Hatching New Habits for Accessible Online Materials

Report
HATCHING New Habits
for Accessible Online Materials
Photo © Bear Dickinson, 2013
Office of Disability Services
[email protected]
540-568-6705
Christina Wulf
Accessible Media & Technology Specialist
[email protected]
540-568-5046
A few definitions
ACCESSIBILITY:
• “Accessible” means that individuals with disabilities are able to
independently acquire the same information, engage in the same
interactions, and enjoy the same services within the same
timeframe as individuals without disabilities, with substantially
equivalent ease of use. – Resolution Agreement, Univ. of MT and
Dept of Education, Office for Civil Rights (p. 1)
ACCOMMODATION:
• Modification needed to provide equal access to educational
opportunities for a student with a disability.
DISABILITY:
• A physical or mental impairment which substantially limits a
major life activity.
Types of Disabilities represented at JMU
Count of documented disabilities between 6/15/2012 and 6/11/2013
Description
Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
Learning Disability
Psychiatric/emotional
Chronic Illness
Other
Deaf & Hard of Hearing
Traumatic Brain Injury
Blind and Low Vision
Orthopedic Impairment
Autism Spectrum Disorders
Speech Disorders
Mobility Impairment
Spinal Cord Injury
229
212
141
93
20
19
16
12
11
10
10
6
2
29%
27.14%
18.05%
11.91%
2.56%
2.43%
2.05%
1.54%
1.41%
1.28%
1.28%
0.77%
0.26%
There were 558 individual students registered for the 2012-2013 school year
as of June 11, 2013 (up 3% from 541 in 2012).
Recent Legal Developments
Accessible Course Materials
• 2014 – University of Montana (complaint filed by blind students)
o Settlement with DOE’s Office for Civil Rights (March 2014)
o Inaccessible functions in Learning Management System (LMS)
o Inaccessible PDFs, library materials, videos, websites & clickers
• 2013 – South Carolina Technical College System
o Compliance review by DOE’s OCR
o Inaccessible PDFs, videos, alt-tagging, websites, LMS
• 2013 – University of California Berkeley
o Internal settlement between students & school
o New benchmarks for accessibility of library materials, textbooks, etc.
• 2013 – Louisiana Tech University
o Dept. of Justice settlement
o Professor required use of an inaccessible online learning product
& other inaccessible course materials
Additional Higher Ed Lawsuits

2012 – NFB (National Federation of the Blind) v. Florida State


2012 - NFB v. Maricopa Community College District


Use of inaccessible Google Apps for Education
2010 – NFB & Penn State


Inaccessible web materials & clickers, hostile professors
2011 - NFB v. Northwestern & NYU


Inaccessible web materials & clickers, failure to provide alternative formats,
retaliation following complaints
Extremely important case dealing with inaccessible websites and web materials, as
well as procurement of inaccessible technology
2009 – NFB v. Arizona State


