Barriers to accessibility

  1. Given that Windows seems to be the standard vehicle for producing accessible courses (correct me if I’m wrong!), the fact that I use a Mac made me constantly worry about whether links etc would open properly
  2. I use Blackboard so I have a ready-made vehicle; for H810 I was unsure which vehicle to use.
  3. I have read contradictory advice about the suitability of using the PDF format.
  4. I need to learn more about adding captions. Is it possible to add captions automatically (i.e. like a kind of speech-to-text facility)? I added captions to a video clip I uploaded to YouTube but I had to type in the captions)
  5. I do not know what HTML is but it seems to be useful for accessibility. I read that:Images without an alt attribute are likely to be inaccessible. Is an ‘alt attribute’ a description of an image written underneath or is it something more technical?

Rating my online course for accessibility

It seems to me to be good practice for an online module to include as wide a range of different media as possible, just as it is good practice in a face-to-face teaching situation to do the same, so as to go some way to catering for the range of different learning styles.

  • The module I teach relies heavily on the students’ ability to read text, both to navigate the site and to engage with the content. Accessibility rating: fair, though individual students could use text-to-speech software.sad
  • some of the input is via video-clips which I have produced. At present these do not have sub-titles but a few do include a text summary of what is said.Accessibility rating: middling.mixed
  • discussion forums: text based as a rule but students could use text-to-speech software or they could submit video clips with narration Accessibility rating: goodsmile
  • online tutorials: not accessible to a few students who can’t get their sound working! But in general these are fairly accessible. Hearing impaired students can see their peers and the tutor, and can communicate via chat. Sight impaired students can hear other students and tutor. Students with cognitive deficits have a range of sources to choose from. Accessibility rating: good smile
  • ..and the tutorials are recorded so any students whose disability might make them uncomfortable in an online tutorial can relive the tutorial at their own pace, whether they attended it or not Accessibility rating: good smile