A Toolkit for Signposting ‘Access for All’ based on Student Experiences of on-line Teaching and Learning Practices.
AbstractThe JISC funded LexDis project, in participation with a group of disabled students at the University of Southampton, has strengthened the views of the authors for a more holistic model of accessibility as proposed by Kelly, B. et al (2007). However, without some guidance those developing frameworks for content may not know which procedures offer ease of use and accessibility for disabled users interacting with on-line resources. In many instances, automatic web page checkers fail to cope with the interactive nature of collaborative e-learning. It is proposed that a toolkit approach is required, which provides a wide range of alternative formats, guides and applications. This system provides a flexible approach to assist content providers, web developers and those supporting students. The toolkit, available on a pen drive, aims to highlight issues with individual types of content, whilst making use of automatic checkers for framework structures and navigational controls. Manual checking remains vital for many essentials, such as keyboard access and screen reading with analysis of the various types of alternative texts. Yet, without clear signposts, misunderstandings can occur with issues, such as using different types of alternative text for particular types of media, which are uploaded to collaborative social spaces. Those who have little expertise in the development of materials for on-line learning, but have much to offer students in terms of their academic skills need support to embrace the world of technology enhanced learning. As has been learnt from LexDis students and tested with the staff taking part in the ELexDis (Enhancing the Learner Experience of Disabled Students) project, sharing knowledge in accessible digital formats can enhance the learning of students, but systems of support need to be easy to use with speedy returns for any extra work undertaken to ensure ‘Access for All’.
TypeConference or Workshop Item
Draffan, E.A., Wald, Mike and Seale, Jane (2008) A Toolkit for Signposting ‘Access for All’ based on Student Experiences of on-line Teaching and Learning Practices. In, Accessible Design in the Digital World:new media, new users, new technologies, York, 22 - 24 Sep 2008.