Friday, 26 October 2007

Accessibility Overview

I attended an Accessibility Overview session yesterday run by Alison Nock, one of our E-Learning Advisors here at the RSC. It was a very good awareness raising session and reminded us why accessibility is an area of continued importance in e-learning. For example, we were reminded of the fact that…

“Whilst good e-learning strategies co-incidentally provide good accessibility solutions, these solutions need to be understood and exploited in order to convincingly ensure your organisation is adhering with the relevant disability legislation.” (TechDis)

With a number of WBL providers currently writing or revising their e-learning/ILT strategies that quote’s certainly worth noting. A number of useful resources were also signposted during the session so I thought I’d share some of them with you here.

Briefing packs
As a starting point the JISC TechDis Service recently provided Senior Managers with briefing packs on a number of technology, disability and inclusion related issues. These were designed to improve accessible teaching and learning practices. There are several of these but a good one to start with is the Senior Management Briefing 1 - e-Learning as an Accessibility Investment. This covers:

· e-Learning and Cultural Change.
· e-Learning and Accessibility.
· Accessibility and Cultural Change.
· Evidencing Practice.
· Finding Accessibility ‘Hotspots’ in e-learning Strategies.

Accessibility Essentials
Secondly the series of TechDis Accessibility Essentials demonstrates some specific ways to improve accessibility. For example:

· Creating Accessible Presentations
· Writing Accessible Electronic Documents with Microsoft® Word
· Making Electronic Documents More Readable

You can order your own free copies of these publications online. Each printed publication also contains an accompanying CD with step by step animations and all the information available to view in a variety of formats.

TechDis Staff Packs
The popular TechDis Staff Packs contain all the information needed to deliver a short staff development workshop on a number of technology and disability related issues. These training materials explore accessibility in a user friendly, non-technical way for staff working directly with learners. You can download these packs as word files or zip files online.

Effective Practice with e-Learning
Lastly, another very well received printed JISC publication - the guide ‘Effective Practice with e-Learning’ illustrates some of the key implications in designing for learning for the post-16 sector and offers an insight into how e-learning can be integrated into established practice. Case studies are illustrated by video clips to provide visual evidence of the challenges and benefits experienced in a variety of contexts across the sectors. You can download the guide or view the contents of the CD Rom online.

I hope that’s enough to get you also thinking about the importance of accessibility in e-learning and I hope that the above resources prove useful. It is certainly an area I will continue to emphasise as part of the effective implementation of e-learning in the sector.

Thanks to Alison for reminding me to remind you.

2 comments:

Alison Nock said...

Hello everybody I would like to invite you to the next Accessibility and Inclusion forum. Which will be held on the 6th December at New College Worcester. The day is show and tell sharing ideas and best practice. Please bring an idea that you would like to share.

Theresa said...

For details of this event go to: http://www.rsc-westmidlands.ac.uk/?4977