Friday, July 15, 2016

Designing Digital Materials That are Accessible for All Learners. A webinar for the University of Otago

I'm in Dunedin, New Zealand and will be doing a webinar for the Distance Education Office.  The topic, of course, is online accessibility.  It's interesting doing this in New Zealand because I've recently seen a posting that said New Zealand and Australia were doing a better job with accessibility than the US was.  There is a very nice piece of legislation (see slide 3)
The Human Rights Act of 1993 covers disabilities, which people have presently, have had in the past, or which they are believed to have. 
The Human Rights Act of 1993 makes discrimination unlawful when it occurs in:
  • •public education and health services
  • •and access to education.

And there's the Kia ĹŚrite - Code Of Practice: New Zealand Code of Practice for an Inclusive Tertiary Education Environment for Students with Impairments.  That provides very nice guidance for higher education.  But the Code was last updated in 2007 and doesn't mention online,websites, or distance learning.  It does recommend captioning for video though.  And it recommends staff development on the issues, so the webinar fits in very nicely.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Accessibility Issues in Online Education and Websites: Current Case Law and Resources

June 15, 2016 I've been asked to make a presentation (see slides below) to the Learning Technology Advisory Committee of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board.  I've only got about 15 minutes, so the content is all in the first 10 slides.  There are relevant resources in the remaining ones, and the folks can access the full set here or on my SlideShare account.

Friday, June 03, 2016

CyberLearning 2016 and Accessibility

CyberLearning 2016 happens the first weekend in June, rescheduled from February when it was postponed because of a winter storm in DC.  I had already put together the slides and posted them here and on SlideShare.  You can find them in an earlier post.  

But, as has been the case with this issue, things change.  Not the basics of the case law, but there are new and different resources as the field discovers the importance of this issue.  And, because I do this, I have folks sending me resources, for which I'm grateful.

What that means is;

  1. if you find a new resource, please send me the information.  I'd rather have multiple folks telling me about something I already know, then risk missing something really great that I just hadn't seen.  and
  2. every time I post new slides they're different.  Not totally different.  The case law has been consistent over the past decade.  The difference is in the resources. 
Just this past week I was introduced to two new publications that look to be interesting.  The Book Industry Study Group has released the Quick Start Guide to Accessible Publishing.  And, there is Vendor Guide to Web Accessibility for Higher Education Customers prepared by the Committee on Institutional Cooperation.  Of course, I prefer the second, as it focuses on Web Accessibility and I have less involvement and interest in book publishing at the moment.

Here are the slides for my June 2016, CyberLearning 2016 presentation.

Thursday, March 24, 2016

TxDLA 2016 and Accessibility

I didn't post about the TxDLA Accessibility Certification Program because it filled up within 36 hours of being available.  This is the pilot offering.  It started a week ago as an online course, but becomes a hybrid next week with the participants attending the TxDLA 2016 Conference's Accessibility Pre-Conference Workshop.  Then, during the conference, participants are expected to attend a specified number of concurrent accessibility sessions.  The final component of the certificate program is a capstone project where participants put all their learning together.  I contributed to the initial legal module and will be doing  more on the legal issues at the pre-conference workshop.

I'm going to do some more on legal issues because of the Section 504/Section 508 confusion.  But that's confounded because there's a state statute that adopted Section 508 standards for all Texas websites.  So, while in other states, reference to Section 508 should only be the standard used to determine accessibility but not to cite as non-compliance, unless the source is a Federally funded site. And technically in Texas Section 508 shouldn't be cited, it should be Texas Section 206.70

Elsewhere on the conference agenda, I will be on an accessibility panel and have a session for Section 504 Coordinators.

The session The Section 504 Coordinator's Role in Accessible Online Learning is a new idea.  I think there will be few if any Coordinators at a TxDLA conference, but there might be folks who want to take information back to their Coordinator.  I used to do training for Title IX Coordinators, and while the content is different, the role of the Coordinator is similar.  I got the idea because in some of the OCR resolution agreements there are recommendations about professional development for the Section 504 Coordinator.  I'm planning on having a lot of discussion rather than presentation, but there will be some slides, which are included below.

Other TxDLA sessions I'm involved with include:

  • serving as Provocateur for a panel by UNT folks about their Amazing Instructor Support... for their accelerated online Master's Program in Education Leadership; 
  • holding a discussion with a professor from the UNT Education Leadership program about What Administrators Need to Know for Successful Online Education Programs; and 
  • a panel participant on Discussing Accessibility:Best Practices & Considerations for Online/Distance Education.