Designing online courseware so that it’s accessible to all people is important. Accessible means usable by people who are blind or who have low vision, people with impaired mobility, people who are deaf or hard-of-hearning, people who are color-blind, people with a minimal command of the language, and people with a cognitive disability. Broadly speaking, different learning styles or even different learning preferences should be considered.
Certain accessibiilty requirements must be addressed when developing OER for electronic dissemination to students. By law, ADA Section 508, learning materials, including interfaces, images, sounds, multimedia elements, and all other forms of information, must be made available for used by anyone, regardless of disability. Detailed information about accessibility guidelines are available at Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Designing OER with Diversity in Mind
This video explains why accessibility matters.
Making OER Accessible
This presentation highlights the key points of designing for accessibility :
Authoring tool and accessibility
Key take-away consideration : Whenever possible, try to find an authoring tool that promotes the creation of alternatives and preferences. Examine authoring tools with supporting accessibility in minds. Also examine learning materials with supporting accessibility in minds when making purchasing decision. PALM is an initiative advocating to purchase accessible learning materials which we featured in this post : Complementary Supports for the Achievement of All Students.