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Web Accessibility Webinars - UH CDS

7/20 and 7/27/09

There are a lot of reasons we want to rethink how we present content, engage students, and assess their outcomes. Many students, and especially students with learning and physical disabilities have trouble hearing, processing, and assimilating content at the same time. Persons with disabilities, while appreciating accommodations, don’t like being pointed out as different, or being given a different experience than the “regular” students. So Universal Design in Instruction, UDI, is aimed at considering the broadest range of learners from the beginning. Everyone can benefit.

Part I Adam Tanners 7/13/09

Adam covered common adaptations for persons with a variety of disabilities - vision, hearing learning disabilities. Here are some of his tips: label graphics, describe videos and provide control buttons, use selectable text etc.. He recommends a script that becomes the notes to attach to the PPT and your captions. It keeps you organized too, this population becomes confused if you jump around. Good use of white space, good course design, and conversion of printed material to speech and vice versa of course, nothing new there, but important. Universal Reader, Text Aloud Kurzwell 3000 are widely used.

Dr. Bruce Cook of UHM 7/20/09

Principles of UD for instruction or UDI include:
  • Equitable use
  • Flexibility in use
  • Simple and intuitive – not dumbing content down, but not making it more complex than it need to be.
  • Low physical effort – e.g. using computer for easy rather than handwriting, no unnecessary physical requirements.
  • Community of learners – Use email lists, soliciting their participation, discussion groups to help decrease this perceived barrier.
  • Instructional climate – students do better when they have a certain level of comfort with teachers and peers. They want a certain standard to work toward, engineered in a way that allows them to learn – can’t have high expectations without access to what they need to learn.
  • Multiple/alternative means of representation (presenting content) – have content electronic available, teach different things in different ways – group discussion, handson etc. Provide choice in topics and modes.
  • Alternative and multiple expression (testing competence) – assess mastery of content in different ways and at different times.
These were the themes that Dr. Cook emphasized. Nothing new, but built systematically into his courses over time. He also emphasized the importance of the important – identify the key concepts they must master, and give them the opportunity to learn them in a variety of ways, rather than shot-gunning a large amount of content they probably will not remember. He also supported the use of current media – YouTube, podcasts and the like. His presentation was practical and it showed the benefit of his years of experience, initially in K-12 with children with special needs, interesting.


Adam: G:\Shares\EDUC\EED\DL\VSDL_StaffMtgs_PDDInfo\VSDL_WebAccessibility\ADA_research\Various_compliance_standards/UDI_ATanners

Bruce Cook: G:\Shares\EDUC\EED\DL\VSDL_StaffMtgs_PDDInfo\VSDL_WebAccessibility\ADA_research\Various_compliance_standards/UDI_BCook.docx


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