Unit 3: Accessibility and Universal Design
Unit 3: Accessibility and Universal Design avatar

After reading through the material assigned this week, I decided that the best way for me to reflect on what I will do to ensure that my online classes are accessible is to make a checklist of sorts to reference if/when I get the opportunity to teach online.

Technical

Docs – When I create documents and web pages, I’ve been careful to use standard HTML tags and to use true formatting (lists, columns, and tables). I already convert all of my documents into PDFs, but I will add HTML-like tags so screen readers can effectively translate the material.

Images – One thing I need to check on is my use of ALT tags; I need to revise them with a concise description—I didn’t know I could use up to 100 characters, which is a helpful guideline.

All links should be meaningfully annotated.

I also will take advantage of accessibility checkers.

Videos – When I create videos, I will be sure to provide a text transcript and/or closed captioning using YouTube’s free captioning. I will also be sure to chunk the videos.

Check my docs/sites on mobile phones.

Pedagogical

Keep instruction short.

Write in a direct, personal tone.

Be aware of use pronouns to ensure clarity for non-seeing populations.

If sending students to third-party website, be sure it’s accessible or provide alternatives.

When choosing modality and media for my assignments and activities, I will consider the probability of students ability to use and to access the technology.

Learn about which types of services our DSPS offers–Braille, large-print, recorded, or electronic texts, etc.

Create a quick mandatory technology orientation session for students to complete prior to beginning the course. The goal of this orientation will be twofold:  to explain to students the technology to be used in the class and  to solicit info from students about their technology skills and confirm they have access to the required technology.

Offer alternatives to meeting students—phone class, Skype, on-site, etc.

Keep track of students with poor participate and find out why (might be an accessibility  issue.)

Offer instructional material in more than one medium.”For example, a photograph or other graphic on the course Web space should be described textually. For another example, critical textual material should be described orally using an audio feature. Similarly, a teacher’s video should be transcribed or closely paraphrased textually to accommodate a deaf student or one with auditory learning disabilities. Students should have a choice about whether to receive an essay response orally (through digital recording) or textually; alternatively, students might receive one essay response orally and the next one textually. If these practices seem onerous, it is helpful to remember that multimodality assists all learners and not just those with special challenges” (from Conference on Composition & Communication, Effective Practice 1.10).