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2007: Accessibility and Special Educational Needs: new approaches for bringing eLearning to SEN learners


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Presentation given by Jonathan Hassell (Accessibility Editor, Digital Curriculum for BBC New Media) at BETT 2007.

Covers: how to make eLearning resources inclusive by making them accessible to learners with Special Education Needs by including subtitles, text to speech, keyboard & switch access, customisation of font size and colour; where you may need to produce different 'beyond inclusion' eLearning resources where groups of disabled learners have different curriculum needs or different needs in learning approach (mostly to do with sensory impairments); 'Performing Hands' innovative signing avatars and BSL videos for letting Deaf children learn literacy in English and BSL; 'Benjamins House' innovative audiogame and new poems written and read by Benjamin Zephaniah for letting Blind children learn literacy in English and Braille

Published in: Technology, Education
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2007: Accessibility and Special Educational Needs: new approaches for bringing eLearning to SEN learners

  1. 1. BBC jam and Special Educational Needs – new approaches for bringing eLearning to more SEN learners Jonathan Hassell Accessibility Editor BBC jam
  2. 2. What BBC jam is… <ul><li>eLearning for: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>5-16 year olds </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>curriculum-based (in 4 Nations) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>bridging home and school divide, via internet </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>learner-centred games </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>explore. learn. create. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>use of BBC archive </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>innovative </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>complementary to market </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li> </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. The challenge… <ul><li>need to be reasonably accessible to learners with the following Special Education Needs… </li></ul><ul><ul><li>sensory impairments: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>vision impairments - colour-blind, low-vision, blind </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>hearing impairments - (capital D) Deaf, (small d) deaf </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>motor impairments: </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>slight (slow mouse), </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>moderate (keyboard), </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>severe (switches) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>learning, cognitive, and literacy difficulties (incl. dyslexia) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>they ’ re bundled together into SEN/accessibility, but groups will have different (sometimes conflicting) needs </li></ul>
  4. 4. Aims for the SEN-accessibility strategy: <ul><li>two aims: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>inclusion: to be as accessible as reasonably possible across all dc materials </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>beyond inclusion: to produce unique, innovative and groundbreaking materials in commissions for specific SEN groups </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Inclusion… <ul><ul><li>cf. the market </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>eLearning community good at learning difficulties, not so good on sensory impairments; very few can handle full inclusion </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>websites generally more accessible than eLearning software </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>it ’ s a journey… </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>we ’ ll get progressively better over time </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>learn from experiences => evolve guidelines and production tools </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>standard features – e.g. accessibility preferences </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>cf best practice PAS-78 guidelines from BSI (forthcoming) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>“ Content is accessible if user-testing has proved it is accessible… to the audiences for which it was designed to be accessible ” </li></ul>
  6. 6. Standard inclusion accessibility features… <ul><ul><li>Captioning… </li></ul></ul>
  7. 7. Standard inclusion accessibility features… <ul><ul><li>“ Speak text ” and keyboard access </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Standard inclusion accessibility features… <ul><ul><li>customising size and colour of fonts </li></ul></ul>from to Changing preference…
  9. 9. Beyond inclusion… <ul><li>create materials for specific communities where their needs require, due to: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>specific different curriculum needs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>e.g. SLD community </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>specific differences in learning approach… </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>mostly due sensory impairment which cannot be overcome by accessibility features of the original content </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>e.g. blind or Deaf </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>develop innovative tools/techniques for possible reuse in future non-SEN commissions </li></ul>
  10. 10. 1st SEN commission (launched) – SLD Field Studies <ul><ul><li>“ experiential and multi-sensory environment … a range of skills, including communication, emotional response, control & interaction ” </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>exploratory, interactive real-world environments </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>cross-curricular approach with a focus on understanding of the world and daily living skills </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>age appropriate content and design (11-16) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>allowed BBC jam to learn more about switch use and symbols… </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Primary Literacy for Blind Learners <ul><ul><li>highly innovative </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Bilingual: written English & Braille </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>learner centred & engaging </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>uses new techs: Braille displays and embossers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>series of reading and writing exercises … </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>on curriculum of texts (story, rhyme, poetry) which support (and extend) existing Braille reading schemes </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. Primary Literacy for Deaf learners <ul><ul><li>Bilingual: written English & BSL </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Uses innovative new techs: Action books & signing avatars </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Includes ability to create “ BSL stories, poems & dramas ” using multiple avatars </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>on curriculum of texts (story, rhyme, poetry) which support (and extend) existing Deaf literacy schemes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>R&D: includes BSL sequencer & translation to English support tools </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>delivers production tools and techniques for BSL (to be used in future commissions) </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. e: t: @jonhassell w: Contact me