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Parallel 1: Workshop

Building Inclusive and Accessible Communities: Providing the Right Tools to Inform Educators and Learners through an Interactive Accessibility Toolkit

LIVE Session 1: Workshop

Duration: 1 Hour 20 Minutes

 

With the recent shift to online teaching and remote working, it became evident quite quickly that learners faced significant inequalities through digital poverty such as lack of resources, bandwidth issues, insufficient study space, and inaccessible content. During the pandemic in the United Kingdom, there was an added strain of compliance with the new Digital Accessibility legislation that came into play in September 2020.

 

In response to these changes, the Centre for Educational Development and the Canvas VLE team at QUB worked collaboratively to provide support and guidance by developing a Content Design Accessibility Series to inform educators to make small changes to their practice around accessibility, to enhance the learner experience in the online context. The four-part Accessibility Series focused on Presentations, Text Documents, Videos, and Visuals was underpinned by Universal Design for Learning (UDL), in particular the second principle Representation.

 

Each part of the Series was presented using three different formats: Blog post Explainer video Infographic Providing alternative formats other than text such as an audiovisual, not only models good practice around content design and providing choice to support learner variability and learner preference but also supports educators who are already time-pressured to either view one or all of the options. In September 2020 QUB purchased Blackboard Ally to further support Accessibility across the institution.

 

Before its full release, an Accessibility Toolkit was developed to further support and build on the Accessibility Series but included areas such as the VLE, mobile use, library, and assistive technologies. It was a collaboration that included a number of stakeholders across the institution. This presentation will outline the benefits of having an interactive Accessibility Toolkit to support both learners and educators and outline the initial impact made to the online learning experience.

Tracy Galvin

Education Developer, Queen's University Belfast

Speaker Bio

Jen McParland

Digital Learning Consultant, Queen's University Belfast

Speaker Bio

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This article appeared in the AHEAD website. Visit www.ahead.ie for more information