1. What are three types of disabilities that students in a course you create might have? Explain the accommodations that you would need to provide for each.
|Visual Impairment||Text-based resources||Software that converts text to sound||http://www.freedomscientific.com/Products/Blindness/JAWS|
|JAWS, Chrome Vox or Vis, Readspeaker, Narrator||http://usabilitygeek.com/10-free-screen-reader-blind-visually-impaired-users/|
|Reading Disorders||Text-based resources||Mobile translators that scan text and convert it to sound||http://dyslexiahelp.umich.edu/tools/software-assistive-technology|
|Dragon Naturally Speaking||http://www.kurzweiledu.com/files/kurzweil-white-paper-report-from-indiana-university.pdf|
|Mobility Disorders||Manipulating Computer or writing devices||Swiftkey, Camera Mouse||http://swiftkey.com/en/blog/swiftkey-reveals-role-professor-stephen-hawkings-communication-system/|
|Click N Type||http://www.e-bility.com/links/software.php|
2. According to the text, what is the percentage of the population that has a visual, auditory or physical limitation? How does that compare to other sources for this information. (Please list at least one other source you found.) The text indicates that one in five or twenty percent of the population in the United States has some sort of disability (Waterhouse, 2005). The National Center for Education Statistics indicates that approximately 13.8 percent of students in U.S. schools are receiving assistance (http://nces.ed.gov/fastfacts/display.asp?id=64). The United States Census indicates that 18.7 percent of the United States population had a disability in 2010 (http://www.census.gov/prod/2012pubs/p70-131.pdf?utm_source=September+3%2C+2012+Census&utm_campaign=CSC+September+3++2012&utm_medium=email). 3. Identify three factors other than the actual disabilities that exist in your student population that influence how an institution or a course creator is required to address ADA in an online course.
- Precedent established by case law does influence the responsibility that schools have to proactively respond to potential disabilities.
- A desire to follow the moral and ethical high ground by allowing all students access to education regardless of disability is also a factor in an institution’s use of adaptive resources.
- Knowledge of potential harm by the institution, such as a stroke caused by flickering lights on a webpage should prevent instructors from incorporating these into their educational websites.
4. According to the text, what is “assistive technology”? Give some examples. The text describes assistive technology as technological devices designed to assist persons with disabilities in overcoming functional societal challenges. More specifically, in an e-learning context, the term is used to describe hardware and software intended to aid individuals with disabilities in using technology (Waterhouse, 2005). Examples of assistive technology include computers that can be operated by voice rather than by using a mouse or keyboard, mobile translators that convert text to sound, and subtitling or voice to text conversion software.
5. Identify and explain two different ways to check a webpage to ensure that it meets the needs of disabled students. There are many tools available on the Internet to check accessibility. One such tool is WebAIM (http://webaim.org/). WebAIM provides training, site certification, and technical assistance to assist organizations in making their websites available for people with disabilities. The Functional Accessibility Evaluator (http://fae20.cita.illinois.edu/) can also be used to evaluate web pages. It has limited free access. Their fee-based service will go through multiple pages looking for accessibility problems. A web designer can also work from a check list when developing the web site.
6. Identify two types of presentations used in online courses (for example, podcasts, PowerPoints, Videos, Slide Shows, etc.) and that you might use and explain how you can ensure that each is ADA compliant. Discuss the relative cost or difficulty of producing the accommodation. Power Point slideshows should be clear and readable. There should be a sound overlay over the text for those who have visual problems. Inserts should avoid flashing lights. The screen should be uncluttered. The text should be clearly readable. Creating a voice overlay in Power Point should be free when the original cost of the PPT is taken out of consideration. It is a function within PPT. Using videos within an online course will require transcripts or subtitles to be included with the video. Many DVD’s currently are made with ADA compliance in mind. However, some videos may need to be manually captioned or sent to a captioning business before they can be used in an online course (http://www.w3.org/2008/06/video-notes).
7. Develop a course usability checklist that is appropriate for your anticipated needs. Use the example provided in the text as a starting point and explain your modifications.
I made modifications based on what I have wanted in an online course. Also, some elements such as discussion boards and forums are often used as a single tool, so I grouped them.
Course Site Usability Checklist
- Ease of Navigation
- Information and Announcements easy to view/find
- A way to return Home on each page
- Consistency of design
Accessing Materials for Course
- Design enables easy access to appropriate materials
- Materials are designed to be accessed in multiple ways; e.g. podcasts are accompanied by a transcript and PPT’s have an audio transcription included.
- Files download quickly on multiple devices
- Documents are printable
- There are tools to provide help if needed
Course site Resources
- Chat, email, and other communication devices are easy to use.
- Online tests are designed to accommodate people with disabilities. An audio component may be included with text-based questions.
- Sufficient time is given for those with test anxiety.
- Instruction is clear and assignments are provided with the assignment for that module or section of the course.
8. Choose an online course and use your checklist to generate a report on the usability of that course. Your report should include bullet points of things that you recommend be done to improve the usability of specific elements of the course.
I looked at this communications course and compared it to my checklist (https://www.coursera.org/course/commscience).
- Navigation was fairly easy.
- Files downloaded quickly.
- A great deal of information was given on the first page. I would have changed this to make it more clear. I would also have provided an audio transcript of the text.
- The video provided did not have a text transcript included. I would have included this.
- A forum was provided for students to communicate with each other and with the instructor.
- There could have been more detailed information provided and more materials to explain the course to students.