[Athen] Accessible Online Learning community group

Laura Carlson lcarlson at d.umn.edu
Tue Jun 23 13:12:45 PDT 2015

Hello everyone,

If you are thinking about joining the W3C Accessible Online Learning
Community Group, which Jennifer mentioned back in April, they are
running an Introductory Survey for current and prospective group
members to try to understand what should be the focus of the group.

Best Regards,

> On 4/10/2015, Jennifer Sutton wrote:

> Here's a better link; the group now has enough

> supporters that it's no longer in the "proposed" phase:


> https://www.w3.org/community/accesslearn/

>> On 4/10/2015, Jennifer Sutton wrote:

>> ATHENites:


>> 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.


>> Jennifer


>> See:



>> 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 needs-sign 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 clear-for

>> 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 established-sign 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.

Laura L. Carlson
Information Technology Systems and Services
University of Minnesota Duluth
Duluth, MN U.S.A. 55812-3009

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