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H810 – What needs to be accessible (A18.1)

November 8, 2010

This is a list of  elements that needs to be made accessible in an (online) teaching environment. I guess that is far from complete, but let’s call it a start 😉

  • websites
    issues/problems: frames, forms, multimedia, graphics, colours and fonts
  • courseware – instructional modules, VLE, MLE, LMS –
    issues/problems: absence of consistent and clear functions, poor navigation, lack of, or unclear help messages
  • library resources
  • … and the content contained within them
  • text documents – PDF 9.e is now more readily accessible, but I just checked one document with the ‘Quick Accessibility Check’ under the Document menu, to been told that this document is not structured so the reading order may not be correct. The document was from 2005, which means that old documents are still not accessible,  despite an up-to-date Acrobat reader.
  • presentation application – ‘accessibility nightmare’, except you present it like the many JISC presentations, using the note section to provide a text version and best an additional text document – a text outline of the slides, that is accessible by a screen-reader or to use a robust exporting tool such as Office Accessibility Wizard, PP2HTML Open Office or eTeach
    issue/problems: non-text elements such as images, audio narration, animation, video
  • multimedia – inaccessible by screen readers – need to provide captions and transcriptions for visual and auditory media, as well making proprietary applications such as Flash and Java more accessible

There are countless of  Accessibility guidelines the most well-known the WCAG 2.0 developed by the Web Accessibility Initiative (WAI) of the W3C.  Next to this guidelines are more specific guidelines e.g. for people with dyslexia or people who are ageing as well as accessibility specifications and standards and of course the national legislation or the UN  Enable convention.


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