Mind the gap! Accessibility as everyday good practice, Sarah Horrigan, 2009 <ul><li>There are two main issues : </li></ul><ul><li>The biggest payoff of accessibility – inclusive teaching – is being obscured behind myths and misconceptions. (Cherim, 2007) </li></ul><ul><li>Even where people are aware of accessibility as an issue, there is a gap which exists between knowledge and translation into practice. (DRC, 2004) </li></ul><ul><li>What can we do about it? </li></ul><ul><li>It might seem that this is an issue which belongs to someone else. Something to be dealt with when a problem arises. The reality is that more often than not, our own attitudes towards it prevent us from acting on our knowledge. </li></ul><ul><li>There are four key things to remember: </li></ul><ul><li>we are not lawyers coming at this from a legal perspective </li></ul><ul><li>we are not web designers, coming at this from a web design perspective </li></ul><ul><li>we are not accessibility experts, expected to know about every accessibility issue – it’s okay to learn as you go! </li></ul><ul><li>we are educators and we need to think about how to make our teaching more inclusive… and consequently better for all students </li></ul><ul><li>Think more about inclusive teaching than “the accessibility issue”. </li></ul>What’s the problem? It’s much easier to make your materials accessible from the outset, so remember to check the following: “ INCLUDE” I = Images Use descriptive alternative text and make sure that whatever the image is designed to convey is apparent N = Net Put your materials online. Whether that’s using a FirstClass forum or sending an e-mail to your students… using the Net will provide far greater access to your resources C = Clarity Use clear, sans serif fonts - make sure your writing is readable and can be read! L = Layout Think about the way you layout materials – use white space and avoid clutter U = Useful Make sure all content is useful and has a reason to be included! D = Descriptive Ensure you describe resources, either face-to-face or online. Description helps clarity helps accessibility! E = Experience Share experience. Whether that’s asking students what they want / need from you or finding out from others how they’ve handled specific accessibility issues. You don’t have to be an “accessibility expert”! People like JISC TechDis ( http://www.techdis.ac.uk ) are available with education-specific advice. Small changes = BIG DIFFERENCE References: Cherim, M. (2007), Overcoming objections to accessibility, Accessites.org, http://accessites.org/site/2007/05/overcoming-objections-to-accessibility/ (Accessed 20 May 2009) DRC (2004), “The Web: Access and Inclusion for Disabled People”, http://www.equalityhumanrights.com/en/publicationsandresources/Documents/Disability/web_access_and_inclusion.pdf (Accessed 20 May 2009) “ If we know accessibility is an important issue… why do we do so little about it?” Ask ourselves… <ul><li>Whose issue? </li></ul><ul><li>Disability or limiting long-term illness affects… </li></ul><ul><li>1 in 6 people in the UK </li></ul><ul><li>There is a steady increase with age </li></ul><ul><li>Less than 10% of those aged 16 – 29 </li></ul><ul><li>BUT… more than 20% of those aged 45 – 59 </li></ul><ul><li>(Source: 2001 UK Census) </li></ul><ul><li>However, … accessibility is not a disability-only issue! </li></ul>A simple tool… But none of my students has a disability… Accessibility Myths… It’s too expensive to make change… There’s nothing wrong with my materials… It’s not my issue… It’s too complicated and I haven’t the time… My materials will look ugly… … all of which can easily be addressed!
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