[Athen] verification that a course is accessible

Bourne, Sarah (MASSIT) sarah.bourne at mass.gov
Thu Mar 16 09:26:15 PDT 2017


There's no reason why you couldn't start a program like that. But a "badge" implies a clear-cut pass/fail , and accessibility is a continuum. What you could assert is that it was tested and found acceptable. A program for that would need a few things:

- A definition of what testing is to be done. This could include:
-- the technical standards you are testing against,
-- a representative matrix of operating system/browser/assistive technology combinations you test with
-- testing protocols : automated tests, manual testing, and testing with assistive technologies, and
-- an evaluation methodology to determine the severity of discovered defects and to define what "passing" is. (For instance, no defects that prevent task completion and no more than two defects that make it difficult to use - or something like that.)

- A statement on the course (rather than just a badge) that could include:
-- that it passed the testing
-- the date it was tested
-- link to more information on what was tested and what passing means (see bullets above)
-- link to information on known problems and tips for best results or to deal with problems with specific AT, and
-- how to report (new) problems.

- A process for when problems are reported against tested courses: re-test, fix, improve instructions, etc.

I would start with a very simple implementation of this and only add complexity based on feedback from students. If the simple way works, why make it harder? But if it's not meeting their needs, then you'll have a better idea of what you need to do about it.

I find it interesting that instructors were asking about this. That implies that earning a badge could be a point of pride and therefore an additional incentive.

Sarah E. Bourne
Director of IT Accessibility, MassIT
Commonwealth of Massachusetts
1 Ashburton Pl. rm 811 Boston MA 02108
sarah.bourne at mass.gov

-----Original Message-----
From: athen-list [mailto:athen-list-bounces at mailman13.u.washington.edu] On Behalf Of Krista Greear
Sent: Tuesday, March 14, 2017 12:00 PM
To: Access Technology Higher Education Network
Subject: [Athen] verification that a course is accessible

In one of my recent presentations to academic groups, instructors were curious if there's anyway system for identifying if a course has been reviewed/remediated to be made accessible? Like a sticker, certification or badge? I didn't know so I thought I'd ask.

Granted though, I think this is a "checklist" way to approach accessibility, which many of us don't buy into. Classes are organic, content can change on a dime, and instructors need to continually ask the question, "is this accessible?" Indicating that a course was accessible in a specific snapshot of time, does not mean it will stay accessible.

How do others address this?

Assistant Director
Disability Resources for Students

011 Mary Gates Hall
Box 352808
Seattle, WA 98195-2808
Direct: 206.221.4136 / Main: 206.543.8924 greeark at uw.edu/ https://urldefense.proofpoint.com/v2/url?u=http-3A__disability.uw.edu&d=DwIFAw&c=lDF7oMaPKXpkYvev9V-fVahWL0QWnGCCAfCDz1Bns_w&r=rhLenV33VPpmkT7iP0-OkUlRYw9YWn3HMLHZVP2q9y8&m=YAh_aKWQnk8-zdY3NRgr3b2oMhhxZC5hv3_AABaNRdo&s=vUiygl9TUKo_82EDGJ3M-9clrUGIzLzUyES8ONubwbA&e=

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