Yesterday one of my SMEs asked me how I learned about accessibility requirements for online learning. Like most of my instructional design knowledge, I guess I’m self-taught on accessibility. In a previous job, I was given the task of figuring out how to make text-based versions of interactive Flash practice activities. That project forced me to think about what it’s like to listen to content rather than read it. I didn’t have JAWS or another screen reader, but I used the Windows Narrator and at least tried to imagine whether the content would work if I was just listening.
Since then, I’ve spent more time educating myself. I read Joe Clark’s book, Building Accessible Websites (a bit outdated now, but available for free on his site). I’ve attended some conference presentations and have actually read through the all the legal requirements. I’ve been gradually adding accessibility features to courses over the last two years as I learn more. But it hasn’t been particularly systematic or formal learning.
At a conference this week, Natalie Kilkenny had a very valuable experience with informal learning about accessibility. The presenter never shows up, so someone in the audience started a discussion to share what people knew and what they were struggling with. As a result of that discussion, she found several new resources and gained some new perspectives on usability.
I’m curious about how you’re learning about accessibility in e-learning. I’d appreciate if you could take a minute and answer my poll. It’s only one question, but if you’re reading this in a feed reader you’ll probably need to visit my blog to take it.
If you have more to say, feel free to leave a comment too.