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.