[Athen] Accessible Online Learning community group

Jennifer Sutton jsuttondc at gmail.com
Fri Apr 10 10:34:34 PDT 2015

Cross-posted from the WAI-IG email list.
Thought some on this list might want to pass this
along to your colleagues and/or get involved, yourselves, as appropriate.



Here’s the group’s description:

Accessibility is often provided through
accommodations. Schools are legally obligated to
provide accommodations to enrolled students with identified disabilities,
based on their needs­sign language interpreters
in lectures for deaf students, digital copies of
textbooks for students who are blind or have reading difficulties,
extended time on exams for students who need more
time due to cognitive or physical disabilities.
With online learning, the obligations are less clear­for
example, with MOOCs, where students around the
world are taking courses but are not enrolled at
the sponsoring school or organization. Also, accommodations
are not well established­sign language
interpreters and note takers are typically
accommodations for the physical classroom. How does an organization ensure
they are meeting obligations and giving online
students the support they need participate fully
and to be successful? Providers of online learning are
best off delivering courses that are accessible
out-of-the-box, without the need for special
accommodations. And many of the features that provide an accessible
experience for people with disabilities benefit
all learners. For example, lecture transcripts
are an excellent tool for study and review. However, without
deliberate attention to the technologies,
standards, and guidelines that comprise the Web
Platform, accessibility may be difficult to achieve, and learners
with disabilities may be left behind. The
activities of the Accessible Online Learning W3C
Community Group take place at the intersection of accessibility
and online learning. We focus on reviewing
current W3C resources and technologies to ensure
the requirements for accessible online learning experiences
are considered. We also identify areas where
additional resources and technologies are needed
to ensure full participation of people with disabilities
in online learning experiences.

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