#ELI2019 – Presentation Pair: Accessibility and Universal Design for Learning

Accessibility and Universal Design for Learning – Conference Session Listing

University of Cincinnati – Engaging Faculty in the Creation of Accessible Course Content

  • Blackboard Ally was introduced to create awareness and make course content more accessible.
  • OCR agreement resulted in creating the Accessibility Network at the University of Cincinnati.
  • Blackboard Ally provides checking of content uploaded into courses and displays an accessibility indicator to faculty. Ally provides on screen guidance also to faculty. An institutional dashboard enables views across the entire campus.
  • Training is provided to faculty in using Ally and in creating more accessible files.
  • Challenges include time, skills, and resources (and faculty attitude) in ensuring content is accessible in courses.
  • Faculty can feel overwhelmed if most of their course is inaccessible.
  • “Making progress not perfection” has been helpful. Start small, one file at a time.
  • Goal is to create documents from-the-start that are accessible. For example, using headings in Word, alt text, table headings… etc.
  • MS Word documents have been found to be more accessible than PDFs.
  • UC is working on centralized remediation of files using student assistants.


North Carolina State University

  • Beyond Captions – Making Online Learning Truly Accessible to Deaf Students
  • Captions are helpful, but we can do more…
  • ASL is the first language for deaf learners. Average captions are at a 9th grade level.
  • English literacy is a challenge for ASL learners because it’s a spoken language.

  • Level 1: LMSProvided by vendors primarily. Web accessibility guidelines come into play.
  • Level 2: Course Materials – Provided by instructors. Videos with captions, transcripts, creating accessible documents, etc. Typography is also important. Don’t use ALL CAPS. Readability is important. User control and navigation.
  • Level 3: Communication and Language – Accessing information include assignment directions, emails to students, announcements, orientation to course. Background, context, pointing things out in text to draw attention. Pay attention to reading level and vocabulary, especially for ASL learners. Graphic organizers can be helpful for ASL and all students (UDL).

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