Wednesday, September 09, 2015

iNACOL Leadership Webinar

One of the things I realized as I was planning this presentation, is that I had assumed that by now school leaders would know they shouldn't create a policy to specifically exclude students with disabilities (special needs students).  It wasn't something I've really included in the most recent set of presentations.   There is brief mention of this in my iNACOL publication but basically I felt it was something that was obvious.   But then a while ago I saw a report on a state (to be nameless) where two cyber charter schools were approved for operation by the state education agency (SEA) even though those charters submitted policies as part of the state approval process where they specifically said that they would not enroll special needs students.

Not very bright, in my opinion, but even more frustrating, the schools were approved by the SEA.  Since I learned of this in a report that was done by a state legislative oversight committee after the fact I don't have more detail, but it's enough to say that some folks, be they school administrators or state department of education staff, need to be doing a little more thinking about educational access for students with special needs.

So, doing the Leadership Webinar I have made sure that I will be clear in my presentation that preventing students with disabilities from enrolling in an online school (aka cyber school. cyber charter, virtual school) is a no-no!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Realizing the Promise: Making Blended and Online Learning Accessible to All Learners -- a Leadership Webinar from iNACOL

Here's an opportunity to hear some information about accessibility in a free webinar from iNACOL September 9

Blended and online learning can provide the least restrictive, most tailored educational environment for students with disabilities. However, new learning models must be designed with all learners in mind to realize that promise. Join iNACOL for a conversation with national experts on making blended and online learning accessible to students with disabilities. From course access quality reviews, to assessment policies, to new learning model design and implementation, this webinar will be of value to both policymakers and educators.

Raymond Rose, author of the iNACOL report Access and Equity for All Learners in Blended and Online Education and Lindsay Jones, Director of Public Policy & Advocacy, and Meghan Casey, Policy Research & Advocacy Associate at the National Center for Learning Disabilities, will share recommendations on meeting the needs of students with disabilities in personalized learning and in blended and online education. Maria Worthen, Vice President for Federal and State Policy at iNACOL will moderate the webinar.
  • Raymond Rose, Chair, Rose & Smith Associates
  • Lindsay Jones, Director of Public Policy & Advocacy, National Center for Learning Disabilities
  • Meghan Casey, Policy Research & Advocacy Associate, National Center for Learning Disabilities
  • Maria Worthen, Vice President for Federal and State Policy, iNACOL

September 9, 2015, 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM EST 
 Webinar registration:

Monday, August 17, 2015

I need a visual...

I'm presenting at the national Quality Matters conference in November.  I got this message from the conference organizer:
We are asking people to select the sessions that they plan they to attend as they register for the 7th Annual QM Conference.

It appears that your session "It's All In the Design -- The Importance of Making Courses Legally Accessible" is popular.  Congratulations on choosing a topic that really interests people who are registering!

We encourage you to let your network know you are presenting.  Spread the word!

We’d also like to highlight your session in communications leading up to the conference.  Please put some thought into:
  1. The top three things people will be exposed to in your session
  2. The two main take-aways you hope participants gain
  3. A single visual you would like people to see that connects to your session

Send these to me and we’ll toot your horn.
Great!  Love it!  And they've already asked permission to webcast the session too.

So, first thoughts about my responses to the first two:

Top 3 Things.
Who:  The recent OCR non-compliance findings for online courses.
What: The common problems found by OCR
Where: The recommendations for making courses accessible

2 Main Take-aways
Require online courses to meet quality standards for accessibility
It's easier to build accessibility into the course when it's being built than to try to retrofit it.

I'm not sure about the single visual though.  I could do a graphic of a web page accessibility report. like this.  But that might imply I was going to do more with the tool than just show the link and what it can do in providing a quick analysis of a web page.

Other ideas for a graphic or for reworking of the other items?