewing the requirements with sufficient time to obtain clarification prior to the deadline.

Participants are welcome to use the "email the class" messaging feature. Please keep messages sent to the whole class related to course content and maintain the same professionalism as you would in a face-to-face class.

Participants often have the misperception that taking a course online is easier since they don't have to physically go to a classroom. While the convenience of "attending class" on your own schedule does make taking an online course easier, this type of educational environment requires discipline to ensure that you don't get behind. This medium does give participants flexibility in attending class — it is more convenient, not easier!

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Academic Integrity

Perkins eLearning adheres to the Academic Integrity Policy of Fitchburg State University (Fitchburg, MA).

Every member of the University community is expected to maintain the highest standards of academic integrity. A student shall not submit work that is falsified or is not the result of the student's own effort. A student who is in doubt regarding standards of academic integrity in a course or assignment should consult the faculty member responsible for that course or assignment before submitting the work. A student's lack of understanding of the academic integrity policy is not a valid defense to a charge of academic dishonesty.

A student's name on any written or creative exercise (e.g., examination, report, thesis, theme, laboratory report, computer program, artistic production, etc.), or in association with an oral presentation, declares that the work is the result of that student's own thought and study. Any work that the student declares as his or her own shall be stated in the student's own words and produced without the assistance of others. Students must make clear through accurate citations when they make use of other sources. Talking during an examination, or possession or use of unauthorized materials or equipment during an examination constitutes an infringement of the academic integrity policy. Aiding and abetting academic dishonesty also constitutes a violation of the academic integrity policy.

Unless permission is received in advance from the faculty member in charge of the course involved, a student may not submit, in identical or similar form, work for one course that has been used to fulfill any academic requirement in another course at Fitchburg State University or any other institution. A student who perceives the possibility of overlapping assignments in courses should consult with the appropriate faculty members before presuming that a single effort will fulfill requirements of both courses. Students should consult course syllabi for additional guidance on matters of academic integrity.

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Education Unit Computer Literacy Requirement

All assignments must be typed, doubled-spaced; follow the Department Writing Guide; and use APA format when appropriate. You are expected to use word processing for all assignments (unless otherwise instructed).

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Equal Opportunity Education

Perkins School for the Blind is committed to providing equal opportunity for all members of our community  without regard to race, color, sex, religion, national origin or ancestry, age, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, marital status, genetic information, veteran or military status, membership in Uniformed Services, or any other characteristic protected by law.

This policy governs all aspects of education, including Perkins eLearning.

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Universal Accessibility

Perkins is committed to Universal Accessibility and insures access to its Training and Educational Programs.

The Perkins Training Center conference rooms are barrier-free and ADA compliant. When scheduling on-site training away from the Perkins campus, Training Center staff will advocate for the most accessible training space available at the site.

The online workshop platform has been built and tested for accessibility. Individual online learning activities are formatted to allow individual accessibility settings, such as font size and contrast, and are screen reader compatible.

Workshop materials will be presented in accessible formats, or alternate formats made available for students who request them, according to the Perkins "Guidelines for Outside Presenters/Consultants," including

  • Captioning and audio description of audio/visual aids
  • Large print and braille formats
  • Convertible and plain text electronic formats

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Student Grievance Policy

Participants are strongly encouraged to resolve conflicts and disagreements with facilitators or classmates within the structure of the workshop. The following procedures address student grievances which have not been resolved through this informal approach. Workshop participants must file their grievance in writing (print letter or electronic mail) to the Educational Resources Manager, outlining the facts of the issue, the action taken to date, and the resolution sought.

The Educational Resources Manager will render a decision on the matter within 5 business days of receiving the grievance. The participant may appeal the decision to the Director of Training and Educational Resources; this appeal must also be in written form and include reasons for dissatisfaction with the Manager's decision. The Director will have an additional 5 days from the receipt of the appeal to decide on the matter.

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Cancellations and Refunds

Perkins reserves the right to cancel a workshop due to insufficient enrollment or scheduling difficulty. In the event that a workshop is canceled, registered participants will be notified within 14 days of the scheduled start of the workshop. All fees paid by the participants will be refunded in full. Once a workshop has begun, it is the facilitator's responsibility to notify participants of any changes to the workshop schedule.

In the event that a participant elects to withdraw from the workshop for any reason, fees may be refundable according to the following schedule:

  • Withdrawal within the first 1/2 of the workshop dates – 50% refund on fees to Perkins eLearning
  • Withdrawal after 50% of the workshop dates have passed – no refund available
  • Graduate level registration includes fees paid to Fitchburg State University which are non-refundable. These fees are paid to the University before the course begins and can not be returned. Visit the Fitchburg State website for more information about their refund procedures
  • All sales on self-paced workshops are final.

Participants must notify the workshop facilitator in writing (print or electronic mail) that they are withdrawing from the course upon a stated effective date.  Discontinuing participation is not considered a formal withdrawal from the workshop, and no fees with be refunded.

A participant who requests a refund due to dissatisfaction with the workshop must submit their request to the Educational Resources Manager of the Perkins Training and Educational Resources Program.

Perkins eLearning commits to defining these policies in all workshop promotion, registration, and confirmation materials.

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Statement of Commercial Interest

In instances where a product or publication created or sold by Perkins is the primary focus of an activity, or where Perkins products and publications are mentioned as additional resources for the activity, all promotional and registration information must contain a statement of commercial interest as defined below.

  • "Publications or products identified in this presentation are produced, manufactured, or resold by Perkins."

In instances where Perkins identifies a commercial interest in the topic of, or materials represented in, an activity, Perkins will:

  • Include the statement of commercial interest in promotional materials (including email invitations, marketing promotions and campaigns, user group and social media announcements, etc)
  • Read the statement of commercial interest in the introduction of an activity

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Student Feedback

Perkins will utilize learner feedback and evaluations to assess participants’ perceived satisfaction with, and value of, professional development activities provided. As a record of the activity, Perkins will secure records by ensuring that file storage is secured. Only the staff involved in the production of professional development activities will be able to access these records.

  • Participant feedback will be surveyed at the close of a activity
  • Participants will be asked to rank their satisfaction with the activity and enter comments
  • Feedback may be anonymous
  • Surveys will be available in accessible formats upon advance request
  • Compiled feedback will be shared with activity presenters

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