Check your accessibility knowledge!
Have you ever considered checking your online learning courses for accessibility? How much do you know about ‘disability friendly’ online course building?
Take this quiz…. and see if you get any surprises.
Quizzes by Quibblo.com
Why must I?
Under the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 agencies must ensure that people with disabilities have the same fundamental rights to access information as the rest of the community.
Apart from the law…. don’t you want all of your students to have their needs met, succeed and feel satisfied at being involved in a fully inclusive learning experience?
“Good design, is accessible design.”
Make sure, as you begin your online learning design process, that you understand the principles and techniques of making your course accessible. Consider this aspect from the very beginning of your project.
Consider all individual needs in your design
Visual (including blind, low vision, and color blindness)
For each disability, consider possible barriers to be avoided in your site design.
Basic tips for designing online learning:
- Use serif fonts for print, and use sans serif for screen reading.
- Use high contrast for text on backgrounds.
- Images & animations: Use the alt alternative to describe the function of each visual.
- Have text alternatives for video.
- Hypertext links: Use text that makes sense when read out of context. For example, avoid “click here.”
- Keep your pages tidy and clutter free.
- Keep content simple and clear to read more on this……
More ideas for good practice:
- Interview people with disabilities about likes/dislikes concerns/suggestions.
- Find examples of web sites in production that already use techniques required for proposed design.
- Run example sites thru WAVE.
- Test using a screenreader and a screen magnifier.
- Test with monitor set to greyscale to ensure color blindness accessibility.
- Attempt to navigate site by keyboard alone (no mouse).
- Attempt to navigate the site using the mouse and your non-dominant hand.
- Ensure that pages are usable when scripts, applets, or other programmatic objects are turned off.
Remember also, to consider students who have English as their second language, generation and gender specific differences and culture when designing your course.
The standards we need to adhere to
Australian and the US have adopted different standards to determine accessibility. U.S. use the section 508 standards, we use Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG).
Section 508 is effectively a diluted version of WCAG, restricted to those things that can be objectively measured (and therefore prosecuted). For instance they do not include “Use the clearest and simplest language appropriate for a site’s content. ” ….. more on this. It is important to note, that many Learning Management Systems used in Australia are USA developed and comply with the USA Section 508.
Test Your Site’s Accessibility
Choose any of the following tools/techniques to test the accessibility of your site.
Testing Tools – automatically check for 508 compliance, as much as possible. Help you know what manual checks need to be done.
Hands on Accessibility Testing
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