Reaching Accessibility: Guidelines for Creating and Refining Digital Learning Materials

Hoffman, Bob; Hartley, Kendall; Boone, Randall; Raskind, Marshall
January 2005
Intervention in School & Clinic;Jan2005, Vol. 40 Issue 3, p171
Academic Journal
This article presents guidelines for creating and refining digital learning materials for individuals with disabilities. Individuals with visual, motor, or learning disabilities constantly encounter the challenging predicament of attempting to use computer files, software, and Web sites that are not accessible. Any consumer of distance education, Web applications, packaged software, such as PowerPoint or Adobe Portable Document File documents, or software-based learning should be aware of accessibility issues. Although it has been declared that providing equal access to educational opportunities is the right thing to do, the responsiveness of developers to create accessible learning applications is allegedly questionable. It has been noted that of the nineteen 2001 Codie award-winning instructional software designers who responded to a survey regarding accessible design, only two indicated any level of awareness of accessibility considerations. The two companies that did report existing accessibility work commented that their efforts were constricted by the lack of nationally agreed-upon standards for instructional software. Apparently, the proliferation of online learning has reached monumental proportions. In fall 2002, 99% of public secondary schools in the United States had access to the Internet.


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