More Resources to Create an Accessibility-Friendly Environment
As we integrate more technology into our instruction, we need to be aware of barriers that we unintentionally create that make it difficult for students to learn, both in the face-to-face classroom and in the online learning environment. And it may not be just students with disabilities, but other students in the class as well, who face obstacles to learning that can be overcome when we look at how accessible the learning materials are and make the necessary changes.
In his blog post on creating an accessibility-friendly environment, David Andrade provides some tips when setting up both face-to-face and digital environments. In the digital realm, a good place to start is looking at a presentation like a set of PowerPoint slides. Think about “fancy” fonts, the number of images and graphics (usually too many), and transitions that may look cool, but may be too distracting. The same holds true for websites and online courses that the teacher has created. Other considerations are: when using images and graphics, is alt text included, and when using video, are closed captioning and transcripts included?
In the second half of his post, Andrade includes a number of online resources for teachers to consult for help with making digital content accessible. Some of these include:
- The Microsoft Accessibility page and the Microsoft Accessibility blog
- Google’s Tools for Diverse Learners Training which focuses on Chromebook use, Chrome Accessibility extensions in the Chrome Web Store, and the G Suite user guide to accessibility
- PBS Parents has an extensive section on Learning Disabilities , including terminology and strategies for addressing LD in the classroom
- The National Center on Accessible Educational Materials website
- The Center on Technology and Disability website
When we follow accessibility guidelines, we end up making content accessible for everyone, not just those with learning disabilities. If you need help getting started with accessibility, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 916-228-2580.
Article: Creating an Accessibility-Friendly Environment by David Andrade at Ed Tech Guy blog