Distance Learning Training and Resources for Educators

Creating an Accessible Course - Click Here for All Workshop Powerpoints, Agenda and Materials

Durham Technical College

9:00 – 10:00 – Fundamentals of Accessibility
10:00-11:00 – Designing for Accessibility
11:00 – 12:00 – Selecting Accessible Online Content
12:00 – 12:30 – Lunch
12:30 – 2:30 – Creating Accessible Content with Office 2010
2:30 – 4:00 – Creating Accessible Videos/ Podcasts

I must admit I was pleasantly surprised at how much I learned about ADA compliance during this one day workshop. I walked away with a heightened awareness of what I must do to get my online courses in line with ADA compliance and the information I need to assist my faculty to make their courses compliant as well.  It is not as overwhelming as it may initially seem. In fact many online faculty are already incorporating many of these course design techniques in our classes already.  Much of ADA compliance is just good common sense like using readable fonts for your course content and good contrast when incorporating color.

The following are the notes submitted by our Distance Learning Advisory sub-committee for ADA Compliance from Carteret Community college.

Distance Learning Advisory Committee member for CCC Rick Hill said the following about the workshop.

“I have a better understanding of DL accessibility and its impact on our faculty.  Many of the course requirements are sound educational concepts regardless of section 508 requirements and should be implemented.  Other requirements will be extra work on our faculty, and I am not convinced that it is entirely necessary.  There are times when you can have too much of a good thing, and, requiring so much effort to serve such a small population, is one of those times.   Seated courses are accommodated as needed, but we have to do what have to do.

The tools available to assist faculty with this process such as the WAVE site will help.  I do see our adjunct faculty needing extra help and close supervision for compliance.

Our faculty and support staff are good with disabled students.  It would take something strange for litigation from a student.  Where I see a problem is the College web site.  It should be a prime focus of our accessibility efforts.  I can see someone from the DOE checking our home page for compliance well before they monitor an on-line Psychology course. “

The following was submitted by Mary Walton our Director of Business and Service Technologies

Section 508 agencies to make electronic and information technology accessible to individuals with disabilities

You can use alternative access only if equivalent access is not feasible. Alternative has to achieve the same learning objectives

• Accessibility guidelines
color contrast, accessible fonts and text formatting, structure and formatting, hyperlinks

• Select basic, simple, easy to read fonts Sans Serif  Examples–Arial, Verdana, Tahoma

• Use limited number of fonts/colors on same page (no more than 3)

• If using varying font styles, limit the use to headings

• Avoid small font sizes

• Limit use of font variations such as bold, italics, and all caps

• Never use color alone to convey information.

www.vischeck.com (will let you see how a file will look for color blind scenarios)

• You can use color for formatting text, but can not refer to color only in directions on how to interpret that text. (ie: instead of saying text in red, use bold and red) Don’t use color alone for emphasis!

• Avoid blinking and animated text and excessive text effects. Can use for decorations, but not for a title, announcement, etc.

• Establish a hierarchy structure for your text content. Use true heading styles, etc for sections

• View the document in Word in Outline view to see if the hierarchy exists. Using styles makes it easy for navigation with a screen reader. Without doing so, the screen reader has to read through the entire document to find content.  Headings allow a student to navigate to what they’re looking for more easily.

• Alternative text descriptions should describe why the image is being used. For example, if it is simply decorative, null or a simple word describing it is fine, but if the image has purpose the description should describe why the image is being used.

• In PowerPoints or Word, etc,  in addition to alt text, you should describe the image and its purpose on the screen under the image.

Hyperlinks. Don’t use Click here for your link. The link should convey where the link is going, why it is provide, and what else happens. (goes to xyz site and opens in new window or same window, etc.)

• Also provide a copy of the URL in case the link does not work, but do NOT make that an active link. Also, don’t have to say link in your description, the screen reader will automatically tell them.

• Any link that goes to an external website should be set to open in a new window.

• File naming conventions. Documents require interpretation by a server, browser or LMS.

The following are the notes I took from the workshop.
Student has to get same content –may not be delivered the same way.

Guidelines
    Color contrast (good contrast)
    Accessible fonts and text formatting
    Structure and formatting
Do not use the textures on BB buttons.

Light background – dark font –vice versa

Font – must be easy to read!
    Don’t use decorative fonts
    Don’t use lots of fonts and colors
    12 point font smallest you want to go.
    Don’t use color alone for emphasis!
    Avoid excessive text effects!

Alternative text-images and alt. text.

• Text description of image. How am I going to use the image?
• Be specific with alternative text.
• If image is complex, long description.  Describe the image and what it means on the page. Still need to put alternative text as well.

Hyper links – How we set those up.
    When using links where and why using link.
    Describe link not just click here and not describe.

File naming conventions – short and sweet
    No more than 32 characters
    No spaces – avoid symbols – lower case letters.
    Make an effort have a plan is key – show good faith on ADA

Designing your course

Strive for Universal Design
    Address Different learning styles
    Online accessibility course is offered by the VLC
    Podcast (Video) Script can be used as transcript for your video. Include this under video

What is Universal Design?
    Representation option for displaying information? Good design meets the learning needs of all students.

• Basically good teaching principles

• Provides options for comprehension

• Multiple means of action and expression.

• Consider how students send you assignments. Have them send you audio files and/or videos and put in YouTube instead of a  research paper.

• Provide options for physical action.

• Give students more options like submitting videos and podcasts instead of text based documents.

• Study guide at end of each module is very helpful and is a universal design technique.

    Consider giving students Audio feedback – audacity- Google voice – messaging system
    Call – leave message send link to Moodle of the voice recording
    Find content that is already accessible. No need to reinvent the wheel. This will save you lots of time.  Do searches in YouTube for closed captioned videos.

Helpful and Informative web sites for ADA Compliance
Web Accessibility Evaluation Tool

Art Beyond Site web site for Blind on Art.
Art Education for Blind
Bringing art and culture to all
Contrast Checker
Web Content Accessibility Guidelines WCAG
FireFox Add on

Web Accessibility in mind – web site Color checker

Test web content for accessibility

The next step for the DL Advisory Committee is to create a plan and a time line to move Carteret Community College closer to ADA compliance until we get to full compliance.

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Comments on: "NC3ADL Regional Workshop – ADA Compliance" (2)

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