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HATCHING New Habits for Accessible Online Materials Photo © Bear Dickinson, 2013.

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Presentation on theme: "HATCHING New Habits for Accessible Online Materials Photo © Bear Dickinson, 2013."— Presentation transcript:

1 HATCHING New Habits for Accessible Online Materials Photo © Bear Dickinson, 2013

2 Office of Disability Services Christina Wulf Accessible Media & Technology Specialist

3 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.

4 Types of Disabilities represented at JMU Count of documented disabilities between 6/15/2012 and 6/11/2013 Description Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder229 29% 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 % There were 558 individual students registered for the school year as of June 11, 2013 (up 3% from 541 in 2012).

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8 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 – Louisiana Tech University o Dept. of Justice settlement o Professor required use of an inaccessible online learning product & other inaccessible course materials

9 Additional Higher Ed Lawsuits  2012 – NFB (National Federation of the Blind) v. Florida State Inaccessible web materials & clickers, failure to provide alternative formats, retaliation following complaints  NFB v. Maricopa Community College District Inaccessible web materials & clickers, hostile professors  NFB v. Northwestern & NYU Use of inaccessible Google Apps for Education  2010 – NFB & Penn State 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.

10 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

11 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.

12 Universal Design

13 Accommodation ApproachUniversal 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 retroactiveAccess 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 UNIVERSAL DESIGN FOR DISABILITY

14 HATCHING New Habits H – Help! A – Appearance T – Text C – Checkers & Captions H – Headings & Handouts I – Images N – Naming Links G – Guidance

15 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 newsletterNational Center on Disability & Access to Education (NCDAE) Oct newsletter

16 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.

17 APPEARANCE Applies to websites, Canvas pages, documents, PDFs, PowerPoints, s, etc. ❖ Font & Size ❖ Color & Contrast ❖ Layout

18 APPEARANCE: FONTS Use simple, sans serif fonts like: – Arial- Verdana –Calibri- Tahoma Avoid hard-to-read fonts like: – Collona MT - Blackadder – Harlow Solid- Brush Script You get the idea!

19 APPEARANCE: FONT SIZE When in doubt - 12 point font for documents, PDFs, s. Large, consistent font size for PowerPoints Built-in computer magnifiers make large font size less crucial for websites (but still helpful).

20 APPEARANCE: Color & Contrast

21 Fancy Backgrounds and small fonts can cause visual comprehension problems for anyone!

22 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

23 APPEARANCE: Color & Contrast Please avoid grayed out text! –Gray text is common on websites & totally unhelpful. Even Canvas uses it. 

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25 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

26 TEXT Use Optical Character Recognition (OCR) to convert images of text into actual text software like Adobe Acrobat scanning software free web resources:

27 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

28 CAPTIONS

29 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.

30 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.

31 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.

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34 HANDOUTS Paper handouts should also be available in digital, text-based format. Allows screen readers, text-to-speech, magnifiers, etc. to access materials.

35 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.

36 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.

37 NAMING LINKS Use informative names for links – avoid “Click here” or “More” or “http://www....” “http://www.... Instead, make links short descriptive text: –Quiz #5Quiz #5 –SyllabusSyllabus –Tips for accessibility can help you a lot!Tips for accessibility

38 GUIDANCE JMU Office of Disability Services Main number: Or contact me directly:

39 HATCHING New Habits H – Help! A – Appearance T – Text C – Checkers & Captions H – Headings & Handouts I – Images N – Naming Links G – Guidance

40 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.

41 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.

42 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.

43 Photo © Andy Mahler, 2013


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