complaints also filed against Princeton, Reed, Pace, Darden School at UVA, & Case
Western over assigned use of inaccessible Kindles
Resulted in federal guidance clarifying that use of inaccessible technology is
discriminatory.
Why Accessible Design?
• Captioned videos
– deaf or hearing impaired students
• Text-to-speech software
– students with vision impairments, or with learning & reading
disabilities
• Voice input software
– students with mobility impairments, dyslexia and other learning
disabilities
• Documents in digital formats
–All of the above, plus students using screen reading software
Screen Reader Software
•Software utilized by blind or visually-impaired
computer users.
•Renders on-line text into synthesized speech or
Braille.
•First sophisticated screen reader released in
1989.
Universal Design
UNIVERSAL DESIGN FOR DISABILITY
Accommodation Approach
Universal Design Approach
Access is a problem for the individual and should
be addressed by that person and the disability
service program
Access issues stem from an inaccessible, poorly
designed environments and should be addressed by
the designer (and the JMU community)
Access is achieved through accommodations
and/or retrofitting existing requirements
The system/environment is designed, to the
greatest extent possible, to be usable by all
Access is retroactive
Access is proactive
Access is often provided in a separate location or
through special treatment
Access is inclusive
Access must be reconsidered each time a new
individual uses the system, i.e. is consumable
Access, as part of the environmental design, is
sustainable
Source: AHEAD Universal Design Initiative Team
HATCHING New Habits
H – Help!
A – Appearance
T – Text
C – Checkers & Captions
H – Headings & Handouts
I – Images
N – Naming Links
G – Guidance
Keep This In Mind
“… I came up with a better plan for my faculty and how they should go about their
own course accessibility. Instead of retrofitting one entire course to be accessible
at a time, I suggested they just begin where they were.
As they create/revise a PowerPoint, make it accessible; when they post a reading
for students, they make it accessible too; as they add a video to their assignments,
be sure it is accessible. This is a much easier plan and not as overwhelming for
faculty as the notion of retrofitting everything.”
- Kimberly Snow, Dept of Special Education & Rehabilitation, Utah State University
From the National Center on Disability & Access to Education (NCDAE) Oct. 2013 newsletter
HELP!
Most important key for dealing with
accessibility problems:
●
Be HELPful
If students, faculty, or staff have difficulty
accessing online materials, be flexible, be
patient, contact ODS, & be willing to HELP.
APPEARANCE
Applies to websites, Canvas pages, documents,
PDFs, PowerPoints, emails, etc.
❖
❖
❖
Font & Size
Color & Contrast
Layout
APPEARANCE: FONTS
• Use simple, sans serif fonts like:
– Arial
–Calibri
-Verdana
- Tahoma
• Avoid hard-to-read fonts like:
– Collona MT
-Blackadder
–Harlow Solid
-Brush Script
You get the idea!
APPEARANCE: FONT SIZE
• When in doubt - 12 point font for
documents, PDFs, emails.
•Large, consistent font size for PowerPoints
•Built-in computer magnifiers make large font
size less crucial for websites (but still helpful).
APPEARANCE: Color & Contrast
APPEARANCE: Color & Contrast
• Fancy Backgrounds and small fonts can cause visual comprehension problems for
anyone!
APPEARANCE: Color & Contrast
•Make sure that color is not the only way
you’re conveying important information.
–Color is invisible to blind students & may be
confusing to color blind students.
•Use bolding or italics to highlight text
•Provide written cues in text for blind students
APPEARANCE: Color & Contrast
•Please avoid grayed out text!
–Gray text is common on websites & totally
unhelpful. Even Canvas uses it. 
TEXT
• Can be selected, copied & pasted
• Allows the reader to manipulate
● Enlarge
● Change font and contrast
● Read with text-to-speech devices
● Access with screen readers
TEXT
Use Optical Character Recognition (OCR) to
convert images of text into actual text
• software like Adobe Acrobat
• scanning software
• free web resources:
http://www.sensusaccess.com
Accessibility Checkers
Locates problems & explains how to fix them—
Use them every time!
–Microsoft Office (2010 and above)
•Word
•Excel
•PowerPoint
–Adobe Acrobat
•Creating/Editing PDFs
CAPTIONS
http://youtu.be/MCm1Emtqo_Q
CAPTIONS
•Goal:
–Use only captioned videos in on-line courses
•Make availability of captioned versions part of your
decision-making about using commercial videos &
movies.
•If captioned versions are not available, locate
transcripts of materials.
CAPTIONS – Do It Yourself
• Many DIY options for captioning
–
YouTube (free)
• Note: YouTube’s automatic captions are wildly
inaccurate and NOT adequate.
– Magpie (free)
– Camtasia Studio
– MovieCaptioner
•Office of Disability Services can also recommend
vendors and provide basic captioning training.
HEADINGS
•Necessary navigation tool for screen readers
•Extremely easy to add – similar process in
–Cascade
–Canvas
–Word & other word processing
•Like an outline: headings, subheadings, etc.
HANDOUTS
Paper handouts should also be available in
digital, text-based format.
Allows screen readers, text-to-speech,
magnifiers, etc. to access materials.
IMAGES – Using Alt-Text
•Describe on-screen images, charts, graphs,
and objects using Alt-Text.
–Alt-Text is “hidden” text that a screen reader or
text browser can detect.
•Use Alt-Text to describe images on your
websites, Canvas pages, PowerPoints,
documents, PDFs, etc.
IMAGES – Using Alt-Text
• Keep purely decorative images blank –
no Alt-Text needed
•If the image contains text, replicate the words
exactly in the Alt-Text
•Try to summarize charts & graphs, or if
complex, use the “longdesc” option.
NAMING LINKS
•Use informative names for links –
avoid “Click here” or “More” or
“http://www....”
•Instead, make links short descriptive text:
–Quiz #5
–Syllabus
–Tips for accessibility can help you a lot!
GUIDANCE
JMU Office of Disability Services
Main number: 540-568-6705
Or contact me directly:
[email protected]
540-568-5046
HATCHING New Habits
H – Help!
A – Appearance
T – Text
C – Checkers & Captions
H – Headings & Handouts
I – Images
N – Naming Links
G – Guidance
Tips for Teaching Students Who
Use Accessible Media
•Provide a detailed assignment list
– list the dates by which students should read or review
course materials
– stay in close contact with students about any changes in
this schedule
•Why? Producing accessible formats for students
takes time. Having an accurate assignment schedule
allows everyone to plan ahead.
Your Technology Choices
• Be aware of your technology choices,
especially technology not supported by JMU
– Not all educational software or hardware is
508 compliant and accessible to all students with
disabilities.
• Be willing to be flexible if a student requiring
accommodation takes your class & cannot use
your chosen technology.
THANK YOU!
Remember that creating accessible course materials does not
require changing the content!
It simply means ensuring that the container in which your
knowledge is conveyed can be accessed by students with
disabilities.
Photo © Andy Mahler, 2013

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