Tag: accessibility

Considering the Full Spectrum of Your Audience: An Interview with Terrill Thompson

Introduction What can be done to improve web accessibility practices? I spoke with Terrill Thompson, the chairperson for the Association on Higher Education and Disability (AHEAD) Technology Special Interest Group, to find out. In addition to his role with AHEAD, Thompson is a Technology Accessibility Specialist with DO-IT Accessible Technology Services at the University of Washington, leaders in the field of accessible technology and advocates for equity in technology. The theme of the next AHEAD conference is Equity and Excellence: Access in Higher Education. What does that mean to you? Thompson noted that disability is treated differently in higher education


All About Captions

Captions are one of the most well-known accessibility aids. They are a common sight on TV screens in noisy restaurants, and the option to activate them is available on nearly every DVD and blu-ray menu. But as common as they are, many people may not understand the importance of captioning as an accessibility tool. They are especially vital in online courses, where pre-recorded video lectures may be a student’s only opportunity to see their teacher. What are captions? Captions are “text versions of the spoken word presented within multimedia,” such as web videos. (WebAim, Captions, Transcripts, and Audio Descriptions) Typically,


Accessibility and Compliance in Online Education Course Review

Introduction Content Editor Christine Scherer and Learning Designer Krissy Wilson joined Rutgers University Continuing Education for a six-week course: Accessibility and Compliance in Online Education. The course focused on “basic concepts, issues, approaches, strategies, beneficiaries, and resources with regard to the creation and delivery of online courses that are accessible to all students, including those with disabilities.” In this post, they describe their three key takeaways and reflect on their time in the course. Sheryl Bergstahler, founder and director of the DO-IT (Disabilities, Opportunities, Internetworking, and Technology) Center at the University of Washington, was the course instructor. The students in


Accommodating Adult Students – Perspectives from AccessibleNU

Learning Designer Krissy Wilson and Content Editor Christine Scherer asked Alison May, Assistant Dean of Students and Director of AccessibleNU, about the unique needs of adult students and the implications for online coursework. Dr. May has served AccessibleNU since 2007, and most of her work has focused on partnering with colleagues to raise awareness of disabilities as a form of diversity and to enhance web accessibility. What benefits do online courses afford students with disabilities? Online courses often have many accommodations built right in, Dr. May explained. In on-ground classes, a student might typically use an audio recording device or


Meeting the Accessibility Needs of Adult Students

Adult students have a higher incidence of disability and are less likely to seek accommodations than the general student population. What should we do to support them? Anticipate their needs. Why? The Adult Educator Handbook of Rights and Responsibilities, issued by the University of Kansas Center for Research on Learning in 2005, succinctly describes the impact that meeting the accommodations of adult learners can have. Adult educators in the state of Kansas reported that students were more trusting and more productive, their self-confidence and self-esteem improved, and, because they were more comfortable, they had increased interaction with staff and other