In November, I had the opportunity to attend Accessing Higher Ground, an accessibility and technology conference in Denver, Colorado. The conference presentations focused on how to use technology to support disabled students in their academic careers. It was a great opportunity to speak with other accessibility professionals about the opportunities and challenges they face in their work. Here are some of the changes, trends, and innovations happening in the world of accessible and assistive technology. WCAG 2.1: Updates to the Guidelines The Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0 have been in place for several years without substantive updates, even as
We’re very excited to welcome Jeanne Kerl as our newest full-time Learning Designer! Jeanne began working as a freelance learning designer for SPS Distance Learning a few months ago, so we were already familiar with her work, her rapport with faculty, and her dedication to creating high-quality learning experiences for students. Jeanne has experience in both designing courses and teaching them, which will bring in new perspectives to our office and development process. We’re very happy to have Jeanne join the DL team!
When talking about web accessibility, many people will reference the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as the law that requires websites to be made accessible. This isn’t an entirely accurate description, however. In actuality, there is no single web accessibility law or statute. Instead, the legal requirements of web accessibility stem from a patchwork of laws and court decisions, which can often lead to confusion when trying to enforce web accessibility standards–especially in higher education. Let’s try to demystify some of this confusion and go through the major laws that dictate web accessibility. Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Section 504 While
The September Online Learning Webinar had presenters from Student Services, the Registrar’s Office, the Writing Place, and the University Library. Students may have questions or issues that impact their learning experience, but are beyond the ability of faculty to address. Each presenter explained how the resources in their area can help students and allow faculty to focus on teaching. Sean Kavanaugh, NU SPS Director of Academic and Career Management, presented on the student experience outside the classroom, the adviser’s role at SPS, and the work of Student Services at SPS and the larger university. Ashley Cook, NU SPS Registration Lead,
Last month, I had the privilege of attending the national conference of the Association of Higher Education And Disability (AHEAD). The three-day conference was a time for staff, faculty, and students who work in disability services and accessibility to meet and share their knowledge, experiences, and stories. I had the opportunity to present on the Distance Learning department’s efforts on web accessibility and share our processes and guidelines with other institutions. I also attended numerous sessions and learned a great deal about accessibility, disability services, and disability culture. Here are five of the many, many takeaways I brought back from