Some of you are wondering who we are.
This is my colleague Lisa Liskovoi and I am Jess Mitchell and we are from Toronto, Canada. We work at the Inclusive Design Research Centre — at OCAD University. And
we’d like to talk to you today about accessibility and inclusion…
Places to Inject
• Open Textbooks
• Open Science
• Open Pedagogy
• *Open Dialogue
These are all different spaces where Open Education is having an impact. At the IDRC we try to have an impact on all of them. Today we’re going to drill down into
accessibility and inclusion.
Now, some of you are wondering if we’re the Accessibility Police. I’ve heard you talking about these folks — they’re the ones that keep you from using content,
tell you that your content needs massive changes,
and they serve as a MAJOR barrier to adopting many OERs…
And here’s who the PoPo want to stick in the Pokey…
Photo by Matt Popovich on Unsplash
I didn’t do it!
Esperanza Zenon from River Parishes Community College in Louisiana, which incidentally is not too far from Plaquemines Louisiana — that’s where, during the great
ﬂood of 1927 the levees were dynamited to let the Mississippi loose upriver so the folks in New Orleans didn’t ﬂood. It displaced families, they lost their homes, no
compensation. There’s a great Randy Newman song about it — Louisiana 1927… I digress… Our criminal says she didn’t do it. What we know is this:
SHE DID CREATE A COURSE FOR PHYSICAL SCIENCES ENTIRELY FROM OPEN RESOURCES.
SHE DID CHOOSE THE RESOURCES FROM VARIOUS LOCATIONS. She’s a sleuth — she used libratexts, openstax, OER commons, Lumen… basically she used the
Web. And she checked the resources for accessibility — she used the WAVE accessibility checker. She even used the Developer Tools in her browser to look at the HTML
to see if there was alt text for the images. She had a PDF version, an ePub version, a DAISY version, and the Web. She is OER-woke.
Her campus accessibility popo said no… they said you have 3 options:
- ﬁnd the original author and maybe they’ll ﬁx it
- Fix it yourself — edit the HTML, caption the videos
- Abandon it — we call this subtractive accessibility
This is the context you’re working in…
• WAVE accessibility checker
• Colour Contrast Checker
• USE the best checker around: Your MIND
You should be familiar with these resources for checking your content. If you make any content (text, audio, video or any combination) please be familiar with these
Some of you are thinking — thank goodness, someone is ﬁnally telling us how to make sure we’re making accessible content… But you’re thinking we’re the accessibility
police again — FOLLOW THE LAW. We are not…
There is no checklist — the accessibility police are checking you against something that is changing and moving and requires interpretation and thinking.
Beware the checker
She DIDN’T do it!
It’s true… she didn’t do it. She used all the resources available to her.
We have a lack of clarity about who is responsible, who must have the skills. So the Popo look at the checker, but the checker isn’t always super smart… It shows errors
that aren’t errors in the content but of the “container” or in some cases errors that aren’t signiﬁcant and do not degrade the experience for the user who uses a screen
Why are we doing
Why are we doing it
Taxonomies and Sorting…
Inclusive Design is design that considers the full range of human diversity with respect to ability, language, culture, gender, age and other forms of human diﬀerence. But how do we know everything about everybody and all this diﬀerence is overwhelming!
First, you have to think diﬀerently…
And it is often associated with the medical model of 4 main categories of
But at the IDRC we completely redeﬁne disability. It isn’t a medical condition to us…>>>
The Problem with
• People are not categories
• People deserve agency; have
different needs + preferences
• Us versus Them
• Are we really treating them as
• treats people with different abilities as a homogeneous group
• ignore the multiplicity of needs and preferences — right to dignity
• marginalizes with one-off solutions for particular populations
• Who is us? who is them??
• Pace, Path, Content, Delivery Method
• text, visual, soniﬁcation, video…
• individual, group, didactic, participatory
• Motivation – external, internal, positive,
• Social support – peer, instructor, other
• Degree of structure
What is personalization in inclusive spaces?
It is all of these things — and this is a lot. We have a lot of opportunities to let the individual decide.
Disability is Mismatch
Mismatch is Solvable
Design can solve Mismatch
All experience Mismatch
When my hands are full and I walk up to my car — can I open the door without my hands?
Making content available to those with cognitive disabilities often means simplifying the content — you know who else beneﬁts from that? What about the executive 2-pager? In some cases it’s become a 1-
pager — they’re busy, they don’t have time or energy to focus. They are cognitively impaired at that moment.
I was sitting in a lecture and I got a video from a friend — I wanted to watch it right away (i assure you it was relevant to the lecture) but it had no captions and I had the volume off. Putting earbuds or
headphone on would have been too disrespectful so i couldn’t watch it.
I wanted to work on this slide deck in the park yesterday — it was so beautiful out — but the sun was shining directly onto my screen making it impossible for me to read my monitor. I can change the
brightness and contrast though — this simple solution also helps the sight impaired user who has partial sight but needs slight modiﬁcations.
Ability within the context
The magic at the
• the edge case and the edge
• benefits the majority
• supports the spectrum
• resiliency & adaptability
Instead of fearing the edges or trying to forget them we should be focusing on them.
• Meet people where they are
FLEXIBLE (levels of complexity) – ecosystem of tools? One adaptable tool? Give user ability to choose from multiple ways to interact. E.g. keyboard vs mouse interaction,
iphone provides multiple ways to take a photo
ACCESSIBLE – avoiding assumptions about comfort with tech, ability, environment
MEET USERS WHERE THEY ARE ((comfort level, environment, context)
Diversity is a number;
Inclusion is a process;
Equity is an outcome
beware the cycles of exclusion
Met someone from Tulsa, Oklahoma here this week and we talked about the Gathering Place.
We aren’t the a11y popo. My esteemed college described us yesterday as the accessibility batpeople. Put the symbol in the air, raise your hand, ask for help, participate
in a community that discusses how to make this stuﬀ happen and PRACTICE. The work of making education accessible and inclusive will not ever be complete —
because it’s a practice, not a task. We have to keep bathing every day — we also have to keep thinking about what works and for whom — everyday.
Lisa Liskovoi - Batman
Jess Mitchell - Robin
Now, my colleague