Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Do the Funders Know the Online Accessibility Requirements?

I was invited to participate in a symposium at Harvard in November.  This is a follow-up to a similar event about a decade ago resulting in the publication of Dede’s Online Professional Development for Teachers – Emerging Models and Methods (2006).

I had made it clear that I've not been doing online teacher professional development lately.  That I was currently more focused on issues of access and equity in online education.  I even recommended some other folks currently doing more with oTPD (online Teacher Professional Development).  But, they invited me anyway.

I was asked to write a piece for discussion.  It was interesting to go back to the online teacher professional development project and my attempts to bring more accessibility to our online courses. The laws haven't changed much over the past decade, but our understanding of what access is, and the enforcement has changed.

One thing I was thinking about though, was that at the time, the program officers never mentioned access.  I don't think it was on their radar screen.  Clearly, every grant that's funded by either ED or NSF carries with it agreements to meet applicable civil right legislation.  

I asked, in my paper, if the oTPD programs that exist today are meeting their accessibility obligations, and if the funders are asking.

I'll post more about the reaction to my paper, after the event.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Post Conference Impact.

One of the participants at my Speaks Volumes session is employed by one of the large third party producers of online content.  I did mention in my presentation that 7 different vendors' materials had been identified in OCR compliance reports as not being accessible.  (I didn't mention names.)

After the session I got email from this person asking if I could provide them with any of the OCR materials.  I responded that the person's employer had been mentioned in the findings for the South Carolina Virtual Charter School findings, and pointed her to Michael Barbour's blog post on that, which includes links to the OCR finding and resolution.

I do intend to post all the OCR findings I have when the iNACOL publication I've been working on all summer is published.  That was how I was able to get the information, and OCR has said I can publish the reports.

But, I don't have a date for that to be published yet.

Stay tuned.

Friday, August 01, 2014

TxVSN Speaks Volume Keynote session

Here are the slides from my session on July 31st.  It was interesting with only a few higher ed folks.  My goal was to shake them up a bit, and based on comments, I was successful.


Friday, July 18, 2014

speaks VOLumes conference July 30-Aug 1 is nearing!

The 4th Annual speaks Volumes July 30 - August 1st, 2014 conference audience is primarily K-12 district/campus administrators, student mentors, online instructors and online course developers with an interest in online learning, implementation, student/educator support, instructional strategies, course development and a vision of the future
There is NO COST to participate in these 3 days. 

I will be presenting  

July 31, 4:30pm CST Legal Update - How to Avoid Jail-Time - Making Digital Resources

The session title was originally presented as a joke, but the conference folks liked it, so that's the title.

It's free, register.  There will be some interesting sessions.