[Athen] Coursera accessibility?

Deborah Armstrong armstrongdeborah at fhda.edu
Mon Apr 13 11:21:26 PDT 2020

I've taken several MOOCS from courser and I'm a screen reader user.

It really depends on how the content is laid out. The platform and discussions themselves are accessible. Exams have properly formatted form fields. Videos are sometimes captioned and always have transcripts, plus they can be downloaded so you can easily work with limited internet. Buttons to move backwards and forwards are keyboard accessible, though jump by time was a bit tricky.

But... big but here many professors use lots of visually rich content like maps, photos, charts,graphs and other undescribed stuff. Plus many PDF files are image-only. And many courses have mouse-centric simulations, for example their beginning CIS courses don't have you working in a real development environment, instead you are working in a simulated environment on the web.

I had more success with humanities, writing, and personal development courses than I did with anything science related. In particular the peer review process was refreshingly accessible and it was easy to collaborate. But I could not succeed in any course that was intensely visual as there were no text-based alternatives. I am also fairly sure most of the captions for videos are automatic, though weirdly they also are accessible to a Braille or magnification user.

One interesting point about the humanities and personal development: though they usually had visual aids the professors spent a long, sometimes agonizingly long time going over them, pointing out for example every country on a map or every up and down in agraph. These ivy-league dudes loved to hear themselves talk, which benefited me but would have been frustrating for a visual learner or someone with audio processing challenges. By contrast the more "left-brained"courses tended to have less chatty professors.

I did complain about chapters in a book in an English composition course, and they belatedly sent me a rather poorly OCR'd pdf. I found the same book in perfect quality on bookshare and extracted the relevant chapters and had better success.

The iOS appforCoursera works great with Voiceover unless a recent update screwed it up. The Android app with Talkback not so much.

From: athen-list <athen-list-bounces at mailman12.u.washington.edu> On Behalf Of Fleetwood-Bentley, Kasey
Sent: Monday, April 13, 2020 10:10 AM
To: Access Technology Higher Education Network <athen-list at u.washington.edu>
Subject: [Athen] Coursera accessibility?

Does anyone have knowledge about the accessibility of Coursera's catalog of courses? I'm having trouble getting a VPAT or accessibility conformance report from them and thought I'd check here before I start venturing down the testing path to see if anyone has information on the accessibility of Coursera's offerings.

Feel free to contact me offline if you prefer.

Kasey Fleetwood

Kasey Fleetwood | ADA/504 Coordinator
Southern New Hampshire University
2500 N River Rd, Manchester, NH 03106
Email: k.fleetwood at snhu.edu<mailto:k.fleetwood at snhu.edu>
Phone: 603-644-3122 | snhu.edu<https://urldefense.com/v3/__https:/www.snhu.edu/__;!!A-B3JKCz!Rg90GgRCq_bnntUdKzMGTxu6YFgejZZ7RFBxvDFbGFoHMLelVcz4VxcEH0i-5CyRi-DCpg$>

-------------- next part --------------
An HTML attachment was scrubbed...
URL: <http://mailman12.u.washington.edu/pipermail/athen-list/attachments/20200413/a6f815f2/attachment.html>

More information about the athen-list mailing list