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Accessibility and Instruction
Overview of access and compliance requirements at Santa Barbara City College.
Assumptions about the classroom
- Classrooms are comprised of diverse learners, including students with disabilities and a wide range of learning profiles
- The college has a legal obligation to provide services and accommodations for students with disabilities
- The college depends on the interactive process to establish needs, procedures, and expectations
- The partnership between faculty, student and the college promotes a consistent process for managing the needs of the student
- The Universal Design model of teaching provides a lens in which to increase awareness and educational access
The term web accessibility speaks to the inclusive practice of removing barriers that prevent interaction with, or access to websites, by people with disabilities. When sites, learning management systems, student systems and/or publisher sites are correctly designed, developed and edited, all users have equal access to information and functionality. (WCAG overview)
Designing an Accessible Course
It is much easier to build your course with web accessibility in mind at the start of your workflow, rather than going back to retrofit problem areas later. Think of the user approaching your class, what “keys” will you build into the course for better navigation? By incorporating these simple steps , you’ll be creating a course with universal design in mind, no matter who enters your classroom on the first day. You want to be sure your class is running in top form on the first day of class.
To be compliant with our campus standards (WCAG 2.0) you must have content that is organized around the following four principles, a foundation necessary for anyone to access and use Web content:
- Perceivable – Information and user interface components must be presentable to users in ways they can perceive.
- This means that users must be able to perceive the information being presented (it can’t be invisible to all of their senses)
- Operable – User interface components and navigation must be operable.
- This means that users must be able to operate the interface (the interface cannot require interaction that a user cannot perform)
- Understandable – Information and the operation of user interface must be understandable.
- This means that users must be able to understand the information as well as the operation of the user interface (the content or operation cannot be beyond their understanding)
- Robust – Content must be robust enough that it can be interpreted reliably by a wide variety of user agents, including assistive technologies.
- This means that users must be able to access the content as technologies advance (as technologies and user agents evolve, the content should remain accessible)
If any of these are not true, users with disabilities will not be able to use the Web. These guidelines should be followed during the development of a new course. For existing courses, these guidelines should begin to take shape in the course at the point of redesign.
In 2011, the Chancellor’s Office released the Distance Education Accessibility Guidelines. These guidelines provide the 113 community colleges with guidelines for increasing accessible courses for students with disabilities.
Making these adjustments in your course will have a greater impact for long-term student accessibility.
HOW DO I START??
Taking a Closer Look at Accessibility -by @One and OEI, a 5 Part webinar series on YouTube (5/12/2015)
– Captioning Considerations (1:08:51)
– Creating Accessible Online Presentations (1:04:14)
– Evaluating Web Content for Accessibility (56:22)
– Online Course Usability: 10 ways to kick it up a notch (51:49)
– Creating Accessible PDF Documents with MS Word and Acrobat Pro (57:57)
2. One page accessibility quick guides made available by (NCADE)
5. Google accessibility - all products
8. Accessible document creation, MS Word and Accessible PDF
9. @One course - Creating Accessible Online Courses
- Creating Accessible Course Content (S17E01)
- 2/27/17 - 3/24/17 (Pacific Time)
- Creating Accessible Course Content (S17E02)
- 2/27/17 - 3/24/17 (Pacific Time)
Microsoft Word 2011 (Mac)
Added May 2013: This handout was created for Mac users and provides information for creating accessible documents in Microsoft Word 2011.
Microsoft Powerpoint 2011 (Mac)
Added May 2013: This handout was created for Mac users and provides information for creating accessible presentations in Microsoft PowerPoint 2011.
Microsoft Word 2007/2010 (Windows)
Added June 2012: Microsoft Word is currently the most common word processor on the market. Word files can also be the starting point for other files, such as PDF and HTML. Having the correct tools to create accessible Microsoft Word documents is imperative to improving your institution’s accessible content.
Microsoft PowerPoint 2007/2010 (Windows)
Added June 2012: PowerPoint is presentation software from Microsoft. Although typically used to display “slides” during face-to-face meetings and presentations, it is also used on the web and with distance education technologies.
PDF Conversion in Microsoft Word/PowerPoint 2007/2010 (Windows)
Added June 2012: After HTML, PDF (Portable Document Format) files are probably the most common files on the Web. PDF is usually used when a file needs to appear or print a certain way, regardless of the browser or technology. Microsoft Word and PowerPoint provide additional resources to properly create high-quality tagged PDF files.
Adobe Acrobat XI
Added August 2013: Adobe Acrobat XI features improved accessibility features from Adobe Acrobat X.
Adobe Acrobat X
Added June 2012: PDF files can be created in an assortment of programs, with varied results. Adobe Acrobat X is a valuable tool to insure your PDF documents are accessible to everyone, regardless of how they were created.
Adobe InDesign CS5.5
Added September 2012: Many designers use Adobe InDesign to develop print and web documents. This handout reviews the steps needed to create accessible PDF documents in InDesign CS5.5.
Fall 2012 – Faculty in-service workshop
Title: Student perspectives on designing accessible learning environments
Join DSPS students in a dialogue regarding self-disclosed learning profiles, related educational limitations, and a universal design approach for equal access.
Legal Landscape for providing access
SBCC Curriculum – Access and Compliance
Flyer – DSPS faculty (instructors please refer students)
Experiences of Students with Disabilities
“From Where I Sit” – students share their experiences in the college classroom.
Overview – Diversity of web users
(repeated minimum three times a year)
Introduction To The Screen Reader – Video (7:04)
Tips, solutions, and summary of issues involved in making accessible distance education.
The Faculty Room – Univ. of Washington
Universal Design For Learning (Merlot)
Universal Design of Instruction (video)
Universal Design in Online Instruction
Equal Access: Universal Design of Instruction – Univ. of Washington
Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool – WAVE
Web 2.0 Accessibility Webinar (11/3/2009)
Application and Operating Systems Accessibility
Adobe – Accessibility training resources
Adobe Accessibility Event (10/2010)
Accessible web video – Flash video player w/ accessibility plug-ins
Microsoft Word document accessibility
IN THE NEWS
FAQ’s – OCR guidance on legal obligations and use of technology in higher education.
YouTube – Automatic captions (11/19/2009)
YouTube videos – as more instructors make use of videos on YouTube, be aware the videos you incorporate into class activities should be closed-captioned. Link to a WEBINAR that describes the process for captioning videos that are housed at YouTube.
Resources From Other Campuses
Accessibility – University of Minnesota