Article on ADA Compliance for Online Courses

For anyone that’s truly familiar with ADA compliance, there’s not a lot new here, but it’s a nice summary of some of the things one can do to help make your courses accessible.

The ‘scary’ part of the article is the list of colleges that have received civil rights complaints about inaccessible information. There are some big names there; students are not bashful about ensuring they can get access to the information they are entitled to!

I had a students with a disability in the summer, which forced me to look at some of the elements of my course and to adjust them to make them accessible. I was lucky since I had only a few (okay, and known!) elements that needed attention.

The changes I had to make were good ones, and helpful to all the students in the course.

Before you’re in the position of having to deal with a required accessibility update, you might want to check out this article from Educause.

ADA Compliance for Online Course Design

The list of “20 Tips for Teaching an Accessible Online Course” at the end of the article is useful. Each tip has links to more in-depth information.

The Online Learning Office has staff to assist you in evaluating your course, and can assist you with needed changes. Contact them at GCCOnline@genesee.edu. Or contact the Disability Services office, found in the Center for Academic Progress. There are great staff in both places!

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Accessibility Webinars

accesibilityIt’s kinda easy to ignore ‘accommodations’ until we have a student hand us that paper that requires us to do something for that student. Then we scurry about, fixing whatever needs to be fixed, and (unfortunately) ignore it until the next time.

What would be easier, is designing your materials so that, even if a student requires accommodations in any form, that you’re already prepared for whatever might come your way.

There are lots of things that really aren’t hard to do (i.e. why does a specific test have a time limit on it?). But there are other things that require some planning and thought (i.e. closed captioning home-made videos isn’t an easy task). Just like there’s no one disability, there’s no one answer to dealing with it. But thinking ahead will save you angst later.

EASI (Equal access to Software and Instruction) is an organization that provides training about making instruction accessible. There are 2 upcoming, FREE, webinars that you should consider attending.

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EASI Webinar: Practical Web Accessibility

Nov 14 11 Pacific noon Mountain 1 Central and 2 PM Eastern (all standard time!)

Presenter: Jared Smith

It’s easy to get caught up in the technical aspects of web accessibility and overlook practical principles and techniques that often have a bigger impact on the end user experience. This webinar will help everyone take a step back and view accessibility with a new perspective that focuses on the user experience and practicality, while using guidelines, tools, and techniques to help us achieve high levels of accessibility.

Use this link to register for the Nov. 14 Webinar with Jared Smith

EASI Free Webinar The Low Hanging Fruit of Web Accessibility

Nov 18 11 Pacific noon Mountain 1 Central and 2 PM Eastern (all standard time!)

Presenter: Terrill Thompson

Technology accessibility specialist Terrill Thompson will share a few simple steps that anyone can take to improve the accessibility and usability of their websites and electronic documents.

Register for this Webinar on Nov. 18 with Terrill Thompson