[Athen] Accessible Online Learning community group

Jennifer Sutton jsuttondc at gmail.com
Fri Apr 10 10:58:34 PDT 2015

Here's a better link; the group now has enough
supporters that it's no longer in the "proposed" phase:



At 10:34 AM 4/10/2015, Jennifer Sutton wrote:


>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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