Thursday, March 10, 2011

Colleges Lock Out Blind Students Online - Chronicle 12/12/10

Book online discussion 3/11 2pmET  
Many expect technology to assist those with disabilities and increase access, but ironically some tech "improvements" create more barriers at the same time as lowering previous ones. 

 Two Chronicle articles (Dec 2010) provide apt background for Norm Coomb's Bookgroup FridayLive! this Friday 2:00pm ET.  Coombs, CEO of EASI, and author of Making Online Teaching Accessible will share his thoughts on inclusive course design.  We hope you will join us. Register by clicking the FridayLive! button.

Why, despite ADA legislation and a generally receptive attitude towards individuals with disabilities, is it still so hard to comply, to make access more universal?   Getting beyond the nod is apparently really hard.  We've all read articles about obstacles to accessibility.  These two articles are no exception.

What was especially interesting was the juxtaposition of the individual and institutional obstacles with some significant successes.  

 The online student center at Arizona State University is based on a Facebook type application which isn't user friendly to those with visual impairments.

On the other hand, Darrell Shandrow, the focus of the piece, was willing to be vocal and demanding in spite of the institutional and even family resistance.  And CSU, the focus of the second piece, pressed "Apple, Google, and Blackboard to improve their software or lose the ability to reach Cal State's 430,000 students."  These efforts took time and persuasion and the work of advocates who weren't satisfied with a nod to accessibility.

No comments:

Post a Comment

What do you think?