Champions of accessibility awareness have made strides in highlighting that all students, not just those with disabilities, benefit from multiple, flexible options for learning materials. A recent uptick in high-profile lawsuits alleging failure to comply with the Americans With Disabilities Act has motivated many institutions to think carefully about how they work with students.
But many colleges and universities still lack coherent policies around accessibility, and those that have them sometimes struggle to enforce or define them across the entire university.
A new set of quality indicators for accessible educational materials aims to help institutions ensure at scale that all students have the same learning opportunities in face-to-face classrooms and digital learning environments. The guide took 16 months to complete, and time will tell whether institutions will widely adopt it, underscoring the challenge of gathering consensus on an issue that’s only recent risen on institutions’ priority lists.
Read Mark Lieberman’s piece in full at Inside Higher Ed.
“Imagine you are in your first year of college sitting in your Introduction to Psychology course and the instructor directs the students to a document that is on their computers. When visually impaired, you are not able to read the document. You are immediately put at a distinct disadvantage versus your peers, moreover your education is being diminished, due to your accessibility to the material being limited.
For students with hearing issues, similar challenges are faced, as their ability to hear the lecture is impaired. They are not able to fully participate and contribute to the class discussion due to their hearing disability.
Consider the student taking an online course. They are not able to read and hear the instructor’s lectures, the course materials and the questions from their classmates. In today’s digital world this is a reality for the students and the parents of these students. Students are not the only people that are affected by these digital limitations. There is a growing population of adults with disabilities that are part of the professional workforce and their performance is greatly affected by the mere fact that they are not provided equal access to information due to their disability. How much productivity is lost at thousands of companies due to team members with visual and hearing disabilities that don’t have equal access to information to perform their duties?”
Read Darrell Gunter’s (slightly older) piece at The Scholarly Kitchen. Great comment section, too.
On February 12th and 13th, after the official project promotion, the first transnational project meeting took place at the Faculty of Philosophy. Continue reading
On February 12th, 2019, the FAST project was officially promoted within the International week on the Faculty of Philosophy: “Challenges in teaching and research in humanities and social sciences”. Continue reading
First Transnational Meeting Agenda
Fostering Accessible Study Technologies (FAST):
Accessible Learning Management System In Humanities And Social Sciences
Faculty of Philosophy, University of Ss. Cyril and Methodius, Skopje
February 12th & 13th, 2019 Continue reading
Today, the Macedonian team conducted the Focus Group with IT experts.
Eight professionals with various expertise and experiences shared their opinions regarding the creation of Learning Management Systems (LMS) in Higher Education. One of the largest challenges was to choose an adequate LMS which can be constructed and introduced in higher educational institutions in the area of humanities and social sciences. Continue reading
The first intellectual output within the FAST project (December, 2018 – April, 2019) will result in the creation of a methodological framework for an accessible Learning Management System in Humanities and Social Sciences.
In order to generate such a framework, we needed to design the desk-top and field research. The research phase started in December – with the very start of the project – by defining the research instruments for the field and desk-top research. In order to have a triangulation of data sources we decided to conduct a combined research by using qualitative and quantitative methodologies. Continue reading