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Re: multimedia accessibility a specialist skillset?

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From: Emma Duke-Williams
Date: Dec 14, 2006 12:17PM


On 12/13/06, John E. Brandt < <EMAIL REMOVED> > wrote:
> I just attended a statewide IT conference and sat in on three sessions
> related to "Usability" and Web 2.0.

Accessibility and Web 2.0 is something I've been thinking about quite
a lot. We get students to keep blogs - last year I had one student who
was dyslexic, and she chose to keep a number of her posts as audio
podcasts, rather than writing them, as it was easier for her. We've
not got any hearing impaired students, but had we, what would have
been the best option? Should we have stopped her doing something that
was easier for her (writing wasn't impossible, just more difficult) -
if that would have caused problems for one person on the course? Or,
should someone have transcribed it for her?

Clearly there is a difference (or I think there is) between getting
the students to use Web 2.0 tools for their own reflection - I think
that it's more important that they are happy with the tool, than that
the rest of the group can easily access it. For the blog that I write,
as they have access to that if they want, then it's a bit different. I
say "bit", as there is no requirement that they access it. It's my
research blog, which is open to them should they choose. However, as I
offer it, I figure I ought to ensure that the students that I have can
access it.

Course materials, should they go into a blog, are clearly yet another
step up, but we've not started doing that, yet...

As the unit that requires them to blog is a second year unit, I think
that were we to get any visually impaired students, I'd get them to
test the tool I intended using, and, if that wasn't suitable, find
some others - clearly that would put more initial stress on that
particular student, but at least it would be the platform with which
that particular student was the most happy.

Emma